“We are being challenged by Islam these years - globally as well as locally. It is a challenge we have to take seriously. We have let this issue float about for too long because we are tolerant and lazy. We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us because there are some things for which we should display no tolerance. And when we are tolerant, we must know whether it is because of convenience or conviction”.
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark,
15 April 2005
Tolerance is a falsehood often pronounced with difficulty in all of Western societies. Small countries such as Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, and Sweden are leading the pack in the war on Muslims at home, and may be on the road to encouraging a new Holocaust against humanity.
While these countries are part of the U.S.-led coalition, which is responsible for the mass murder of Iraqis, they have also introduced discriminate and draconian immigration laws which are specifically directed against Muslims fleeing war and economic hardship. The pretexts are always the phantom of the “War on Terror”.
Historically, Muslims have been at the receiving end of Western-Christian violence for centuries. Following the 9/11 attack on the USA, Western Europe joined the U.S. in its anti-Muslim crusade: “We are all Americans now” united against Muslims. Although, 9/11 stills a mystery, it is used to legitimise a new form of Western-Christian fascism. Media pundits such as Christopher Hitchens and Daniele Pipes, who support the anti-Muslim ideology, are springing up like mushrooms all over the Western world. Using the cliché of “free speech”, they are fuelling a vicious and violent war against Muslims around the world.
The recent blasphemous images of Prophet Mohammed published in the Danish right-wing Christian, Jyllands-Posten (J-P) newspaper are nothing more than a campaign which promotes racism, violence and the marginalisation of European Muslims. Islam is a peaceful religion, and Muslims are not “terrorists”. The insult to Prophet Mohammed, who is revered by over a billion people around the world, has nothing to do with “free speech”. Had the Danish cartoonist shown instead George Bush and Tony Blair slaughtering hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi women and children, he would have had lost his job by now and would be condemned by the same people who are barking about “free speech”. Would any newspaper in Europe dare to discuss Europe’s strict censorship laws of discussing the Holocaust?
Barely a month ago, in early January 2006, Flemming Rose, the “cultural” editor of the Jyllands-Posten, told Dan Bilefsky of the International Herald Tribune, that, “he would not publish a cartoon of Ariel Sharon strangling a Palestinian baby, since that could be construed as ‘racist’”. In the past, Jyllands-Posten has also refused to run drawings lampooning Jesus Christ submitted in April 2003 by Danish illustrator Christoffer Zieler, because they were “offensive, not funny”. Zieler was also advised by the editor, Jens Kaiser: “I don't think Jyllands-Posten's readers will enjoy the drawings. As a matter of fact, I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them”. (The Guardian, 06/02/2006). It is “free speech” only if Westerners agree, otherwise, it is “offensive” or “anti-Semitism”. Flemming Rose has now offered a helping hand to Iran in drawing cartoons depicting the Holocaust. Rose will work together in assistance with the Iranians who want to draw the Holocaust and that the paper (J-P) would publish and print the Holocaust cartoons. It is also against the Danish criminal code (Article 140) to publish the blasphemous cartoons.
I should also add that Ambassadors from at least twelve Muslim nations in Demark requested to meet (last October) with Mr Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Prime Minister of Denmark to explain their opposition the blasphemous cartoons, but Mr Rasmussen refused and rejected their request, which was not only arrogant, it was undiplomatic to reject diplomats request for a meeting. Rasmussen who leads a government of a coalition of two right-wing Christian parties, including the very Islamophobic, the Danish Far Right Party (Dansk Folkeparti) is the country’s third biggest party and underpins a hard-line centre-right coalition government claimed that Muslims are secretly planning to takeover Denmark.
Although Muslims make about 2 per cent of the Danish population, one in four Danes have been brainwashed by their opportunist monarchs, politicians and the media to seriously believe that there will one day be “more Muslims” in Denmark than non-Muslims. Muslim immigrants to Denmark are particularly discriminated against and scrutinised. Two of Dansk Folkeparti members (pastors in the Lutheran church) have repeatedly stood up in parliament and said that Muslims are a “cancer on Danish society”. Brian Mikkelsen, the Minister for Culture (Dansk Folkerparti) said: “It is time to eliminate all signs of multiculturalists’ relativism in Denmark”. It is a war against European Muslims.
The 2005 report of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) on ‘Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims in the EU’ found that attacks on Muslims have markedly increased recently. Muslims in Sweden, Denmark and Austria are encountering difficult barriers. In Sweden, Muslims are advised to change their names to “Swedish- sounding ones” to increase their chance of employment. According to the report, 64 per cent of Muslims interviewed in Britain said that they were “unfairly targeted by counter-terrorism policies”. In Denmark and Austria, the report reveals, Muslim women wearing headscarves are less likely to find work or pursue education. In Sweden, rightwing parties warn of a “Muslim invasion”. Other Europeans such as Belgium, Holland, France, Italy and Spain are also contaminated with far right groups and anti-Muslims parties.
In Belgium, the country which has one of the “most vicious and inhuman of all colonial histories”, the far right Party (The Vlaams Blok or Belang) dominate local politics, with an agenda to repatriate all people of colour to their countries of origin. One of its prominent leaders, Filip Dewinter, told the BBC recently; “When I see Muslim culture I think that our culture is superior. Our values, our way of life are superior and we have to say so. I don't think the way of life of Muslims is compatible with our way of life”. Muslim is our enemy, is the new European anti-Semitism motto.
In the “liberal-minded” Netherlands, famous for its brutal and violent colonial history, racism is becoming part of Dutch values. Muslims have become targets of religiously motivated attacks. After the killing of an anti-Muslim fanatic and unknown Dutch film maker, Theo van Gogh, allegedly by a Dutch Muslim of African origin, after making the obscene film about Islam, the Netherlands erupted in anti-Muslim racism. The death of a Muslims-hater is used to justify much uglier crimes. Islamic schools and Mosques were bombed and set on fire. Muslim women were attacked throughout Holland. The rightwing Dutch government is embarking on anti-Muslim legislation to crack down on immigration and close-down “suspected” Mosques, and give police power to arrest people of Muslim faith. Although Muslims make up about one million (6%) of the Dutch population, former EU Commissioner Frits Bolkestein, said recently; “The most common first name registered at birth these days in Amsterdam is Mohammed. This, they say, is the Europe-to-be”.
In France, the situation is not much different. The French can be proud of their well-known anti-Muslims and anti-Arabs hatred. President Jacques Chirac has adopted Jean Marie Le Pen extremist and anti-Muslims policy, which has increased violence against Muslims and denying Muslim women the right to education and employment. According to the IHF report, the French Front National (an offshoot of fascism), stated publicly that France's Muslims “share an allegiance to a wider community of believers that threatens national sovereignty”. Even Muslims, who were born in France, have no standing in the ideals of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, and the plague is spreading to neighbouring countries.
The new German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, compared Islam with the “rise of fascism”. The East German politician who was selected to solve Germany’s unemployment and other social ills seems to find the war on Muslims a much easier issue.
Thousands of Muslims have been arrested and screened by German police only because of “their profiles have matched basic criteria, including an affiliation with Islam”, reveals the IHF report. The German state of Baden-Wurttemberg has enacted what is called the “Muslim test”, in which Muslim applicants for citizenship are asked about their views on September 11, gay relationships and whether their teenage daughters are allowed to attend swimming classes. Can you imagine all Germans (in Baden-Wurttemberg) have exactly the same opinion on all three? “I am afraid we have not learned from our history. My main fear is that what we did to Jews we may now do to Muslims. The next holocaust would be against Muslims”, Dr. Wolfram Richter, professor of economics at the University of Dortmund told Ziauddin Sardar of New Statesman magazine in Britain. It has always been easier to use crimes in order to commit even greater crimes.
Finally, in Australia, the draconian “anti-terror” laws are designed specifically to victimise Muslims. Indeed, young Muslim men have been thrown in Guantanamo-like prisons not because they committed crimes, but because they are Muslims. Some companies have closed their employment’s doors to Muslim Australians and migrants from Muslim backgrounds. In addition, the army of commentators in the Australian media – one of the most controlled in the world – are accusing the police of “softly” treating Australians of the Middle Eastern backgrounds. This deliberate falsehood is designed not only to discredit the Police, but also to increase injustice and violence against Muslims.
The IHF report’s director, Aaron Rhodes warned that; “these developments threaten to undermine positive efforts at integration and further increase the vulnerability of Muslims to human rights violations and marginalisation”. Hence the IHF report recommends that all EU governments “enhance efforts to prosecute and punish discriminatory and violent acts”. However, the warning may fall on deaf ears. As Sardar writes; “Even among individuals with more relaxed attitudes to interracial relationships, racism is unashamed and upfront”. The governments may be pouring fuel on fire.
To clarify one thing that seemed to be missed by most Westerners, Muslims are not ignorant of Western cultures, or Christianity, which is never part of Western civilisation any way. Jesus wasn’t born in Denmark or Norway. The fact, that many Muslims are studying in Western and American universities and many Muslims adopted segments of Western popular culture is proof of Muslims acceptability. This misunderstanding of Muslim societies, which suffered greatly under Western imperialism, is embedded in the West's ignorance and imagined superiority, which continue today.
As vassals of U.S. imperialism, these small European nations such as Denmark, Norway, Swede and the Netherlands are using their deceptive position of “neutral countries” to commit gross crimes around the world. From Palestine to Iraq and Afghanistan, their armies are complicit in U.S. war crimes against defenceless peoples. In addition, they are participants in U.S. “War on Terror” and in U.S. “rendition” policy – the policy of kidnapping and covertly delivering an individual or individuals for interrogation and torture in undisclosed location or country.
For example, Norway is credited with the Oslo “Peace Process”, the “fig-leaf for the ongoing colonization of the West Bank and Gaza Strip”, and the destruction of Palestine. Indeed, the Oslo ”Peace Process” allowed Israel to confiscate over 50 per cent of the West Bank and constructed dozens of Jewish-only colonies for Talmudic extremist fanatics.
Sweden, the “neutral” country, is supplying the U.S. army in Iraq with state of the arts weapons. In addition to the armour piercing ammunition, AT4, Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors – with tacit support of the Swedish government – is supplying the US Occupation forces in Iraq with new shell, the Excalibur produced in collaboration between Bofors and American defence giant, Raytheon. "It's completely insane. When we've made previous protests about Swedish involvement in the American war effort it is concerned old contracts. This is a new weapon and a new contract. It's in breech of parliamentary decisions, which have already been twisted beyond recognition by all the exemptions,” said Lars Ohly of the Swedish Left. But no one should take “opposition”, Left in particular, literally.
The Netherlands, is leading the way in “building democracy” and terrorising the people of Afghanistan. Denmark with 530 soldiers is part of the so-called “coalition of the willing”, the group of vassals that participated in the illegal and criminal invasion of Iraq. Indeed, Danish soldiers are complicit in the sadistic torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners and detainees.
This brings us to how the Jewish Holocaust – as an example of Christian Europe brutality – was initiated. Of course, anti-Semitism (anti-Jews and anti-Arabs hatred) was widespread in Christian Europe centuries prior to Nazi Germany. However, modern anti-Semitism was initiated in 1879 by William Marr, the German who founded the “League for Anti-Semitism”. Marr's racist views (Europe’s biological racism) were that Jews constituted a distinct racial group which was both physically and morally inferior, and therefore must be exterminated. With the rise of European racism against minorities in the 19th century, European Jews were targeted, as Muslims are targeted today. Differences between Jews and other European citizens manufactured and used as pretext to justify crimes against Jews. Jews were accused of “taking over” the world and so on.
Adolf Hitler’s election on 30 January 1930 was based on his ideology of “one people [‘master race’ or Übermenschen], one empire, and one leader”. Hitler’s election paved the way for one of the greatest criminal acts in human history. Marr’s European biological racism continued during the rule of Nazism and became the vehicle for genocide. Jews, Gypsies, Czechs, Poles, the mentally and physically handicapped, homosexuals and others not belonging to the “master race” were targeted for extermination. Jews were specifically targeted. Bombings of synagogues, blasphemous cartoons depicting Jews, and anti-Jews posters were wide-spread all over Europe.
During the occupation of Europe by the Wehrmacht (German forces), in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway etc. the locals were rounding up Jews, Gypsies and other folk much faster than the Nazis could handle them. And if this wasn’t enough, the so-called “neutral” countries such as Sweden and Switzerland were sending fleeing refugees back to the Nazis – as they do now with Muslims in daylight – and looking after the Third Reich money in their own banks.
Do Western Europeans want to repeat history’s biggest crime against humanity? It is the duty of every civilized citizen to point a finger at any form of racism and violence against minorities. Our duty is to reject opportunist monarchs, politicians, the media, celebrities and anyone trying to manipulate the public and breed racism and violence.
Published February 10, 2006, Axis of Logic