Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ayaan Hirsi Ali - Why Muslims deny the Holocaust.

You'll remember Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is a Somali immigrant who served in the parliament of the Netherlands until earlier this year. She's the author of "Infidel," an autobiography to be published next year. Here, in today's LA Times piece she makes the point in a Los Angeles Times editorial that when it comes to the Holocaust, not only are Muslims subjected to nearly constant anti-Semitic propaganda fromthe cradle, much of the Muslim world hasn't even heard of it!

ONE DAY IN 1994, when I was living in Ede, a small town in Holland, I got a visit from my half-sister. She and I were both immigrants from Somalia and had both applied for asylum in Holland. I was granted it; she was denied. The fact that I got asylum gave me the opportunity to study. My half-sister couldn't.

In order for me to be admitted to the university I wanted to attend, I needed to pass three courses: a language course, a civics course and a history course. It was in the preparatory history course that I, for the first time, heard of the Holocaust. I was 24 years old at that time, and my half-sister was 21.

In those days, the daily news was filled with the Rwandan genocide and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. On the day that my half-sister visited me, my head was reeling from what happened to 6 million Jews in Germany, Holland, France and Eastern Europe.

I learned that innocent men, women and children were separated from each other. Stars pinned to their shoulders, transported by train to camps, they were gassed for no other reason than for being Jewish.

I saw pictures of masses of skeletons, even of kids. I heard horrifying accounts of some of the people who had survived the terror of Auschwitz and Sobibor. I told my half-sister all this and showed her the pictures in my history book. What she said was as awful as the information in my book.

With great conviction, my half-sister cried: "It's a lie! Jews have a way of blinding people. They were not killed, gassed or massacred. But I pray to Allah that one day all the Jews in the world will be destroyed."

She was not saying anything new. As a child growing up in Saudi Arabia, I remember my teachers, my mom and our neighbors telling us practically on a daily basis that Jews are evil, the sworn enemies of Muslims, and that their only goal was to destroy Islam. We were never informed about the Holocaust.

Later, as a teenager in Kenya, when Saudi and other Persian Gulf philanthropy reached us, I remember that the building of mosques and donations to hospitals and the poor went hand in hand with the cursing of Jews. Jews were said to be responsible for the deaths of babies and for epidemics such as AIDS, and they were believed to be the cause of wars. They were greedy and would do absolutely anything to kill us Muslims. If we ever wanted to know peace and stability, and if we didn't want to be wiped out, we would have to destroy the Jews. For those of us who were not in a position to take up arms against them, it was enough for us to cup our hands, raise our eyes heavenward and pray to Allah to destroy them.

Western leaders today who say they are shocked by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's conference this week denying the Holocaust need to wake up to that reality. For the majority of Muslims in the world, the Holocaust is not a major historical event that they deny. We simply do not know it ever happened because we were never informed of it.

The total number of Jews in the world today is estimated to be about 15 million, certainly no more than 20 million. On the other hand, the world's Muslim population is estimated to be between 1.2 billion and 1.5 billion. And not only is this population rapidly growing, it is also very young.

What's striking about Ahmadinejad's conference is the (silent) acquiescence of mainstream Muslims. I cannot help but wonder: Why is there no counter-conference in Riyadh, Cairo, Lahore, Khartoum or Jakarta condemning Ahmadinejad? Why are the 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference silent on this?

Could the answer be as simple as it is horrifying: For generations, the leaders of these so-called Muslim countries have been spoon-feeding their populations a constant diet of propaganda similar to the one that generations of Germans (and other Europeans) were fed — that Jews are vermin and should be dealt with as such? In Europe, the logical conclusion was the Holocaust. If Ahmadinejad has his way, he shall not want for compliant Muslims ready to act on his wish.

The world needs to be informed again and again about the Holocaust — not only in the interest of the Jews who survived and their offspring but in the interest of humanity.


Anonymous said...

One wonders when moderate Muslims will finally break out of this deafening silence. Why are they allowing their fellow fundamentalist co-religionists to monopolise the interviews, news channels, newspapers and the MSM?

If they truly desire peace with our communities, they have to be the ones to prove it. We don't have to prove to them that we are submissive and weak enough to submit to Islam - which is exactly what Islamofascists want us to do. Right now, the moderates are kind of half-heartedly going along with the plan: convert or die. It's more of indifferent nonchalance with a modicum of wishful thinking that hopes that we will "come to our senses" and convert. Otherwise, they will turn a blind eye while their co-religionists slaughter our kin.

Inaction is also a form of action, and indifference is nonetheless a complicit act. If moderate Muslims think that it is our fault that fundamentalists are allowed to propagate their nihilistic outlook and act upon those tendencies, if they expect us to discipline their co-religionists for them, then I'm afraid - but not hesitant - that brute force is necessary for them to learn the hard way.

Anonymous said...

hi harrison,
in western pennsylvania(sp), the amish(sp) want to be left alone, to live what most of us view as a primitive lifestyle. to some it seems they don't want to assimilate into the western culture.
however, you don't see any of them flying planes into our buildings or filing lawsuits against our elected officals seeking to undermine our laws, or for that matter chopping peoples heads off on the internet.
where am i going with this?
as i have read other posts such as yours, there is always something that i have always thought was just under the surface.
the focus of posts and comments such as yours leave out half the arguement.
by that i mean it is not just islam. it is not just a religion. the other half of the arguement is the society and/or social culture that has, or has not, developed.
their society, as well as so-called religion, are dysfunctional. if it is not part of their religion it is their culture. then, if not their culture then their religion.
which is it?
that, imo, is the reason for the majority silence.
they hide behind a shield of "we're not like you so you must tolerate us, just to prove to yourselves that you are a tolerant people".
my reply to this is, "show me in the constitution the word tolerant."
we are a religion of peace, now be still while i murder my daughter for disrespecting me.

you used the word in your comment.
that, imo, is the fundamental building block of their society. the only problem is there have not been any other blocks placed upon it, or around it to contain it.
all societies start out violent.
some never get past it.
the rule of law has developed in the US, not so in certain countries on the aftican continent.
i just hope that the closing sentence of your comment does not show that we, like the EU have accepted the rule of law too much. for i fear that we too have become the dhimmi.
something has to be done to foil the ownership of the oval office by mid-east shieks.

Anonymous said...

Only, this time, if a second Holocaust did happen, some of the Jews themselves would be responsible for it. I'm talking about people like Noam chomsky, steven speilberg, etc, who have either lost touch with their Jewish heritage, or flat out deny it, and show solidarity with the Palestinians, and justify the hatred against Israel.

Anonymous said...

louielouie, I appreciate your comments. Thanks.

I do recognise that Muslim society has been pervaded by the same malaise as that plaguing Islamic fundamentalists - after all, sharia law rejects the separation of church and state - indeed, it promotes the ideal that religion must play a part in every aspect of a Muslim's life. As such, Muslim society and Islam have become almost irrevocably intertwined and inseparable from each other.

Trust me, I have no delusions regarding multiculturalism, or some form of "compromise" between constitutional, legal-rational law and that of sharia. Any sort of compromise and we risk dismantling the very foundations upon which our society, and civilisation, rests on. Either they accept our rules or we take decisive action to make examples of them. If they want to leave, that's fine too.

My scepticism lies with so-called moderate Muslims: as I mentioned, theirs is a form of acquiescent nonchalance - to feign innocence while through inaction and ignorance, indirectly legitimising and condoning murderous acts by their fellow Muslims. Convert or die. That's their hidden agenda.