By Richard Mather…
When Muslim activists appropriate the Judenstern, which is the yellow star or badge made infamous by the Nazis, one has to wonder whether there is any end to the moral decrepitude of such people. The most recent example is an American Muslim by the name of Rose Hamid, an anti-Israel activist, who attended a Donald Trump rally wearing a yellow star; but instead of “Jude,” the star featured the word “Muslim.” And last year, Bahar Davary, an Iranian American academic, distributed around one hundred yellow Stars of David marked with the word “Muslim” to her students. Apparently, it didn’t occur to any of these people that wearing a yellow Jews’ star is a gross insult to the victims of the Holocaust. Nor did they see the irony that it is Muslim fanatics who are today’s great discriminators.
It is a total absurdity for Muslims in America or any other Western nation to portray themselves as victims of discrimination. Real victims are not pampered Muslim students bewailing the lack of “safe space” on campuses. No, the real victims of discrimination are Yazidis sold into sex slavery; or Jews, Christians and Parisian nightclub-goers slaughtered by Islamist fanatics who kill in the name of Allah. And it is not just American Muslims who aspire to victimhood. Muslims in Britain, Europe, Israel, Australia, and just about everywhere else, claim they are the victims of anti-terror laws, media slurs and political discrimination. Islamist fanatics are even more upset. Western democratic ideals are apparently inimical to their idea of true justice, which is the brutality of Sharia law.
The statistics do not support the oft-repeated claims that Muslims in the West are being persecuted. In fact, statistics show that Jews in countries like Britain, France and the US are much more likely to be victims of racial or religiously-motivated hatred than Muslims. Indeed, Muslims are only infrequently on the receiving end of attacks. Even when the newspapers are full of stories about terrorist atrocities in France and sex attacks in Cologne, people are remarkably tolerant of their Muslim neighbors and co-workers. Far from being persecuted, Muslims are treated very kindly indeed. It’s a bit rich for Muslims to claim they are victims when they are treated so well by their host societies and when their co-religionists are facilitating anti-Semitism, terrorism, sexual molestation and wanton destruction.
True, there is some hostility towards Muslims in the West. But as the figures show, the numbers are very low. And as Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, points out, “Any existing hostility toward Muslims is based on rational truths – that most terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims in the name of Islam; twenty-six per cent of young US Muslims support suicide bombings; large percentages support Isis, al-Qaida and Hamas; large percentages support Islamic law to be the law of the land; and large percentages are hostile to Jews, Christians, and gays.”
In other words, Islamophobia is mostly justified because it is a social anxiety triggered by the fear of being blown up, molested, attacked or subjugated by Sharia. Islamophobia is not the same as racism, which is an abhorrent prejudice directed at someone just because they come from a particular race, country or have a particular skin color. To criticize Islamic beliefs and practices that pose a threat to civil society is not racism or bigotry. It is a rational response to a real and present danger.
When Muslims don the yellow star, they overlook the fact that Jews never chose to wear the Judenstern. The yellow badge and similar symbols were forced upon them – and not just by the Nazis. Throughout history, Christians and Muslims have marked out Jews for discrimination by making them wear a star, a patch, a particular type of clothing, or even a special cone-shaped hat.
The practice of wearing special markings in order to mark out Jews and other dhimmis was introduced by Umayyad Caliph Umar II in the early eighth century. A document from 1121 describes the situation in Baghdad: “Two badges [are to be displayed], one on the headgear and one on the neck. Furthermore, each non-Muslim must hang round his neck a piece of lead with the word dhimmi on it.”
In Christian Europe, a similar situation arose. In the year 1227, the Synod of Narbonne commanded Jews to wear an “oval badge” in “the centre of the breast.” And in 1274, Edward I of England required Jews, from the age of seven years old, to “wear a distinguishing mark on his outer garment.”
It was in the late 1930s and early 1940s that the Judenstern acquired its most sinister reputation. In late 1939, after the start of the Second World War, individual authorities enforced the wearing of the Judenstern in Nazi-occupied Poland. Over the next five years, the yellow star system was extended to Germany and most of Nazi-occupied Europe.
As Jacob D’Ancona has pointed out, throughout history the wearing of a badge or outward sign “was to shame and to make vulnerable as well as to distinguish the wearer.” By contrast, the Muslim star is the mark of the cry bully. A cry bully is an aggressor who pretends to be a victim in order to win sympathy, or more dangerously, to shut down criticism. In effect, Muslim activists and extremists are drawing a ludicrous and offensive parallel between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
Finally, the Muslim yellow star/Islamophobia phenomenon reveals something else. Unable to take pride in their own historical identity due to a cultural and political inertia that has lasted for hundreds of years, many Muslims have opted for a politically-motivated inversion of values by stealing someone else’s tragedy – the tragedy of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. So when a Muslim wears a yellow star, not only are they bewailing their victimhood and accusing everyone of Islamophobia, they are making the claim that they are the “new Jews,” and that you and I are the “new Nazis.”
This is Orwellian reversal at its worst. By appropriating the yellow star and drawing an analogy between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, such people are making a mockery of Jewish suffering and cheapening the Holocaust. Moreover, by accusing their critics of Islamophobia or fascism, they are creating a culture of fear and denial in which decent people are afraid to speak out against terrorists and extremists because of the potential backlash. All of which has very serious implications for free speech. Speak out against Islam and/or Islamist extremism and chances are someone will label you as a Nazi or a fascist. In fact, your very existence may be put into question because jihadis have a habit of murdering their critics. Ask the people who work at Charlie Hebdo or the relatives of film-maker Theodoor van Gogh, who was murdered by a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim after criticizing the treating of women in Islam.
Does being murdered or mutilated by thugs armed with machetes or Kalashnikov rifles sound like the actions of a persecuted minority? No, of course it doesn’t. If anything, it is reminiscent of the totalitarian horrors of the Soviet Union and – dare I say it – Nazism. The situation is intolerable. And it is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue because once again the future and fate of Western civilization hangs in the balance. We cannot allow ourselves to silenced or subjugated by people who are intent on destroying our hard-won values of free speech, liberty and democracy.