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Islamophobia: European history repeating itself?

Has humanity, and more specifically, the equal, tolerant, humanitarian, and culturally-diverse Europe, already forgotten lessons learnt from a past vastly condemned? There is a foreshadowing attitude and disturbing reflection of practices to a particular global trauma which is emerging from the vile state of mind labelled ‘Islamophobia’.

European anti-Semitism ravaged the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Jews were identified by and persecuted for their appearance (Semite features, female head coverings, etc.), customs (membership lists, local intelligence networks), faith (synagogues), and labels (passports stamped with a J, The Star of David graffiti on business places). The Holocaust did not happen overnight. Atrocities committed against Jews spanned many decades and were initially relatively small; hence easily ignored or scaled down by law enforcement.

Workplace and public discrimination, occasional hate-killings (easily perpetuated as isolated incidents), and continuous street abuse as well as marginalisation and media vilification were all too common. These ‘smaller’ incidents paved the way and escalated into one of the most horrific crimes recorded in recent world history.

If the aforementioned events were stepping stones for a major tragedy, and arguably another is in the making. The above deliberate and relatable patterns of action are already noticeable in Islamophobia:

– Professed Muslims are being identified by their appearance (ironically by use of Semite features once more, “Pakistani”, head coverings, etc.) thereby giving an outward appearance to a belief system with no racial prerequisite.

– Customs and faith are being classed as reason enough, and targeted- mosques have been attacked, membership lists ceased, terrorism laws used to infringe upon private information, unfair prosecution methods practiced (hidden trials), human rights set aside, and recruitment of spies within certain organisations.

– Though profiling measures have yet to be publicly put in place, there is a clear bias apparent in airports, security systems, and police work.

There is no marking of passports or a crescent moon on Muslim business places as such. However, FOX news suggested a few days ago that Islam is the enemy and as such all Muslims should be profiled, legally identified, then separated from society – exactly what the Nuremberg Laws, implemented in 1935 by Hitler, subjected Jews to. For a global-reaching media outlet with an average of more than two million viewers to be allowed such statements via airtime is preposterous.

Further, the atrocities being committed against innocent Muslims have seen an unnerving symmetry to those that were committed against Jews:

– Workplace and public discrimination against Muslim women and men whereby they are dismissed for their beliefs upon exposure, denied career opportunities within a profession due to appearance, or generally faced with poor treatment is increasingly ordinary.

An American woman recently dressed in hijab for a week to discover these reactions: among being called a terrorist by a little girl, ignored by shop assistants, looked down upon, abused, and made to feel like a walking punching bag, her days were great.

– The main implications of frequent hate-killings including the recent murder of a Saudi Arabian woman in Colchester and the Afghan boy shot in Australia are ignored by mainstream media (“perpetuated as isolated incidents”). Beyond this, there are hundreds of other cases of extreme violence against Muslims (simply because they are Muslim) in the UK alone, thousands in Europe, and tens of thousands in the US.

– Arson, bombing, desecration, and vandalism of mosques, religious centers, schools, and Muslim homes have grown to thousands of reported incidents in any given year.

– Muslim women and men are spat at, screamed upon, beaten, and subjected to daily harassment in public. Instances of cyber-abuse are now completely normal.

It is important to emphasise that these incidents bring a reminiscent reflection of preliminary acts which directly led to the Holocaust. So I ask – how does this go on with silence from the global community, political representatives, and mass media? How have none of these issues been addressed on a proportionate scale?

In fact, far from silence, why are there many agendas which instead “fuel the flames” so to speak? Why is there an abundance of public interface that further aids this growing radical and baseless hatred? Europe, was making this mistake once before not enough?

The Basis

The basis for Nazi antisemitism—prejudice against or hatred of Jewish people—was the Nazis’ distorted worldview of human history as racial struggle.

The Nazis falsely considered the Jews to be a race. They incorrectly believed Jews had a natural impulse, inherited through generations, to strive for world domination, and that this goal would not only prevent German dominance but would also enslave and destroy the German ‘race’.

An immediate similarity can be drawn between the rationale used by Nazis to manipulate an indiscriminate killing of Jews, and the current logic advocated by many growing British political groups (Britain First, EDL, BNP, UKIP) and US outlets (FOX news, CNN, and so on) to invoke and create further disparity against Muslims.

Both the Nazis and these groups invent a self-deluded global threat against their own identities (i.e. scaremongering), which is then utilised as momentum to declare an enemy (Muslims/ Jews). Thus, exterminating such an “enemy” becomes purportedly vital to preserve (the identity of) Britain, the US, or as was the case 80 years ago, Germany.

To realise that an agenda so alike to Nazism is being pursued again as a means to rally support for yet another abhorrent cause is extremely unsettling; from the false consideration of Islam as a “race”, to the allegations of considered world domination. “They are evil”, “violent”, “they will take over”, “get them before they get us”, and misquoted teachings may seem in the mind of the racially charged and radically hateful as innovative reasoning never before used.

To the contrary, these were the exact same propaganda campaigns created by Hitler, Goebbels, and many European leaders during and before the holocaust – these very excuses legitimised discrimination against Jews and eventually their wholesale murder. Effectively, Islamophobia has allowed few twisted conceited (as is common) individuals to manipulate the same pretext, reasoning, and manifest patriotic insecurity which were used against Jews a century ago, to repeat the very same persecutions.

In conclusion, we see an evident similarity of identification methods, discriminatory tactics, hate crimes, and underlying “logic” employed by Islamophobic groups, as was done by the much detested Nazis. We are witnessing the same mass grave being dug for six million corpses once more. Yet just like in the 19th century, the issue has received none of the opposition, efforts towards resolution, nor attention it deserves.

Even though “lessons from the holocaust” references are never scarce, and the guilt felt by Western tacit approval and willful ignorance remains loud and clear in almost every history book, no real political response has been made apparent towards the current, growing, identical crisis.

Every sign is there; is our history not enough of an indication?

Do we need another Holocaust?

Source: www.islam21c.com

This article was published as part of Islamophobia Awareness Month, which corresponds to November 2014.

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About Mohammad Clarke

20 comments

  1. Muslims living in the west know what the position of the vociferous elemets such as the extreme right wing types as well as the politicians is. They knew it even before the latter opened their mouths, since it is documented in the Quran. ‘And when it is said to them: Follow that which God has revealed, they say: We follow that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even though their fathers had no insight and had no guidance?’ Quran(2:170). However, the question is do the mainstream understand what the muslim position is? Given that the misguided politicians are peddling their politics of fear and that the right wing extremists are peddling their politics of hate and that the immoral tabloid editors and peddling their politics of making money at the expense of infringing on the personal space of innocents, then I suspect the answer to that question is probably no…. So it is probably worth saying a few words on this point so that people who are still committed to objectivity can ponder; Muslims are inviting their fellow citizens to Gods mercy and away from his wrath. Muslims are inviting their fellow citizens to move to a postition where they can consolidate what they have and to not sqander/ lose Gods blessings. The politicians and right wing types would have the people believe that rejecting submission to Gods will (islam) has no consequences, and so a stance of persecuting muslims for their faith and trying to drown out what they have to say is the approach they have adopted. However, muslims understand that at this juncture the status quo is not an option. The history as enumerated by scripture tells us that when Gods invite comes there are only two possible outcomes; (i) Either a society believes in God and receives Gods mercy & forgiveness (ii) A society rejects belief in God and is cut off from Gods mercy and so faces justice which is tantamount to inviting destruction. There is no third outcome. When scripture cites the story of Noah, or of Moses/ Pharaoh or of Petra/ Thamud, is that not what is being said. So the politicians and the right wing ‘nationalists’ types make their speaches and the like citing how they are working for the future security and well being of the country, yet in truth all of that rings hollow, and is guesswork on their part. Pharaoh tried to brand Moses a subversive, even though Moses was the one speaking sense/ truth/ directing towards the right course of action. The true nationalists, the true French citizens, the true British citizens, the true US citizens, etc who are working for the security and well being and security of its respective peoples are the muslims of those countries inviting their fellow citizens to believe in God and hearken towards his mercy. Well done O Muslims for sounding the warning and proffering the advice that can save the country/ people. Indeed God has made you a potential source of mercy for its peoples. ‘Has it not become obvious to you how we (God) dealt with them (former communities) and how we made examples/ case studies for you.’ Quran(14:45)

  2. At the end of the day muslims have not renounced their right to say what islam is or is not about to anyone outside of the fold. They have not nominated immoral tabloid editors or extremist right wing types or to the politicians to be spokespeople in that regard (as much as they would like to pretend). Anyone that is interested to know what islam stands for has to ask a muslim of standing. Those who want to pander to innuendo & mud slinging only demean themselves. God is sufficient to defend those advocating truth & juctice. ‘They had no argument against them, other than that they believed in God the All-Mighty.’ Quran(85:8)

  3. I never realised how racist and anti-Islamic this country is until I moved here. These people are here legally and have the right to live how they want to. Just because there are terrorists who use Islam as a doctrine to justify their hateful acts, does NOT mean that every Islam wants to change Britain to Sharia Law, kill the gays and put all women in burkas! These people are being judged and punished for the actions of others that have nothing to do with them, simply because they are of the same religion. Do you judge Germans in the same way because their country committed genocide? Or the Irish if they are from an area where religious conflict was particularly violent? No. Seems like thinly veiled racism to me, not the ‘staunch upholding of British rights against religious extremists’ as you all seem to espouse. What do people mean when they talk about ‘multiculturalism’? If a lot of people come from a foreign country and settle in a particular area they will bring the culture of that country with them. Of course they will want their schools to promote their values. Gender segregation is everywhere in the Muslim world including in EU applicant, Turkey, so either we believe in Britain as multicultural or we don’t. You don’t get to pick and choose the bits you want. Why not sit down with parents and listen to their concerns, instead of ordering an investigation? Shocked at this terrifying witch hunt against Muslims who are simply trying to raise standards. Its totally unacceptable to create a furore in the country over anonymous accusations with no proof. Because it is a divisive move and will affect community relations. This is the very reason why society does not function properly, this is a deliberate attempt to spread fear amongst communities, as the best way to control a nation is through fear itself. because this is NOT ,,I repeat is NOT an Islamic plot to take over Birmingham, so DO NOT put false information in the media to put Muslims down!!!!! What next…..Muslims taking over hospitals, banks, pubs….come on… Tomorrow, a Pakistani MP would become the PM of GB and this does not mean that the country has become a colony of Pakistan.
    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

  4. Samy Merchant

    Perhaps the biggest disservice done to Muslims in the West is by Muslim scholars (who represent Muslim communities on the media) growing long beards and wearing thowbs (Arab clothing) or shalwar khamis (Pakistani/Afghani clothing) and a cap or turban. The sad part is that some of these scholars are born and raised in the West! These scholars think that they are following the sunnah by dressing and looking as such. But it is NOT the sunnah! These scholars don’t know that this is “Shahra” and forbidden is Islam ie to wear clothing to draw attention. Looking like ISIS/AlQaida/Taliban terrorists won’t help Muslims in the West. It will only feed into the already anti-Islamic atmosphere. But if Muslim scholars continue to look like terrorists, then the West will have no choice but to……..FIRE UP the gas chambers….

    • Maybe you will provide the match Samy Merchant??? Here we go again, you daring to mock the ulema, such as you did with Shaykh Haitham in your other post. Infact, most of what you propogate is anti Islam and anti Muslim yet you get offended when your intentions are questioned. Ya Allah…..
      Allah describes people like you.
      وَيَحْلِفُونَ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُمْ لَمِنكُمْ وَمَا هُم مِّنكُمْ وَلَـٰكِنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ يَفْرَقُونَ
      لَوْ يَجِدُونَ مَلْجَأً أَوْ مَغَارَاتٍ أَوْ مُدَّخَلًا لَّوَلَّوْا إِلَيْهِ وَهُمْ يَجْمَحُونَ
      Surah Tawbah 57-58

      • This is mocking the Ulema? Ok..I see. So you must be part of a Sufi cult where you can’t question your Whirling Sufi Grand Master. Or perhaps you are a die-hard British Super-Salafi who will be excommunicated if she goes against the views of the Kibaar.

        The ulema in the West, who are representing Muslims in the media, would do better if they wore a pant and shirt and trimmed their beards. We need to look up to our ulema as our role models. We want to see ulema who are normal, who dress like the people, work like the people, talk like the people, who are fit and trim, like our main man-ibn Taimiyyah, the winner!

      • Samy Merchant

        Thank god you have only excommunicated me and don’t want my head on a platter. Whew!!! But, still, your comments display khariji/extremist tendencies, especially your using the Quran to justify excommunicating me. Let’s hope you will stay a peaceful lady.

    • What does integrating mean? Muslims are not embracing western life’. What do we do? In our free time us English go down the pubs and get smashed, do the same in clubs, sleep with random people and as a result have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe. Can anybody please tell me what integration means? other then speak English!!! The Jews did their best to integrate in Germany. They even took German names! Look how far it got them. If the Muslims try to integrate, the Germans/British will complain about the ‘pollution’ of their identity once again. I wonder how many English people were saying “Multi-Culturalism does not work” when they were busy invading and taking over other people’s countries!? India, the Africa, the Americas, Australia, to name but a few. I wonder how many English people are saying “Multi Culturalism does not work” when they are busy sunning themselves in the south of Spain, speaking only English, eating in English restaurants, drinking in English bars, and complaining that not all Spaniards speak English!? Monkey see? Monkey do? And what is English culture, anyhow!? Our football teams are full of foreign players and some are owned by foreign owners, Christian Church attendance has dwindled, we love our curries (influenced by Indian food), we holiday abroad often…so I really would like somebody to define to me what is English culture, these days. If you mean by integration going down to the pub with the lads, getting drunk, picking up a few girls, and then on Sunday maybe going to church – then I’m sure that Muslims will not integrate.
      IA
      http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

    • Yay let’s all put our bikinis on then!! Then the west will accept us!!!!

  5. Samy Merchant

    I agree with the author. There was definitely anti-Semitism against the Jews. But this hatred was fed by the fact that Jews could not integrate their Middle-Eastern centered Hebrew faith into the German Western culture, which bred anti-Semitism.

    Muslims across Europe and the Americas may also be sent to the gas chambers because most Muslims who have immigrated to the West (and their children) refuse to understand the difference between religion and culture. They refuse to get rid of their Arab, Pakistani, Indian, Bengali etc baggage and refuse to adopt the culture of the West. They continue to speak in Arabic, Urdu and Bengali languages and eat these foods in their homes. They refuse to master and excel in Western languages. Some grow long beards, wear Eastern caps and the attire of Muslim countries (especially the “Salafi” types of people), thinking that they are looking like Muslims and following the sunnah! Many Pakistanis, especially, smell of spices all the time.

    These things may appear small, but Muslims must wise up and realize that average Westerners hate this foreign stuff, even though they may smile at your cultural differences lovingly, and fake their tolerance.

    Islam is the only religion on Earth that is NOT cultural. It is 100% flexible and adaptable. There is NO “ISLAMIC DRESS”. Anything loose works. There is NO “ISLAMIC FOOD”-anything Halal, including a hamburger, works. There is no “ISLAMIC LOOKING MOSQUE”, any architectural structure works.

    Of course, if you have adopted the Western culture, 100%, you wear slacks and a shirt, or a Western looking scarf and frock for a woman, speak perfect English, have a trimmed beard, you eat hamburgers and Shepherd’s pie etc , etc, and THEN the West discriminates against you, then that’s different. They have NO excuse to discriminate against you.

    But if you have a big, long black beard, wear a shalwar-kamis or thowb, have a turban on with hair falling on your shoulders, and smell funky too, and you speak strange languages and eat foreign food, then get prepared for the chambers! Wise up, Muslim man and woman living in the West; Stop feeding into anti-Muslim hatred or please leave for Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia where people will not discriminate against you.

    • I can’t say that I agree with you. If it was as simple as that my life would be easy. I work full time and speak perfect English, I grew up in England, and mostly dress in ‘English’ clothes, eat out regularly and my favourite food is even fish and chips!

      I still cover my head with a scarf though, and I have brown skin, and these differences are noticed more than the similarities. You see I grew up in this country and I have a western culture, but to most people I am still different.

      I am very lucky however to have some lovely non-muslim and white friends, and a great workplace which is very multi-cultural, though in the past I have worked at places where I was the odd one out and other people barely spoke to me!

      On the streets I still get the odd ‘racist’ comment, and have pretty much lived with racism all my life, so from the beginning- regardless of having the same culture- I have been treated different. As a child I didn’t really understand it, but as an adult I’m not that bothered by it.

      Maybe some of the people who have not adopted the British culture are remaining in their comfort zones, maybe they feel or have experienced, like myself, trying to fit in doesn’t mean you will fit in.

      As for myself, I grew up with the British culture, and I will continue to enjoy my life as I please for as long as I can 🙂

      • Samy Merchant

        Nice. My post does not apply to you. Your dislike by the non-Muslim British is racism because you have conformed culturally. They have no legitimate excuse to dislike you. My problem is with sisters who wear a black niqab and make people think they are ninjas about to pounce on them from tree tops.

    • What the hell has food got to do with anything?? What a person chooses to eat is upto them. Will you be telling non Muslims not to eat curry too? Thought not!

      As for your comment about Muslims may be taken to gas chambers… Well you have certainly over stepped the line here.

      • Samy Merchant

        “What the hell…” Please keep it civil, sister. Curry makes Pakistanis, Bengalis and Indians smell. And it is not Islamic to stink up a country.

  6. “– Professed Muslims are being identified by their appearance … thereby giving an outward appearance to a belief system with no racial prerequisite.”

    I always thought it was muslims who insisted on dressing in weird and easily identifiable ways, actually.

  7. That was an awe-inspiring article that brings home many truths…..As all the poppies are gathererd around the Tower of London, each representing one life lost which in fact was three times that amount, this article shows the peace that lies within Islam, that seems to be lost by the West. As words of abuse are hurled towards everyday, ordinary peace loving Muslims, it is staggering the lack of intelligence that has been applied, by the West, to the word Jihad. That word, Jihad, alone puts the fear of God into many in the West, which to my mind is the Christian version of confession, except one to a man and the other to Allah. When Muslim countries are still the source of trade between the East and West one would think that the politicians would make sure that their brothers/sisters in trade, would be kept safe, regardless of faith and culture, just as the world wanted and was and is obliged to keep the Jews in Israel safe and just as one from the West would be kept safe in the East. WE are all humans,despite culture, faith, language and location and we can all put an oar in to keep this planet safe. Thank you for the wonderful unbiased yet observant article. It is time the East and West be as the oil in the Lamp, keeping one light, serving all, hung high in the Universe, where in their ice and fire they work together to keep life on this Earth,known as the Sun and the Moon.

  8. Meant to say …. do you go quietly.

  9. Assalam aleikum

    This article pretty much sums up what Ive been thinking for the past few years. It’s only a matter of time before we become the next “Jews” or “Bosnians” of Europe etc. Question is, do you quietly? Like lambs to the slaughter?

  10. Shakir Khaled

    The devastating reality is that there is probably nothing we can do to stop this… Muslims ARE being killed just for being Muslim (Myanmar, C. Africa, US drone strikes) the fact is that it has begun globally. What may follow (god forbid) will be like the holocaust on a global scale… Excellent article, well done.

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