Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Silence=You Agree???

copied from the blog Small Dead Animals

Moderate German Canadians

I've had several readers send me links to items referencing moderate Muslims. One offered that posting them would serve as response to "the defamers who vilify SDA as anti-Muslim racist".

While it's charitable to think that SDA critics might be influenced by actual SDA content, I've come to accept that when it comes to those who are motivated by hatred of all things conservative, it doesn't much matter what I write, or don't write - someone will find a way to misrepresent it.

But while I was mulling it over, I chanced upon this post at CJunk that that pretty much strips the argument bare;

“Very few people were true Nazis” he said, “but, many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.”

We are told again and again by “experts” and “talking heads” that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is, that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard quantifiable fact is, that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority” and it is cowed and extraneous.During these debates, I'm often reminded
* of a chapter in James Gray's The Winter Years - a series of recollections of the depression on the Canadian prairies. Gray spent many of those years at the Winnipeg Free Press. He tells the story of Paul Ausborn;

Paul Ausborn was a man who heard voices, a sea captain who had sailed the Baltic for the Kaiser in the First World War. After the war, he sold his ship and bought an apartment block in Kiel and served the Weimar Republic in a small way by teaching navigation to German youth. It was while teaching navigation in 1926 that the voices told him that Adolf Hitler was coming to power in Germany and would lead the world to war.Ausborn sold his property and moved his family to Manitoba. However, he hadn't escaped the Nazis.

Through his old connections with the Social Democrats in exile, Ausborn obtained a large collection of pictures of the atrocites being committed by the Nazis in Germany. He rented a store on Logan Avenue to show his gallery of infamy to Winnipeg. Nazi sympathizers wrecked his exhibit. He started over and put another exhibition together. at the same time, he scoured the German-Canadian community for supporters and could find only a handful. [...] Ausborn was overwhelmed again and again by the force that the Nazis were exerting on the German population of western Canada, and by the lack of interest in his work on the part of other Canadians. He was beaten up by Bundists, and harried by city policeman who saw nothing wrong in Hitler, because the only people Hitler was bothering were Jews and Communists.
As an indication of Ausborn's physical courage, he and two young friends once invaded a huge pro-Nazi picnic and distributed 6,000 anti-Nazi pamphlets and miraculously escaped unharmed. But in his efforts to rouse the city to the menace of Naziism, he lost every battle, every skirmish even. Nazi agents, on the other hand, infiltrated the university, the schools, the churches, and every other part of the German community. Ausborn was ostracized by the other Germans, most of his family deserted him and with his money gone, he was reduced to living on relief.

One day early in 1937 he came in to see me in a state of near-collapse. He had received word of the death of an old friend at the hands of the Nazis, and announced he was going to enlist in the International Brigade and fight in Spain. At fifty he was too old to fight, so he drove an ambulance on the Madrid front that summer. He came home to Winnipeg in the fall to give the organization of another anti-Nazi front a whirl. His Spanish interlude made him complete non grata with the city police, but most of us on the Free Press had read Mein Kampf by then and were taking both Ausborn and Hitler seriously. But until the very outbreak of the war, anti-Naziism was a lost cause in Winnipeg and the boisterous rejection of appeasement by the Free Press won it few plaudits.While the "vast majority" of moderate German Canadians (my mother's family among them) were peaceful, hard working citizens who held no Nazi sympathies, and would have recoiled at the notion of gassing hundreds of thousands of children in the name of racial purity - in the end, it mattered not a whit. What mattered were the extremists bent on attaining the power to transform a perverse ideology into reality, and the weaponry to export it - and the majority who just sat back and let it all happen.


Rockin' Hejabi said...

I posted this to see if any discussion starts. I guess I need to start the talking.

well , of course there are lots of muslims who are speaking out. But Fox news doesn't find peaceful muslims very sensational, and the Federal Government likes to put them in jail.
Learn more about Sami Al Arian. He is the most amazing muslim I've ever known working for peace. He actually opened the Mosque to anyone of any faith the day after September 11th and held a fabulous peace vigil. There were Christian preachers (both male and female), from diverse christian backgrounds- Catholic priests, and Jewish Rabbis (Orthodox!). It was beautiful.
A year later the Feds came for him. Apparently articulate, peaceful muslims don't go along with the image the Feds want to perpetuate of the Jihad-crazened lunatics. A lot of them are still roaming around.

Laura said...

Thank you for talking. I find myself afraid to say anything, because I feel I know so little, and yet, if I don't speak up, how will I ever get correction? I read the Wikipedia article about Sami Al Arian. It reminded me of something I read about a Muslim scholar from Europe (can't think of his name now) who studied the motivations and Jihad-related arguments used by terrorists. He was accused of supporting the terrorists, and apparently nobody was listening when he said, "to explain is not to justify." At the time I was reading, he had been banned from the U.S. - a top scholar who probably had some of the best information available to help people in the U.S. understand what is at the root of these terrorist acts.

I'm trying to understand. But I also want to make sure I understand where the anti-Muslim talk is coming from. To me the most unsettling part of the SDA article was the section arguing that the fanatics rule Islam at this time in history. I have no way of knowing whether there is any truth in this. "It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque." How much of this is happening? And if it is, at what point does the responsibility spill over to the rest of us, to get it stopped?

From your comment at Maison Madcap - "I won't hold you responsible for...Dobson" - but maybe you should. I do some things in a small way, within my own church, to challenge those who bring fundamentalist songs for worship and help them to hear the exclusion that is implicit in those songs. I choose music for worship carefully, and sometimes I write my own because there is so little that seems to reflect the inclusive theology of the United Church. But these little things I do - are they enough? I don't know.

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Laura, Yes Salafis do take over the mosques. It's a really bad problem.

Who has the money that is funding all of the literature, madrasas (Islamic schools), Imams, etc.???? Saudi. Period.

They have BIG MONEY, so they send their brand, (of what they say is Islam) all over the world.

It's like fighting a tidal wave.

I guess this subject could be an entire blog posting. Inshallah I'll address it.