One of the commonest tactics of the liberal/left press is to try to brand anybody who disagrees with them as a secret Nazi. It is a cheap and emotive ploy of course.
Paranoid attacks are usually accompanied by poor-quality photographs of Adolf Hitler and dubious labelling of his National Socialist Party as "right-wing".
I call a National Socialist a socialist because that is what they are. Stalin was very keen to make a pact with Hitler before the war, seeing him as a fellow-socialist.
The laws on hate-speech and what is now called Equality and Diversity privilege a tiny minority and effectively criminalize the opinions of the mainstream.
When the horrific shootings at Toulouse took place in March, the first reaction of most of the media was to start a witch-hunt for "Nazis". The victims were Jewish, and were specifically targeted because they were Jewish. The attacker chose to go on the rampage at a Jewish school so he could be sure of finding Jewish victims. That evening, a TV discussion group dominated by Jewish and left-wing observers, agreed that the danger was coming from "right-wing extremists". They pointed a finger at those in Europe who were resisting the march of Islamic fundamentalism and daring to expose what the Koran actually says. The French national party of Marine Le Pen came in for a beating.
Then, whoops! dear oh dear, it emerged that the attacker, Mohammed Merah, was a Jihadist. His motives were Islamic extremism and hatred of the West. He filmed himself carrying our the crimes so there was no doubt about his guilt. He had planned the whole episode while passing as a nice normal boy in the neighbourhood. Refusing to give himself up because he did not recognize the jurisdiction of French courts he preferred to jump out of a building and was immediately classified as a "martyr" by his fellow-jihadists all over the world. His father had the cheek to bring a complaint of racism against the police for their treatment of his son. He thought it was OK for Mohammed Merah to shoot Jews but racist for the French police to track him down.
So who are the Nazis? Those who hate Jews and non-muslims? Those who preach and carry out jihad? Or those scholars and intellectuals who simply try to educate the wider public about the dangers?
Surely to try to demonize the latter is counter-productive.
Some of the leading lights of the intellectual world have tried to give warnings but they are not yet being listened to. Richard Dawkins is one of the most respected scientists in the world and Sir Salman Rushdie is at the pinnacle of the humanities. He has won the Booker of Bookers Prize, for the best Booker prize-winning novel since the inception of the competition. He has also, of course, got a knighthood. Yet he has to spend his whole life in hiding because of death-threats issued over his book "The Satanic Verses".
Rushdie is not a racist, in fact he is Asian himself. He wrote The Satanic Verses out of intellectual conviction. It is terrible that he has to remain in hiding with police protection even now. We should be worrying about that sort of bigotry - not about confused cries of "Nazis in our midst!"
Lenten Meditations: Saturday 25 March
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