I had a front-row seat to hate and was physically assaulted: The liberal-washing of white nationalism - 2019-04-02
The horror of the New Zealand terror attack that targeted two mosques during Friday congregational prayers and left 50 people dead has raised important questions about the kind of ideas that inspire this senseless violence. In Canada, the 2017 Québec mosque shooting that left six Muslim men dead also forced the question: what drives the hate that leads to white nationalist terror?
Recently I attended a "free speech" conference on the outskirts of Toronto. In attendance at the event were lawyers from prominent legal firms and other professionals. When I challenged one of the speakers for remarks I felt promoted hatred against Muslims, I was physically assaulted.
I have long been examining the question of what fuels white nationalist hatred by documenting and mapping the "Islamophobia industry" in Canada. The industry is a constellation of individuals, media outlets, think tanks, politicians and organizations that purvey racism and Islamophobia. These include white nationalist and "alt-right" groups that are proliferating and expanding their reach in Canada from upward of 100 groups in 2015 to nearly 300 by 2018.