How Nazism Explains ‘Moderate’ and ‘Radical’ Islam
If Islamic doctrines are inherently violent, why isn’t every single Muslim in the world -- that is, approximately 1.5 billion people -- violent?
This question represents one of Islam’s most popular apologetics: because not all Muslims are violent, intolerant, or sponsor terrorism -- a true statement -- Islam itself must be innocent.
Let’s consider this logic.
There are many people who identify themselves as Muslims but who do not necessarily adhere to or support Islam’s more supremacist and intolerant doctrines. If you have lived in a Muslim majority nation, you would know this to be true. The all-important question then becomes: “What do such Muslims represent?” Are they following a legitimate, “moderate” version of Islam, one more authentic than the terrorist variety?
That’s what the media, politicians, and academics would have us believe. The best way to answer this question is by analogy.
German Nazism is a widely condemned ideology due to its (“Aryan"/"white”) supremacist element. But many Germans who were members or supporters of the Nazi party were “good” people. They did not believe in persecuting Jews and other “non-Aryans,” and some even helped such “undesirables” escape at no small risk to themselves. Consider Oskar Schindler: An ethnic German and formal member of the Nazi party, he went to great lengths to save Jews from slaughter.
How do we reconcile his good deed with his bad creed? Was Schindler practicing a legitimate, “moderate” form of Nazism? Or is it more reasonable to say that he subscribed to some tenets of National Socialism, but when it came to killing fellow humans in the name of racial supremacy, his humanity rose above his allegiance to Nazism?
Indeed, many Germans joined or supported the National Socialist Party more because it was the “winning” party, one that offered hope, and less because of its racial theories. That said, other Germans joined the Nazi party precisely because of its racial supremacist theories and were only too happy to see “sub-humans” incinerated.
Now consider how this analogy applies to Islam and Muslims: first, unlike most Germans who chose to join or support the Nazi party, the overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world were simply born into Islam. They had no choice. Many of these Muslims know the bare minimum about Islam -- the Five Pillars -- and are ignorant of Islam’s supremacist theories.
Add Islam’s apostasy law to the mix -- leaving Islam can earn the death penalty -- and it becomes clear that there are many nominal “Muslims” who seek not to rock the boat.
That said, there are also a great many Muslims who know exactly what Islam teaches -- including violence, plunder, and enslavement of the kafir, or infidel -- and who happily follow it precisely because of its supremacism.
In both Nazism and Islam, we have a supremacist ideology on the one hand, and people who find themselves associated with this ideology for a number of reasons on the other hand. We have those born into it, those who join it for its temporal boons, and those who are sincere and ardent believers.
The all-important difference is this: when it comes to Nazism, the world is agreed that it is a supremacist ideology.
Those who followed it to the core were “bad guys” -- such as Adolf Hitler. As for the “good Nazis” who helped shelter persecuted Jews and performed other altruistic deeds, the world acknowledges that they were not following a “moderate” form of Nazism, but that their commitment to Nazism was nonchalant at best.