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Europe has its own full-fledged brand of negationism: a movement to deny the large-scale and long-term crimes against humanity committed by Islam. This movement is led by Islamic apologists and Marxist academics, and followed by all the politicians, journalists and intellectuals who call themselves secularists. Similar to the Turkish negationism regarding the Armenian genocide, the European negationism regarding the terrible record of Islam is fully supported by the establishment (The EU, Western European governments). It has nearly full control of the media and dictates all state and government parlance concerning the
communal problem (more properly to be called the Islam problem).
Its techniques are essentially the same as those of negationists elsewhere:
1. Head-on denial
The crassest form of negationism is obviously the simple denial of the facts. This is mostly done in the form of general claims, such as: “Islam is tolerant”, “Islamic Spain was a model of multicultural harmony”, “the anti-Jewish hatred was unknown among Muslims until Zionism and anti-Semitism together entered the Muslim world from Europe”. Since it is rare that a specific crime of Islam is brought to the public’s notice, there is little occasion to come out and deny specific crimes. Exceptions are the Armenian genocide, officially denied in Turkey and the entire Muslim world.
The Rushdie affair was the occasion for negationism on a grand scale. There happens to be an unambiguous answer to the question:
“Is it Islamic to kill those who voice criticism of the Prophet?” According to the media and most experts, the answer was definitely: no. According to the basic traditions of Islam, it was: yes. Mohammed as well as his immediate successors have killed critics, both in formal executions and in night-time stabbings. In Islamic law, the Prophet’s example is valid precedent. At most there could be some quarrelling over the procedure: some jurists thought that Rushdie should first be kidnapped to an Islamic country and given a chance to recant before an Islamic court, though the ayatollahs have ruled that no amount of remorse can save Rushdie. If he stands by his book, even the so-called moderates think he must be killed. Islamic law punishes both apostasy and insults to the Prophet with the death penalty: twice there is no escape for Rushdie. Yet, the outside public was told by many experts that killing Rushdie is un-Islamic.
Flat denial will work very well if your grip on the press and education media is sufficient. Otherwise, there is a danger of being shown up as the negationist one really is. In that case, a number of softer techniques are available.
2. Ignoring the facts
This passive negationism is certainly the safest and the most popular. The media and textbook-writers simply keep the vast corpus of inconvenient testimony out of the readers’ view. This includes most of the information about the systematic slaughter, torture and enslavement of non-Muslims in historical and present context (including Genocides and Dhimmitude), demographic developments which show the systematic and gradual Muslim takeover of societies (Including Kosovo, Lebanon and now in many Western European countries) and al-Taqiyya/ketman – Ummah - Quranic abrogation and Jihads importance in Islam. Other essential facts are also ignored like Saudi Arabia’s role in spreading traditional Islam (so called Islamic theofascism or Wahhabism which the Eurabians like to refer to it). They have failed to inform the people of Europe that Saudi Arabia have spent more than 87 billion USD abroad the past two decades propagating “true Islam”. The bulk of this funding goes to the construction and operating expenses of thousands of mosques, madrassas and Muslim cultural centers throughout the world. These Islamic institutions are now found in every single country in the West - all over Western Europe.
3. Minimising the facts
If the inconvenient fact is pointed out that numerous Muslim chroniclers have reported a given massacre of unbelievers themselves, one
can posit a priori that they must have exaggerated to flatter their patron’s martial vanity - as if it is not significant enough that Muslim rulers felt flattered by being described as mass-murderers of infidels.
Apart from minimising the absolute size of Islamic crimes, there is the popular technique of relative minimising: make the facts look smaller by comparing them with other, carefully selected
facts. Thus, one can say that “all religions are intolerant”, which sounds plausible to many though it is patently false: in the Roman Empire only those sects were persecuted which had political ambitions (Jews when they fought for independence, Christians because they sought to take over the Empire and outlaw all other religions, as they effectively did), while the others enjoyed the status of religio licita; similarly with the Persian Empire and many other states and cultures.
An oft-invoked counterweight for the charge-sheet against Islam, is the fanaticism record of Christianity. It is indeed well-known that Christianity has been guilty of numerous temple destructions and persecutions. But the reason for this fanaticism is found in the common theological foundation of both religions: exclusivist prophetic monotheism. The case against Christianity is at once a case against Islam. Moreover, in spite of its theologically motivated tendency to intolerance, Christianity has had to go through the experience of “live and let live” because in its formative period, it was but one of the numerous sects in the pluralist Roman Empire.
Islam never had this experience, and in order to bring out its full potential of fanaticism, Christianity has needed the influence of Islam on a few occasions. Thus, it is no coincidence that Charlemagne, who defeated the Saxons by force, was the grandson of Charles Martel, who defeated the Islamic army in Poitiers; no coincidence either that the Teutonic knights who forcibly converted the Balts, were veterans of the Crusades, i.e. the campaign to liberate Palestine from Islam; nor is it a coincidence that the Spanish Inquisition emerged in a country that had needed centuries to shake off Islamic oppression. Finally, Christianity is, by and large, facing the facts of its own history, though it’s still struggling with the need to own up the responsibility for these facts.
An even more general way of drowning Islamic fanaticism in relativist comparisons is to point out that after all - every imperialistically motivated war has been less than gentle. That may well be true, but then, we are not setting up cults for the Genghis Khans of this world. A religion should contribute to man’s transcending his natural defects like greed and cruelty, and not sanction and glorify them.
When one cannot conceal, deny or minimise the facts, one can still claim that on closer analysis, they are not as bad as they seem. One can call right what is obviously wrong. This can go very far, e.g. in his biography of Mohammed, Maxime Rodinson declared unashamedly that the extermination of the Medinese Jews by Mohammed was doubtlessly the best solution. In numerous popular introductions to Islam, the fact that Islam imposes the death penalty on apostates (in modern terminology: that Islam opposes freedom of religion in the most radical manner) is acknowledged; but then it is explained that “since Islam was at war with the polytheists, apostasy equalled treason and desertion, something which is still punished with death in our secular society”. All right, but the point is precisely that Islam chose to be at war with the traditional religion of Arabia, as also with all other religions, and that it has made this state of war into a permanent feature of its law system.
5. Playing up unrepresentative facts
A popular tactic in negationism consists in finding a positive but uncharacteristic event, and highlighting it while keeping the over-all picture out of the public’s view. For instance, a document is found in which Christians, whose son has forcibly been inducted in the Ottoman Janissary army,
express pride because their son has made it to high office within this army. The fact that these people manage to see the bright side of their son’s abduction, enslavement and forced conversion, is then used to prove that non-Muslims were quite happy under Muslim rule, and to conceal the fact that the devshirme, the forcible conversion and abduction of one fifth of the Christian children by the Ottoman authorities, constituted a constant and formidable terror bewailed in hundreds of heart-rending songs and stories.
For another example, negationists always mention cases of collaboration by non-Muslims (German support in the Armenian Genocide etc.) to suggest that these were treated as partners and equals and that Muslim rule was quite benevolent; when in fact every history of an occupation, even the most cruel one, is also the history of a collaboration. As has been pointed out, the Nazis employed Jewish guards in the Warsaw ghetto, disprove the Nazi oppression of the Jews.
6. Denying the motive
Negationists sometimes accept the facts, but disclaim their hero’s responsibility for them. Thus, Mohammed Habib tried to exonerate Islam by ascribing to the Islamic invaders alternative motives: Turkish barbarity, greed, the need to put down conspiracies brewing in temples. In reality, those rulers who had secular reasons to avoid an all-out confrontation with the unbelievers were often reprimanded by their clerical courtiers for neglecting their Islamic duty. The same clerics were never unduly worried over possible secular motives in a ruler’s mind as long as these prompted him to action against the unbelievers. At any rate, the fact that Islam could be used routinely to justify plunder and enslavement (unlike, say, Buddhism), is still significant enough.
Another common tactic consists in blurring the problem by questioning the very terms of the debate: “Islam does not exist, for there are many Islam’s, with big differences between countries etc.” It would indeed be hard to criticise something that is so ill- defined. But the simple fact is that Islam does exist: it is the doctrine contained in the Quran, normative for all Muslims, and in the Hadith, normative for at least all Sunni Muslims. There are differences between the law schools concerning minor points, and of course there are considerable differences in the extent to which Muslims are effectively faithful to Islamic doctrine, and correspondingly, the extent to which they mix it with un-Islamic elements.
8. Blaming fringe phenomena
When faced with hard facts of Islamic fanaticism, negationists often blame them on some fringe tendency, now popularly known as fundamentalism or Wahhabism. This is said to be the product of post-colonial frustration, basically foreign to genuine Islam. In reality, fundamentalists like Maulana Maudoodi and Ayatollah Khomeini knew their Quran better than the self-deluding secularists who brand them as bad Muslims. What is called fundamentalism or Wahhabism is in fact the original Islam, as is proven by the fact that fundamentalists have existed since long before colonialism, e.g. the 13th century theologian Ibn Taimiya, who is still a lighthouse for today’s Maudoodis, Turabis, Madanis and Khomeini’s. When Ayatollah Khomeini declared that the goal of Islam is the conquest of all non- Muslim countries, this was merely a reformulation of Mohammed’s long-term strategy and of the Quranic assurance that God has promised the entire world to Islam. In the case of communism, one can shift the blame from Marx to Lenin and Stalin, but Islamic terrorism has started with Mohammed himself.
9. Arguments ad hominem
If denying the evidence is not tenable, one can always distort it by means of selective quoting and imputing motives to the original authors of the source material; or manipulating quotations to make them say the opposite of the over-all picture which the original author has presented. Focus all attention on a few real or imagined flaws in a few selected pieces, and act as if the entire corpus of evidence has been rendered untrustworthy. To extend the alleged untrustworthiness
of one piece of evidence to the entire corpus of evidence, it is necessary to create suspicion against those who present the evidence: the implication is that they have a plan of history falsification, that this plan has been exposed in the case of this one piece of evidence, but that it is only logical that such motivated history falsifiers are also behind the concoction of the rest of the alleged evidence.
If the discussion of inconvenient evidence cannot be prevented, disperse it by raising other issues, such as the human imperfections which every victim of crimes against humanity inevitably has (Jewish harshness against the Palestinians, Hindu untouchability); describe the demand for the truth as a ploy to justify and cover up these imperfections. If the facts have to be faced at all, then blame the victim. If people ignore or refute your distorted version of history, accuse them of distortion and political abuse of history. Slander scholars whose testimony is inconvenient; impute political or other motives to them in order to pull the attention away from the hard evidence they present.