If you ask me, when you compare the rise of Nazism, in the 1930’s, to the rise of modern Islamic extremism, there are some worrisome similarities that clearly demonstrate the folly of appeasement. I am not saying that Islam and Nazism are the same, or that Islam is going to start another world war; though that is not impossible. The point, that this post sets out to make, is that there are some lessons to be learned, from the 1930’s, that we would do well to remember and apply to the present day. Our so-called leaders, who seem determined to follow a policy of appeasement, need to be mindful of the past in order to avoid making similar mistakes today.
When we examine Nazi Germany, what is significant to note is that, prior to coming to power, only around 1.3% of Germans were card carrying members of the Nazi party. At its peak, the Nazi party finally recruited around 8 million members or 10% of the population. In addition, Hitler’s much-feared SS, at its peak, numbered around 800,000 or 1% of the population.
This means that around 90% of all Germans were not members of the Nazi party. It now seems quite incongruous, to us, that just 10% of the German population were able to lead the rest of Germany down the path to total war, utter destruction and genocide; but that is precisely what happened. So how did the majority of Germans, who were just normal good people, become trapped in this infamous history? The answer is quite simple; in the years following WWI, Germany was punished, by the Allies, for their part in the war. Germany was stripped of much of it’s manufacturing capability, enormous sums of money were demanded as war reparations which, with the coming of the Great Depression, saw the German economy disintegrate and the people suffered terribly. Money was almost worthless, food was in very short supply and hope was even scarcer.
This created an environment very favourable to the rise of extremism and fanaticism. Hitler seized on this situation and, through years of intense propaganda, lies and exaggerated national fervour he gained, if not their enthusiastic support, at least their acquiescence to his schemes. German national pride, soiled by the aftermath of WWI, the unbelievable hardships that Germans had to endure during the Great Depression and their natural sense of patriotism were all expertly manipulated and played by the Nazi regime. To this mix, the Nazis added an intense program of indoctrination for Germans, even in childhood, which included; assertions of racial superiority, claims to a higher destiny for the German people, the dream of a ‘Thousand Year Reich’ and an intense hated of those people who were portrayed as racial and intellectual inferiors. On top of all of this, the punishments for anyone who opposed, or even questioned, the regime were severe making opposition, from within, very dangerous.
The main point, of this short history lesson, is that a relatively small number of ‘fanatics’ were able to manipulate and intimidate an entire nation of intelligent and educated people, who had been subjected to hardship on a huge scale, into committing themselves to a horrendous war against people who were, essentially, of the same race with similar beliefs and morals. This war came at a huge cost and to the detriment of a large portion of the world’s populations. The German people, themselves, suffered terribly and their country was devastated and laid waste. Nevertheless, many of them fought to the very end for their Fuhrer, even though all hope of victory had been lost years before. In the end, World War II resulted in the deaths of around 40 million people.
Now let’s compare Nazi Germany with present-day Islam. In today’s world, we are told that only a small percentage of Muslims are terrorists and only a slightly larger percentage support or approve of terrorism. Estimates and polls vary, considerably, but it would seem that the number of actual terrorists, including their active supporters, is around 1% and, depending upon which groups of Muslims you poll, that the number of Muslims who are passive supporters of terrorism is probably around 10%. By passive supporters, it is meant that these people are not actively engaging in terrorist activity but that they agree with or approve of terrorism and, thereby, they contribute to the proliferation of terrorism. (Note: In some countries the percentage is very much higher and in others much lower, so this is a rough average.)
The percentage of terrorists and active supporters is similar to that of the SS and the percentage of passive supporters, is similar to the percentage of Nazi Party members. Obviously, when the overall population of Muslims is around 1.6 billion, the numbers do not relate, but the percentages do. For the record, the numbers translate to around 16 million active supports, who are the bulk of this number, and a much smaller number of actual terrorists. In addition, there are around 160 million passive supporters which leaves about 1.44 billion non-radicalised Muslims who neither support, agree with or participate in terrorist activities.
Now, the Islamic appeasers that live amongst us, and sadly many of these are our so-called leaders, try and tell us that the small percentage of terrorists/extremists means that we should not worry about the threat of Islamic terrorism. The appeasers say that we should ignore the links between Islam and extremism because most Muslims are peace-loving and just want to be part of the world; and that may be true. However, just as the minority Nazi regime was able to manipulate and brainwash a nation of intelligent and educated people, the Islamic extremists and their fanatical Imams and spokespeople, are trying to manipulate the non-aligned Muslims to join the Jihad. It certainly helps their twisted cause that the Quran, the so-called holy book of Islam, is riddled with commands inciting murder, war, rape and slavery and this provides plenty of ‘ammunition’ for the extremists to use in their ‘war’ to subvert all of Islam. Further, they may only be a small percentage but they are a very big number!
What also makes it easier, for the extremists, is that a large percentage of the world’s Muslim population is disadvantaged, living in conditions well below those of western nations, many are poorly educated and almost all of them have been brain-washed from birth. A huge percentage of the world’s Muslims also live, effectively, cut-off from the rest of the world. Even some of those Muslims who live in Western societies, and who have access to world news and better education still choose to, or are instructed to, ignore any evidence that is contrary to their Islamic indoctrination. In general, the lives of many Muslims are characterised by intense propaganda and indoctrination as well as hardship and deprivation; not unlike the lives of the German people in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Further, in a similar way to the Nazis, the radical Imams and leaders of Islam make claim to a superior racial and religious standing to non-Muslims, espouse dreams of a higher destiny for Islam, promote the dream of a world-wide caliphate and foster a deep hatred of infidels and apostates. In addition, even non-radical Islam conducts intense indoctrination of all Muslims from a very early age and this makes it very hard for these people to understand the views of non-Muslims. On top of all of this propaganda and indoctrination, the death sentence for dissenters or apostates makes it very difficult to oppose Islam from within and discourages desertions from the faith. One cleric, Yusuf Al Qaradawi, has even gone as far as to say: “If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment Islam wouldn’t exist today. Islam would have ended since the death of the Prophet…”
History shows us that the threat posed by Islam is real. When we bother to look back through the 1400 years of Islamic history, we can see a history built on hundreds of military campaigns, invasions and occupations and written in the blood of millions of non-Muslims (and this will be the subject of a future post on this site). In addition, when we look at modern history, we can see that fanatics and extremists, such as the Nazi regime, can manipulate and deceive a much larger, but disadvantaged, population into following their insane and murderous plans.
Let us take one more quick look at history and a very important point about the rise of the Nazi regime. In the face of growing German aggression, rearmament and territorial demands, the Munich Conference was held in 1938, at which Great Britain and France caved into Hitler’s demands. The British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, returned to England with a document signed by Hitler, other European leaders and himself, that he declared as being a guarantee of ‘Peace for our time”. This was one of the greatest acts of appeasement in history, which acquiesced to Hitler’s demands, betrayed the nation of Czechoslovakia and failed to prevent World War II, which broke out just under one year later.
If, instead of appeasement, the Allies had shown strength and confronted Hitler from the very start of his campaign of military expansion, then World War II may have been avoided. Even at the outbreak of World War II, Germany’s military was numerically and technologically inferior to its enemies, but because the Allies had been preoccupied with appeasement and avoidance of war, because men like Chamberlain were obdurate about achieving peace at all costs, it was because of these attitudes, that Hitler was able to make massive gains that, very nearly, won him the war and, ultimately, cost tens of millions of lives.
While we should always seek peace, in preference to war, every leader needs to be aware that there are times when an enemy will not allow peace and, in that circumstance, we must enthusiastically seek war. The Western world is in that circumstance now. While we continue to offer appeasement and apologist dialogue, in regards to Islam, we are seen as weak and inferior. This behaviour only encourages the extremists and terrorists and provides them with further ‘proof’, which they present to all Muslims, that the West is weak, corrupt, unjust and ready for conquest.
Just like Hitler, the Islamic extremists have dreams of war and conquest and their only concept of peace is one in which all of their enemies are converted, enslaved or beheaded. We run from confrontation, with Islam, at the risk of our own extermination. We ignore, apologise for, and appease, the calls for Sharia Law, the establishment of Islamic schools, the growth of Islamic enclaves, ghettos and no-go areas, the ‘refugee’ incursions and the growing and worrisome Islamic violence and crime in the West, at great peril. As Winston Churchill once said “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping that it will eat him last.”
At the earliest opportunity, we need to sack all of the ‘Neville Chamberlains’, people like Malcolm Turnbull of Australia, Justin Trudeau of Canada and Angela Merkel of Germany, and replace them with ‘Winston Churchills’. The USA just replaced one of their most notorious appeasers when Barack Obama’s presidency finally came to an end and many European elections, coming up this year, offer hope of replacing more appeasers, but it is imperative that the world replace all of them. If we don’t then we might just find that the radical Muslim minority will take advantage of the folly of appeasement and lead the majority down a similar path to that trod by the Nazis. It could happen; in fact, it looks like it is already happening!