Skip to comments.Lee Harris: The West and the ‘Hoax’ocaust
Posted on 01/10/2006 5:56:32 AM PST by Tolik
Today among populist Muslim leaders, there is a rallying cry in the making, and this rallying cry is a denial of the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews. First, the President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shocked the world community by flatly denying that the Holocaust ever occurred. Then, only a few weeks later, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition party in Egypt, came out and he too denied the existence of the Holocaust. Efraim Zuroff, the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, has recently warned that "There's no question that a very ugly wave of Holocaust denial is sweeping the Arab world."
Denials of the Holocaust are not new. In the West, authors appear from time to time who write whole books on the subject. Of course, one of the problems that these authors always face is the fact that so many people are convinced that there really was a Holocaust, in which case the authors must explain how such a rumor could have ever gotten started. Thus, anyone who wishes to deny the Holocaust must identify the culprit who made up such a whopper in the first place. Myths on such a colossal scale just dont come out of nowhere.
The traditional answer of those have denied the Holocaust is, no surprise, that the Jews made up the story themselves: because they benefited most from the myth of the Holocaust, they obviously must have made been the inventors of the lie. This is pretty much typical anti-Semitic fare that only requires a willingness to believe in vast Jewish conspiracies -- something that has never proven much of a sticking point for veteran anti-Semites.
Today, however, those in the Muslim world who are denying the Holocaust are speaking a different language. For them, the Holocaust is no longer a vast Jewish conspiracy; it has become a vast Western conspiracy. It is the West that came up with the myth of the Holocaust in order to wage war against Islam. The myth of the Holocaust has been revealed as nothing more than a tool in the arsenal of Western imperialism. Listen to the word of Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the President of the Muslim Brotherhood, an populist organization outlawed back in 1954, but suddenly liberated in the democratic ferment sweeping the Arab world.
"Western democracies have slammed all those who don't see eye to eye with the Zionists regarding the myth of the Holocaust," Akef wrote in one of his weekly articles, arguing that his words are meant to expose the false American rule which has become a nightmare of a new world order. I am making these comments to all free people in the world, aiming to wake up the conscience in humanity. The sword of democracy is only unsheathed against those who raise the flag of Islam."
Let us try to grasp the logic here.
Western democracies, according to Akef, attack all those do not subscribe to the myth of the Holocaust. Good Muslims, like Akef himself, do not believe in this myth, and that is why sword of democracy is only unsheathed against them. To accept the myth of the Holocaust therefore makes a person into an enemy of Islam, while those who wish to rally to the flag of Islam will vigorously resist the Wests attempt to impose this historical fraud on them. To resist Western imperialism, it is essential to deny the Holocaust. In short, Akef is making denial of the Holocaust into a litmus test of solidarity with the Muslim world. Those who deny the Holocaust are with them, those who affirm it are against them.
Up until now, it was unnecessary in the West, outside of Germany and Austria, to pay serious attention to those who disputed the historicity of the Holocaust: they constituted a tiny fringe group, and dismissing their views had little political risks or consequences. They could simply be shrugged off as quacks, at best, and crypto-Nazis, at worst. But this recent wave of Holocaust denial is not coming from a statistically insignificant potion of the West; it is coming from Muslim leaders with popular followings, and what is even more troublesome, it is not being challenged by others in the Muslim community. As the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said, "The problem is that so far in the Arab world, very few leaders are willing to tell their own people that they have to understand that the Holocaust did take place -- a statement that is putting it very mildly, indeed.
Are we dealing here with simply two different but equally legitimate points of view of what happened to the Jews under Nazi Germany; or are we dealing with a new ideological virus, and one that is on the verge of spreading like an epidemic?
We in the West have already rewritten a great deal of history in the name of cultural tolerance and diversity. But are we prepared to deny the truth of the Holocaust in the name of the same principles?
Yet, if you think about it, why not? After all, if different cultures can have different values, why not let them write different histories? Whos to say whose history is right anyway? Are not Muslims entitled to their own interpretation of the historical past, like everyone else? What gives the West the right to impose its own ethnocentric interpretation of history on the rest of mankind? If the West insists on forcing Muslim to accept that the Holocaust really occurred, isnt this a form of historical imperialism?
You see here the slippery slope upon which the West has so frequently lost its footing of late. Let us hope that, in this one instance at least, it is prepared to dig its heels in and stand firm.
Lee Harris is author of Civilization and Its Enemies.
The Arabs have always been Nazis.
(I guess it can work both ways, huh?)
Next thing you know the democrats will begin a Clinton presidency denial movement. There was no Clinton presidency you know. It was all dreamed up by evil conservative strategists.
A fabricated, non story, about people that have always been anti-semetic, including those in the Nordic-Euroweenie countries.
Holocaust as a Zionist plot is the justification to ethnically cleanse all the Jews from the Middle East (ok, maybe leave a handful alone but most would be cleansed). Unfortunately many Europeans support this goal as well even though (or maybe because) they were the perpetrators of the holocaust. All the arguments about "Palestinians" are rooted in this mentality. What I never understood however is the Arab obsession with Zionism, more than just a favorite hobby or a distraction from their own problems.
Why do they spend so much energy denying what the Nazis actually did, when in the next breath they fervently aspire to do themselves, the very same thing to Israel and Jews in general? A warped kind of envy?
It is not well known, but the Nazis sponsored Islamist as a destabilizing force against their enemy the Soviet Union. In fact, an Islamist center was established in Munich which became a focal point for much of the radical Islamist movement that has infected the rest of Europe. There were a series of good articles on this subject in the Wall St. Journal last year.
Envy is really the basis for most of the "problems" the Islamists have with the West. According to the Koran, Mohammed's way is the best and only way to happiness on the earth. Meanwhile, the Muslims have taken note that they are the ones who overgrazed the fertile crescent into a desert yet the Jews moved back and made it bloom again. The Western nations are very rich, yet Muslims note that even with huge amounts of oil revenue, their societies are largely poor. If the Muslim population boom continues, ALL of them will be poor again soon.
Envy. That's it. The success of the West flies in the face of what is taught in the Koran, and therefore we must all be killed.
I suspect this is because the Western Liberals who largely comment on the Holocaust have real trouble with the idea that the state, which they want to trust, can choose evil for its good. 'Antisemitism' makes the Holocaust exceptional, something peculiar to that place and time and not something which is an intrinsic argument against trusting government.
The real lesson of Nazi Germany is that governments can go psychotic and commit mass murder of their people (Germany, USSR, China, Cambodia, etc, etc) and that this can happen with the support (silent or open) of the majority of its people.
One thing about the US: with our history of being armed, we may have a higher individual-on-individual murder rate, but it fades into insignificance when you add in State against individual murders
Envy was the rallying cry for Communism and National Socialism as well. It is the great evil in the world. "I cannpt be happy while that guy over there has more than me!"
Yes. Envy is very basic and very powerful feeling, and is not given enough credit for the evil that was born out of it.
I have no doubt that a systamatic murder of Jews took place, but the numbers don't seem to add up.
If we go the the commonly accepted 6 million over six years, that and average of 2700+ a day or nearly 2 a second.
There are holocaust deniers right here on Free Republic. Right, Lauralee?
I know that there were many extermination camps. It may be that the SS inflated the numbers somewhat? It really doesn't matter if they killed 6 million, 5 million, 3 million or less. It doesn't changed what they did.
I'm not surprised. Hitler was a genuus at setting his enemies againse each other. What better ally than a religion that hates jews?
I agree, however, the number seem to get larger as time goes on and this can lend credence to the holocaust deniers.
so don't raise the flag of Islam, dimwit.
Between the camps, starvation and disease in prison ghettos, and killing squads 5.1-6 million Jews is quite believable. You shoudl then notice the 3 to 5 million non-Jews killed: Gypsies/Roma, disabled, political opponents, the intelligensia of occupied Slavic countries.