Thursday, November 2, 2017

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Muslims And Nazis

Michael A. Sherlock disputes the authenticity of comparisons between Muslims and Nazis



I frequently see people on social media comparing Muslims to Nazis and Islam to Nazism. I think it is fair to say that if a person tries hard enough they can find parallels between any two belief systems, but don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself. One of the reasons for this is that we, as humans, are compulsive pattern-finding creatures. However, we must ask the question, is it logical to compare Muslims to Nazis? The short answer is no, it is illogical. If you really think about the comparison in an intellectually honest and logical manner, you will encounter many (obvious) flaws in the equivalence. Here are just a few for your consideration.

Is it possible to find a self-styled Nazi who believes, in contradiction to the teachings of Hitler and the narrow ideological precepts of Nazism, that all human beings, regardless of race, are inherently equal and entitled to equal respect and treatment? If you are being honest, you will answer in the negative. Okay, is it possible to find a self-styled Muslim who believes, in contradiction to the Qur’an and some of the core doctrines of Islam, that men and women are inherently equal and should be treated as such? The answer here is yes – which is why there exists a growing number of people who identify as Muslim feminists. Now, here I am not talking about Muslim “feminists” like Sarsour and other fake feminists, who place their patriarchal religion over the rights of women, but actual feminists who also happen to identify as Muslim, like Shireen Qudosi, for example. Your retort here might be to argue that Qudosi is a Sufi Muslim.

This retort, however, raises another flaw in the equivalence between Islam and Nazism, and this flaw concerns the broad range of interpretations of Islam, or the diversity among those who identify as Muslims. Does this diversity, and here I am only referring to diversity in terms of the interpretation of doctrines central to the belief system, exist among those who identify as Nazis?

Here again, the answer is no. Put simply, it is much easier to find a Muslim who believes in gender equality than it is to find a Nazi who believes in racial equality. The reason for this simple. Islam is a religion which has been around for approximately 1,400 years. It spans across many cultures and is influenced by a variety of social and political factors. Notwithstanding the fact that modern Islam, in my opinion, is generally far more rigid and regressive than modern Christianity, owing primarily to the anti-Christian Enlightenment which dragged Christians kicking and screaming into a superior secular morality that places human rights above religious beliefs – Islam, unlike Nazism, has been grounded and grown in the tumultuous soil of ambiguity.

This ambiguity can be found within the core texts of Islam itself. Compare, for example, the more peaceful Meccan surah with the misanthropic and malicious Medinan surah in the Qur’an. Seek out the contradictions between the Qur’an and the Sunnah (biography) of Muhammad. Observe the plethora of contradictions that exist in the expansive tomes of hadith. The natural result of such ambiguity is that Muslims are somewhat free to cherry-pick their own Islam. Can we say the same about Nazis and Nazism? Again, the short answer here is no, we cannot. I’ve yet to come across a self-styled Nazi who believes in racial equality, yet I have met and studied the works of many Muslims who express a wide range of opinions on precisely the same issues. Some Muslims believe in marriage equality, many don’t. Some Muslims are (actual) feminists, many aren’t. Some Muslims eat bacon and drink alcohol, many don’t. This diversity simply does not exist among those who label themselves as Nazis.

Anyway, those are just a few of the flaws in the equivalence between Muslims and Nazis. Just a final word to those who enjoy employing this false equivalence. It’s one thing to criticise the more misanthropic doctrines of Islam and express contempt for those who behave in accordance with such inhumane beliefs, and such doctrines and adherents are numerous enough to warrant criticism, but it is entirely another to employ unsophisticated and illogical argumentation to irrationally demonise Muslims. Sorry if this little piece strikes you as “Regressive Leftish”, but if you are going to argue, do so with intellectual honesty and integrity.

Michael A. Sherlock writes @ Atheist & Freethought Blog

Follow Michael A. Sherlock on Twitter @sherlockmichael

1 comments :

Niall said...

Nazis in the US - isn't it odd that the 'far right', a term best described as a semantic approach to Nazism in the US , has it's foundations in Christian theology albeit quite a warped interpretation of scripture especially since the original Nazis were against Christianity....I could be talking about Nelson and the Caleb society too!