A Fox News foreign affairs analyst and a former staffer for the Trump 2016 campaign condemned the attacks, but told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer on Friday that it was “very understandable” what the shooter in the New Zealand mosque massacre was “trying to do on a political level.”
“It is very understandable what he is trying to do on a political level, obviously it’s horrific and it should be condemned completely on the action level,” Walid Phares told Fox News on Friday, before discussing the attention the shooter likely wants to bring to his ideological beliefs through the attack and trial.
It is unclear what Phares was trying to express in the eyebrow-raising remarks. Phares tweeted that he thinks his words were twisted.
The #IranRegime & #Ikhwan propaganda are trying to play with my words on FoxNews because I identified an #Islamophobia trend that we need to denounce while they want to control the narrative. They don't have the intellectual power to win this one. More arguments are coming soon
— Walid Phares (@WalidPhares) March 15, 2019
Phares went on to express that it is the responsibility of the New Zealand government and governments around the world to “take action against” the ideologies that promote “violent action” and fight terrorism “from any side and all sides,” a remark that resembles President Trump’s response to the racist violence in Charlottesville.
“Unfortunately New Zealand has joined the community of probably a hundred countries, victims, countries that are fighting terrorism from any side and all sides,” Phares said. “Mosques, churches have been attacked by extremists on all sides. But what is interesting here is that this individual allegedly has been inspired by an ideology that claims that you should take action, violent action, against immigrants or members of the Islamic faith, that is something that the government in New Zealand and around the world both in the Arab world, Muslim world needs to take action against.”
Fox analyst condemns NZ attack, says it is "very understandable" what shooter was trying to do on a "political level" pic.twitter.com/x8rJQsm9jm
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) March 15, 2019