Quoting from Simon Wiesenthal's famous insight that the Holocaust began with words, Wahida Valiante, the vice president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, writes in the organization's weekly bulletin that "if words are warning signs…then the time for Muslims to start worrying is long past.”
In the typically overblown rhetoric of the CIC, Valiante somberly warns:
It would not be going too far to compare the North American media's fear-mongering disinformation tactics about Islam and Muslim "terrorism" and Bush's "Us" versus "Them" stance to those practiced so successfully, and with such terrible results, by Hitler on the citizens of Germany's Weimer [sic] republic.
Unsurprisingly, one need not look further than the "Zionists" to see who, in Valiante’s view, stands behind anti-Islam "fear-mongering tactics.” More notoriously still, Valiante points to the famed Islam scholar Bernard Lewis and "his co-religionist" Daniel Pipes, both of whom she accuses of following "Hitler's propaganda flawlessly.”
So how does Valiante come to such fiery accusations? In the case of Bernard Lewis, notwithstanding Edward Said's vain attempts at debunking the West's most accomplished student of Islam, a truncated quote from Bernard Lewis' 1991 essay in The Atlantic Monthly called "The Roots of Muslim Rage" apparently suffices. Of radical Islam, Lewis writes:
This is no less than a clash of civilizations-- the perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both.
For Valiante, this passage is enough to convict the West’s leading authority on Islam of channeling the Fuhrer. And yet Valiante, purporting as she does to lecture us on the intricate workings of propaganda, should know that context is everything. For the sentence immediately following Valiante's truncated quote of Lewis reads:
It is crucially important that we on our side should not be provoked into an equally historic but also equally irrational reaction against that rival.
In other words, Lewis, in evoking a "clash of civilization," merely describes radical Islam's view of the world—a Manichaean view, to be sure, which Lewis warns his fellow Westerners not to imitate. Far from calling for a "crusade" against Islam, Lewis reminds us that:
The movement nowadays called fundamentalism is not the only Islamic tradition. There are others, more tolerant, more open, that helped to inspire the great achievements of Islamic civilization in the past, and we may hope that these other traditions will in time prevail. But before this issue is decided there will be a hard struggle, in which we of the West can do little or nothing. Even the attempt might do harm, for these are issues that Muslims must decide among themselves. And in the meantime we must take great care on all sides to avoid the danger of a new era of religious wars, arising from the exacerbation of differences and the revival of ancient prejudices.
Mein Kampf this is not.
Also sitting on the bench of the accused is Daniel Pipes, perhaps the most unfairly reviled and defamed scholar of Islam today. Pipes is a pioneer in identifying radical Islamist groups operating in the USA behind facades of moderation. By unveiling Islamic front groups as promoters of an intolerant breed of Islam, dangerous to both Muslims and non Muslims alike, Pipes has incurred the wrath of Islamists who regularly malign him as an "Islamophobe," radical Islam's favorite magic word to de-legitimize its opponents.
Valiante quotes from a speech Pipes gave to the American Jewish Congress on September 21 2001:
I worry very much from the Jewish point of view that the presence, and increased stature, influence and enfranchisement of American Muslims will present true danger to American Jews.
Again, context is everything. The context in which Pipes pronounced these words, notwithstanding the immediate aftershock of 9-11, is that of the rising tide of violent anti-Semitism within Muslim populations in the West just as traditional Christian and nationalism-driven anti-Semitism are receding in Western Europe and North America. In France alone, home to Europe's largest Muslim population, several hundred violent assaults by Muslims on Jews and their institutions have been recorded since 2000. A similar trend of violent anti-Semitic incidents perpetrated by Muslims may be observed in all other Western nations where Jews and Muslims are to be found, including Canada, where, for instance, a Montreal Jewish school was firebombed in 2004 by Sleiman Elmerhebi, a young Muslim of Lebanese origin. This is to say nothing of campus intimidation of Jewish students by pro-Palestinian and Islamic groups.
Moreover, the fact that moderate Muslims in countries such as the USA and Canada are failing to establish themselves as the leaders of their respective communities is a disquieting testimony to the very real dangers evoked by Pipes, who has steadily argued that "radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution.”
All the same, Valiante libelously contends that Pipes' "formula to eliminate the 'supposed' danger' to American Jews is to ethnically cleanse America of its Muslim presence.” To her unsubstantiated—because unsubstantiable—claim, Valiante adds that "Hitler must be laughing in his grave.”
Another alleged purveyor of anti-Muslim "Hitlerian" propaganda is Canada's conservative daily, The National Post, which Valiante describes as "right-wing" to increase its identification to "far right" Nazism, one suspects. The National Post is the CIC's bête noire. Year after year, the Post ranks first as the most "anti-Islam" daily in the CIC's annual and thoroughly unscientific "Anti-Islam in the Media" report. According to its methodology, the mere use of terms such as "Muslim terrorist" or its euphemistic version "Islamic militant" is chastised as "anti-Islam".
More significantly though, the Post is owned by the Asper family, a Canadian Jewish family. Or as Valiante puts it, the National Post is "owned by the CanWest-Global conglomerate that was run by the late noted Zionist, Israel ("Izzy") Asper.” In a manner recalling the enduring libel of Jewish control over the media, Valiante writes that:
Mr. Asper labeled mainstream media's honest reporting of facts in the Occupied Territories (a rare phenomenon) as a "big lie." No wonder the CBC [Canadian public broadcaster], a publicly funded organization, has been sounding more like the National Post ever since Mr. Asper pointed out to the management their misguided belief in providing a balanced coverage of the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
And so it comes down to this. The anti-Islam bigotry allegedly disseminated by the media is made possible because Jews, or "Zionists," have so much control over the media itself. Not only over privately-owned media, but over public media as well! Or, to use a favorite word of Valiante's: the "big lie" of Jewish control over the media is preparing with words the genocide of Muslims to come.
In the strange and paranoid world of the CIC, there is no such thing as radical Islam, Islamist terrorism. There is no 9-11, no Madrid bombings, no fire-bombings of synagogues, no slaughtering of the "infidels" from Amsterdam to Karachi. Nor are there Muslim opponents of radical Islam, such as Canadians Irshad Manji and Khaleel Mohammed, Franco-Tunisian Abdelwahab Meddeb, Qatari Abdel Hamid Al-Ansari, and countless others. In the world of the CIC, there are only innocent Muslims being victimized by evil Jews.
Since Wahida Valiante is so fond of using anti-Jewish propaganda like "Mein Kampf" to attack Jews, she will surely take pleasure at the following quote:
The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.
These words are from a hadith related by al-Bukhari. Appearing in Article 7 of the Hamas Charter, they are a staple of radical Islamist ideology. It is in these words—and not the sensible critique of Islamic extremism so offensive to apologists like Wahida Valiante—that the seeds of future Holocausts are to be found.
David Ouellette is chief editor of the Canadian magazine Judeoscope (www.judeoscope.ca).