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Fighting against hate crimes

is distressing to see that hate crimes continue to happen whereas these gruesome acts should not have any place in our civilized society

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Fighting against hate crimes

Four members of a Canadian Muslim family were killed by Nathaniel Veltman, who ran them over in his pickup truck targeting them in an attack motivated by hate, police said on 6th June 2021. Among those killed in the incident were a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman, and a 15-year-old girl. A 9-year-old boy was hospitalized in a serious condition with non-fatal injuries. Detective Superintendent Paul Waight of the London police department told reporters, “There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act, motivated by hate and we believe the victims were targeted because of their Islamic faith.” 

Nathaniel Veltman was wearing a body-armour-type vest and was laughing as police arrested him for killing the family who was walking on the sidewalk. London Mayor Ed Holder said, “We grieve for the family, three generations of whom are now deceased and this was an act of mass murder, perpetrated against Muslims, against Londoners, and rooted in unspeakable hatred.”

A hate crime is when prejudice leads to a violent act and these tragedies can tear communities apart. As an American, I am deeply saddened by the atrocity that happened in Ontario, and I stand in solidarity with the victims, their friends, and their families. There is no justification for such a horrible act in our well-developed society. Unfortunately, with the loss of so many innocent lives, a religious group faces yet another threat in the name of religion. 

In Canada, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) reported a surge in the number of hate-motivated incidents. According to newly released statistics, OPS said that hate crime reports were up 57% in 2020, with 182 incidents reported last year compared to 116 cases reported in 2019. The number of such incidents was also on the rise for at least the preceding two years. A total of 24 people were charged in connection with hate crimes last year, accounting for 58 counts of various offenses. . Police said the groups most often targeted by hate crimes are Ottawa’s Black, Jewish, Muslim, and east and south-east Asian communities. Among the most serious violations were mischief to property, assault, threats, theft, and harassment.

It is distressing to see that hate crimes continue to happen whereas these gruesome acts should not have any place in our civilized society. There is no satisfactory answer for the prejudice against humans by their fellow citizens. In the countless racial assaults that have occurred in the past half-century, the tale is one of unending abuse. 

Anti-Asian racism and violent attacks have also increased since the pandemic started in the United States. According to Pew Research, “40 percent of the US adults believe that it has become more common for people to express racist views towards Asians since the Pandemic began.” According to Stop AAPI Hate, there have been approximately 2,800 acts of hate and bias targeting Asian Americans since March 2020. On 16th March 2021, a shooting occurred at three spas in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Eight people were killed, six of whom were Asian women, and one other person was wounded. Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old male, was taken into custody for killing six Asian women and two Asian men in Cherokee County, Atlanta. The acts of animosity are not limited to Asian Americans of one particular ethnicity. An 84-year-old Thai grandfather, Vicha Ratanapakdee, was fatally attacked while on his morning walk in San Francisco, CA. A 91-year-old Chinese man was attacked in Oakland, CA. A 64-year-old Vietnamese man was assaulted in San Jose, CA. And a 61-year-old Filipino man was slashed on a subway in New York. Another community has once again been targeted just because of their race. These ruthless and barbaric acts left humanity devastated and heartbroken.

Dr. Abraham Kim, Executive Director of the Council of Korean Americans, condemned the recent rise in anti-Asian hate incidents and said that “…These acts of violence create fear within our communities and should be addressed by our elected officials, community leaders, and law enforcement. We encourage the nation to reject the politics of fear and recognise that together we must be part of a movement that rejects xenophobia, racism, and dehumanization.”

African Americans have also long been victims of racist attacks. In February 2021, a Michigan man was charged for causing severe bodily injury to two African teenagers through the use of a dangerous weapon. According to the charges, he confronted a group of African teenagers at a state park, repeatedly using racial slurs and saying that Black people had no right to use the public beach. He then struck one of the teens in the face with a bike lock, fracturing the victim’s jaw and knocking out several of his teeth, before trying to strike another teen with the lock.

Last year, the community also mourned the tragic death of George Floyd in Minnesota. We witnessed another historic injustice against African Americans and as a nation, we need to address the broader and systemic racism that persists in our country today. Hate crimes based on religion, colour, or race should not have any place in this modern world.

The animosity against ethnic groups has not stopped. Across the globe, people have continued to speak out about the ways they are  treated with suspicion, called names, or singled out by airport security. Yet most tragically of all, the persistence of the persecution, perhaps, leading to the downturn of nations – terrorists now brazenly assail new victims, cascading their trails of violence against all that which is simply inhumane. 

As human beings, this is our responsibility to fight hate, discrimination, and injustice. Our politicians, government officials, and media should promote building relationships with every ethnic group and advocate tolerance and inclusion. Media, which is not limited to print, or online but pronounced on television as well, should not fuel the narrative of one group as an inherently violent, terrorist, or extremist. Rather, discussion programmes should be broadcasted to raise awareness of the political, social, and cultural rights of individuals and groups.

It is time to be more receptive to the sensitivities of other groups. Racial violence is a societal problem and we should all work together to address the root causes of this since one’s religion, race or colour should not decide one’s fate. By following the true teachings of any religion, we can become humans who share the universal bond of peace, love, and harmony.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Crime

‘Biggest’ Neo-Nazi in UK Jailed for Eight Years

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Alex Davies, a 27-year-old man from Swansea, Wales was jailed for being part of the racist National Action (NA) group in the UK. This fascist group was banned in 2016 but he kept running it under the radar as it morphed into regional factions.

The new “continued group” was called NS131- National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action and it covered the southern part of the country. They were inspired by Hitler and the logo of the organization was based on Sturmabteilung, the paramilitary wing of the Nazi party.

The jury found him guilty of running this group and he was sentenced to eight and a half years at the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey in London. The judge, Mark Dennis QC also ordered him to spend another year on extended license for his extremist views.

Davies was also the co-founder of this neo-Nazi group with the aim to start a “race war” in the UK. NA was found in 2013 by him and his partner Ben Raymond who was jailed last year for eight years as well.  The new group came to attention when they celebrated the death of MP Jo Cox.

During the trial, he was described as “probably the biggest Nazi of the lot” and a “terrorist hiding in plain sight” by the jury. While the group NA was described as the most extreme British far-right group after World War Two. He and his peers preyed on young people, grooming them to fit his twisted views.

While addressing him on the dock, Judge Mark Dennis QC said: “You are an intelligent and educated young man but you have held, over a period of many years, warped and shocking prejudices.”

“This was a well-orchestrated and determined effort to flout the ban on the activities of National Action and continue to promote and strive to achieve the long-held objectives,” the Judge added.

In his defense, Davies claimed that this new group was different from NA and he was only “exercising his democratic rights”. However, the prosecutor did not agree with his words and compared the two groups which made it hard to believe these were not the same groups just under different names.

“The same name – National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action (NS131) – take out the three middle words and you are left with a big clue: National Action,” he said.

Continuing, the prosecutor made even more comparisons, “Same colours – black and white, colours of Sturmabteilung. Same look of designer Benjamin Raymond, a convicted NA member… The same leader – this defendant, who makes it all happen. Same regional structure – adapted and redrawn following proscription, and so many familiar faces from the old guard.”

Davies was the 19th member convicted of being part of this group. A lot of them have been caught while planning dangerous things. One member was convicted for making pipe bombs while another, for plotting to kill MP Rosie Cooper with a machete.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Crime

Another Mass Shooting Kills 4 in Tulsa Hospital

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Adding to the long tally of mass shootings in the US, a gunman has killed 4 people at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The shooter, Michael Louis, blamed one of the hospital’s physicians for causing him pain after a recent back surgery. Louis opened fire in the hospital killing two doctors, a receptionist and a patient after which he killed himself. The assault-style weapon used in the shooting was purchased the very same day as the attack. The story of the Tulsa shooting is very similar to several other shooting incidents in recent years: a man aged 15 – 30 steals a gun from a family member or buys one with alarming ease and uses it within a few days to kill several innocent people in a public space. It is high time we close this book before the story repeats itself again and the only way to safely ensure that is by passing adequate gun safety laws in the US.

Last week after a mass shooting in a Texas elementary school left 19 children and 2 teachers dead, politicians were quick to offer thoughts and prayers as well as promises of change. However after 7 days and 20 more mass shootings, it seems that our country’s leaders have no intention to actually follow through on their promises. So far in 2022 there have been 231 mass shootings and zero monumental gun control laws. This stark contrast begs the question: why are US officials doing nothing to protect the public from harmful gun sales and the overall prevalence of assault-style weapons? The answer seems to lie in the fact that White House politicians would rather line the streets with dead bodies than reject the NRA’s dollars and dimes. 

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a strong and wealthy American organization that uses lobbying as a method to gain political influence and sway gun control laws. Not all US politicians accept NRA money, however enough do that passing any gun control legislation in the country is extremely difficult. At a NRA conference in Houston just two days after the Texas school shooting incident, NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre criticized calls for gun control by stating that “restricting the fundamental human rights of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves is not the answer. It never has been”. Pierre went on to propose arming school teachers as an alternate solution to the issue of mass shootings. Of course, there could be no harm in increasing the volume of firearms in public places where the weapon would be easily accessible for misuse or theft. Forget making a pit stop before opening fire in a school, shooters would now have their victims and weapons already present in one contained area. 

While these words and scenarios may seem harsh, they present the cruel reality of modern gun control debates in the US. Rather than lengthening the time it takes to purchase a gun or running more efficient background checks, there is a sizable group of NRA supporters which agrees that the true solution to mass shootings is to arm everyone so that no one will actually dare to shoot. The problem with this “fully-armed world” is that it takes just one bullet to spark a massacre. This is not a solution; a true solution would ensure that no bullet is ever used to harm another, and this can only become reality when we regulate whose hands we are putting bullets in.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Saira is a Muslim American with a passion for writing, economics, and justice.  With a background as a UC Berkeley graduate with a bachelors in economics allows her to quantitatively analyze critical developments from around the globe as well as their long term impacts on financial systems and social welfare. She is dedicated to reporting in an investigative, honest and compassionate manner to give voice to those who need it most.

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Society

Domestic Abuse: Remove Word ‘Honour’ from Asian Cases says Report

The term ‘honour abuse’ is unfair to domestic abuse victims a UK report says

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Honour abuse

A report released by the Center of Social Justice went in-depth on the extent of abuse faced by the small communities, revealing that domestic abuse affects more than 2 million men, women, and children in the United Kingdom.

However, in Asian and closed-knit communities, domestic abuse is not the term used. The phrase most often heard is “honour abuse.” 

The report states that “health care professionals (and often other services) are wary of criticising cultural perceptions of “honour” lest they invite accusations of racism, bias, and prejudice.” The fear of judgment results in health practitioners and professionals hesitating to treat domestic abuse victims of any minority descent, especially Asians.

Therefore, the term “honour” should be removed from all official documents because it “only reflects the perpetrator’s rather than their victim’s viewpoint,” making it uncomfortable for the health professional to use and thus avoid the whole situation. 

Shaila Pervez of Roshni Birmingham says: “The term is wrong because, in our community, it denotes only one thing – an honour killing. These victims do not identify with the government definition of their suffering, and we should change it.”

It singles out one or two communities, Pakistan or Afghanistan, as the term is most often used among them, she adds. However, there are victims of honour abuse from other minorities, such as Gipsy, Roma, Travellers, and the Haredi Jewish community. 

Domestic abuse in Asian and small communities is seen as part of normal behaviour, which leads to it being underreported. In cases where it is reported, authorities and health professionals do not respond to the abuse as enthusiastically because they don’t want to offend the community. 

The UK Crown Prosecutor describes honour-based abuse as “a collection of practices used to control behaviour within families or other social groups to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and honour. Such abuse can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and community by breaking their honour code.” 

This involves violence, threats of violence, intimidation, coercion, or abuse, including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional abuse, on the victim. 

According to data from the Office of National Statistics, there were more than 700,000 incidents of domestic abuse reported to the police between March 2019 and March 2020.

The victim of such “honour” abuse is usually a woman of the family, and the perpetrators are the men of the family. It also involves mothers-in-law, parents, relatives, and even other members of society and the husband. 

It had become a public health concern, especially during the pandemic when families were locked in the same house for long periods. Domestic abuse shot up by 20% during the Covid-19 pandemic. Similarly, the Asian Women’s Refuge Center recorded a 30% increase in calls from victims during the pandemic. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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World

Texas Shooting: How Britain Curbed Gun Violence After a Massacre in Scotland

As another violent school shooting rocks America, how can the UK’s approach to guns help tackle the crisis?

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Texas shooting

Gun control hurtled back into U.S political agenda after the Texas shooting when 18-year-old Salvador Ramos stormed into an elementary school in Uvalde. Amongst his victims were at least 19 pupils and two teachers. 

The Texas shooting is the 214th mass shooting in 2022. Committed by a “lonely” teenager who suffered bullying as a child, it sparked fervent debate on whether gun reform needs to be brought to the table. 

US President Joe Biden called on the country to stand up to the gun lobby, formed of individual legislators as well as groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage,” he said at a press conference.

Anger After Texas Shooting

Other Democratic politicians also spoke up in outrage. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez demanded Senate Democrats should stop trying to postpone or prevent a vote to introduce gun reform measures.

Beto O’Rourke, former US Rep. for Texas, who campaigns to ban AR-15s and AK-47s in civilian life, said: 

“I think we are fools to believe anything other than that these weapons of war will continue to be used with greater frequency against our fellow Americans.”

However Republican Senator Ted Cruz, in whose state the Texas the shooting occurred, labelled any challenges to his unflinching support to arm ordinary citizens as “political agenda.” 

Only days after the shooting, the US’ neighbouring state, Canada, pledged to introduced tighter laws on the possession of handguns. 

“Other than using firearms for sport shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, as he promised to implement new laws after the Texas shooting to clamp down its widespread sale with harsher penalties and advertising limitations.

Dunblane massacre, 1996

Another shooting that occurred 26 years ago, at a school across the pond in Dunblane, Scotland, also resurfaced in online discussions. 

Dunblane Cathedral
The shooting in Dunblane killed 16 young schoolchildren

The Dunblane massacre took the lives of 16 primary schoolers aged six and seven and one teacher. But the 15-minute ordeal at Dunblane Primary School led to swift legislative gun restrictions England, Wales and Scotland. 

Conservative Prime Minister, John Major instated the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997. It banned the private ownership of cartridge ammunition handguns except for .22 calibre single shot weapons in the three nations of the UK.

It was in response to recommendations in the Cullen Reports, which were drawn up following inquiries into to the incident, and subsequent campaigning by a newly founded ‘Gun Control Network’ as well as the Snowdrop Campaign (both led by parents of the child victims).

Law & Statistics

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That same year, the newly elected Labour government, led by former Prime Minister Tony Blair, cemented this crackdown on gun violence when it introduced the Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997, making it illegal to possess .22 calibre handguns.

Alongside it, they introduced a buyback programme rewarding £150 million to people who gave up their guns.  

The World Population Review records 155 total deaths per year by firearm in the three nations of the UK, as of 2022. Per 100,000 population, the annual rate is 6.93. In comparison, the US records 40,175 deaths by firearm per year as, with a firearm-related death rate per 100,000 standing at 12.21 annually.

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Since legislative action came in force, the three nations of the UK that saw law change, have had fewer cases of gun violence, with only two occurring since. Whereas, in the nine years before Dunblane massacre, another one in a small town in South England, remembered as the Hungerford massacre, killed 16 adults and injured a further 15 people. 

The longstanding issue of gun violence in the US is unlikely to be resolved without an apolitical crackdown on gun ownership. But bipartisan support for legislative action is necessary for it to happen.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Crime

US Police Reform: A Murder, A Movement, and An Executive Order

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2 years ago George Perry Floyd Jr. was murdered by veteran police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd’s alleged crime was counterfeiting a $20 bill; his real crime? Being born Black in America. 

At the time, the murder of George Floyd was the latest in a long line of aggressions against Black Americans which had taken the lives of countless others. Pent-up frustration from being dehumanized for centuries coupled with the unjust killing of a young Black man by the very organization meant to protect the public rekindled a long-standing struggle to change the social and cultural landscape of America: people standing up to bring about change in a civil manner.

The term “Black Lives Matter” was first coined after the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012, and it continued to gain traction after the 2014 deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York. All three of these victims were young Black men who were targeted for the color of their skin and paid a hefty price to live with that skin in America, the land of institutionalized racism. Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the the voices of concerned Black Americans garnered international attention as a call for police reform and racial justice. 

Although the Black Lives Matter movement has been heavily publicized and garnered  great support, it has been largely unsuccessful in influencing policy until now. Some argue that this is due to the fact that many acts of violence and protest were associated with the movement. On Wednesday, May 25 US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to improve “effective, accountable policing” in the US. While the order is not as strong as legislation passed in Congress would have been, it is definitely a step in the right direction to address police brutality and institutionalized racism in the country. Under the order there will be a revision of federal law enforcement use-of-force policies and the creation of a national registry for police misconduct. 

President Biden’s executive order on police reform is a monumental victory for the Black community and it represents the power of unity in oppressed communities to transform not only social and cultural landscapes but political outlooks as well. As important as it is to savor the success of such civil efforts at this time, it is also necessary to understand that the work is not done. Biden’s executive order did not suddenly eradicate police brutality or racism, rather it has highlighted these issues so that new generations are made aware of the struggle that people of color, particularly Black Americans, face in this country. This awareness of systemic biases in our country is what will allow us to identify and remove racism from our culture and institutions, allowing for the creation of a better America that is truly built for all Americans.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Saira is a Muslim American with a passion for writing, economics, and justice.  With a background as a UC Berkeley graduate with a bachelors in economics allows her to quantitatively analyze critical developments from around the globe as well as their long term impacts on financial systems and social welfare. She is dedicated to reporting in an investigative, honest and compassionate manner to give voice to those who need it most.

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Crime

The Ugly Truth behind China’s ‘Re-education camps’ for Uyghurs of Xinjiang

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Xinjiang Internment Map US Aus Gov Assessment 1

Xinjiang is an autonomous region of China which lies towards the northwestern corner of the country. It is home to more than ten million Uyghurs – a Muslim minority Turkic ethnic group.

On April 22, 2018, a horrifying satellite image of the internment camps in the region of Xinjiang appeared on the world’s surface unveiling the truth behind the government’s so-called solicitous and benign attempts to re-educate the civilians in uprooting ‘terrorism and religious extremism’ by enrolling them in the ‘vocational schools”.

Under the euphemism of ‘Re-education’, a cruel system of mass incarceration has been underway over the past 4 years. China has been reported to institute the massive internment of Muslims of Xinjiang, Uyghurs and some other Turkic minorities, since 2017. 

Even though the government keeps on dismissing the existence of such internment camps, the facts and evidence proved otherwise. It’s only until recently that the leaked content from the Xinjiang police files lay bare the veracity of the government’s claims of educating the ‘students’ to combat extremism. 

The file contains a composite image of more than 2500 detained Uyghurs. Ranging from the youngest Rahile Omer, 15 years old to the oldest Anihan Hamit, 73, the leaked images of the detainees imbued with helplessness for their undeserved plight. 

Those files also contain some of the classified speeches, spreadsheets, images, plans and protocols regarding the various secretive facilities in Xinjiang.The protocols read the detainees to be blindfolded, “hands cuffed” and “feet shackled” while transferring between the facilities. Images have also been found of the detainees being handcuffed while receiving medical treatment.

Upon seeing the images in the Xinjiang police files, one could not help but notice the terrifying fact how the camps and prisons are heavily guarded with machine guns and armored personnels, and are constantly surveilled with the watchtowers. 

In one of the classified speeches, Chen Quango, the Xinjiang’s Communist Party Secretary, vehemently commands the police and military officials to “shoot dead” anyone who even attempts to escape the facility. 

Xinjiang has long been a hub of massive violence, police attacks, riots, and protests. The two deadly attacks of 2013 and 2014 in Beijing and Kunming being blamed on the radicalist and separatist Islamist Uyghurs by the government sparked an increase in the appearance of the internment camps and prisons. These camps have been labeled as ‘schools’ and are presented to reform the ‘radicalist’ minds.

The classified address Zhao Kezhi, China’s minister for Public security, delivered at Xinjiang, June 18, paints a true picture of the government’s propaganda. According to him, at least two million people are harboring ‘extremist thought’ and appraises President Xi Jinping in furthering the cause of creating and funding new facilities for an ‘influx’ of detainees.

Uyghurs are emphatically barred from practicing their Islamic Identity and culture in their own region. Any act of noncompliance or any attempt of resistance could lead to some serious repercussions: disappearance, unknown years of ‘schooling’ or  their kids being sent to and given in the custody of the state run boarding schools in the absence of their parents. 

The answer to the question `Why Xinjiang’s Uyghurs are the target of ‘ethnic profiling’ ostensibly lies in the scheme of propaganda the government is employing to reform and cure the Uyghurs of their perceived beliefs.Thus, making sure the ethnic minorities’ loyalties lie with the Communist Ideal of a ‘well-reformed’ and coordinated society.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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