Sunday, February 19, 2006

Free Expression in Pakistan: "God Bless Hitler"

More confirmation that "Freedom of Expression is Western Terrorism"? Why are Muslims in Pakistan protesting for Hitler? The photo and caption appeared in last week:
Mittwoch, 15. Februar 2006: Karikaturen-Irrsinn, Der F├╝hrer in Pakistan

Frauen demonstrieren am Mittwoch in der pakistanischen Hauptstadt Islamabad gegen die Mohammed-Karikaturen. Was genau sie mit dem Plakat sagen wollen, bleibt unklar. (Foto: T. Mughal/dpa)
Translated, that says:
Wednesday, February 15, 2006: Caricature Insanity, The Fuhrer in Pakistan

Women in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, demonstrating on Wednesday against the Mohammad caricatures. What, exactly, they are trying to say with the sign remains unclear. (Photo: T. Mughal/dpa)
I suppose that determining exactly what someone wants to say would involve us in the hermeneutic equivalent of Zeno's Paradox, but I'll take a stab at an approximate interpretation.

The person who wrote the words "God Bless Hitler" in reaction to the Muhammad caricatures probably assumes that any slur against the Prophet of Islam is inspired by the Jews, and since Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews, then God ought to bless him for that.

The sign above expresses, if obliquely, the anti-Jewish prejudices pervading the Muslim world today. These views are often linked to Islamist views about the end of the world, and such Islamist Muslims cite a hadith from the 9th-century-text Sahi Bukhari on "Fighting for the Cause of Allah (Jihaad)":

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177: Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him."

Since the word "Hour" is capitalized here, the meaning "end of the world" is implied in this translation (whatever Bukhari may have thought that it meant).

I suspect that behind that sign in Pakistan conveying a blessing upon Hitler lies this sort of endtime thinking. And such views present a grave danger because those holding them not only stare deeply into the abyss of apocalyptic war, they are prepared to leap headlong in.

Such people don't calculate in terms of survival but in terms of eternity. Thanks in part to freedom of expression, we can become aware of their views, begin to perceive patterns in the protests, and reflect on how to respond.


At 9:34 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

How does one possibly respond to that? I can think of lots of ways not to respond but am at a loss for anything else.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Jessica, I'm not sure myself, but meanwhile, I'm trying to learn everything that I can about Islam and related issues and bring them all into the public square for discussion.

There's a lot to learn and a lot to discuss.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a weird protest. I'm not sure Hitler would have been too fond of Muslims either.

On the larger issue, the idea of people willingly embracing apocalyptic war is truly frightening. There is no means to balance power in a situation in which one side does not want to preserve civilization - even its own.

Especially scary is the fact that there are many in the US who think similarly. I guess these nuts think Muhammed and Jesus are going to deal with the Jews and then duke it out between each other.

At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may shed a little more light on Hitler and the Islamofascists.

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

James, one important difference with the Christian 'apocalypticists' is that they expect the war to be initiated by divine intervention when Christ descends from heaven to start the fight against the forces of hell.

I don't think that there's nearly as much to worry about from them.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you're right in principle. I guess I've just had too many conversations lately with people who believe that goings on in the world are signs or Christ's imminent arrival. That allows the mindset that we don't need to worry about anything because it will be handled in a divine fashion. But, like you, I am not overly concerned by them.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Maani said...

Oy vey! Its pathetic to see people from my ethnic background spewing such vile hatred. Anyhow, until education is spread and poverty is eradicated in Pakistan, the citizens their will continue to react irrationally before they can possibly think.
Do they really think if Hitler was alive today he would sympathize with the Muslims? I'm sure Muslims were next on his list of the Final Solution.

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Maani, for the comment.

I think that you're right. Hitler only wanted to use Muslims for his aim of exterminating Jews, not because he genuinely held any high opinion of the Slavic Muslims in Bosnia, the Albanian Muslims in Albania, or the Arab Muslims in the Middle East. For Hitler, they were all non-Aryans and therefore inferior.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islam is a religion of peace and it talks about Jihad (Fight for Allah), only in some given circumstances and Allah asks Muslims not to fight with innocent people....
Its sad that the world in which we are living today is full of cruelities and attrocities mostly laid upon by Non-Muslims but the bad name is associated with Muslims only...
The girls holding the posters are in fact part of a peaceful protest and it is their inherent right to protest against the things, which they feel wrong.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hina, could you explain why these peaceful girls want God to bless Hitler?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:00 PM, Blogger Naknei said...

Your picture was stolen

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Naknei, but I borrowed the image from, so it's not really mine.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The placard the Muslim lady carries comes as no suprise to me. The Islamic world has always wanted the destruction of the Jewish people. Hitler claimed Islam was the only religion compatible with his Nazi regeim, he even had special SS units made up of Muslims. Here is a link which will present the intrested person with the facts. The Arab Muslim Nazi Connection

At 8:29 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Anonymous, thanks for the link. I was already familiar with the connection, but some might not be.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not very hard to understand the reason if you are not a five-year old, especially after what Israel has done, and do currently to the people who are not Jewish in that area. They even attacked civilians who were just trying to help the victims of the war in the area with food and medical supply.

And what are we doing here in US? Some people, like Sarah Palin who is not even capable of talking like a normal person, are trying to fool the US to support Israel. I don't understand how a woman as horrible as her can be an important politician in this country where there are so many intelligent and successful and most importantly who understand the importance of human life around. I wish she had to live in that area with her children so that she might learn to think before talk.

At 6:48 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Anonymous, you seem to be saying that blessing Hitler for killing 6 million Jews is understandable because of Israel's current foreign and domestic policies.

I disagree.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ajkc cckNW CKW

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Anonymous, if you were writing in a non-Western script, it didn't come through:

"ajkc cckNW CKW"

Just gibberish.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Israel killed much less civilians than the Palestians killed Israelis. Hell, Assad killed more arrabs than Israel had killed in all previous wars.
Please note that arab countries always target civilians in war (as the Hammas is doing today (no war, only terror)and the Lebanese did in the last war (not to mention they faked citizen pictures getting hurt).

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Anonymous, for the reminder.

Jeffery Hodges

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