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Holocaust and hate

By Jeremy Jones

Writing in London’s The Independent newspaper, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown urged Muslims to join in her country’s national commemoration of the Holocaust.

Expressing contempt for the decision by the Muslim Council of Britain to decline "to mourn victims of one of the deadliest mass exterminations in human history" she wrote, the fact that "there weren’t millions of Muslim corpses in Auschwitz," is "yet further evidence, I suppose, that Jews want to hog attention".

She also described the sentiment that the Holocaust should be commemorated by Muslims because "people who were exterminated" were "not just Jews" as emanating from "the morally grubby and soulless world of our so-called leaders".

Although Ms. Alibhai-Brown’s article goes on to include a number of historically and morally questionable statements, her overall argument that Muslims should learn about the evils of Nazism and be part of common efforts against Nazism, needed to be made.

Abu Hamza: genocidal views

It is also important that this was made in, and hopefully read by Muslims in, London, England, in 2006, less than a fortnight before the national commemoration of the Holocaust. Moreover, a few days before Ms. Alibhai-Brown’s article, a British court was hearing a very different opinion from a very risible Muslim figure, Abu Hamza al-Masri.

According to the court translation of a speech in the Finsbury Park Mosque in October 2000, Abu Hamza said that Hitler had been sent to earth to persecute Jews and had targeted them for their "dealings and treachery". The Nazis, Abu Hamza continued, "killed them and punished them", adding the Jews "will be inflicted with that again.

"In case anyone doubted his affection for the work of the Nazi leader, he said "we do not want the Jews to pull away from Palestine, but we want them to be buried there", with "their skulls and bodies" used as land-fill under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

He also told his followers that Jews were not "loved" by the West but had it doing their bidding because "Jews know how to control people".

Abu Hamza’s "expertise" on Hitler and the Jews might normally have commended him to his brother-in-racism, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, the fact that he spoke of the genocide of Jews as not only a fact but one which fulfilled a divine mission is hardly consistent with the analysis promoted by Teheran at present.

The Iranian president, who reportedly is planning an international conference on the Holocaust, might want to cross-examine Abu Hamza not on whether Jews should be subjected to mass murder today (on which they appear to be in accord) but on whether the Nazis had committed genocide last century.

Ahmadinejad himself, with the full and public support of other state functionaries and organs, claimed last year that Jews have invented "a legend" under the name "Massacre of the Jews" and while "some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in gas chambers", Iranians "don’t accept this claim".

An Iranian television Channel 2 broadcast on January 5 this year featured a discussion on the subject of the Holocaust and Jews. One of the three interviewees, Iqbal Siddiqui of London, said that "what happened to the Jews was a matter of immense evil", but just in case viewers thought he was a questionable interlocutor included references to "the supposed Holocaust" and "equal and equivalent evil" by Jews "against the Palestinians".

The other commentators spoke of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as not only truthful but of having been put into effect to make Jews "the board of directors of the world" and how Jews use control of the media to promote the "hollow claims" that the Holocaust occurred.

One panellist, "political analyst Dr. Majid Safataj", spoke of "intellectuals" who supported the Iranian president’s view of history, including notorious Adelaide-resident Fredrick Toben and the Swedish antisemite "Israel Shamir".

While Fred Toben, who is known to Australians, if at all, only as a person who has been ordered by the Federal Court to desist from behaviour in breach of national anti-racism law, returns the favour by lauding the Iranian president whenever possible, he is not the only Australian supporter of Holocaust denial, Iranian-style.

On a thread of Islamic Sydney’s "Muslim Village" website devoted to the Iranian Holocaust denial talk-fest, half the postings supported the seminar being convened, with arguments such as "there is a media driven holocaust industry" and "as owners of that industry the Jews exploit the holocaust industry for their own benefit, and, alas, to the detriment of objective historiography".

Another Islamic Sydney thread, which curiously makes no references to Islam or to Sydney, is devoted to the conceit that "Jewish supremacists are determined to stifle academic freedom and freedom of speech", with even the pseudonym used by this line’s poster, "Free Zundel Now", promoting Holocaust denial.

Of course, postings in an Australian internet forum by anonymous racists is in no way equivalent to Holocaust denial promoted by the president of a nation-state, or to the justification of genocide by an imam in a mosque. But they are all words of hatred, of a type which has led in the past, and can lead in the future to horrific, cataclysmic consequences.

As the world marks the 61st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz with memorial ceremonies in many cities and countries, we should be particularly alert to the consequences of hate speech like this and the imperative to act firmly and immediately to counter its impact.

 

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