Following the attack in Germany, I thought I’d share some thoughts. I’m angry but especially troubled how the attack is being discussed, or rather, how the historical and political portrayal of Kurds/Turks [the non-German] is continuously erased.
And more importantly, thinking of Malcolm X’s legacy, I’m going to say something which we must bear in mind today, more than ever: just because you’re anti-Far Right (in research or practice) does not mean you’re anti-racist or anti-Islamophobic.
To establish my position to speak on this subject: I grew up in Berlin and I’m familiar with Muslim community activism there (though this is dated now); my PhD compared Muslim identity development according to the political contexts of Germany, Canada and Denmark; and my current research looks at how racism perpetuates through counter-terror logic and political rhetoric.
I’m specifically interested in how ‘psychology talk’ is a 21st century vehicle in dismissing racist structures. This is very relevant to how Tobias R, the Hanau killer, is being discussed, focusing on his online activity, social networks, mental health, etc.
In 2003, I remember vividly being attacked in Berlin. The guy was screaming “du bist dreck, raus aus Deutschland” [you’re dirt, get out of Germany]. I know of many such ideologically-motivated, violent incidents among friends and within the Muslim community—“racism” was never acknowledged, let alone “Far Right terrorism”.