New Zealand: the barbarism of identity politics

The relentless reduction of people to cultural beings is unleashing terrible conflict.

… As we offer our solidarity, we also want to try to understand why things like this happen. Understandably, there has been a rush to locate this barbaric act within a broader political framework. Sadly, this has given rise to a speedy and ghoulish exploitation of the atrocity to make political mileage. Already observers are pinning the blame on certain right-wing commentators, or on the Western media more broadly, claiming that criticism of Muslim immigration or of Islam generates this kind of violent hatred. Already some are calling for clampdowns on Islamophobia and for the expunging from the internet of certain hard-right voices. It will strike many of us, especially those of us who are humanists, as perverse and disturbing that people would so swiftly use a bloody act to further their own narrow agendas of social control and censorship; that they would use a massacre almost as an exclamation point to their already existing demands for the demonisation and punishment of particular opinions. It is cynical and inhuman.