Is History Repeating Itself?

I just finished a book called Winston Churchill – The Wilderness Years: Speaking out Against Hitler in the Prelude to War. The term "wilderness years" refers to the span between 1929 and 1939 when Churchill was warning people about the danger of Naziism while the leaders of the UK, France, and the US were all busy disarming.

They were disarming because they thought since they had disarmed Germany (with the Treaty of Versaille), it was only fair for the rest of them to disarm too. That way, they thought, another cataclysmic war could not happen. The US, the UK, France, Russia, and others were drafting mutual agreements to destroy their own armaments, limit military service, restrict the size of their air forces, etc. Meanwhile, the Nazis ignored the Treaty and were furiously building their war capability in secret.

Churchill spoke out against universal disarmament, and he fell out of favor with the public and with his fellow politicians. He could see that the Nazis were militant, imperialistic and supremacist, and everyone could see they were gaining power in Germany. Churchill thought that disarming was the last thing the non-Germans should do. But almost everyone but Churchill felt that the first World War was so horrible that war must never happen again. Within this "logic," making weapons and building armies would be going in the wrong direction. It was considered "a provocation and a danger."

Before 1929, Churchill had been a successful, well-known and greatly respected politician. From 1929 until WW2 started, he was no longer popular with political leaders. He was labeled a "scaremonger," and in 1934 in the German press, Churchill was dismissed as "an incorrigible Germanophobe."

People in high office, including the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, believed Churchill's criticism of the Nazis made the Nazis more hostile. They thought Churchill saying that the Nazis were dangerous would push the Nazis to war. They just wanted Churchill to stop talking and go away.

This all seems so similar to what is happening today with what is known as the counterjihad movement. The parallels are startling. The movement has several modern day Winston Churchills (and in fact, there were more people than only Churchill speaking out in his day too), but most prominent politician in the movement is Geert Wilders. And the majority of today's European political leaders want Wilders to stop talking and go away too.

Churchill reached out to the general public, through newspapers and radio, just as Wilders is doing now. In The Wilderness Years, the author, Martin Gilbert, wrote:

Churchill sought in his regular newspaper articles to point out the dangers of disarmament to the general public; a public which was attracted by what Churchill believed to be the misguided and over simple appeal of the Disarmament Conferences at Geneva. In one such article he warned that the horror of war meant that people were now inclined to grasp at unrealistic platitudes, and to accuse those who warned of the true situation of "warmongering."

Hostility and violence are so horrible, people (then and now) are inclined to grasp at "unrealistic platitudes." In our day, for example, platitudes like, "Islam is a religion of peace" and "What these people have done in the name of Islam is not really Islam."

Churchill had such a grasp of the situation that he was constantly predicting what would happen, and it all came to pass just as he predicted, one thing after another. For example, many years before WW2 began, back in 1932, Churchill said this to the House of Commons:

All these bands of sturdy Teutonic youths, marching through the streets and roads of Germany, with the light of desire in their eyes to suffer for their Fatherland, are not looking for status. They are looking for weapons and, when they have the weapons, believe me they will then ask for the return of the lost territories and lost colonies, and when that demand is made, it cannot fail to shake and possibly shatter to their foundations every one of the countries I have mentioned (France, Belgium, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia) and some other countries I have not mentioned...

There were two main reasons Churchill was so accurate in his predictions: First, he knew a lot about the history of war. And second, he was willing to look. Most leaders of his day (and their constituents) didn't want war, so they didn't want it to be true that Hitler intended to start a war, so they didn't investigate to see if he was or not. They looked instead for evidence that would justify a more comforting idea: Peace between Germany and the rest of the world.

And the British, French, and American leaders (and their constituents) of today may be doing something similar about the threat posed by people motivated by Islamic doctrine. Few people are aware of the scale of the violence against non-Muslims (including 24,831 deadly terrorist attacks in the name of Islam since 9/11). And perhaps it is for the same reason: They really don't want it to be true. It is negative. It's depressing. And if it doesn't turn out to be a real threat, they didn't waste any of their time on it.

Churchill urged the political leaders of his day to "tell the truth to the British people, they are a tough people and a robust people." And he said he couldn't remember a time "when the gap between the kind of words which statesmen used and what was actually happening in many countries was so great as it is now. The habit of saying smooth things and uttering pious platitudes and sentiments to gain applause, without relation to the underlying facts, is more pronounced now than it has ever been..."

The author, Martin Gilbert, wrote that Churchill's speech held the House of Commons spellbound, but "the warnings with which is was laced seemed to many MPs (Members of Parliament) to be far-fetched and alarmist." Counterjihadists are accused of the same thing. Hitler must have been so pleased to see Churchill marginalized and ignored. "Even after the rise of Hitler," writes Gilbert, "even after his strident demands for arms and for territory, the Disarmament Conference had remained in session with Nazi German delegates sitting as bemused observers." I imagine many Jihadist leaders today must be just as bemused when world leaders from free countries assert so emphatically that Islam means peace after every deadly shooting or bombing by a Muslim shouting allahu akbar.

Even as late as June 1935, in a ballot organized by the League of Nations Union, votes in favor of universal disarmament outnumbered votes against.

"We ought not to deal in humbug." said Churchill. "It is no kindness to this country to stir up and pay all this lip service in the region of unrealities, and get a cheap cheer because you have said something which has not ruffled anyone..."

Churchill said that all the "soothing-syrup" talk was dangerous because "unless the people know the truth, one day they are going to have a very surprising awakening." Gilbert writes:

Despite his political and Parliamentary isolation, Churchill determined to fight the apathy which he believed had been created by a combination of active German propaganda and British Government weakness. He resolved to use his considerable powers — of speech and expression — to try to avert the catastrophe to civilization which in his view would be inevitable if Nazi dictatorship were allowed to dominate Europe.

That is what counterjihadists are trying to do: Counter the apathy, brought on by Muslim propaganda and the weakness of our political leaders, to avert the catastrophe that would be inevitable if unrestricted Muslim immigration and concessions to Muslim pressure to Islamize our countries is allowed to continue.

Gilbert writes, "Churchill's forecasts were the opposite of exaggerated, as events were to show. But these forecasts were widely dismissed as alarmist." Not entirely, however. There were others besides Churchill who understood. One was the head of the Central Department of the Foreign Office, Ralph Wigram, who wrote a memorandum in 1934 detailing the growing military capability of Germany and what it would mean. One of his comments reminded me of Raymond Ibrahim's Rule of Numbers: Wigram warned that if Germany's growing strength were allowed to continue, they would feel themselves "sufficiently armed to secure compliance" with their demands. "Instead of emitting protests and airing grievances," wrote Wigram, "Germany will make demands and assert rights."

Ibrahim says that as the percentage of Muslims increases within a country, they display more openly Islamic behavior. In other words, they transition from emitting protests and airing grievances to making demands and asserting rights. And organizing displays of unity and strength. And rioting. And even killing.

Wigram and Churchill were in close communication. They knew that the general public was not aware of the danger they were in. Wigram said, in an internal Foreign Office note that the main problem was how to "grapple with 15 years of 'unreality.'" The people in charge, the people who should have known better, had been trying to keep the public unaware of the growing threat of the Nazis — ignoring it, downplaying it, and lying about it.

Counterjihadists think we're in the same boat today. When they talk to their friends and family about the dedicated followers of Islamic doctrine, they say they have to grapple with 15 years (or more) of unreality. In a debate in the House of Commons in May 1935, Churchill laid out the problem facing all of us. Gilbert writes:

During the debate, Churchill told his fellow MPs: "When the situation was manageable, it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply, too late, the remedies which then might have effected a cure." There was, he added, nothing new in that story: it was as old as the Sibylline books of classical legend. It fell into what Churchill now called "that long dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience, and the confirmed unteachability of mankind."

Angered that his warnings, as well as his suggestions in 1933 and 1934, had been dismissed as alarmist and ignored until too late, Churchill told the House of Commons: "Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong, these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history."

Churchill ended his speech, however, with words which foreshadowed his oratory of the Second World War, telling the House of Commons: "Never must we despair, never must we give in, but we must face facts and draw true conclusions from them."

As bleak as Churchill's recounting of history seems, he still kept speaking up. If he hadn't, things would have been much worse. The same counsel informs counterjihadists today. The admission that history repeats itself is not considered permission to give up on the goal. They keep speaking up and they keep supporting people like Geert Wilders and Bill Maher, who speak boldly in public about what is considered by most people to be a taboo subject: The central role of Islamic doctrine in most of the world's violence.

In an article published in 1935, Churchill tried to draw the public's attention to the content of Adolf Hitler's book, Mein Kampf. He referred to the "ferocious doctrines" of Naziism and the way these doctrines were applied "with brutal vigour."

And while the politicians were still arguing with Churchill, the general public had begun to awaken. Even as he grew more unpopular with politicians, Churchill became increasingly popular with British, American, and French citizens. Just as is happening today with Geert Wilders.

In Germany, the government officially protested Churchill's vilification of their leader. The British Ambassador reported from Berlin that the tone of Churchill's article was strongly resented by the German officials. Given what the Nazis were already doing (breaking international treaties, persecuting Jews, killing dissenters, etc.), it seems amazing that they would have the gall to officially protest, but don't we see the same arrogance from many fundamentalist Muslim leaders today? The nature of supremacism prevents a healthy concern for basic human standards or the opinions of others. The Nazi doctrines said Aryans were better than other people, just as Islamic doctrines say Muslims are better than anyone else. This perceived superiority creates an arrogance that is hard to fathom by the rest of us.

In March of 1936, three years before WW2 started, German troops crossed into the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland and occupied its towns. Hitler accompanied this treaty violation with a proposal for a non-aggression pact. Hitler's proposal, said Churchill, "provided comfort for everyone on both sides of the Atlantic who wanted to be humbugged."

Because of the general attitude of appeasement by the British toward the Nazi expansion, Wigram and Churchill knew what would inevitably happen. Wigram's wife wrote to Churchill that when her husband saw the news of the occupation of the Rhineland and the weak response of the British government, he "sat down in a corner of the room where he had never sat before, and said to me, 'War is now inevitable, and it will be the most terrible war there has ever been...All my work these many years has been no use. I am a failure. I have failed to make the people here (in Britain) realize what is at stake...I have not been able to make the people here understand."

Meanwhile, the French, British and American people didn't know what to make of Germany's growing militancy and were given very little information from their governments, so a group of concerned citizens formed a grassroots organization to fill that void, and they wanted Churchill involved. He readily agreed. Their goal was to educate the public about Naziism. Their slogan was simple: "Nazi Germany is the enemy of civilization."

At a meeting of the Anti-Nazi Council a month later, Churchill gave a speech and urged the members to include everyone, from "the humblest workman" to "the most bellicose colonel" so they could (and must) all work together to resist Nazi aggression. Churchill embarked on a speaking campaign to get the message across.

Churchill's cousin, Lord Londonderry, criticized him for his "anti-German obsession." Counterjihadists often have family members who think they have an anti-Muslim obsession.

In a speech in 1936, Churchill spoke to his constituents. As Gilbert writes:

"I have done my best," he said, "during the last three years and more to give timely warning of what was happening abroad, and of the dangerous plight into which we were being led or lulled." It had not, Churchill said, been "a pleasant task. It has certainly been a very thankless task." It had, he said, brought him into conflict "with many former friends and colleagues." He had been "mocked and censured as a scare-monger and even as a warmonger, by those whose complacency and inertia have brought us all nearer to war and war nearer to us all."

The same kind of mocking and censure is leveled at counterjihads today. Especially in the media. To someone trying to get accurate information about Islamic doctrine into the public mind, the media, by and large, seems determined to prevent it.

That was also true in Churchill's time. The editor of The Times (one of the major British newspapers) wrote in a private letter to a friend in 1937 that he was distressed that the Germans didn't seem to like him. "I spend my nights in taking out anything which I think will hurt their susceptibilities, and in dropping in little things which are intended to soothe them."

Today, many media outlets behave as if they're trying to get Muslims to like them. For some it is undoubtedly simply because they don't want to be a victim of Muslim violence, but many are sincere and believe that Muslims are unfairly criticized and blamed. So the modern media drops in little things intended to soothe Muslims.

Counterjihadists have a different goal. So did Churchill: He was trying to warn his fellow British citizens of the dangers of Naziism. And he was vilified in the German press as an enemy of Germany. "I can quite understand," said Churchill, "that this action of mine would not be popular in Germany. Indeed, it was not popular anywhere." Counterjihadists working to warn their fellow non-Muslims about the danger of Islam's political doctrines do not feel their actions are popular either.

It's hard to believe, but even as late as 1937 there was a strong and growing pro-German feeling in Britain, even after Hitler took possession of the Rhineland. People were confused. They didn't know what to think. German propaganda was working and people were thinking maybe if they let Hitler have what he wanted (Austria and Czechoslovakia) Hitler would then be peaceful and cause no more trouble.

Churchill did his best to combat these mistaken notions. In 1937 alone, he wrote and published more than 100 articles. "Churchill had no intention," wrote Gilbert, "of giving up his faith in the eventual re-emergence of Britain's will to resist." His articles were being syndicated and read throughout Europe and America.

Several of Churchill's closest friends disagreed with his "negative" point of view about Naziism. They believed Hitler wanted to be friends with Britain and would cooperate in peace. Churchill knew better. Hitler had written and published his intentions years before (in his book, Mein Kampf). And all his actions demonstrated that he meant what he wrote.

People who met Hitler personally were quite sure they understood him and knew he was sincere and wanted peace. And today, people often say, "I know Islam is peaceful because I know this Muslim and he's really nice." As if charm and good people skills cannot exist in someone with destructive intentions or in someone who believes in a supremacist political ideology. Hitler didn't drink and didn't smoke. He was kind to his valet and some people who knew him well loved him. And he also started a world war and deliberately tried to exterminate an entire race.

March 12, 1938, German troops invaded Austria. Eight months later, Neville Chamberlain and his Cabinet were still trying to make friends with Germany, and Churchill was "in danger of losing even his own Parliamentary seat," writes Gilbert, "for inside his local Conservative constituency, pressure had been growing to replace him with someone who would support Chamberlain. Even one of Churchill's oldest constituency stalwarts was disturbed by Churchill's speech during the Munich debate, complaining that it was believed to have broken up 'the harmony of the House.' On 4 December 1938 Churchill was forced to defend himself when Colin Thornton-Kemsley, hitherto one of Churchill's staunchest constituency supporters attacked him, and strongly defended Chamberlain's policy of seeking friendship with Germany."

In February 1939 Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of Britain, wrote to his sister that he felt lighthearted because things were moving in the direction he wanted: toward disarmament. A month later he told press correspondents that Europe was now "settling down to a period of tranquility." Britain and France had agreed to allow Germany to occupy part of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain was confident that everyone would now be able to live in peace. Four days after Chamberlain's comments to the press, Hitler ordered his troops to mass on the borders of what was left of Czechoslovakia. A few days later, Germany had full control of the Czech capital.

Was this, wondered Chamberlain aloud, an attempt to "dominate the world by force?" Had he bothered to read Mein Kampf, he wouldn't be wondering and history may have unfolded quite differently. Every time Muslims today blow up a subway or massacre cartoonists, more and more people wonder, "is this an attempt to dominate the world by force?" If they had read the Koran, they wouldn't have to wonder either.

The Germans couldn't believe that Churchill was excluded from the British government. Hitler's Financial Secretary, Count Schwerin von Krosigk, who apparently didn't like where his country was headed, told two British diplomats, "Take Winston Churchill into the Cabinet. Churchill is the only Englishman Hitler is afraid of." Writes Gilbert:

The mere fact of giving Churchill a Ministerial post, von Krosigk added, would convince Hitler that Britain really means "to stand up to him." An account of this conversation was also sent to Lord Halifax with the observation that Churchill's inclusion in the Cabinet might actually avert war as Hitler would realize Britain meant to resist further aggression.

Isn't that interesting? Churchill was no longer a soldier. He didn't command armies. He wasn't even a member of the Cabinet. All he did was speak and write. And he was the only Englishman Hitler feared. Why? He was willing to see the truth. Counterjihadists, by and large, are not trying to start World War Three. They are simply trying to show people the facts. They believe if enough people knew the facts, a lot of suffering could be prevented. Someone who sees the real situation is not fooled and makes saner decisions. That's why Hitler feared Churchill.

Finally, unable to avoid the facts any longer, Britain signed a formal Treaty of Alliance with Poland, which said if Poland was attacked, Britain would defend her. Shortly after that, on September 1st, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Two days later, Britain declared war on Germany and World War Two began. That day in the House of Commons, Winston Churchill addressed the MPs. Gilbert writes that even though Churchill had been a "backbencher, out of office, and out of favor for the past decade...all those who listened to him recognized the voice of a man of stature, and of integrity...the wilderness years were over."

Churchill always knew that WW2 could have been prevented if people had listened. He considered his rise to Prime Minister as a failure. If he had been successful in his efforts, the war would have been prevented and he wouldn't have been needed as Prime Minister.

But his efforts were not wasted. What Churchill and Wigram achieved, as Gilbert put it, "was a gradual and total acceptance by the British people that Hitlerism was evil and would ultimately have to be resisted."

Thanks in part to new ways of communication (the internet, blogging, social media), the counterislamization movement may ultimately be more successful than the counterhitlerism movement was. For all our sakes, I certainly hope so.

What Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin Discovered About Islam That Changed the Course of American History

"After winning its independence from England," says Keith Farrell, "American vessels no longer enjoyed British protection. France, dismayed that the US would not aid it in its war against England, also ceased protection of American ships. The result led to American vessels being raided and plundered by Muslim pirates from the Barbary Coast.

"After agreeing to pay 10% of the new nation's dismal GDP in exchange for passage, attacks continued. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin were sent as representatives to mediate the problem. It was there that they discovered that the Islamic law the pirates followed made it their duty to attack non-Muslims.

"'The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise,' Jefferson wrote to Secretary of State John Jay, explaining peace was not possible.

"Ben Franklin wrote of his experience: 'Nor can the Plundering of Infidels be in that sacred Book (the Qur’an) forbidden, since it is well known from it, that God has given the World, and all that it contains, to his faithful Mussulmen, who are to enjoy it of Right as fast as they conquer it.'

"John Adams, in his report to Jay, wrote of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, and called him a 'military fanatic' who 'denies that laws were made for him; he arrogates everything to himself by force of arms.'

"By the time Jefferson became president the Barbary coast was extorting 25% of US GDP and attacks were still occurring. Jefferson wasted no time in signing a war powers request which launched the US’s entire naval fleet to wage war on the Barbary pirates. Jefferson saw the fleet off, ordering the US sailors to chase the pirates all the way to Tripoli, giving rise to the famed verse from the US Marines’ anthem."

Read Keith Farrell's article in its entirety here: What The Founders Thought About Islam, In Their Own Words.

The Fascinating Relationship Between Nazis and the Islamic World During World War Two

In the prestigious magazine, The Wilson Quarterly, David Motadel, a Research Fellow in History at the University of Cambridge, wrote an article well worth reading entitled, The Swastika and the Crescent. You'll find some excerpts below. (The photograph here is Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, reviewing German troops in Berlin, where al-Husseini lived as Hitler's VIP guest from 1941 to 1945.)

Here are some excerpts from the article:

In 1941, with German troops fighting in North Africa and advancing toward the Middle East, policymakers in Berlin began considering the strategic role of Islam more systematically. In November, German diplomat Eberhard von Stohrer wrote a memo asserting that the Muslim world would soon become important to the overall war. After the defeat of France, he wrote, Germany had gained an “outstanding position” and won sympathy “in the eyes of the Muslims” by fighting Britain, “the suppressor of wide-reaching Islamic areas.” Convinced that Nazi ideology was aligned with “many Islamic principles,” Stohrer claimed that in the Muslim world, Hitler already held a “a pre-eminent position because of his fight against Judaism.” He suggested that there should be “an extensive Islam program,” including a statement about the “general attitude of the Third Reich toward Islam.”

In the following months, as more and more officials in Berlin became convinced of such a scheme, Nazi Germany made significant attempts to promote an alliance with the ‘Muslim world’ against their alleged common enemies: the British Empire, the Soviet Union, America, and the Jews. This policy was first targeted at the populations in North Africa and the Middle East, but was soon expanded toward Muslims in the Balkans and the Soviet Union. In the end, almost all parts of the regime, from the Foreign Office and the Propaganda Ministry to the Wehrmacht and the SS, became involved in the efforts to promote Germany’s as a patron and liberator of Islam.

.....

After inquiries from the Turkish embassy, which was concerned about legal discrimination against Turks and German citizens of Turkish descent, German authorities issued an internal decree: Turkey was part of Europe; other Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt and Iran, could not claim to be European. This statement soon leaked to the foreign press, and on June 14, 1936, Le Temps reported that Berlin had decided to exempt Turks from the Nuremberg laws, while Iranians, Egyptians, and Iraqis were considered “non-Aryan.” In the coming days, similar articles caused an uproar among Iranian and Egyptian officials.

At once, the German Foreign Office issued a press release stating that the reports were unfounded. The Egyptian and Iranian ambassadors were assured that the Nuremberg laws targeted only Jews. Whereas the Egyptian ambassador had merely requested clarification that Egyptians were not targeted by German racial laws, Tehran’s ambassador demanded a clear statement that Iranians were considered racially related to the Germans. A year earlier, Riza Shah had ordered that his country be called “Iran” instead of “Persia” in international affairs — the name “Iran” is a cognate of “Aryan” and refers to the “Land of the Aryans” — and Iranian officials made no secret that they believed this term useful given that “some countries pride themselves on being Aryan.”

.....

A number of high-ranking Nazis expressed their sympathy for Islam. Perhaps most fascinated with the faith — and enthusiastic about what he believed to be an affinity between Nazism and Islam — was Heinrich Himmler. Recounting a meeting between Himmler and Hitler in Berlin in February 1943, Edmund Glaise von Horstenau, a Wehrmacht general, noted that Himmler had expressed his disdain for Christianity, while finding Islam “very admirable.” A few months later, Himmler would again “speak about the heroic character of the Mohammedan religion, while expressing his disdain for Christianity, and especially Catholicism,” wrote Horstenau.

.....

Himmler, who had left the Catholic Church in 1936, bemoaned that Christianity made no promises to soldiers who died in battle, no reward for bravery. Islam, by contrast, was “a religion of people’s soldiers,” a practical faith that provided believers with guidance for everyday life. Himmler, convinced that Muhammad was one of the greatest men in history, had apparently collected biographies of the Prophet, and hoped to visit Muslim countries and continue his studies after the war was won. In discussions with Haj Amin al-Husayni, the legendary Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who sided with the Axis and moved to Berlin in 1941, from where he called for holy war against the Allies, Himmler lamented the failed invasions by Islamic forces in centuries past which, he said, “depriv[ed] Europe of the flourishing spiritual light and civilization of Islam.”

Hitler showed himself equally fascinated with Islam. After the war, Eva Braun’s sister, Ilse, remembered his frequent discussions on the topic, repeatedly comparing Islam with Christianity in order to devalue the latter. In contrast to Islam, which he saw as a strong and practical faith, he described Christianity as a soft, artificial, weak religion of suffering. Islam was a religion of the here and now, Hitler told his entourage, while Christianity was a religion of a kingdom yet to come — one that was deeply unattractive, compared to the paradise promised by Islam.

For Hitler, religion was a means of supporting human life on earth practically and not an end in itself. “The precepts ordering people to wash, to avoid certain drinks, to fast at appointed dates, to take exercise, to rise with the sun, to climb to the top of the minaret — all these were obligations invented by intelligent people,” he remarked in October 1941 in the presence of Himmler. “The exhortation to fight courageously is also self-explanatory. Observe, by the way, that, as a corollary, the Mussulman [sic] was promised a paradise peopled with houris, where wine flowed in streams — a real earthly paradise,” he enthused. “The Christians, on the other hand, declare themselves satisfied if after their death they are allowed to sing Hallelujahs!”

.....

Reflecting on history, he (Hitler) described the Islamic reign on the Iberian peninsula as the “most cultured, the most intellectual and in every way best and happiest epoch in Spanish history,” one that was “followed by the period of the persecutions with its unceasing atrocities.”

Hitler expressed this view repeatedly. After the war, Albert Speer remembered that Hitler had been much impressed by a historical interpretation he had learned from some distinguished Muslims:

When the Mohammedans attempted to penetrate beyond France into Central Europe during the eighth century, his visitors had told him [Hitler], they had been driven back at the Battle of Tours. Had the Arabs won this battle, the world would be Mohammedan today. For theirs was a religion that believed in spreading the faith by the sword and subjugating all nations to that faith. The Germanic peoples would have become heirs to that religion. Such a creed was perfectly suited to the Germanic temperament. 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 and conditions of the country. They could not have kept down the more vigorous native, so that ultimately not Arabs but Islamized Germans could have stood at the head of this Mohammedan Empire.

While Hitler did not perceive Islam as a “Semitic” religion, the race of its followers remained a silent but persistent problem. To be sure, our knowledge of the ideas about Islam that circulated within the Nazi elite mostly comes from memoirs and postwar testimonies, which must be read with caution. Nonetheless, these accounts draw a remarkably coherent picture of the ideological notions prevalent among the higher echelons of the regime.

Throughout the war years, the Propaganda Ministry repeatedly instructed the press to promote a positive image of Islam. Urging journalists to give credit to the “Islamic world as a cultural factor,” Goebbels in autumn 1942 instructed magazines to discard negative images of Islam, which had been spread by church polemicists for centuries, and instead to promote an alliance with the Islamic world, which was described as both anti-Bolshevik and anti-Jewish. References to similarities between Jews and Muslims, as manifested in the ban of pork and the ritual circumcision, were to be avoided. In the coming months, the Propaganda Ministry decreed that magazines should depict the U.S. as “the enemies of Islam” and stress American and British hostility toward the Muslim religion.

In September 1943, the Nazi Party explicitly stated that it accepted members who were “followers of Islam,” emphasizing that as the party accepted Christians as members, there was no reason to exclude Muslims.

As German troops marched into Muslim-populated war zones in North Africa, the Balkans, and the borderlands of the Soviet Union, German authorities on the ground frequently considered Islam to be of political importance. As early as 1941, the Wehrmacht distributed the military handbook Der Islam to train the troops to behave correctly towards Muslim populations. On the Eastern front, in the Caucasus and in the Crimea, the Germans ordered the rebuilding of mosques and madrasas previously dismantled by Moscow, and the re-establishment of religious rituals and celebrations, with the intention of undermining Soviet rule. German military officials also made extensive efforts to co-opt religious dignitaries in the Eastern territories, the Balkans, and North Africa. Nazi propagandists in these areas tried to use religious rhetoric, vocabulary, and iconography to mobilize Muslims against Germany’s enemies. Perhaps the most important part of this policy was the recruitment of Muslims into the German armies.

In the autumn of 1941, after the failure of Operation Barbarossa and Hitler’s blitzkrieg strategy in the East, Hitler’s military command was confronted with a drastic shortage of manpower. By the end of November 1941, Berlin had registered 743,112 men as dead, wounded, or missing in action — almost a quarter of their entire eastern army. German soldiers, it became clear, could not win the war alone.

In late 1941, the Wehrmacht began recruiting among prisoners of war and the civilian populations in its eastern occupied territories. Azerbaijanis, Turkestanis, Kalmyks, Ukrainians, Georgians, Armenians, and various others fought as part of the Wehrmacht’s so-called Eastern Troops. In mid-1943, the Eastern Troops numbered more than 300,000; a year later, that number had doubled, the vast majority were non-Slavic minorities from the southern fringes of the Soviet empire, and many thousands of them were Muslims from the Caucasus, the Crimea, the Volga-Ural region, and Central Asia. At the same time, Himmler began enlisting non-Germans into the Waffen-SS, first West and North Europeans and later non-Germanic peoples, among them Muslims from Bosnia, Herzegovina, Albania, and from the Soviet Union. It became one of the greatest mobilization campaigns of Muslims led by a non-Muslim power in history.

This recruitment campaign was not the result of long-term strategy, but a consequence of the shift toward short-term planning after the failure of the Barbarossa plan. Most of the recruits were driven by material interests. For many of the Muslim volunteers from the Soviet Union who were recruited in prisoner of war camps, a significant incentive was the prospect of pay and better provisions — fighting for the Germans was an attractive prospect compared to the appalling conditions of the camps. Others, most notably Muslim recruits from the civilian population in the Balkans and the Crimea, hoped to protect their families and villages from partisans. Some were driven into the German ranks by ideology, nationalism, religious hatred, and anti-Bolshevism. Under the banner of the swastika, the volunteers believed that they would be supporting the fight against Bolshevism or British imperialism and for the liberation of their countries from foreign rule. The Germans, for their part, did everything they could to play up the potential ideological motives of their foreign helpers.

In January 1944, Himmler greeted a group of Bosnian Muslim military commanders in Silesia. “What is there to separate the Muslims in Europe and around the world from us Germans? We have common aims. There is no more solid basis for cooperation than common aims and common ideals. For 200 years, Germany has not had the slightest conflict with Islam.” Germany had been friends with Islam, Himmler declared, not just for pragmatic reasons but out of conviction. God — “you say Allah, it is the same” — had sent the F├╝hrer, who would first free Europe and then the entire world of the Jews. The head of the SS then evoked alleged common enemies — “the Bolsheviks, England, America, all constantly driven by the Jew.”

German army officials granted their Muslim recruits a wide range of concessions, taking into account the Islamic calendar and religious laws such as ritual slaughter. A prominent role in the units was played by military imams, who were responsible not only for spiritual care but also for political indoctrination. They were educated at special imam courses, which the Wehrmacht and the SS established in Potsdam, G├Âttingen, Guben, and Dresden.

Initiated primarily to save German blood and balance the drastic shortage of manpower, the commands of the Wehrmacht and the SS also saw a propagandistic value of non-German units, which they hoped would damage the morale in the enemy’s armies and hinterland. German officials insisted that once these units were deployed, they would win over broader Islamic support — showing, in the words of one internal SS report, the “entire Mohammedan world” that the Third Reich was ready to confront the “common enemies of National Socialism and Islam.” This misconception — this notion that Islam was a monolith that need only be activated — dominated the views of the Nazi leadership.

In the end, Muslim units were employed in Stalingrad, Warsaw, and Milan, and in the defense of Berlin.

Read the whole article here: The Swastika and the Crescent.

Why the .45 Caliber 1911 Was Invented

The .45 caliber 1911 semiautomatic pistol was created to stop Islamic warriors. From 1902 until 1913, the United States fought a war with the "Moro Warriors" in the Philippines. These Islamic warriors were named "Moros" by the Spanish. Their unstoppability was legendary. "In one instance," writes Robert Boatman, "a Moro warrior received 14 bullet wounds in five minutes, three of which penetrated his brain, and yet he fought on."

At the time, the U.S. soldiers were using .38 caliber pistols, which were unable to stop the Moros, so in 1906, they began testing different handguns to find something better.

In 1911, they chose the .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol. It had enough stopping power to kill even a Moro warrior with one shot.

Read more about this interesting piece of history here, here and here.

Why Does the Great Pyramid of Giza Look Unfinished?

The Great Pyramid of Giza was once covered by a smooth, beautifully polished layer of white stone. This outer layer was removed after Egypt was conquered by Islamic armies. The new Muslim inhabitants used the white stone to build mosques and palaces, leaving the ancient pyramids with their somewhat unfinished appearance.

The physicist, John Zajac, wrote: "This protective covering was made up of...hard, white limestone, similar to marble but superior in hardness and in durability against the elements...The casing stones, 144,000 in all, were so brilliant that they could literally be seen from the mountains of Israel hundreds of miles away...The people of the area had viewed the pyramid and its polished stones with awe for centuries. But when a 13th century earthquake loosened some of these casing stones, the Arabs recognized a great quarry of pre-cut stones that could be used to finish off palaces and mosques. For instance, the casing stones were used to rebuild the new city of El Kaherah plus Cairo mosques and palaces, including the Mosque of Sultan Hasan."

Historically, this is standard Islamic operating procedure. Wherever Islam has established itself throughout the world, it has destroyed or defaced monuments that represented the previous (conquered) culture and replaced it with Islamic structures and mosques. Afghanistan used to be Buddhist. Turkey used to be Christian. Pakistan used to be Hindu. The former cultures and any symbols of them were annihilated and replaced by Islamic culture.

Why the New World Was Discovered

Christopher Columbus ran into the American continent while he was looking for a new trade route to China and India. But why was he looking for a trade route?

During Islam's Second Jihad, Muslim forces invaded Central Asia and defeated Constantinople in 1453, cutting off the overland route for Europeans. Islamic armies continued their jihad northward, and conquered much of what is now Eastern Europe, until they were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683.

Europe had been trading with the Far East for centuries, and their old overland route now went through territory that was hostile and dangerous to anybody but Muslims. The economy of Europe was threatened with ruin.

So, in 1492 (the year the Moors were defeated, ending the 780-year Muslim occupation of Spain) Columbus set off to find a passage to the Far East (financed by Spain) by boldly sailing West into the unknown. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

What he discovered changed the world.