We shared with readers recently an engrossing account from Theodore Dalrymple of an event at which he and Katie Hopkins had been speaking. The fact that masked “anti-fascist” activists (dressed in black) demonstrated at the event and behaved in a very disruptive, threatening, and violent manner came as no surprise to most of us, these types of protests have become practically commonplace by now.
Something that was mentioned almost incidentally though but caught my attention was the fact that the townsfolk had also made a small protest against the speakers (well against Katie Hopkins in particular really I think we can safely assume). Quote:
When I arrived in Lewes, posters in many windows proclaimed that Lewes wanted no hate speech. A town councillor had argued that the invitation to Hopkins should be withdrawn.
I believe that in fact quite a significant percentage of the UK population sympathize with the “antifa” type protests, and feel that those who speak about problems connected with religions, immigration, and race really should be vilified and suppressed, even violently if all else fails. I believe that their thinking is in part shaped by past events, they genuinely do think they can see parallels with the rise of Nazism in particular. Those who express dissenting concerns on these subjects have long been effectively excluded from the mainstream public discourse; this has allowed misconceptions about these historical parallels to persist in the minds of many ordinary people.
Admittedly, some of Katie Hopkins’s past outbursts have rather tended to increase the perceptions of resurgent Nazism rather than dampen them. For example, her comment about a “final solution” that came in the wake of the Manchester Arena atrocity, and her suggestion that Ed Miliband put his wife’s head in the oven and turn on the gas have not exactly helped. She has also been criticized for meeting holocaust deniers apparently. Since so very few people have found the courage to speak publicly in opposition to the migrant influx however, I think it is hardly surprising that Katie Hopkins has found many supporters.
I do also strongly suspect that there is an element of deliberate provocation in some of her comments, a ploy that is perhaps designed to shake up the public discourse and encourage people to speak more freely. She shook the debate about the migrant crisis up considerably by referring to the supposed “refugees” as cockroaches. Of course this was a de-humanizing remark, but when you look at some of the footage I share below, you may find that any sympathy you had for many of those currently trying to batter their way into Europe evaporates. A climate where well-educated people in public life persist in referring to all the migrants as refugees, regardless of where they are coming from, regardless of the fact that so many of them are obviously not refugees, is certainly a climate that urgently needs to be shaken up.
You often hear the phrase “history repeats itself”. The reality is that history never repeats itself exactly, but sometimes there are similarities. Mark Twain is reputed to have put it rather more poetically:
“History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.”
Sometimes however these similarities or “rhymes” can be confusing and lead people to jump to the wrong conclusions. I believe this is a major problem in the current situation in the “West” with regard to two related issues – the migrant crisis and growing opposition to the rise of Islamic influence. Here are two of the confusing historical parallels that I’m thinking about:
THE CURRENT MIGRANT INFLUX INTO EUROPE AND THE EXODUS OF JEWS FROM NAZI GERMANY
WHAT WAS THE SAME?
In truth, not so much:
SOME of the migrants may be genuine refugees fleeing from war zones particularly Syria. The Nazis in Germany were behaving in an increasingly violent manner towards the Jews in that country. Any German Jews were in mortal danger, as would later become absolutely clear when the concentration camps were discovered near the end of WWII.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT?
A great many of the current migrants (probably the large majority) are not fleeing from war zones at all but opportunistically taking advantage of the crisis, and the weakness of Europe’s borders and leadership, to push their way into Europe. We can know this because so many of the migrants are fit young men. Fit young men would not generally be running away from war zones leaving all their womenfolk, children and older relatives behind. A few might be doing that, but that such huge numbers would be doing that does not seem remotely credible to me. If they are genuine refugees, running away from war zones and leaving their relatives to fend for themselves, we have to wonder what sort of people they are, exactly. By contrast when the Jewish exodus from the European continent came to the UK in the run-up to WWII there were men, women, children, young and old. Lauren Southern visited the migrant camp in Calais in 2016 to try to determine how many are from Syria but she didn’t find very many.
The sheer numbers involved – over a million migrants entered Germany just in one year alone in 2015 and more are still coming. If these people all settle in Germany and bring their relatives in as well (remember the ECHR grants the “right to a family life”) the numbers could multiply 4-8 fold. What effect will it have? With Germany’s aging population and low birth rate this is going to completely change the ethnic and cultural makeup of Germany, which already has a large population of people with foreign origins. The potential further numbers of people who want to come to Europe could be truly enormous – the population of Africa is 1.216 billion and it is exploding while the population of Europe continues to decline. The population of Pakistan and Afghanistan is continuing to grow as well. Not all of these people may want to come to Europe, but many parts of Africa and the middle East have suffered instability and poverty, the potential numbers who MIGHT want to come are quite large enough to overwhelm Europe and change our way of life forever. Europe is already heavily in debt and experiencing increasing problems with previous immigrant communities from the same areas – long term unemployment and rising crime rates.
The Jewish people were a vulnerable ethnic minority in Germany – how many of the migrants supposedly fleeing from danger are coming from countries where they are also ethnic minorities? In a great many cases they are coming from places where they are not minorities either ethnically or culturally. Instead of staying to fix what is wrong in their societies, they are running away from problems when they should be staying and helping to sort those problems out.
European countries have adopted welfare policies since WWII that benefit the poor at the expense of the rich. We give free welfare payments to the unemployed and the sick, free healthcare to all, free housing to many, legal assistance. We have adopted a culture of generosity towards everyone since WWII. Allowing huge numbers of unemployed, unskilled, homeless people (many of whom are illiterate) into our countries will add a huge burden to our already heavily indebted welfare systems. Even if some of these people find work it will probably be low-skilled work so they will benefit from our generous system that gives free healthcare and housing often to the poor and they won’t have to pay much or any tax at all if they stay on low wages. Many of the migrants are being housed and fed at huge expense. Can we even afford all this?
Crime rates are increasing, adding to the burden still further. We will have to recruit more police to deal with this. Many undocumented migrants are just disappearing, some working illegally, not paying taxes.
A very large number of the migrants are Muslims – it’s impossible to know exactly how many, but most of the countries the migrants are coming from have large or majority Muslim populations. Islamic culture does not get along well with other cultures, especially cultures that value freedom of speech as Europe does. We already have a very serious problem with incitement to violence in mosques in Europe. After all, Islam incites violence against us non-Muslims in the core religious texts, if we’re honest about it. Why on earth should we feel obligated to look after people whose religion incites violence against us and sedition against our democracy and legal system?
“ISLAMOPHOBIA” AND THE RISE OF ANTI-SEMITISM IN EARLY 20TH CENTURY EUROPE
WHAT WAS THE SAME?
In truth, not so much:
One similarity (possibly the only similarity) is that members of a religious minority are facing increasing hostility in their host country. There was real anti-semitism all over Europe prior to WWII, including even in the UK.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT?
Really vicious Islamic terror attacks have been taking place with some regularity, large numbers of people dead many more injured. They keep telling us that they are doing it in the name of their religion, so why would we not believe them? I can’t think of a reason why we wouldn’t believe them, especially since their religious texts encourage them to commit acts of violence and terror. There just weren’t any Jewish terror attacks going on in Europe in the run up to WWII. None at all.
Jews are members of a race, the Jewish race. Anti-semitism in Europe was motivated by racial hatred rather than hatred of the Jewish religion and culture. Muslims are followers of a particular belief system (and a very problematic one at that), they are not a racial group.
Muslims are a (very) rapidly growing minority in Europe, they could even become a majority in just a few generations time if current trends continue, completely altering the culture of Europe. Muslims are already around 7.5% of the population in France (officially) which is also the country (coincidence?) that has experienced the most Islamic terrorist killings so far.
Hostility to Islam may be growing in Europe in the present, but so is anti-semitism AS WELL. A lot of the anti-semitism is coming from the Islamic population. Not many Muslims have been physically attacked, but Jews have been attacked and killed by Muslims for example in the killing of 4 people in a Kosher supermarket that happened at the same time as the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
Is “Islamophobia” the new anti-semitism or is Islam the new Nazism? Islam has quite a few similarities with Nazism in fact – Islam was admired by the Nazis. There are nasty, derogatory, and threatening references to Jews in the Islamic religious texts.
A lot of reports of Muslim “grooming gangs” committing rapes of vulnerable children have been coming to light in the UK particularly. A lot of sexual assaults in general have been committed, the mass assault outside Cologne railway station was just one incident. Jewish people were never known for this sort of behaviour.
Muslims throughout Europe have also been engaging in other types of crime such as drug dealing and generally are very disproportionately represented in our prison systems. Is it really so unreasonable to be objecting to this kind of behaviour? Jewish people were never known for this type of behaviour either.
We should never forget the past, we can learn many lessons from it, but we should never try to draw too many conclusions from history about how we should react to the present. Every situation we find ourselves in is a new situation, requiring an objective assessment of the facts that now face us. When people seem to be repeating the errors of the past we should allow them to freely express their concerns and then counter their viewpoint with reason and evidence if we can. It needs to be repeated forever that sunlight is the best disinfectant, but besides it may just be that we are the ones who are misguided, and that the problems they are perceiving are all too real.
What do you think? Is Katie literally Hitler? Please leave a comment below.
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