The Washington Post’s Anthony Faiola is worried about Germany. Actually, he’s worried about the thousands of Muslim refugees inundating the country and “testing the national will to protect minority rights adopted after World War II.”
See, like most liberals, Faiola believes the only decent thing for citizens of western nations to do is throw up their hands and welcome wave upon wave of unassimilated Middle Eastern immigrants. Second guessing this slow cultural suicide is unseemly. Vocally opposing it is Islamophobic. Doing either of those things in Germany is to stir the echoes of Nuremberg.
Faiola in a front-page article in Tuesday's Post, makes it clear that in Germany, it’s a very short step from pork-free school menus and Arabic bus schedules to a burka-burning Kristallnacht. “Far right” groups are “anti-Islam.” Universities that don’t allow head scarves and don’t provide separate Muslim prayer rooms, and local residents opposed to the construction of a mosque in the city if Erfurt have Muslims and good progressives “deeply worried about the trend.”
All this puts right-thinking people in mind of (wait for it!) Hitler.
“For the first time [since World War II] there is a party again attempting to existentially constrain an entire religious community and to threaten it,” Aiman Mazyek, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, said about the anti-Islam stance of the AfD. “This reminds us of the times of Hitler.”
Faiola quotes a left-wing politician saying “The crematoriums for the concentration camps [of World War II] were built in Erfurt,” and “Buchenwald and Dora concentration camps were here.”
Creepy, but actual critical thinking could dispel some of the dark magic such mentions conjure. By the time the Nazis systematized antisemitism, Jews had been part of the fabric of German and other European societies for centuries. Their very assimilation made it easier to blame them for Germany’s ills.
By contrast, modern Germany is facing hundreds of thousands of refugees with no history of democracy or having to reach compromise between it and their religion. Their advocates insist they shouldn’t be forced to assimilate and the modern left agrees.
Then there’s the whole jihad thing. The only place European Jews were trying to kill nonbelievers and take over the world was in Mein Kampf and some of Henry Ford’s weirder fantasies. Radical Islam’s very real butcher’s bill is ever-mounting, from Paris to San Bernadino to Ninevah. Meanwhile, the tepid condemnations of “moderate” Muslims are less and less reassuring.
But Faiola sneers at those who point out such problems. Sceptics of Islam are “relying on authorities such as Tilman Nagel, a former professor of Islamic studies at Göttingen University who, in a telephone interview, lashed out at ‘political correctness.’” Nagel said, “The fundamental principles of Islam can’t be reconciled with our free constitution.”
The victims, as always, are the Muslims. “In France,” Faiola writes, “acts of violence against Muslims surged more than threefold in 2015, jumping from 133 incidents to 429, according to the country’s Interior Ministry.” He might have mentioned that the same Interior Ministry recorded 851 attacks on French Jews in 2014, more than double those of 2013. (And it probably wasn’t Huguenots doing the attacking). And Islamic terrorists didn’t go to a Kosher deli in Paris last year hoping to slaughter Zoroastrians.
But, failing other arguments, the right wing political parties who argue that fundamentalist Muslims may have conflicts in a modern, pluralistic society are hypocrites. Faiola approvingly quotes an open letter from “Mina Ahadi, an Iranian dissident and critic of fundamental Islam,” who said the opposition “basically represents the same authoritarian, homophobic and sexist — in short: inhumane — position as ultraconservative Islamic associations.”
Minus the tossing gays off buildings part, one would hope. And the rapes. And the “honor killings.” And women unable to drive, talk to men or go to school. But it’s basically the same.