Are Muslims in the U.S. really a victimized class whose very lives are in danger? Bernie Sanders thinks so. Castigating Donald Trump last Saturday for his proposal for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, Sanders said:
On a personal note, some of you know I’m Jewish. My father came to this country at the age of 17 from Poland. He came over, other people in his family did not come over. Those people died. Children died. … So that is in my heart, to see what a lunatic can do by stirring up racial hatred.
The “lunatic stirring up racial hatred” in this case was speaking about people of a certain religion, not of a certain race. But of course, Sanders’ words were an example of the Left’s tendency to dismiss all concern about the jihad terror threat as “racism” and “bigotry.”
They were also a new example of the increasingly common Leftist claim that criticism of Islam and Muslims over the jihad terror threat will lead to a new Holocaust of Muslims – or, as it has been expressed epigrammatically, “Muslims are the new Jews.”
Many, many others have made this claim before Sanders, including: notorious non-Muslim Islamic apologist Karen Armstrong; Jeffrey Goldberg, the journalist at The Atlantic who recently interviewed Barack Obama about why he won’t call Islamic terrorism Islamic; liberal media pundit Reza Aslan; Muslim Brotherhood-linked Congressman Keith Ellison; Nicholas Kristof, one of the New York Times’ Mideast pontificators; Canadian Muslim leader Syed Sohawardy; and Philadelphia chapter leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Jacob Bender. Many others have repeated it.
The blazingly brilliant Daniel Greenfield takes it apart in this video.
The idea that Muslims are the new Jews is put forward by the Left, but it also has opponents on the Left. In 2014, as part of his ongoing awakening to the nature and reality of the jihad threat, Bill Maher noted:
Jews weren’t oppressing anybody. There weren’t 5,000 militant Jewish groups. They didn’t do a study of treatment of women around the world and find that Jews were at the bottom of it. There weren’t 10 Jewish countries in the world that were putting gay people to death just for being gay.
Indeed. Further, no one is calling for or justifying genocide of Muslims. No individual or group opposed to Islam is remotely comparable to the National Socialists. Not that facts have ever gotten in the way of a good meme.
Maher isn’t alone on the Left in having pointed out the absurdity of likening opposition to jihad to the lead-up to the Holocaust. The late Christopher Hitchens also refuted this idea when writing a few years ago about the notorious Ground Zero Mosque proposal:
“Some of what people are saying in this mosque controversy is very similar to what German media was saying about Jews in the 1920s and 1930s,” Imam Abdullah Antepli, Muslim chaplain at Duke University, told the New York Times. 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.
The purpose of statements like the one Sanders made is to intimidate people into thinking that criticism of Islam in connection with jihad terror leads to concentration camps. Therefore, there must be no criticism of Islam in connection with jihad terror.
Calling Muslims “the new Jews” involves this irrational assumption: if one group was unjustly accused of plotting subversion and violence and was then viciously persecuted and massacred on the basis of those false accusations, then any group accused of plotting subversion and violence must be innocent, and any such accusation must be in service of preparing for their subversion and massacre.
Mentioning the Holocaust in criticizing opposition to jihad terror is simply an attempt to foreclose on any criticism of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism. The effect would be to enable jihad terrorists to continue their work without opposition. But in that event, as new bombs went off and jihadis murdered more and more Americans, at least Bernie Sanders could congratulate himself that he stood up firmly and resolutely against “racism.”