Islamist Leader Says Muslims Are the New Jews, Warns of Coming 'Holocaust'
On Sunday, an Islamist leader in Australia compared the plight of Muslims in the West today to that of Jews in Germany leading up to the Holocaust. He suggested that Muslims face the same fear and hatred that led Adolf Hitler to try to exterminate the Jews, and warned that a similar evil might be employed against Muslims in the near future.
"In Europe during the 19th and 20th century, the Jewish question interrogated the status of Jews and soon morphed from an allegedly neutral inquiry into a question of serious threat," Hamzah Qureshi, media representative at the Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, said at an event on Sunday. "Numerous 'answers' were proposed: resettlement, integration, assimilation, deportation, and so on, as Jews were labeled an obstacle to the German nation and the insidious enemy within."
Qureshi cited German historian Bruno Bauer's 1843 book The Jewish Question, in which Bauer "argued that Jews can achieve political emancipation only if they relinquish their religious consciousness."
As the Islamist leader noted, Adolf Hitler proposed the "Final Solution" to the Jewish question, the Holocaust. "Millions of Jews were killed in the most horrific of ways," Qureshi explained.
"Today though, brothers and sisters, there is a 'Muslim question.' The same answers that were given for the Jewish question are now being suggested for the Muslim version: integration, assimilation, deportation and so on," the Islamist said. "Muslims have become that existential threat, that enemy within and that persistent danger."
"Muslims are told that in order to be accepted they must conform to a certain set of values different to their own," Qureshi said. "All this begs the confronting question what will be the 'final solution' to this 'Muslim question?'"
This connection is sloppy, ahistorical, and frankly insulting to the Jews who were so horrifyingly targeted by the Nazi regime. But it was not the first time someone compared the plight of Muslims today to that of Jews in the 20th century.
Last April, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) attacked Donald Trump, noting his family's Jewish history from Poland and warning about "what a lunatic can do by stirring up racial hatred."
In November 2014, religious scholar Karen Armstrong argued that fear about violence in Islam "is the sort of talk that led to the concentration camps in Europe. This is the kind of thing people were saying about Jews in the 1930s and '40s in Europe."
In August 2011, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg spewed this: "Pamela Geller has a new book coming out, about what she sees as the central challenge of our time, called 'Stop the Judaization of Germany.' Oops, sorry, it's called 'Stop the Islamization of America.' Same general theme, though" (emphasis added).
"It's not a coincidence that we're hearing the exact same stuff now about Muslims in this country that we heard about Catholics in the 19th century and that we heard about Jews in the early 20th century," Reza Aslan declared in a December 2010 interview.
It seems Qureshi, Sanders, Armstrong, Goldberg, and Aslan need an explanation of why this comparison is inaccurate and offensive. Many people have ventured to explain it.
Here's Christopher Hitchens in Slate, circa 2010: "Yes, we all recall the Jewish suicide bombers of that period, as we recall the Jewish yells for holy war, the Jewish demands for the veiling of women and the stoning of homosexuals, and the Jewish burning of newspapers that published cartoons they did not like."
Perhaps less flippantly, someone should tell Bernie Sanders that Islam is not a race. Hitler did not care if the Jews he massacred believed in Yahweh or not — he wanted to kill everyone who did not fit his racial standards. The Germans did not fear the Jews because there were Hebrew calls for a holy war. There were no Jewish terror attacks in 1930s Germany.
Judaism is also fundamentally politically different from Islamism. Islamists believe in instituting Sharia (Islamic law) by political power, and they encourage violence to achieve that goal. Jews today — like Jews then — peacefully abide by the laws in the countries where they live.
Despite the clear falsehood of this connection, people continue to make it. What is the rhetorical purpose of spreading this inflammatory lie? To rile up hatred against those who would speak against Islamism and attempt to champion Muslims who do not believe in Sharia supremacy.
Indeed, Qureshi's remarks this weekend followed Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar's statement in May that those who leave Islam should be put to death. "The ruling for apostates as such in Islam is clear, that apostates attract capital punishment and we shouldn't shy away from that," Badar said, Daily Mail Australia reported.
He backed the death-for-apostasy punishment after giving a keynote lecture called "Sharia and the modern age."
"The West seeks to domesticate Islam, to control, to bring within, the way you domesticate animals," he declared.
These statements clearly placed Hizb ut-Tahrir outside the realm of secular Muslims who accept a distinction between sharia and political law.
M. Zuhdi Jasser, one such Muslim, told PJ Media that Islamism is "a forward aggressive offensive ideology, an evangelical movement that seeks to destroy countries that are free." He used the word "evangelical" not to connect Islam with evangelical Protestantism, but to emphasize "evangelizing here as a verb."
Qureshi's remarks were just one more attempt to "evangelize" for political Islam and Sharia supremacy.