“Lone wolf.” “College student.” “White man.” “Shooter.” “Far-right.” “Suspect.” These words have been deployed to describe Alexandre Bissonnette (pictured), who recently killed six Muslims inside a mosque in Quebec. His social media activities show that he trolled refugees, supported Trump and other far-right nationalists, and fancied himself as a Christian crusader.
One word in particular seems to be missing from the discourse – that word is TERRORISM. Bissonnette engaged in a murderous act against innocent human life. He violated Canadian law and the higher law of humanity in every single way imaginable. Bissonnette is a criminal. He is a white supremacist. He is a Christian. He is a radical. He killed six Muslims for the simple fact that these people identify themselves as Muslims. Make no mistake about it – he is a terrorist, even though the Daily Mail lets him off easy by describing him as a mere “lone wolf.”
Imagine if the script was flipped. If a Muslim carried out a shooting in a church, terms like “Islamist,” “radical Muslim,” and “jihadist” would be thrown around. Why don’t we have powerful words like that for young white Christian men? Why do people point to their mental health and not their political or religious beliefs? Why do we blame Islam when a Muslim commits an act of violence but not Christianity or Western culture when a Christian commits an act of violence? Why the double standard?
Bissonnette is a terrorist and he should be treated as such. The scourge of white supremacy violence will not go away until we identify it for what it is – TERRORISM.
What can be done to tackle the rise of white supremacist attacks against ethnic and religious minority communities? I am interested in hearing your views. What I do know is that white supremacy infused with Christianity is a major problem and its proliferation must be addressed. This is a “silent threat” that has a thunderous impact on innocent people.