A number of high-impact terror attacks took place across the world last year. Terrorists were inspired by a number of different ideologies and targeted a variety of victims. As identity politics has become more salient in Western politics, the identity of both the victims and the perpetrators played a huge role in the way political leaders responded to each attack.
Following the March 2019 mosque massacres in Christchurch, New Zealand, leading politicians across the Western world did not hesitate to describe them as far-right terrorist attacks on Muslim worshippers during Friday prayers. Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expressed her solidarity with the global Islamic community. She said ‘we must continue to fight the perpetuation and normalisation of Islamophobia and racism in all its forms’. Former US president Barack Obama tweeted that he and his wife, Michelle, were grieving with the people of New Zealand and the ‘Muslim community’. The then UK prime minister, Theresa May, correctly described Christchurch as a ‘horrifying terrorist attack’.
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