A Fourth Reich Rising? Anti-Islamic Sentiment in the West
Pogroms, concentration camps, fear of a global Jewish conspiracy, all these things were accepted at one time, because of fear and bigotry. Jews were the dark, sinister force behind every plot, bent on world domination through, ironically, finance and communism. Today we see these views as abhorrent. There are laws against hateful rhetoric, racial, ethnic, or religious discrimination. But there is one group where it is still seen as acceptable, if not out-right encouraged, to direct the narrow-mined hatred of the masses: Muslims.
Islam, it is claimed, is a religion of war. The main goal of the Muslim faith is, or so we are told, to force conversion upon us, by any means necessary. Halal meat, no alcohol, and music consisting of drums and vocals only, this, we are told, is what our future looks like. Fear mongers in the media tell us that building a Mosque is the first step towards Islamic hegemony! Politicians wearing huge, gaudy gold and diamond Crucifixes demand that the Burqa or Hijab be banned, minarets are right out, because public demonstrations of religion have no place in “their country” and lead to discrimination and hate crimes. It is everywhere, on the news, in the papers, and particularly on online forums such as this, comments about "fearing the Muslims" or the Islamic bogeyman. Goebbels would be hard pressed to match the vehemant intolerance of the modern "Concerned Citizen."
Looking back through history, there are many examples of Islamic states accepting Jewish and Christian subjects, as long as those subjects were willing to accept the laws and keep the peace. In the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Ottoman Empire, there were many Christian and Jewish subjects. The Muslim rulers did not feel the need to instigate an Inquisition, impose dietary constraints, ban churches from displaying crosses, or prevent the building of a Synagogue because the Jews and Christians worshipped differently. In Moorish Iberia, the Muslim rulers were equally willing to accept Christian and Jewish subjects right to their own beliefs. Indeed, historically, European, Christian nations have been more intolerant of other races and religions than the “Muslim horde” we are being told to fear. The're all out to get us, and ban our beloved pork products to boot!
In Philosophy, we talk of Fallacies. One, the sweeping generalization, states basically, that judging all by the actions of the few is fallacious. Basing an argument on a fallacious premise is seen to weaken the argument, and in many cases invalidate it. What we are seeing these days is a sweeping generalization that if a small group of Muslims are terrorists, all Muslims must be terrorists. The media, using our fears to boost ratings or readership, are more than willing to feed into this fallacious frenzy. So too are our politicians, who, seeing the unease being created, are willing to use the “Muslim threat” to boost their own support. A self perpetuation climate of fear and hatred.
In the Nazi Third Reich, the fear mongers of that era spoke of “socialists and Jews” as co-conspirators, attempting to destabilize the world for their own evil ends. The rhetoric has changed little in the last seven and a half decades, but now, instead of Jews, the target are Muslims. The recent massacre of youth at a political camp in Norway highlights this beautifully. A man, claiming to be a part of the Knights Templar, who have been re-established, apparently, wearing a Police uniform, and using an automatic rifle, went after a youth summer camp, killing indiscriminately. In his Manifesto, he talks of socialists and Muslims, in the same way Hitler’s propaganda machine did, less than a century ago. Indeed, the SS claimed decent, through the Teutonic Knights, from the Templars as well.
It is not only the ranting and violent actions of one mad-man in Norway, but indeed a multi-national neo-anti-Semitism. I use the phrase because of the fact that the Arab Muslims are indeed Semitic people. So indeed, anti-Semitism is a part of this Anti-Islam storm sweeping the world. In the United States, not long ago, preachers were calling publicly for burning Qurans in protest of the building of a Mosque in the area around “ground zero.” Here in Canada, Muslim girls are frequently forced to fight for their right to wear a Hijab on the soccer pitch. In Switzerland, the building of Minarets on Mosques is strictly verboten. In France, controversy raged over the opening of Halal burger shops last year.
Nations that once stood together to fight against Hitler and his Fascist regime are now espousing the same rhetoric and discriminatory practices that our forebears fought so hard to destroy. Book burnings, racial and religious discrimination, mass hysteria and hatred towards the “others,” how long until we see concentration camps start springing up? The motivation for terrorism is only furthered by the West holding Muslims at arms length. Starving, poverty-stricken youth, feeling discrimination and disdain at every turn are the main source of recruits for terrorist groups. Instead of breaking out the red arm-bands and jack boots, if people are serious about stopping Terrorism, lets try something new and crazy, like equality, justice, and opportunity for all. Deal with the causes, or else do not complain about the effects. Novel, I know, but maybe, just maybe, by not forcing youth to see terrorism as their only option, they may choose another route in life.