In the recent past, the USA witnessed two terrorist attacks; one in Charlottesville and one in New York - both of the same nature. In both attacks, a US citizen used a vehicle to ram into pedestrians. The former attack happened in August, and the suspect ploughed a car into anti-fascism protestors. It resulted in two deaths, while thirty five others were injured. The latter attack happened this Tuesday, ploughing in bystanders in New York

For any type of audience, it is easy to categorise both attacks under the umbrella of terrorism. However, the response from the state was completely different. For those who have been following US politics, it is easy to understand why. The perpatrator of the Charlottesville attack was a white man, and his cause, white nationalism – whose violent tendencies are conveniently ignored by the government. Whereas, the one involved in New York was a Muslim, and in the United States a violent Muslim is unforgivable.

The narrative built after the Charlottesville attack was that the poor old man was psychologically unstable. In the second case, the narrative is completely different. The USA, particularly Trump, has been painting Muslims as the enemies of the world. And hence, after this attack there was no narrative of psychological instability but one of terrorism. Trump went on national television to announce his support of a death penalty for the offender and him being sent to Guantanamo Bay – hence endorsing once again his support for torture.

This blatant hypocrisy in policy is something the USA should be called out for. Both attackers are citizens of the USA, which means that it is their land which brews violent thinking. People committing acts of terrorism should be punished equally despite their colour. Painting Muslims as terrorists is already a failed and extremely divisive policy. Carrying it further will only aggravate the situation.