The terrorist attacks last month on two mosques in New Zealand brought to fore the dual dangers of white nationalism and the demonization of Muslims. The mosque massacres in New Zealand do not come out of a vacuum. There’s a broader discourse of white nationalism that’s grown in the era of Trump. And so has anti-Muslim sentiment or Islamophobia. In recent years, these interlinked forces have resulted in attempted or successful mass-casualty attacks on Muslim congregations in Western countries.

Americans protest against Islamphobia at Union Station in Washington, DC on March 16, 2017. (Image Credit: Lorie Shaull via Flickr)

Transnational Islamophobia

But rising anti-Muslim sentiment is not limited to the West. We see it across Buddhist and Hindu-majority countries in Asia, such as India, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. And it has made for odd alliances of conveniences between groups that share an antipathy toward Muslims, including white and Hindu nationalists, as well as some hardline supporters of the state of Israel. This emerging phenomenon is perhaps best described as “transnational Islamophobia.”

In this podcast episode, we’ll examine the motivations of the perpetrator of the New Zealand terrorist attacks and explore the commonalities between anti-Muslim discourses across the globe.



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Arif Rafiq is the editor of Globely News. Rafiq has contributed commentary and analysis on global issues for publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New Republic, the New York Times, and POLITICO Magazine.

He has appeared on numerous broadcast outlets, including Al Jazeera English, the BBC World Service, CNN International, and National Public Radio.


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