A heroic grandfather just prevented a white supremacist mass shooting single-handed

As the United States reels in grief and horror from its most recent white supremacist terror attack, a grandfather in Norway saved his nation from the same fate when he stopped a would-be mosque shooter by putting him in a chokehold.

Muhammad Rafiq, 65, was at the al-Noor Islamic Center in Oslo for the beginning of Eid al-Adha prayers when a white Norwegian man in his 20s shot through the lock on the mosque door and entered, brandishing multiple weapons.

Rafiq immediately sprang into action, toppling him to the ground and pinning him with a chokehold before sitting on him until the police arrived. One person was wounded in the shooting.

Inevitably, evidence started to trickle in that made it clear that the suspect, Phillip Manshaus, was a white supremacist intent on committing an attack inspired by the massacres at a mosque in New Zealand and a synagogue in San Diego.

Social media posts on the 8chan clone website “Endchan” allegedly showed Manshaus praising the Christchurch shooter as a “saint,” cheered on the El Paso shooter for “reclaiming his country” and called on the post’s readers to follow in their bloody footsteps.

In addition, the Norwegian media reports that the police found Manshaus’ 17-year-old stepsister dead in a nearby apartment and are charging him with her murder. Violence against women and virulent misogyny are an almost universal trait among mass shooters and verbal or digital expressions of it must be seen as a potential warning sign and treated as such.

The Christchurch shooter posted a manifesto online before carrying out his heinous deeds, praising President Trump and endorsing the white supremacist conspiracy theories that Trump promotes. Manshaus’ celebration of that atrocity and the ideas that inspired it is yet another terrifying glimpse into how widespread and how effective white supremacist propaganda can be in radicalizing disaffected white misogynists — and how the President of the United States bears no small amount of responsibility for the lives lost to white hate.

Original reporting by Lizzie Dearden at the Independent. 

Colin Taylor

Managing Editor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.