May 20th, 2010 was a day when secularists and free thinkers united across optical fiber cables to post their own cartoons, sketches, and portraits of Islam’s chief protagonist, Muhammad. The day was instigated on Facebook, ‘Everyone Draw the Prophet Muhammad Day’, symbolizing a free speech protest against the violent acts perpetrated against those that have been murdered or threatened in recent times for depicting the 6th century patriarch of Islam.
Predictably, the return fire came swift. How? Well, if ‘Draw Muhammad Day’ was an atheist led home invasion, the Islamic response has been via the use of ‘disproportionate force’, in adopting “Everyone Draw the Holocaust Day”. The contrast couldn’t be starker. A few atheists got together to celebrate free speech and opposition to violence, whereas a few radical Muslims are initiating the celebration of 6 million dead Jews.
Despite my disgust, however, I think this is a great thing. Not only are we recognizing their right to free speech but also their actions serve as a reminder of history. They are reminding us on where a majority of the Muslim world stood on the issue of Jewish genocide during the 1930-40s.
When Hitler seized power in 1933, news of the Nazi takeover was enthusiastically welcomed by the Arab masses. In fact, the first congratulatory telegrams the Fuhrer received upon being appointed Chancellor came from leaders of Arab capitals. Shortly after, parties that imitated the Nazis were founded throughout the Middle East, such as the “Hisb-el-qaumi-el-suri” (PPS) or Social Nationalist Party in Syria. In Egypt, Hitler became affectionately known as “Abu Ali”.
Moreover, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Islamic equivalent of the Pope, welcomed Hitler as the “Father of the Arabic World”. Further, in an introductory speech, he called the Jews the “most fierce enemies of the Muslims” and an “ever corruptive element” in the world.
The Mufti became an honored guest of the Nazi leadership and met on numerous occasions with Hitler, in Berlin. Historical documents show that he personally lobbied Hitler against the German plan to allow the Jews to leave Hungary, fearing they would flee to Palestine. He also intervened when Adolf Eichmann tried to broker an agreement with the UK government to exchange German POWs for 5000 Jewish children who also could have fled to Palestine. The Mufti’s protests were heard and actioned, resulting in the children being sent to death camps in Poland instead.
In 1943, the Mufti traveled to Bosnia, where on orders of the SS he recruited the notorious “Hanjar troopers”, a special Bosnian Waffen SS company which slaughtered 90% of Bosnia’s Jewish population. In fact, the Bosnian Muslim recruits rapidly found favor with SS chief Heinrich Himmler, who established a special Mullah Military school in Dresden.
So, we can thank these radical Islamists for the creation of “Everyone Draw the Holocaust Day” Facebook page, because many of us may have forgotten this ugly chapter of Islamic-Arab history.
Thank Allah, for free speech.
Author ‘God Hates You. Hate Him Back’ (Making Sense of the Bible)