A couple embracing in front of messages of condolence and floral tributes near the scene of a stabbing on London Bridge, in London. REUTERS PIC

THE latest London bridge stabbing is a sequel to several other incidents.

Recall June 2017. At least eight people were killed in the London Bridge area when attackers ploughed a van into pedestrians before carrying out a stabbing assault at Borough Market.

In March the same year, an attacker stabbed a policeman close to London’s Parliament buildings after a car ploughed into pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge.

In Paris, an old man wanted to set a mosque on fire in retribution for “the blaze that damaged Notre Dame Cathedral” last April.

He did not trust the investigators who described the incident as an accident.

The hate-crime wave has continued unabated in the civilised West. It appears that law enforcers conveniently shrug off hate crimes as plain “terrorism”.

If we scratch the surface, the Murphy’s Law inscription that “nothing is as simple as it looks at first sight” pops up.

When we refuse to lend an ear to “terrorists”, they speak loud and clear, through acts of violence.

After all, terrorism is publicity-seeking violence (Verinde Grover, Encyclopedia of Terrorism). Unless terror-weary citizens have weak arguments, they should talk eyeball-to-eyeball to the pro-terror on channels.

Hate-mongering world leaders such as Viktor Orban in Hungary, Narendra Modi in India and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines should clip their long tongues.

Such political leaders pander to sentiments of their xenophobic, self-seeking or corrupt lobbies.

The sky would not have fallen if Boris Johnson had apologised for racist “burka” comments.

The world should speak up for the Kashmir prison under Indian jackboots.

Media, including Facebook, need to play their due role in exposing true terror from hate crimes.

Channel 4 Dispatches, a British-documentary series, found that Facebook “tends to give special protection to far-right content if it is posted by people or pages with a large number”.

Facebook eventually shuttered Britain First’s page after its proponents were jailed for anti-Muslim hate crimes.

Similarly, following a terrorist attack in London in June, Republican Clay Higgins (Louisiana) posted a photo of the attack on his Facebook page along with a comment advocating “murder of Muslims and for a ban on federal assistance to any country where Muslims reside”.

Facebook refused to remove the post.

Monika Bickert, who is the head of product policy and counterterrorism at Facebook, justified the decision by saying: “We really do want to give people room to share their political views, even when they are distasteful.”

So hate mongering is a political expression? Hate crime is a hydra-headed monster. It requires a multi-pronged corrective strategy.

Negative social media has outpaced other media of communications.


Rawalpindi, Pakistan