A Prayer for Islamic Holocaust?

If the disintegration of the world order between the two world wars is blamed on the Jews and if Muslims are accused of the main global problems now, then the projection of the "Islamic Holocaust" in Europe - as was heard again in Warsaw on November 11th - is very possible!

Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek - are the names of Polish cities, but also the names of the most important Nazi extermination camps where millions of people died during World War II. The main field of the Holocaust, in which about 6 million Jews were killed, was Poland. Due to these facts, the whole world was in shock when on Saturday, November 11, 2017, horrible messages of hatred were sent out of the Polish capital. Along with the Jews of whom only few tens of thousands are left in this country after the Holocaust, the main target of hatred today were Muslims. After genocide that happened in Srebrenica, in Europe, at the end of the 20th century, announcing the «Islamic Holocaust» at the beginning of the 21st century is alarming! Many media outlets reported that «Pray for Islamic Holocaust» slogan was heard in Warsaw on Saturday, although some just pointed out at the earlier incident when a banner appeared over a Warsaw bridge in 2015. Nevertheless, the very mentioning of «Holocaust» in this context is frightening.

Poland's complicity in the Holocaust

It has been proven that the Poles showed heroism saving the Jews during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem in Israel has documented that the Poles make up the largest number on the list of the "Righteous Among the Nations," but Holocaust historians also point out that the Poles were certainly involved in the crimes of killing of Jews during the Holocaust. Some Jewish mass extermination sites are still being queried today (e.g. the crime in Jedwabne in 1941, which was not committed by Nazis but by domestic Poles), and there have been even cases where Holocaust survivors were mass murdered in the aftermath of WWII in Poland. Of the approximately 3.3 million Jews who lived in Poland before WWII, Yad Vashem estimates that only 1% was saved by Polish friends and neighbours.

Due to these undeniable historical facts, the world has remained shocked by fascist orgy and slogans that have been filled with hatred, racism and Islamophobia. Especially shocking was the context of the reference to the "Islamic Holocaust" because only 0.1% of Muslims live in this country, and because hatred of Muslims is reminiscent of anti-Semitism that was present in Polish society in the wake of the Second World War. Although the Poles were also victims in WWII (about 2.5 million), however, according to documents from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, for the executions of the Holocaust, the Nazis relied on Polish agencies, police forces and the overall infrastructure for the notorious death plants. In addition, there are many historians who pointed to the problem of denial of the past that is present in Poland. For many the manifestation on November 11th during the marking of Independence Day turned into a true fascist ceremony – the largest in the world to date. Many Poles were also left in shock and this reminded us all of the danger of fusion of denial of the past with uncontrolled populism. In Poland, this is especially worrying after 2015, and the coming to power of the far-right Law and Justice Party.

The Red Ball of Fascism

It is precisely these right-wing authorities that are considered to be the most responsible for the red "fascism ball" in Warsaw, where guests arrived from various parts of Europe. This national event is since 2010 extensively misused by the right-wing National Radical Camp and is becoming more and more transformed into a true fascist fair. "Europe and the world are deteriorating: culturally, politically, economically. We Poles must be an alternative," said Tomasz Dorosz, of the National Radical Camp, speaking on the stage.

Although in parallel to this march, the Anti-Fascist Coalition organized demonstrations under the slogan "For Your and Our Freedom", which brought together around 5,000 people, their appeal remained almost invisible to the red flags of 60,000 people who marched under the slogan "We want God!" It is this slogan that shows how politicians can stimulate hatred when they abuse sentiments and narratives from the past in a populist manner. Namely, "We want God" is a line from the traditional Polish religious song which was mentioned by U.S. President Donald Trump during this year's visit to Poland in July. For Rafal Pankowski, a Warsaw sociologist from Collegium Civitas University, this topic is very problematic. Pankowski claims that the use of the Trump gesture by the far rightists is not accidental: "They feel very much encouraged by the current global wave of nationalist movements and perceive Trump as an example of this wave."

Hatred, Racism and Islamophobia

Lidia Domanska from the Antifa Warsaw organization told Al Jazeera that after the parliamentary elections in 2015, where the right-wing Law and Justice Party won power, "the fascists dressed suits and entered the House of Commons. "The media are full of right-wing propaganda. The discourse has changed towards attitudes that would have been undoubtedly labeled as fascist and racist only a few years ago. People who feed this narrative on hate speech start to look at it as something acceptable."

It seems that the political suite in power the "Prawo and Sprawiedliwość" party is exactly the largest generator of fascism in Poland. However anti-Russian the right-wing narrative is in Poland, and this can be noticed by the leaders of the PiS party, it is also anti-European. This could also be seen from the reactions of Polish officials after the fascist portrait of Poland was displayed to the world. "It was a nice sight," the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mariusz Blaszczak said. He added, "We are proud that so many Poles decided to take part in the celebration of Independence Day," Even though the problems of an economic nature visibly affect the eastern block of the EU countries, the rhetoric of hatred, racism and Islamophobia is extremely dangerous for the whole of Europe, not to mention for Poland where the Muslims are only 0.1 percent of the total population. For, according to the association "Never Again", the number of homophobic, racist and xenophobic incidents in Poland increased from 20 per month to 20 per week in 2016. This organization points out that many European nations are further affected by the Russian propagandist machinery that spreads disinformation.

For the anti-Semitic slogans in Poland, there were no official reactions from the world except the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel, which called on the government of Poland to take action against the groups that were involved in this fascist march. Slogans such as "Pure Blood", "Europe Will Be White", "Pray for the Islamic Holocaust", "God, Honour and Country," in a country where the Holocaust took place, indicate that Europe is in danger of forgetting lessons from the past.

If the disintegration of the world order between the two world wars is blamed on the Jews, and if now Muslims are accused of the main global problems (although they are mostly the greatest victims of wars, terrorism and largest in numbers of refugees), then the projection of the "Islamic Holocaust" in Europe is very possible! Therefore one must wonder are Muslims in Europe after Srebrenica genocide in 1995 to become the new surrogate Jews of Europe (ger. Ersatz Juden)? Are they to be ready for the gas chambers and slaughterhouses of the "White Europe of brotherly nations"!?

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