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Reinier van Dantzig Asks, “Darn It, Why On That Day?”
by Hugh Fiitzgerald
The anti-Islam group Pegida has announced plans for a rally in Amsterdam that will be held February 25, the same day on which a famous anti-Nazi rally was held in 1941 during the German occupation.
The march by Pegida is scheduled to take place on the 77th “anniversary of the so-called February Strike — a rare act of disobedience under the Nazi occupation called by the then illegal Dutch Communist Party. Amsterdam dockworkers went on strike in solidarity with 425 Jews arrested by the Germans and deported to Austria’s Mauthausen concentration camp.”
Not everyone was pleased. “Reinier van Dantzig, who heads the liberal Democrats 66 party’s faction on the Amsterdam City Council, called on the organizers to find an alternative date.
“Darn it, why on that day?” van Dantzig wrote on Twitter. “The right to demonstrate happens to be sacrosanct in Amsterdam, even for these xenophobes, but pick another date when Amsterdam does not commemorate those who fought for tolerance during World War II.”
“Why on that day?”
Notice the double dig at Pegida’s members, described as “xenophobes” who have no right to hold their rally on a date when Amsterdam “commemorate[s] those who fought for tolerance during World War II” because impliedly the anti-Islam Pegida has nothing to do with “tolerance” but is intolerant of Muslims, who for the reinier-van-dantzigs of this world are blameless innocents, the “new Jews.”
One way of dealing with van Dantzig’s complaint is simply to ignore it, just go ahead and hold the rally.
But there is another way, which is to take van Dantzig’s complaint and, using it as a point of departure, to explain why holding an anti-Islam rally on the anniversary of an anti-Nazi rally is in fact most appropriate. Exploit the occasion, bring forth the evidence of close Muslim collaboration with the Nazis, explain to the Dutch public the links between the ideology of Islam and of the Nazis, detail the sinister role of Haj Amin al Husseini, the leader of the Arabs of Palestine and beyond, in encouraging Hitler in his policy of mass murder of Jews, discuss the Nazi war criminals who found refuge and succor in Arab lands after the war (with many converting to Islam), and the virulent antisemitism that is to be found throughout the Qur’an. Nothing extenuate.
First, the Pegida spokesman should admit that “yes, we chose that date deliberately. We did so because we feel a deep kinship with those who dared to challenge the German occupation, seventy-seven years ago, as we are challenging a different kind of occupation of Europe today. The occupiers are the tens of millions of Muslims who have been allowed by our careless governments to settle in our midst, deep behind what they are taught to regard as enemy lines, the lines of Dar al-Harb. And while the media keep calling us the “far-right,” which by implication connotes antisemitism, we are nothing of the sort. Some of us could even be described as on the left. We are philosemitic. We think Europe has a moral duty, given its past, to assure the security of Jews. We think that freedom of religion includes the right to be an apostate. We think the right of free speech includes the right to criticize, without fear, any faith. We think that men and women must be equal under the law; men should not be able to control “their” women. We think we have a right to expect those who come to our countries to respect these values. Is any of that “far-right”?
“And we chose our date, too, because we want to remind people, too, of the similarities between Nazi and Islamic totalitarianism. It is worth learning that according to Albert Speer in Inside the Third Reich, Hitler is reported to have been much impressed by “a scrap of history he had learned from a delegation of distinguished Arabs.” The delegation had speculated that the world would have become “Mohammedan” if the Berbers and Arabs had won the Battle of Tours in the 8th Century AD, and that the Germans would have become heirs to “a religion that believed in spreading the faith by the sword and in subjugating all nations to that faith. Such a creed was perfectly suited to the German temperament.” Speer then presents Hitler’s claims on this subject:
“Hitler said that the conquering Arabs, because of their racial inferiority, would in the long run have been unable to contend with the harsher climate of the country. They could not have kept down the more vigorous natives, so that ultimately not Arabs but Islamized Germans could have stood at the head of this Mohammedan Empire.”
“Similarly, Hitler was transcribed as saying: ‘Had Charles Martel not been victorious at Poitiers […] then we should in all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that cult which glorifies the heroism and which opens up the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the Germanic races would have conquered the world.’”
Hitler’s wistful admiration for Islam — with it “the Germanic races would have conquered the world” — deserves to be more widely known.
But, Mr. van Dantzig may well ask, just what kind of “occupation” are we enduring in the Netherlands today? He doesn’t see any evidence of it. But he fails to understand. True, there are no serried ranks of black-booted heil-hitlering goose-stepping soldiers of the Nazi era. Our present-day “occupiers” do not wear uniforms. They are the millions of Muslims, living among us, but unwilling to integrate by adopting Western attitudes and accepting Western values. They believe in Islamic supremacism, that Muslims are the “best of peoples” (3:110), and Infidels the “most vile of creatures” (98:6). They object to such central values in the West as the freedoms of speech and of religion, for in their view criticism of Islam and of Muhammad is impermissible; a Muslim may not leave the faith on pain of death. These Muslims are commanded in the Qur’an not to take Christians or Jews as friends, “for they are friends only with each other.” They are failing to integrate (while other, non-Muslim migrants, integrate without much difficulty) not because their non-Muslim hosts haven’t made immense efforts to help them do so, but because they have no wish to do so.
The German occupiers in World War II helped themselves to the wealth of the Netherlands, including gold bullion, antique furniture, and paintings for the collection of that rapacious art thief Hermann Goering. Today our Muslim occupiers help themselves to different kinds of wealth: the free housing, free medical care, free education, family allowances. It all adds up to many billions of dollars. And to make matters worse, most of us look away, or complain not about the Muslims, but about those who dare to question this state of affairs. Theoretically, we still enjoy free speech; practically, when it comes to the discussion of Muslims and Islam, our free speech is sorely constrained. Just look at how much attention the Dutch media lavishes on Geert Wilders and others, castigating them as vicious Islamophobes, when they merely point out undeniable truths about what Islam teaches and how, as a consequence, many Muslims behave, including those who dutifully follow the Qur’an commands to “strike terror” in the hearts of the Kuffar. How many people feel they can speak freely about Muslims and Islam, in the Netherlands or elsewhere in Europe?
The original World War II-era strike on February 25, 1941, possibly the largest show of public disobedience over the fate of the Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe, spread from the dockworkers to the tram company to other municipal departments, as well as to shipyards in the city’s north, the Hollandia-Kattenburg textile company and the De Bijenkorf chain of department stores. It was clearly a response to antisemitism.
Pegida could continue: “While we at Pegida are protesting many aspects of Islam, we want to underline our particular horror at how Muslim immigrants have reintroduced antisemitism into Europe’s body politic.
“Our planned protest, then, is against the latest carriers of antisemitism in Europe: the Muslims. We all know of the murderous attacks by Muslims on Jewish customers at the Hyper Cacher market in Paris, the killing of three little children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse, and attacks on Jews by Muslims in Brussels, Copenhagen, Malmo. We know about the Jewish retiree who was stabbed, mutilated, and thrown out of her window by a Muslim neighbor, about the Jewish student in Berlin who was forced to leave his school because of attacks by Muslim classmates; about; the two Jewish brothers set upon and beaten by a group of young Muslims. We remember Ilan Halimi, the Jewish boy kidnapped and tortured by a group of Muslims, over several weeks, until he died. It is not surprising that Jews are now afraid to walk abroad in parts of many European cities. We know that in poll after poll Muslims in Europe show agreement with antisemitic statements, from three to six times more often than do non-Muslims. No one is any longer surprised that Jewish students have been beaten up by Muslim classmates, that some Jewish students have had to leave or change schools, that teachers are afraid of discussing the Holocaust with Muslim students who resent the attempt to “make us feel sorry for Jews.” One out of three Jews in the U.K. now say they are thinking of leaving the country.
“In France, the Jewish leader Richard Abitbol, president of the Confederation of Jews in France and Friends of Israel, describes the grim situation: ‘Every day we have people who are hurt, every day we have people who are insulted. We can be hurt by words, but we don’t mind, but when we are hurt by a knife, a gun, you can’t say I don’t mind.’ He predicts that ‘In a few decades, there will be no Jews in France. And there is also a problem in Europe. There are almost no Jews now, they are leaving. So, it’s terrible what I will say, but Europe is continuing in peace what Hitler had done by war.’
“It is not Europe, but Muslims in Europe, who are “continuing in peace what Hitler had done by war.” And where does this Muslim antisemitism originate? From the Qur’an itself. We think the following passages from the Qur’an explain Muslim antisemitism. We at Pegida would like to know what our critics, including Mr. Van Dantzig, think of the following passages from the Qur’an, and its classic commentators, and contemporary clerics, all collected by Robert Spencer:
“’The Qur’an depicts the Jews as inveterately evil and bent on destroying the wellbeing of the Muslims. They are the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); as fabricating things and falsely ascribing them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); claiming that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); loving to listen to lies (5:41); disobeying Allah and never observing his commands (5:13); disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more.’
“Then there are the Qur’anic commentators on these verses:
“‘The classic Qur’anic commentators do not mitigate the Qur’an’s words against Jews, but only add fuel to the fire. Ibn Kathir explained Qur’an 2:61 (‘They were covered with humiliation and misery; they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah’) this way: ‘This Ayah [verse] indicates that the Children of Israel were plagued with humiliation, and that this will continue, meaning that it will never cease. They will continue to suffer humiliation at the hands of all who interact with them, along with the disgrace that they feel inwardly.’ Another Middle Ages commentator of lingering influence, Abdallah ibn Umar al-Baidawi, explains the same verse this way: ‘The Jews are mostly humiliated and wretched either of their own accord, or out of coercion of the fear of having their jizya [punitive tax] doubled.’
“’Ibn Kathir notes Islamic traditions that predict that at the end of the world, ‘the Jews will support the Dajjal (False Messiah), and the Muslims, along with ‘Isa [Jesus], son of Mary, will kill the Jews.’ The idea in Islam that the end times will be marked by Muslims killing Jews comes from the prophet Muhammad himself, who said, ‘The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.” This is, not unexpectedly, a favorite motif among contemporary jihadists.’
“And today’s most prestigious Islamic clerics agree:
“’Not just contemporary jihadists, but modern-day mainstream Islamic authorities take these passages seriously. The former Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who was the most respected cleric in the world among Sunni Muslims, called Jews ‘the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs.’ The late Saudi sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudayyis, imam of the principal mosque in the holiest city in Islam, Mecca, said in a sermon that Jews are ‘the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs.’
“’Another Saudi sheikh, Ba’d bin Abdallah al-Ajameh al-Ghamidi, made the connection explicit: ‘The current behavior of the brothers of apes and pigs, their treachery, violation of agreements, and defiling of holy places … is connected with the deeds of their forefathers during the early period of Islam–which proves the great similarity between all the Jews living today and the Jews who lived at the dawn of Islam.’
“We would all like to know what Mr. van Dantzig makes of these verses. Does he think we at Pegida are wrong to be alarmed? Is he not alarmed? And what does he make of the classic commentators and clerics endorsing those antisemitic passages? Does he think they are of no significance? Should we pretend they don’t matter?
“We think that any fair-minded person, willing to consider this evidence, would share our alarm at the antisemitism that seems so deeply imbedded in the texts of Islam.
“It’s not only the antisemitism found in the Qur’an, but antisemitism in practice, as reflected in the attitudes and behavior of notable Muslim clerics, and especially of Haj Amin al Husaini, the most important leader of the Palestinian Arabs from the 1920s to the early 1950s, that should concern us all, including Mr. van Dantzig. Haj Amin al Husaini needed no lessons from Hitler in the virulence of his antisemitism. When he visited Der Führer in Berlin in 1938, they naturally hit it off. Ibn Warraq notes that Haj Amin al Husaini ‘advocated genocide even before the Nazi government did so. His 1937 Appeal to All Muslims of the World urged them to cleanse their lands of the Jews, and it was translated into German in 1938. Urging the use of force against all Jews in the Middle East, al-Husaini both gave his parallel version of Hitler’s doctrine and laid the foundation for the anti-Semitic arguments used by radical Arab nationalists and Islamist down to this day. A half-century later, every speech and sermon from Hamas, Hizballah, Iran’s regime, the Muslim Brotherhood, and al-Qaeda echoed all of the grand mufti’s main points in his declaration.’
“The scholars Barry Rubin and Wolfgng Schwanitz explain that al-Husaini ‘combined traditional Islamic hatred of Jews with arguments framed by modern political concepts.’ He quoted, writes Ibn Warraq, ‘constantly from the Koran, Sira, and hadith to lay out his claims: Jews are cursed and evil; they were expelled from Egypt because they exploited the Egyptian people; (citing al-Tabari) they tried to kill Moses; they were punished by God for their sins; they spread disease; they hated, tried to discredit, and, finally, tried to poison Muhammad; they are out to destroy Islam. The Grand Mufti’s diatribe ends thus:
“‘I present to my Muslim brothers in the entire world the history and the true experience which the Jews cannot deny. The verses from the Koran and hadith prove that the Jews have been the bitterest enemies of Islam and continue to try to destroy it. Do not believe them. They know only hypocrisy and guile. Hold together, fight for Islamic thought, fight for your religion and your existence! Do not rest until your land is free of the Jews. Do not tolerate the plan of division, for Palestine has been an Arab land for centuries and shall remain Arab.’
“’Rubin and Schwanitz conclude: ‘It is wrong to see al-Husaini and his fellow radicals as merely importing European antisemitism or being influenced by the Nazis. The two groups’ ideas developed in parallel from their own histories and political cultures . . . The two sides came together on the basis of both common interests and similar worldviews.’”
“In an October 1944 speech to the imams of the Bosnian SS Division fighting for the Nazis, al-Husaini stated: ‘Nearly one-third of the Koran concerns the Jews. The Koran calls upon all Muslims to protect themselves against the Jews and to fight them wherever they may meet.’
Ibn Warraq notes that “al-Husaini’s role as the father of modern, violent Arab radical movements has been overlooked because he allied himself with the Nazis and the losing side in World War II, and was implicated in the humiliating defeat of the Arabs by the Israelis in 1948. He was too closely identified with the Palestinian cause, when he was actually the leader of the international radical Arab forces, both Islamist and nationalist. When the nationalists gained power, al-Husaini’s earlier part in keeping the two factions together was again forgotten. And, as noted above, al-Husaini was responsible for fundamentalist Islam’s survival in the 1950s and 1960s and its 1970s revival.”
“Muslims from many Muslim countries recognized al-Husaini’s leadership and came to pay their respects in Jerusalem, his personal base. He was in close contact with the Muslim Brotherhood through Muhammad Mustafa al-Maraghi. In 1931, al-Husaini organized the General Islamic Congress in Jerusalem, which resulted in the formation of the Islamic World Congress and his election as president. Several international branches contributed funds to the head office in Jerusalem.”
“At first, al-Husaini concentrated in building a strong united state that would be nationalist and Islamist, and playing both cards, garnered mass support from a religiously oriented public that was not ready to accept secular nationalism. He also persuaded the Nazis that he was leader of the world’s Muslims and Arabs. Al-Husaini’s and the radical faction’s most significant tactic at this stage ‘was to make militancy the test for legitimacy. The most extreme stance became the legitimate mainstream one; anything more moderate was portrayed as treason to Islam and the Arab people. Using this standard, al-Husaini and his allies could blackmail and intimidate Arab governments, threatening to discredit or even assassinate anyone who wanted to compromise with the West or to oppose their goals.’”
“Al-Husaini was also able to impose his will on how the Palestinian cause would be handled. He and his allies were now in a position to influence and galvanize the masses through sermons at mosques, rousing speeches, ‘intimidating mobs, and demonstrations.’ Al-Husaini also demonized the British and Americans, presenting them as enemies of Islam and simultaneously convincing his followers that Germany would soon rule the world. The result was an alliance of Palestinian Arabs, Syrian and Iraqi nationalists, and Egyptian Islamists with Hitler’s regime.”
“Al-Husaini laid down the halt to the exodus of Jews from Germany as a condition for his support for Hitler, and bargained in the same way with the Allies—any migration from Germany would mean the migration to Palestine. The British had to close all migration of Jews to Palestine as well in order to keep the ambiguous support of the Grand Mufti and the Arabs. Al-Husaini, thus, can be justly held accountable for his role in the Holocaust.”
In other words, though in the early to mid-1930s, many Jews managed to leave Germany, in 1938, when al-Husaini met Hitler, there were still close to 200,000 German Jews in the country. Al-Husaini wanted to prevent their coming to Palestine, and demanded that in exchange for his support Hitler not allow them out. As a consequence, they were kept in Germany, and later killed. Furthermore, al-Husaini managed to persuade the British, the mandatory power in Palestine, to prevent Jews from anywhere migrating to Palestine, by making clear that his putative support for Great Britain (support he never really delivered) depended on this. The British did keep Jews fleeing Europe from entering Palestine. Estimates as to the number that might have been saved, on ships sailing from such ports as Costanza (that remained open throughout the war) in Rumania, run as high as one million, but the British blockade meant that the handful of ships with Jewish refugees that tried to land in Palestine were turned back, and news of that blockade kept many other ships from ever setting out. Even after the war ended, the British sabotaged ships — with explosives — that were to carry Jewish survivors of the Nazis from war-torn Europe to Palestine, so eager were the British to curry favor with the Arabs.
Ibn Warraq continues: “Nazi Germany launched a well-organized campaign in the Middle East, urging the elite in the respective countries to embrace pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic sentiments. ‘In Beirut and Baghdad, Cairo and Jerusalem, Kabul and Tehran, Tripoli and Tunis, local Nazi Party branches coordinated military and SS intelligence, businessmen, and academics to spread the influence of Hitler’s regime. There were also Nazi Party branches in Alexandria and Port Said; Haifa and Jaffa; and Adana, Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir.’ It was Nazi policy to subsidize and use ideologically compatible Islamist and nationalist groups such the Muslim Brotherhood, the fascist Young Egypt Party, al-Husaini’s forces in Palestine, and various other groups in Iraq and Syria.”
“After the end of the war, Nazi war criminals found refuge in two places; in South America, and in the Muslim Middle East. Most of us instantly think of Nazis finding refuge in South America. In fact, only between 150 and 800 went to South America. But many times that number, about 4000 Nazi war criminals, not only found refuge in Muslim countries, especially Egypt and Syria, but also found work, often in the security services of the Arabs. Quite a few converted to Islam, finding it, with its violence and aggression, and especially its antisemitism, a faith congenial to former Nazis.
“Mr. van Dantzig seems to think that only ‘xenophobes’ would support Pegida, though none of us are against foreigners; we have no objection to Hindus, or Buddhists, or Christians from black Africa settling, in reasonable numbers, in the Netherlands. We have found that they respect our values, are grateful for being permitted to settle, and wish only to integrate. We are, however, against Islam, and against those Muslims — foreign or not — who take its dangerous commands to heart. Mr. van Dantzig thinks that it is unacceptable for our organization to hold its rally on the 77th anniversary of the anti-Nazi Amsterdam strike in protest of what the Germans were doing to Dutch Jews. We think that will be the perfect day to rally against our new occupiers, to protest their antisemitism just as 75 years ago the shipyard workers in Amsterdam protested the Nazi antisemites who had just taken away 425 Dutch Jews to a camp in Mathausen.
“Perhaps Mr. van Dantzig will read what the Qur’an teaches about Jews, and Christians, learn why Muslims believe they must engage in violent Jihad to subjugate the Kuffar, and how, once subjugated, these Infidels must either be killed, converted, or treated as dhimmis, subject to a host of onerous conditions, including payment of the Jizyah. He might even ponder the meaning of a few verses, as 8:12: “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” Or 8:60: “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.”
“Perhaps he will look especially at the many blood-curdling passages about Jews in the Qur’an, since that is to be one focus of the rally, and how those passages have been endorsed by both classic Qur’anic commentators and contemporary clerics and put into practice by Muslims. He might study the activities of Haj Amin al Husaini, for decades the leader of the ‘Palestinian’ Arabs who, in the late 1930s, made sure the Nazis did not let any more German Jews to escape, as al-Husaini feared, to Palestine; the Grand Mufti also persuaded the British to seal off Palestine to Jewish refugees, who were then left to their fate in Nazi-occupied Europe. Perhaps too, he will review all the antisemitic acts by Muslims throughout Europe during the last decade, and ask himself why thousands of French Jews are leaving France, and why 1/3 of British Jews report that they are thinking of leaving the U.K.
“And of course, he should not overlook all the terrible attacks where the intended victims include Christians, too. The stabbings, the running down of pedestrians in Barcelona, Nice, London, and Paris, the shootings and explosives in night clubs, the bombs in buses and in subway cars and metro stations, attacks in London, Manchester,Paris, Toulouse, Nice, Amsterdam, Madrid, Brussels, Berlin, Munich, Copenhagen, Malmö, Stockholm, and Turku, in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Beslan, the killing of the dozen Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, the stabbing of Theo van Gogh, the dismemberment of Drummer Rigby, the decapitation at his altar of Father Hamel and much, much more. We will be dealing with this larger question at a subsequent rally.
“If Mr. van Dantzig studies this matter of Islamic antisemitism, on which we have focused today because the date of our next rally was chosen to deliberately make the connection between the Nazi antisemitism that was being protested in 1941 with the current, Islam-based antisemitism that needs to be protested today, we devoutly hope he will not only cease to describe us, the members of Pegida, so unfairly, as ‘far-right,’ but will join us in our protest against what Muslims in Europe have done and are doing to change our societies, and how they have again made many parts of Europe a dangerous place for Jews. We in the Western world must not continue to acquiesce. If after learning more about Islam — reading the Qur’an with care, studying the history of Islamic conquest, taking note of the more than 32,500 acts of terrorism by Muslims since 9/11, would be a good way to start — he rethinks his hostility toward us, and finds that he now shares our indignation and our sense of dread, we invite Reinier van Dantzig to join us, in Amsterdam, when we will show up, on that fatidic date, February 25, to protest this state of affairs.”
First published in Jihad Watch.