The Right to Shock

“It was a shocking thing to say and I knew it was a shocking thing to say. But no one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to spend their life without being offended. Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it. And if you open it and read it, you don’t have to like it. And if you read it and you dislike it, you don’t have to remain silent about it. You can write to me, you can complain about it, you can write to the publisher, you can write to the papers, you can write your own book. You can do all those things, but there your rights stop. No one has the right to stop me writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published, or sold, or bought, or read.”
― Philip Pullman

I was shocked once while on a party of a friend recently where I met a couple who recently immigrated from an Islamic country.  I can’t remember what the circumstances were why they came to our country because the only thing that stuck in my mind was a short conversation I had with the husband.  When he found out that I was German he wanted to shake my hand and congratulate me on one of our great leaders, Adolph Hitler.  I quickly withdrew my hand but he went on speaking excitedly about how great Hitler was and how proud we Germans must be of him and what a shame that we lost the war.  He spoke about the evils of Jewish politics and how tragic for the whole world that Hitler couldn’t finish his job.  It all came out so quickly and nearly everybody at our table started looking into our directions.

What shocked me most was not really what he said, but the way he said it.  The words came out in such an innocent way as only somebody could speak who thought he was amongst his own and where saying such things were the most normal thing.  He honestly must have been thinking  that as a German, in spite of being a defeated nation, I should still hold on to the same believes the Nazis did.

In retrospect of course, considering what the media in many Islamic countries broadcast, it wasn’t really that surprising at all.  He only arrived recently and I was possibly the first German he’s met, all he knew about us is  what he was taught in his home country.

I have been in the middle east a couple of times myself and watched a few programs there.  Some of them were translated so I could understand what was said.  I didn’t hear much about Hitler mentioned then, but I remember once seeing a show, just like Good Morning Britain, with an in-studio audience and a host.  A sheik and a young boy with his parents were present and the subject was on suicide bombing. The boy was telling about how he would love to give his life for Allah and the sheik spoke about how proud this makes him to see young men like him who are so dedicated to the faith and praised the parents for bringing him up so well.

As Philip Pullman said, I have no right to live without being shocked.  Of course Philip Pullman was referring to being shocked by being told the truth or the literary media to make us think.  Shock is something good when it takes us out of a state of lethargy.

Europe unfortunately still is in a state of lethargy right now, incapable of taking the right measures to meet the threats to our democracy.  What will it take to get the political correct media to stop trying to soothe us with propaganda of a peaceful Islam that does not seek world domination?  When will politicians start telling us the truth about Islams’ real intend instead of trying to whitewash it as a religion of peace.

Islam is not just another religion, it is a political system and if we want to know what it really teaches we have to stop listening to propaganda but to take a good hard look at the countries where Islam has its’ origin and is lived out in its purest form.  We have to ask ourselves, would we really want to submit ourselves to a regime like that?  We didn’t want to submit to a regime of fascism and therefore don’t allow the preaching of fascism in our country. If this is the case with fascism, it should be the case with any system that violates the principles of freedom and democracy.

Hitler himself was very fond of Islam as is shown in many of his statements. Vice versa, many Muslims in Islamic countries are very fond of Hitler.  Nazism and Islam have a lot of common ground although I wouldn’t go so far as calling Hitler a Muslim.  His sympathies were toward the war like spirit of Islam and it’s hatred of the Jews.

When the Mohammedans attempted to penetrate beyond France and into Central Europe during the eight century when they were driven back at battle of Tours. Had the Arabs won this battle, the world would be Mohammedan today. For theirs was a religion that believed in spreading the faith by sword and subjugating all nations to that faith. The Germanic people would have become heirs to that religion. Such a creed was perfectly suited to the Germanic temperament.” Adolf Hitler quoted by Albert Speer, from Inside the Third Reich, page 96.

Hitlers’ grand delusions about the ‘Germanic temperament’ and what it led to are common knowledge today. With his charisma, Hitler managed to delude the German people and a great part of Europe and others to actually believe that lie. They believed it because like in Islam they were not allowed to question what they were told to believe. As with Nazism, so in Islam, to question ones’ faith is seen a weakness that needs to be eradicated.

To question however is our democratic right, a very fundamental one, and one of these rights is to shock.  Like Pullman said, nobody has the right not to be shocked and this includes everybody, including those of religious faiths like christians and moslems.

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