With the fall of the United States-backed government in Afghanistan to the Taliban and the U.S. complete withdrawal from the country, White supremacist and antigovernment extremists have expressed admiration for what the Taliban accomplished, a worrying development for US officials who have been grappling with the threat of domestic violent extremism.
That praise has also been coupled with a wave of anti-refugee sentiment from far-right groups, as the US and others rushed to evacuate tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan by the Biden administration’s August 31 deadline, according to CNN report.
Online conversations reveal that White supremacist and other domestic violent extremist groups have been “framing the activities of the Taliban as a success,” and a model for those who believe in the need for a civil war in the US, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, John Cohen, said on a call Friday with local and state law enforcement, obtained by CNN.
The Department of Homeland Security has also been analyzing discussions centering on “the great replacement concept” a conspiracy theory that immigrants, in this case the relocation of Afghans to the US, would lead to a loss of control and authority by White Americans.
Far-right extremist communities have been invigorated by the events in Afghanistan, “whether by their desire to emulate the Taliban or increasingly violent rhetoric about ‘invasions’ by displaced Afghans,” according to recent analysis from SITE Intelligence Group, an American non-governmental organization that tracks online activity of White supremacist and jihadist organizations.
Some people are commending the Taliban’s takeover as “a lesson in love for the homeland, for freedom, and for religion,” SITE said in its weekly bulletin on far-right extremists.
Neo-Nazi and violent accelerationists — who hope to provoke what they see as an inevitable race war, which would lead to a Whites-only state — in North America and Europe are praising the Taliban for its anti-Semitism, homophobia, and severe restrictions on women’s freedom, SITE found.
“Globohomo” is a derogatory word used to insult “globalists,” the term used by conspiracy promoters to describe their enemy (the evil global elite who control the media, finance, political system etc), according to SITE.
There has been a lot of Islamophobia and xenophobia echoed by White supremacists and anti-Muslim activists, claiming that public safety and national security is threatened because they see refugees through a stereotypical lens as being dangerous criminals or terrorists, according to Mendelson.
A core conspiracy guiding White supremacist ideology is the “the great replacement,” the belief that ultimately, the White race is facing its ultimate extinction, she said.
There is also “almost this infatuation and admiration” of the Taliban, Mendelson said, pointing to the notion that an under-equipped insurgent group could successfully defeat a global power.
“The fact that the Taliban at the end of the day could claim victory over such a world power is something that White supremacists are taking note of,” she said.
This type of cross-ideological praise has historical precedent, according to Squire, citing as an example, a meme that circulated in neo-Nazi communities during a particularly misogynist period about “white Sharia,” the concept that women should be treated the way the Taliban treats women.