Picture: Johannes Simon/Getty
Picture: Johannes Simon/Getty

Germany is struggling to heal following the tragic events in Munich on Friday which saw nine people killed and 27 more injured after an 18-year-old went on a shooting spree.

Ali David Sonboly had allegedly opened fire at a McDonald’s restaurant in the city on the five year anniversary of the Anders Behring Breivik Norway massacre which killed 77 mostly young people, and injured over 200.

Sonboly, who was born in Germany and is of Iranian descent, had reportedly been fascinated by shooting sprees, including that of the right-wing extremist Breivik.

Robert Fisk, writing for the Independent, was quick to point out a double-standard with the way terror attacks are reported:

When first we heard that three armed men had gone on a 'shooting spree' in Munich, the German cops and the lads and lassies of the BBC, CNN and Fox News fingered the 'terror' lever. The Munich constabulary, we were informed, feared this was a 'terrorist act'. The local police, the BBC told us, were engaged in an 'anti-terror manhunt.'

However Sonboly doesn’t have any connections to Isis, and despite a witness claiming they heard him shout “Allahu Akhbar”, the overwhelming body of evidence suggests he had shouted insults to foreigners.

The shooting challenges the idea that only Muslims can be 'radicalised'.

Academic, journalist and editor-in-chief of Ajam Media CollectiveAlex Shams wrote the following Facebook post exploring Iranian identity and the prevailing concept of whiteness as a mark of superiority in response to the attack:

Shams told indy100:

In the last few years, we have been confronted by an increasingly hostile, extreme right-wing nationalist discourse that has taken many countries in Europe and the US by storm.

In this context, many young people from immigrant backgrounds - people who were born and raised in the West and saw themselves as part of their countries - began to realise that in the eyes of others, they were foreigners and would always be foreigners. This racist current had a tremendous effect on the self-image of many young people - and I consider myself one of them - and for many young people of Muslim background in particular it created many mental health problems.

Many Iranians in Western countries actually left their own country due to the rise of the Islamist current there, many second-generation Iranians have extreme hostility toward not only their homeland's government, but also to Islam in general.

Before the 1979 Revolution [in Iran] the idea that Iranians were "Aryans" and descended from a grand race with roots in India and links to Europe was widely taught and believed. Just like nationalist myths in every country, in Iran, this was useful for the government and helped create resentment and a sense of superiority over Turks, Arabs, and Islam.

In recent years, some young Iranian men have been attracted to such views, and on the internet they are widely promoted by white supremacists… the exceptional thing in the Iranian case is that it aligns with European right-wing nationalist beliefs.

The Facebook post has been shared over 1,000 times in less than 24 hours.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)