This guy drew an important parallel between Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany and Islamophobia in 2016.
A Jewish man who emailed a London radio show on Holocaust Memorial Day last week said we should honor the victims by making a stand against growing anti-Muslim feeling in the Western world. “Jews, more than anyone, need to stand up for the Muslim community”, wrote Josh.
He made reference to the popularity of bigots like Donald Trump, pointing out that the fact we laugh at him instead of being horrified by his beliefs shows just how deep-rooted Islamophobia is right now. Josh wrote:
It feels like we’re descending into a society that is happy to say ‘No Muslims.’ Just look at what is happening in the States with that lunatic Donald Trump. We simply cannot tolerate this. We need to remember that not long ago it was us [Jewish people] who were on the receiving end of this treatment, and we all know where that ended up.”
Josh suggested history could repeat itself if we’re not careful. In the not-so-distant past, signs all over London read: ‘No dogs, No Irish, No Jews‘. His parents had to deal with that kind of bigotry on a daily basis, so why should his generation stand by and watch the same treatment of Muslims? He wrote:
Today being the 71st anniversary of the Holocaust, which is very personal to me for obvious reasons, I think we really need to make the link as to how Muslims are being subjected daily to such lazy prejudices, just as my ancestors were, all those years ago.”
Let’s not forget, the Holocaust didn’t happen overnight. It couldn’t have occurred without years of anti-Semitic propaganda and legislation: sowing seeds of division in German society was a key part of Hitler’s evil plan. After 9/11, the media screamed we were at War. Muslims were avoided in the streets. Bush declared countries (and individuals) were either with the USA, or against it. Debates sprang up, people’s vocabularies shifted. Suddenly, the words ‘extremist’, ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘terrorist’ jumped out of every newspaper, every letters page, every political speech. 9/11 signalled the start of a slow slide into Islamophobia as the norm, a transition towards the ‘us vs them’ fear-based mentality we’ve gotten to in 2016.
9/11 changed the world, it immediately created division between Muslims and non-Muslims, but should it have? Aside from the massive holes and peculiarities in the official story, inexplicable lies by Bush, and experts lining up to testify the impossibility of it happening the way they told us, 9/11 also paved the way for a lot of white men to get very rich. If it weren’t for the terror of 9/11, would patriotic Americans have supported their troops being involved in over a decade of military coups and invasions in the Middle East and Africa? Probably not.
Fast-forward 14 years and Nobel Peace Prize winner ‘O-Bomber‘ has dropped over 23,000 bombs on Muslim countries in the past year, following in the footsteps of his war criminal predecessor, George W Bush. Anyone who hasn’t realized we are fighting these wars purely for the oil revenue is probably reading the wrong magazine- as soon as you start questioning 9/11 and the pre-planned War on Terror, it becomes more difficult to argue that 1.7 billion Muslims deserve all the bad press they get.
So is the man who emailed LBC radio station right to draw a comparison between the prejudices faced by Jews in the 1930s and Muslims in 2016? It’s a controversial parallel to make, but as long as Guantanamo remains open, as long as the US-led coalition continues invading and bombing Muslim-majority countries, as long as the mainstream media continues to stoke Islamophobic feeling, and as long as haters like Trump get cheered for wanting to kick Muslims out of the USA, we can’t safely say history won’t repeat itself in years to come.
Josh signed off his mail with the words “keep the peace,” which is good advice as we remember the innocent Jewish victims of hatred and bigotry. Because no matter what you think you know about Islam, the carefully-orchestrated dehumanization of an entire group of people is happening again…and too many of us are falling for it.
Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece and the author’s views are her own.
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