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2008?-No, it's 1938

Reader comment on item: Will Geert Wilders Show His Film on the Koran[, Fitna]?

Submitted by gary fouse (United States), Jan 31, 2008 at 17:47

It's been 70 years since British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain flew back to London from his meeting with Adolf Hitler in Munich and waved a piece of paper in his hand proclaiming, "Peace in our time." Of course, the following year, the world was plunged into World War II. Today, instead of Nazism, the world is faced with a new scourge, Islamo-Terrorism, Islamo-Fascism or whatever you want to call it. One would think that we had learned the lessons of history when it comes to appeasing the forces of evil. Yet, it seems that when it comes to Islamic terror, we have forgotten the lessons of the past. There are some notable parallels, in my view, between today and the 1930s.

After his failed 1923 Putsch, Hitler found himself incarcerated in Landsberg Prison near Munich in 1924, where he wrote Mein Kampf. In this book, he spelled out his hatred of Jews and plans to re-establish Germany's greatness through re-militarization and territorial expansion to the east. The world did not take him seriously. They thought he would never be able to attain that kind of power, even within Germany. They were wrong.

Islamic terrorists take their inspiration from passages in the Koran that they feel give them guidance in killing those who don't share their religion. Virtually every sura (chapter) reinforces the belief that non-believers will burn in Hell.

Once Hitler took power in Germany, after years of agitation and street brawls, he acted quickly to establish a dictatorship. On April 1, 1933, Nazis launched the boycott of Jewish businesses. In 1935, the so-called Nuremberg Laws were promulgated, codifying the second-class status of German Jews.

In 1936, German troops reoccupied the Rhineland-in violation of the Versailles Treaty. Great Britain and France took no action-further emboldening Hitler.

In 1938, Hitler marched into Austria, annexing that country into a greater German Reich. Great Britain and France stood by and watched.

Then, the same year, Hitler demanded the Sudentenland region of Czechoslovakia, based on the fact that it was primarily inhabited by ethnic Germans who were being mistreated. This brought Europe close to war. Within the space of a fortnight, Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany three times to meet and negotiate with Hitler. Chamberlain was determined to avert war over "a people of whom we know so little" to use his words. When the meeting was over, the Czechs were advised that the Sudetenland would have to handed over to Germany-or they would be on their own-previous commitments notwithstanding. Chamberlain flew home to announce "Peace in our time."

In November of 1938, the world watched in shock as the Nazis carried out Reichskristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), by which Jewish shops, homes and synagogues were smashed, Jews were dragged to jail, and-in some cases murdered. Once again, the world stood by and did nothing.

It wasn't until Germany invaded Poland in 1939 that the scales dropped from the eyes of the British and French and war began. It was only then that the Brits and French realized that they could not negotiate with Hitler.

Meanwhile in the US, President Roosevelt, who understood the threat, was thwarted by public opinion that wanted no part of another European war. Famed aviator, Charles Lindbergh, was an ardent admirer of Hitler. He led the fight to keep America nuetral. Another prominent voice for nuetrality was Joseph Kennedy (father of JFK), even though he was the American ambassador to London. Then there was the Nazi-supporting German-American Bund, a 5th column German-American organization on our soil. It was only after Pearl Harbor, when the US declared war on Imperial Japan, and Hitler declared war on our country, that we entered the European war.

Today, we see similarities vis-a-vis Islamic terrorism. In spite of everything that has happened and continues to happen every day, there are many in the West who will not face reality. We have experienced 9-11. The British experienced the subway and bus bombings. Madrid experienced its train bombings. How did the Spaniards react? They voted out their government in favor of a new soft-line prime minister who pulled his troops out of Iraq.

The situation in Britain is most disturbing. Muslim clerics in mosques preach hate and violence against British society. Muslims demonstrate on London streets demanding that anyone who "insults" Islam be "butchered" or "beheaded". How does Britain react? They bend over backwards to toe the politically correct line. Just in the past few days, "The Three Little Pigs" has been suppressed because pigs are offensive to Muslims. Now acts of terror are officially being called "anti-Islamic acts" since they do damage to Islam's image. British jails have re-installed toilet seats to ensure that Muslim prisoners don't have to face their backsides toward Mecca.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, they have witnessed the bloody murder of film producer Theo van Gogh on a Dutch street for the "crime" of making a film critical of Islam's treatment of women. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali immigrant and Muslim apostate, who collaborated in the film, has been living under intense security ever since. Currently, a Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, is trying to produce a 10-minute film critical of the Koran. Not surprisingly, he lives under threat of murder while Iran makes veiled threats against the Netherlands, trying to force them to prohibit the showing of the film.

In other major European cities like Paris, Rotterdam and Malmo, Sweden, police are afraid to enter Muslim enclaves, where practices like "honor-killings" and female circumcision are carried out though in contravention of national law.

Here at home in the US, where have we been so far spared the Muslim violence seen in Europe, we are witnessing a growing disaffection from American society on the part of many Muslims. On many universities (like mine-UC-Irvine), Muslim Student Unions regularly bring in radical Muslim speakers who advocate hate and violence toward Israel and "Zionist Jews". Many of these speakers also direct their vile hatred toward America as well. In some places, like Minneapolis, some Muslim cab drivers refuse to carry passengers who have alcohol. Some Muslim check-out clerks in grocery stores will not service customers purchasing pork. Not long ago, a group of radical Imams deliberately provoked airline passengers while boarding a flight, managing to get themselves removed from a flight so that they could start a lawsuit, aided by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). So how do we react to all this effrontery? The University of Michigan at Dearborn has installed foot baths in their restrooms-courtesy of the Michigan tax-payers. Secondary schools all over the nation have initiated courses for children to provide them with a positive image of Islam-while any recognition of Christianity or Judaism is considered unacceptable.

The problem is that both here and in Europe, we are being governed by political correctness. We must all proclaim that we respect Islam, and we consider Islam to be a religion of peace. It doesn't matter how much violence and expressions of hate are carried out by certain Muslims. When was the last time you heard a Democratic politician use the term, "Islamic Terror"? The reality is that most Americans, while trying to be fair and not punish decent, innocent Muslims, really are wondering about the true nature of this religion. Religion of peace? Well, we have doubts. We want to believe the best about other faiths, but how can we not have doubts given what is going on in the world, not just in the Middle East, but in Western countries where large numbers of Muslim immigrants have settled? This is not to paint all Muslims with the same brush, but some have not conducted themselves like ideal guests.

How great it would have been if the millions of decent Germans had risen up to overthrow Hitler and the Nazis. Tragically, they did not-or could not since the police state was too powerful. Similarly, how great it would be if the decent, peace-loving Muslims would rise up and defeat the murderers and hate-mongers among them. Whether they will remains to be seen.

My point is this: While we want to live peacefully with our Muslim neighbors, we must make it clear that we will defend ourselves against Islamic terror. We will not throw away our own religions, traditions, customs and laws because they are "offensive" to Muslims. There will be no Shariah law in our countries. We will not submit to them. Unfortunately, Western Civilization has been infected with a "peace in our time" mentality that says that, if we just make a few more concessions here and there, we can peacefully co-exist.

Neville Chamberlain would be proud.

gary fouse



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