by Tahir Mustafa (Special Reports, Crescent International Vol. 43, No. 11, Rabi' al-Awwal, 1436)
Encouraged by official anti-Muslim policies, Islamophobia is rising alarmingly in Europe and North America. Neo-Nazi groups in league with Zionists are leading this criminal enterprise.
The West’s hatred of Islam and Muslims goes deep into history. It can be traced all the way virtually to the beginning of Islamic history, although the Qur’an enjoins respect for Christians because Prophet ‘Isa (Jesus – a) is also one of Islam’s Prophets and the noble Messenger (pbuh) always treated the Christians with kindness. Regrettably, Christian and Jewish scriptures are full of hatred for the other in language that borders on the scandalous. Islam has never accepted or adopted such language. The hated-filled polemic of Christians and Jews has been transferred to Muslims as well.
This may be due to the fact that much of Islam’s liberating expansion took place at the expense of Christian empires. The Crusades were in fact launched on a complete lie: that Christians in Palestine were facing threat of extinction at the hands of the “heathens” (Muslims). Pope Urban II’s sermon on Mount Clermont (1095ce) urging Christian soldiers to march to Jerusalem to “save their Christian brethren” was essentially meant to divert the energies of warring princes in Northern Europe from fighting each other to the external “other.” This was a masterstroke, even if totally wicked and criminal in intent. Interestingly, Christians residing on the Mediterranean rim refused to join the Crusader hordes. Equally revealing was the fact that when the Crusaders took Jerusalem, they neither spared Muslims nor Jews and Orthodox Christians. The latter were killed because they had lived in harmony with the Muslims!
Christianity’s troubled relations with Islam have continued through the ages. First, it was based on rejection of the Qur’an as divine scripture and the Prophet (pbuh) as not a real prophet but an impostor (nastaghfir-allah). Later Muslims were hated for providing refuge to Jews escaping Christian persecution in Europe. When Muslim forces marched into Europe, liberated Andalusia (present day Spain), and then rules from 750–1492ce, or even reached the gates of Vienna (1683ce), it merely added to the European’s angst against Islam. With Ottoman armies unsuccessful in their siege of Vienna to capture the Austrian empire’s capital as they had done with Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, the bakers of Vienna baked croissants as a symbol of Muslim defeat! (The croissant represents the crescent, used by Muslims as a symbol).
In contemporary history, Muslims did not arrived in Europe or North America as liberators, but as workers, laborers and professionals. Yet the West’s hatred has not subsided. Islam and Muslims are simply not accepted as equals; they have remained the “other.” In the 1950s and 1960s, hundreds of thousands of Muslims arrived in Europe to work in factories. The Second World War had decimated European populations; an estimated 60 million people perished over a five-year period. Hundreds of millions of others were maimed.
This was also the time period when the women’s liberation movement was born. While seen as a movement to liberate women, it was in fact a great hoax perpetrated on them. The Second World War had forced many women to come out of the home to work in factories as the men went to war. The capitalists — the gnomes of industry — realized the value of cheap labor that women provided, so the women’s liberation movement was born. Ask leaders of the women’s liberation movement and they would readily concede today that it has been a disaster for women.
Muslims arrived in Europe — Britain, France, Germany, etc. — in the wake of the end of colonialism. They came in search of menial jobs from societies that had been plundered by European colonialists. In the 60-year period, they have taken root in these societies and their second and third generations have been born there, yet they are still not accepted as equals. In Britain and France, Muslims live largely in the ghettoes. The English may love curry and balti tikka but they refuse to accept Muslims as fellow citizens. In France, Muslim youth of Algerian and Tunisian descent have rioted in the face of police brutality and against the incessant racism of the state. Hijab is banned in state schools and Islamophobia is rampant. In fact, this is the last form of racism that still finds official acceptance.
In North America, Muslims arrived at about the same time as they did in Europe. Some researchers have suggested that Muslim presence predates the arrival of Columbus in America. There are even artifacts to this effect. This may be true but the presence of Muslims in significant numbers is a recent phenomenon. If Muslim migration to Europe consisted largely of menial workers, the relatively educated and upwardly mobile Muslims came to North America. This was based on the immigration policies of the countries concerned — Canada and the US — that restricted entry to non-professional groups. Canada opened its doors to “visible minorities” — a euphemism for non-white people — in 1968 when Pierre Elliott Trudeau became the prime minister.
Naturally, over the years, not only has Muslim population grown in both Europe and North America but Western policies have also become quite aggressive because of the situation in the Muslim world. Zionist Israel has had great impact on the anti-Muslim policies of many of these countries. This has been particularly pronounced in North America. In the US, the Zionist regime’s front organization, the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), operating in contravention of US lobby laws, has a stranglehold on US politicians. Many commentators, among them Pat Buchanan, refer to the American Congress as Zionist occupied territory!
In Canada, groups like the Centre for Israel Jewish Affairs (CIJA), Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre and the B’nai Brith carry the Zionist regime’s banner. They need not bother since the current Canadian government led by Stephen Harper is so pro-Zionist that it puts many Israelis to shame. And then of course there are the Zionist storm-troopers, the Jewish Defence League (JDL). There is nothing defensive about the group; it is made up of extreme right-wing zealots whose ranks are filled with biker gang members who go about intimidating and in some instances even attacking those Canadians that dare criticize Israeli crimes.
Given Europe’s proximity to the heartland of Islam — North Africa and the Muslim East — any significant movement of people from there would have an immediate impact on Europe. Thus, in recent months and years, because of wars launched by the US and its European allies on many Muslim countries, there has been a flood of refugees escaping war zones. While the bulk of these refugees have sought asylum in neighboring Muslim countries — Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, etc. — some have also ventured farther afield. Europe and even Australia has been the destination of some of them now referred to as asylum seekers. There has been harsh reaction against such “asylum seekers” without taking into account the fact that Western policies are directly responsible for turning people into refugees. These have resulted in extremely hostile reaction against asylum seekers as well as Muslims in general.
Massive anti-Muslim rallies have erupted in many parts of Europe in recent years. On December 15 (2014), for instance, the neo-Nazis held a noisy rally attended by an estimated 15,000 people in the streets of Dresden. PEGIDA that stands for Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West, organized the protest. Referred to as “pinstriped Nazis” because they comprise many well established German citizens, they carried banners with slogans such as “Zero tolerance toward criminal asylum seekers,” “Protect our homeland” and “Stop the Islamisation.” Draped in German flags, their raised fists were punctuated by chants of “Wir sind das Volk,” (“We are the people”). That right-wing neo-Nazis would attract 15,000 people on a cold wintery night is frightening indeed given Germany’s long history of Nazi horrors and fascism. Many Zionists were also part of the howling mob.
This was no flash in the pan. It was the ninth week in a row that PEGIDA had taken its protest onto city streets. Its numbers have grown alarmingly. Starting with a mere 200 people when it held its first rally, it has now swollen to 15,000 and will perhaps continue to grow. One man in the protest alleged the “Muslims are plotting to infect our food chain with their excrement.” Germany’s federal office for the protection of the constitution has admitted that there are hundreds of right-wing extremists in their midst, as well as established groups of hooligans who are known to the police. “The instigators are unmistakably right-wing extremists,” a federal spokesman said.
The police identified two soccer hooligan organizations, “Faust des Ostens” (Fist of the East) and Hooligans Elbflorenz (Florence of the Elbe Hooligans), as well as members of the National Democratic Party (NPD) as being part of the protest rallies. The anti-Muslim venom is frightening. Some accuse Muslims of “taking over” the West while others say asylum seekers are living in luxury while they are deprived of even eating properly!
True, there were also two counter-demonstrations taking place elsewhere in Dresden but their numbers were small. They held banners that read, “Act against the right” and “Nazis, no thanks.” Given massive anti-Muslim propaganda in sections of the media and the government’s policy of militarism against Muslim countries — Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc. — there has been a noticeable shift in public perception about Muslims. According to a recent poll for the newsmagazine Spiegel, conducted by the TNS Institute, almost two-thirds of Germans believe that their government is not doing enough to address concerns about immigration and asylum seekers. The alleged threat of “Islamization” is also high on the list of Germans’ concerns: 34% think Germany is undergoing a process of “Islamization.”
On December 12, a newly refurbished home for asylum seekers in Nuremberg, the site of the Nazis’ war crimes trial after the Second World War, was badly damaged in a suspected xenophobic arson attack. Anti-foreigner slogans and swastikas were found daubed on the walls of the house. It will be a short step from there to attacks on Muslims or “Muslim-looking” people.
Germany is not alone in experiencing the rise of neo-Nazi groups. In Britain, there are several groups that have clearly fascist tendencies and are not averse to publicly expressing them. There are groups like the National Front and the English Defence League (EDL). The fascists’ most successful venture has been through the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a new political party that has already won a seat in parliament. Timothy Miller, a UKIP member, hung a huge Union Jack (the British flag) upside down outside his house in Hedge End, Hampshire, on Christmas eve with a plea to Santa, “All we wish for is our country back!” Miller may have got Santa’s nationality wrong — he is not British — but it is certain had the mythical figure been non-white in popular folklore, Miller would not have made such a plea!
The EDL has close links with the European Defence League as well as the Danish Defence League (DDL) from whose ranks emerged the mass murderer Anders Breivik. The English Defence League also has a “Jewish division” within its ranks and the group has vowed to support Israel against what it calls “political Islam.” The EDL has also cultivated close links with right-wing fascist groups in the US including the well-known Islamophobic pastor Terry Jones who has gained notoriety for his Qur’an burning crusade.
It is however, the EDL’s close alliance with the Canadian Jewish Defence League (JDL) that is quite revealing. The JDL claims to be anti-Nazi and to speak in defence of Jewish rights. Yet the EDL is infested with neo-Nazis. So how does JDL justify its alliance with the neo-Nazis? Easy: JDL itself is a fascist outfit. It is driven by extreme hatred of Muslims and anyone opposed to the racist Zionist entity called Israel.
The English Defence League is totally opposed to non-white immigration to Britain. Its sister organization, the National Front wants all non-whites to be immediately repatriated including those born and raised there who have not known any place else except Britain as home. The Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Breivik, who massacred 77 children in July 2011, was inspired by the ideology of EDL. He had hundreds of EDL members as friends on his Facebook page.
Many members of the National Front were absorbed into the Conservative Party once Margaret Thatcher came to power in Britain. Dubbed the “Iron Lady,” she did not hesitate to espouse her racist views in public. There are numerous Defence League groups that have sprouted in Europe including the Welsh Defence League, the Scottish Defence League and so on. There are other fascist groups that use different names such as the English Volunteer Force but the common thread between them is hatred of Islam and Muslims. In France, the far right party, the National Front founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen, now headed by his daughter Marine Le Pen, is part of the political landscape and has seats in the French National Assembly. It, too, is opposed to immigrants and to Muslims in particular.
Since the 9/11 events, almost all Western governments have instituted extremely oppressive laws whose principal targets are their Muslim citizens. In addition to the numerous false flag operations launched to besmirch Muslims and therefore justify the oppressive policies, such policies have also encouraged the media as well as fascist groups to go on the offensive. Hardly a day passes by without some media outlet spouting anti-Muslim venom. In fact, terrorism has become an exclusively “Muslim phenomenon.” Thus, if a Muslim is involved in a crime, it is “terrorism”; otherwise it is considered just a crime. Canada offers a good example.
In October, there were two incidents in Canada involving mentally unstable individuals who killed soldiers — one in Montreal, the other in Ottawa. Both incidents were dubbed acts of terrorism by the government. Last June, three RCMP officers were shot and killed in Muncton, New Brunswick but this was not considered terrorism. Also in October, a war veteran amassed huge amounts of firearms and explosives and had planned to attack a federal building in Alberta but the government refused to categorize it as terrorism.
The really troubling aspect of the Canadian scene is the patronizing of the JDL by the Canadian government. In March 2014, when Harper went on a visit to Israel, he took a member of the Canadian branch of the Jewish Defence League in his entourage. It must be borne in mind that the group’s parent organization, Kahane Chai, named after the racist rabbi, Meir Kahane, is banned in Israel as well as the US.
The Canadian JDL has been involved in violent attacks against people that protest the Zionist regime’s crimes. For instance, in June 2013, the JDL had come out to support Iranian counter-revolutionaries when they were protesting against a program commemorating Imam Khomeini’s anniversary in Richmond Hill, a suburb of Toronto. The Iranian counter-revolutionaries attacked and injured two Muslims who were taking photographs, but minding their own business. The police were present there but took no action against the assailants.
The JDL has also been involved in direct attacks. Last July, a mob of about 200 JDL thugs planned to storm Palestine House in Mississauga. The Palestinians and their supporters mobilized the community and stood their ground. The JDL thugs attacked them. Again, the police took no action against the offenders. At the annual Quds Day Rally in Toronto (also in July) a brother and sister who were left behind from the huge rally (attended by some 25,000 people) were attached by five JDL thugs. The Muslim man was badly beaten and sustained severe injuries. Fortunately, another Muslim captured the assault on his cell phone and provided information to the Toronto police that laid charges against four of the five assailants. The case is still pending.
When such violent people receive state patronage and support, they are bound to become bolder in their crimes. But as long as the victims are Muslims, that is considered to be OK because Muslims cannot be up to any good.
Living in the West is becoming precarious for Muslims these days. This is not confined to any particular country. It mattering not how many times Muslims profess their condemnation of terrorist acts perpetrated by so-called Muslims anywhere in the world, they will continue to bear responsibility and, therefore, the brunt of the regimes’ wrath as well as that of fascist Islamophobic groups.