Poway Synagogue Attack Sparks Conversation on White Nationalism and Anti-Semitism

Published April 28th, 2019 - 12:09 GMT
(AFP / SANDY HUFFAKER)
(AFP / SANDY HUFFAKER)

In the past two months, three deadly terrorist attacks targeted different places of worship - Muslims, Christians and Jews - in various parts of the world. These highlighted the increasing influence of hate speech and terrorism led by far-right wing groups in the West and in the Middle East as well.

On Saturday night and during a congregation celebrating the last day of Passover, a terrorist gunman walked into a synagogue in Poway, north of San Diego in California, and opened fire using an AR-type assault rifle killing one woman and injuring three other people.

The woman who died was 60-year-old Lori Kaye. She was shot after throwing herself in front of a rabbi during the firing spree.

The 19-year-old suspect was chased out of the building by an off-duty officer who fired back at him. He was immediately arrested.

Social media users have been sharing what is thought to be the attacker’s manifesto; an open letter posted hours before the attack, on the online forum 8chan, in which he identified himself, stating his anti-Semitic motives and racist rants.

In a similar rhetoric to the New Zealand Christchurch attacks, the Poway attacker refers to the two attacks on the Christchurch mosques in March 2019 which killed over 50 people and the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in October 2018 in which 11 people were killed. As he said he was inspired by these attacks. He has also claimed responsibility for an attack on a mosque in the US a week ago.

One Twitter account is reported to have seen the attacker's manifesto on the 8chan website hours before the attack took place.

The fact that the synagogue attacker was able to post his letter on the internet citing hate and white nationalism as his reasons, has in fact highlighted the rise of the far-rightist ideology on digital media platforms, those who fear being replaced by the Jews or the immigrants.

But the conversation on the power of the digital media platforms have failed in stopping such attacks from taking place. This is despite the fact the attacker managed to talk about it hours ago on the internet.

Meanwhile, discussion on the ban of white supremacist accounts on social media platforms and the monitoring or even censorship of hate speech has come to light again.

 


© 2000 - 2019 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

You may also like