By Logan Garrett—Editor-In-Chief
Earlier this month, Chelsea Clinton was confronted by New York University students Leen Dweik and Rose Asaf at a vigil in NYU’s Islamic Center in the wake of the New Zealand mosque massacre.
“This right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words you put out there. I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deep inside. 49 people died because of the rhetoric you put out there,” Dweik said while angrily pointing her finger in Clinton’s face.
Although these students have a right to be upset about Clinton’s remarks, I feel that their anger is misguided in blaming the shooting on these remarks alone. Clinton has been outspoken about her disdain for forms of hate like Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, and her condemnation of Omar’s statements were certainly not the cause of the tragedies in Christchurch. Clinton responded to Omar’s statements which she perceived to be problematic, but this response was not malicious or divisive and was intended to catalyze a productive dialogue. In fact, Clinton’s comments resulted in a discussion between the two prominent figures about the Israel lobby’s influence on American politics. This discussion between Clinton and Omar is, however, far from the issue at hand.
During Friday prayer on March 15, 2019, 49 innocent people were murdered by a white supremacist. The shooter’s actions wereinfluenced by white nationalist propaganda, and his 73-page manifesto focused on his anti-immigration and ethno-nationalist beliefs which were fueled by rhetoric and writing spread by a number of other neo-Nazi terrorists and radically conservative politicians. He did not mention Chelsea Clinton.
There is definitely blame to be placed in this issue, but Dweik and Asaf should start pointing fingers at individuals like Donald Trump or Australian Senator Fraser Anning, who are actively perpetuating hateful speech specifically at the Islamic community.