The Happy and Smug Bigots of Denmark

Various polls rank Denmark as one of the happiest countries in the world year-after-year.

Commentators have sought to explain the phenomenon. They have pointed to the country’s “hygge,” which entails a feeling of community and brotherhood. They note the country’s generous welfare policies which give people a sense of being cared for as part of a greater family. Overall, the Danes consider themselves extremely relaxed and easy-going.

Yet this feeling of camaraderie has limits, specifically as it relates to non-Christians.

White Christian Danes

Denmark is a homogeneous society. According to recent statistics, roughly 10% of the country’s population of 5.8 million people are immigrants. By way of comparison, the immigrant population in the US is over 13%, the United Kingdom is over 14% and in Germany it stands at over 20%.

The realtively few immigrants that the country has taken in are predominantly from neighboring Germany and Poland. This is in sharp contrast to other European Union countries that absorb people from former allies and colonies, such as Germany which mainly absorbs people from Turkey; the UK which takes in people from India; and France which takes in many people leaving Algeria.

The large local indigenous Danish population and similar nature of the new immigrants has produced a country with little diversity. The religious makeup of Denmark is roughly 75-80% Christian and 15-20% Atheist or Agnostic. The small sliver of “other” religions is almost only Muslim, with virtually no Jews (estimated around 5-6,000), Buddhists or any of the other world religions.

The dominant Christian faith has deep roots and clear advantages.

Not only does the country’s flag feature the Christian cross, the country has set up the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC) as the official state church, and as such, state taxes go to support the ELC (accounting for roughly 14% of the ELC budget). Further, the reigning monarch must belong to the ELC (ie, must be a Christian), and public schools in Denmark must teach the Evangelical Lutheran theology.

Nice set up.

According to the official website of Denmark, “Compared with most other countries in the world, Denmark’s societal institutions and popular mentality have been shaped by Christianity to an exceptional degree. It can be asserted that religion is more firmly entrenched in Danish society than in many other countries…. Christianity’s unique history in Denmark explains why the mutual interdependence of the people, the state, and the church has remained in place longer and more strongly in Denmark than in any other country.

Brenderup Church, Denmark
These days, the Atheists and Agnostics have become more active in teaming up with the Christians to keep the non-Christians out of the country.

Anti-Jewish and Anti-Muslim Policies

In April 2014, Denmark passed a law which prohibited the ritual slaughter of animals according to Jewish and Muslim law, with a penalty of up to four months in jail. The country claimed that the law was intended to provide a more humane method of killing animals – by stunning them before killing them – an action prohibited in the production of kosher and halal meats. That the impact was only felt on the Jewish and Muslim communities was deemed coincidental.

In May 2018, Danish lawmakers passed a law which forbade the wearing of garments covering the face, commonly known as the “burqa ban.” While the law was not applied to Muslims only, it clearly targeted Muslim women’s unique religious practice.

And in June 2018, Danes gathered 50,000 signatures to force the parliament to consider banning the circumcision of boys under the age of 18, a practice performed according to the religious tenets of Judaism and Islam.

The Atheists and Agnostics claim that they are simply seeking and enacting laws that prevent harm to those that cannot speak for themselves – children and animals – and not assaulting any religion. For example, they have not fought aggressively against the existence of the state church or banning the baptism of children. (In reality, even if they sought to do so, the dominant Christian religion would make their efforts futile.) The current wave of “humanistic” laws that had no impact on Christians were able to gather support from the dominant majority religious group and pass into law.

But the actions of the Danish government go beyond their view of “humanistic” laws.

In January 2016, the Denmark instituted some of the harshest immigration laws in the European Union, which allowed the country to seize immigrants’ assets over $1,450 to help pay for resettlement and extended the time for immigrants to apply for family members to come to Denmark to three years from just one.

The welfare state of relaxed brothers had declared its limits, and it seemed to focus particularly on non-Christians.

Regarding the circumcision ban, consider that the Christians and Atheists have not attempted to ban children from getting tattoos or piercings. They have not sought to have a child sign a consent form before getting surgery. Society acknowledges that a child’s upbringing and well-being are made and ensured by the parents. If they’re Christian.

Regarding animals, has Denmark enacted a law preventing the boiling of lobsters alive? How about turtles or insects? Does the country ban animal-testing for drugs? Cropping dogs’ ears and tails? No.

And as it relates to immigrants, the country is trying to contend with an uptick in the number of immigrants coming to the country (from 70,000 in 2011 to 99,000 in 2015), in which almost all of the incremental population come from Muslim countries like Syria, Afghanistan and Morocco. As the number of Muslim applicants spiked, the percentage of people granted asylum in Denmark dropped from 85% in 2015 to 36% in 2017. Coincidence?

Denmark may lay claim to being among the happiest countries in the world because of a feeling of community among its citizens, and smugly contend that it is evolving to a secular-humanist-progressive ethos from a deeply religious one, but in fact it is simply ring-fencing their society to keep it homogeneous by excluding non-Christians. For Danes, hygge is reserved for White Christians.


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“Jews as a Class”

Je Suis Redux

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Abbas’s Speech and the Window into Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism

The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas gave another one of his long anti-semitic speeches on April 30, 2018. Much of the western world condemned the speech as something brand new and vile that should not only be condemned, but also marked Abbas as unfit to remain as the leader of the Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs). The condemnation was so widesread that Abbas issued some sort of apology a few days later.

Abbas is an Antisemite

Let’s be clear about some things that the media is not telling you:

  • Abbas did not just say that Jews were themselves responsible for Nazi Germany killing them in the Holocaust, he said that Jews were responsible for ALL of the massacres that had befallen them throughout history. Abbas said “The Jews who moved to Eastern and Western Europe had been subjected to a massacre by one country or another every 10-15 years since the 11th century until the Holocaust in Germany. Okay? But why was this happening? They say that it was happening because they are Jews…. The anti-Jewish (sentiments) was not because of their religion but because of their function in society, which had to do with usury, banks, and so on.”
  • Abbas whitewashed 1,400 years of Arab antisemitism. After Abbas’ harangue against Jews in Europe and Russia, he said “I challenge you to find a single incident against Jews just because they were Jews in 1,400 years in any Arab country.” He should probably review some basic history from the founding of Islam in the seventh century when the Muslim prophet Mohammed slaughtered Jews in Saudi Arabia, to every country that Muslims invaded in the subsequent centuries, where Jews were often given the choice between conversion or death. Tunisia 1016. Morocco 1033. The list is long.
  • Abbas said that Jews were shipped to Palestine because the host countries wanted to get rid of them. Abbas said that many world leaders including Lord Balfour from the United Kingdom, Adolf Hitler in Germany and the foreign minister of Russia all hated the Jews and wanted to get rid of them so encouraged them to move to Palestine.
  • Abbas said he is disgusted by the Israeli national anthem. The essence of the Israeli national anthem is about the longing of Jews to return to their homeland. Abbas argued that the anthem is a farce. “Their [Jews] narrative about coming to this country [Palestine] because of their longing for Zion or whatever -we’re tired of hearing this.
  • Abbas reiterated that the Jews have no connection to Palestine. Abbas has long argued that Jews have no history or connection to the land of Israel. He has made the arguments before the United Nations and to Palestinians. He did so again in April 2018: “The truth is that this [Zionism] is a colonial enterprise aimed at planting a foreign body in this region.” He added that the European Jews have no historical connection to Palestine since they are all descendants of Khazars that converted to Judaism in the eighth century.
  • Abbas made a non-apology. Abbas did not really apologize for his anti-Semitic comments a few days later. He apologized that people were offended by his comments. “If people were offended by my statement in front of the P.N.C., especially people of the Jewish faith, I apologize to them. I would like to assure everyone that it was not my intention to do so, and to reiterate my full respect for the Jewish faith, as well as other monotheistic faiths.” In other words, he stands by his comments and believes them to be true. He is just disappointed that people were offended at hearing his version of the truth. No one has called this out.

Let’s be clear: Abbas hates Jews, not Judaism. The persistent truth is that Abbas has always hated Jews as foreign interlopers in Palestine. For example, he has said that a new state of Palestine will be welcoming of all religions (that would include Judaism), but the PA has existing laws that call for the execution of any Arab that sells land to a Jew. Conclusion: it’s the people, not the faith.

Abbas is a peddler of nasty lies, and many of them are not new. The only additions from the April 30 speech to Abbas’s long history of vile comments are that Jews were at fault for their own massacres because of their “function,” and that they came from Khazar, but these are simple extensions of his prior comments.

So why the sudden uproar?

The Media Has Long Concealed Abbas’s and Palestinians’ Jew Hatred

The United Nations and world media have long defended and protected Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians in their quest to give the SAPs independence and sovereignty. They have ignored the antisemitism and terrorism from Palestinian Arabs and placed the blame on Israel, as acknowledging Arabs’ hatred of Jews undermines the very notion of peace and justifies many of Israel’s actions.

Palestinians are inherently good, but have become antisemitic because of Israel. The world and liberal press are hard-pressed to charge the SAPs with any wrong-doing. When confronted with something unsavory about the Palestinians, the press tries to paper it over, such as absolving the Palestinians of their overwhelming (93% of people according to the ADL) hatred of Jews. In covering the ADL findings, the New York Times wrotethe Middle East results were not particularly surprising.” Is that because everyone knows that Arabs hate Jews? If that’s obvious, why the sudden commotion about Abbas laying it out clearly in April 2018?

Palestinians “Resort to Violence.” The New York Times actually wrote in 2012 that the virulently antisemitic terrorist group Hamas “took control of Gaza in 2007 and is backed by Iran, is so consumed with hatred for Israel that it has repeatedly resorted to violence.” The Hamas Charter clearly and repeatedly calls for violent jihad and the destruction of the Jewish State. However, the liberal media crafted an alternative reality to make the people of Gaza victims “resorting to violence” instead of being terrorists.

Palestinians are moderate; Israelis are right-wing. The world was so eager to market Abbas as a “moderate,” that it ignored his history of vile comments, because if the leader of the Palestinian Authority was a moderate, his demands were presumably reasonable, and vice-versa. The failure of any peace discussions must therefore be on the “right-wing” (as the liberal press peddled) Israeli leadership.

Palestinian actions are unhelpful; Israeli actions are harmful. Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said in reaction to Abbas’s April 30 antisemitic rant: “Such statements are unacceptable, deeply disturbing and do not serve the interests of the Palestinian people or peace in the Middle East.” Seriously? “Do not serve the interests of the Palestinians?” When Mladenov talks about Israeli settlements in the West Bank, he does not say they are unhelpful, he says they are “threatening the viability of the two-state solution and eroding the prospects for peace.” Somehow noxious antisemitism is not an impediment to peace, only Jews living in houses in their holy land.

These factors have been at play for decades. So why the sudden turn on Abbas? Why would the NY Times write an editorial on May 3, 2018 “Mr. Abbas’s Vile Words” that “by succumbing to such dark, corrosive instincts he [Abbas] showed that it is time for him to leave office.” Abbas has always been vile. He has always negated Jewish rights and history in Israel and has been effective at getting United Nations and the liberal media bodies to support his narrative.

I suggest that there are two main points at play here. One has to do with the alt-left narrative of Palestinian reform and the other with the left-wing attempts to parse antisemitism from Anti-Zionism.

Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism by the Global Left-Wing
and by the Arab and Muslim World

Palestinians continue to reform, and are thereby worthy of sovereignty. For several years, the western world has sought to portray the Palestinians as progressing from their violent and antisemitic past (plane hijackings, murdering of athletes, intifadas) to a moderate stance of co-existence.

Consider the New York Times on May 5, 2018 claiming that while Abbas wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial (over Abbas’s 13 years of heading the PA, the Times mentioned this disgusting fact only a few times) it pretended that he recanted. “In 2014, on the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, he [Abbas] issued a formal statement calling the Nazi genocide ‘the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era’ and expressing sympathy with the victim’s families.” But Abbas then tied the Holocaust to the plight of the Palestinians, as though there is a remote equivalency between the slaughter of millions of defenseless Jews in the Holocaust to the failure of the Arab armies to destroy the nascent state of Israel. Abbas saidThe Palestinian people, who suffer from injustice, oppression and (are) denied freedom and peace, are the first to demand to lift the injustice and racism that befell other peoples subjected to such crimes,” calling Israelis racists like Nazis. That’s not really recanting his book on Holocaust denial when he equates the Jewish State with Nazi Germany.

However, his latest comments provided no room for liberal cover. Abbas’s April 30 gratuitous slander against the Jewish people highlighted a disgusting worldview that can never live at peace and negotiate honestly with the Jewish State. The liberals’ carefully constructed fig leaf of Palestinian moderation was obliterated.

Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism. For the Arab world, it has always been one and the same. The Palestinians elected Hamas to 58% of the Parliament in 2007 with statements in its charter that included:

  • “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious.” Preamable
  • In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.” (Article 15)
  • “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. “May the cowards never sleep.”” (Article 28)

It is specifically the presence of Jews in Israel and its territories that offends Arabs and Muslims. They don’t believe that Jews have any rights to be in the land and want them gone. As such, they forbid the teaching of the Holocaust in UNRWA schools and find nothing objectionable about Abbas’s latest speech. The Arabs are both antisemitic and anti-Zionist. One is part-and-parcel of the other.

Yet the western world that views itself as progressive has been at pains to tease apart anti-Zionism and antisemitism. Liberals have argued that criticism of Israel cannot be conflated with antisemitism. As such, vilifying Jews OUTSIDE of Israel is considered an offensive comment and clearly antisemitic, such as saying that Jews were to blame for the Holocaust. However, slamming Israeli Jews is fair game, such as when the BBC said that Israeli teenagers were partially responsible for their own murder since they should not have been hitchhiking in the West Bank. The world was content in blaming the victim in the case of Jews in Israel and the Israeli territories. For the alt-left, no Israeli can ever be a pure victim nor any Palestinian Arab a true criminal.

Abbas’s speech was treated with a yawn in the Arab and Muslim world, as antisemitism and anti-Zionism have long been a single cause. But it has confounded the western self-declared “progressives” who are doing their utmost to criticize Israel without the moniker of “anti-Semite” staining their liberal bona fides. As such, they are throwing Abbas under the bus rather than considering their own disturbing positions. Off with Abbas’s head.

To paraphrase Mel Brooks, it’s good to be a liberal king.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Why the Media Ignores Jihadists in Israel

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

The Palestinian State I Oppose

Abbas Knows Racism

In the Shadow of the Holocaust, The New York Times Fails to Flag Muslim Anti-Semitism

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NY Times Discolors Hate Crimes

On November 14, 2016, the NY Times published an article about hate crimes in which it deliberately misled its readers in several areas.

The article entitled “U.S. Hate Crimes Surge 6%, Fueled by Attacks on Muslims,” sought to continue a NY Times narrative that Trump supporters are white racists and xenophobes.  In this article, it chose to do this by emphasizing certain facts, redirecting the reader, and omitting some statistics completely.

All crimes are terrible, and hate crimes are particularly noxious.  If America wants to confront them with solutions, it needs to review them honestly.

The Focus on Muslims

The title of the article focused on the rise in hate crimes against Muslims, as did the article itself.  While there was a significant jump in the anti-Muslim attacks, an average Muslim in 2015 was still 50% LESS likely to be attacked than an average Jew (257 attacks against an American Muslim population of 3.3 million, versus 664 attacks against 5.8 million American Jews).

The Times did say that Jews were the most frequently attacked religious group, while blacks were the most targeted race – in the article’s seventh paragraph.  However, it then sought to redirect the reader to the significance of the anti-Muslim attacks:

“Blacks were the most frequent victims of hate crimes based on race, while Jews were the most frequent victims based on religion, according to the F.B.I. data. But the increases in attacks on these groups were smaller than the rise in attacks against Muslims and transgender people.”

Hey reader! Over here!  Focus on Muslims and transgender attacks! That’s the real story, not the groups that are subject to the most hate crimes!  Never mind that the total number of attacks against Muslims and transgender people COMBINED was LESS THAN HALF of the number of attacks against Jews.

Blame Trump

For over a year, the Times has called out Donald Trump and his supporters as being racists, homophobes and xenophobes. The Times told all of its readers to fear the local radical right much more than radical Islamic terrorism in articles throughout the year.  This article began:

“WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. reported Monday that attacks against American Muslims surged last year, driving an overall increase in hate crime against all groups.

The data, which is the most comprehensive look at hate crime nationwide, expanded on previous findings by researchers and outside monitors, who have noted an alarming rise in some types of crimes tied to the vitriol of this year’s presidential campaign and the aftermath of terrorist attacks at home and abroad since 2015.

That trend appears to have spiked in just the last week, with civil rights groups and news organizations reporting dozens of verbal or physical assaults on minorities and others that appear to have been fueled by divisions over the election.”

This is complete editorializing by the Times.  The FBI report gave a statistical analysis and breakdown of attacks that occurred in 2015. The report did not get into speculation about what drove people to commit the crimes. It certainly did not cover November 2016 when the report was solely about 2015.

The Times seemed to further add support for its rationale of blaming Trump, by stating “Attacks against Muslim Americans saw the biggest surge. There were 257 reports of assaults, attacks on mosques and other hate crimes against Muslims last year, a jump of about 67 percent over 2014. It was the highest total since 2001, when more than 480 attacks occurred in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.”

For the Times, Donald Trump equals September 11 for Muslim Americans.

Yet, if one were to scratch the surface, it would be clear that the number of attacks against Muslims has up-and-down years.  For example, hate crimes against Muslim Americans spiked in the early Obama years compared to the George W Bush years.  Under President Bush in 2008, there were 105 anti-Muslim attacks, which jumped by 52% to 160 attacks in 2010 under President Obama. Such attacks also jumped 15% between 2013 and 2014, well before the rise of Trump.

No Mention about the Offenders

The Times did not discuss other statistics from the FBI report, such as the ethnicity of the offenders.

In 2015, whites were twice as likely to commit a hate crime as a black American. Consider that there are over five times more whites than blacks in the US. That means that black people disproportionately are committing hate crimes (if all people are as likely to commit a hate crime, it would suggest that there would be roughly five times as many white offenders as black offenders, not two times).

The trendline about the offenders of hate crimes is also important to highlight, but dismissed in the Times.

In 2001, white people committed 4.5 times more hate crimes than black people (5,149 versus 1,157). That difference is more in line with what would be expected by the larger white population.

However, the New York Times did not report on the alarming trend of black people committing a growing and more disproportionate share of hate crimes, because it undermined the paper’s narrative that white Trump supporters are the bigots and “deplorables.”  Shining a light on the SHRINKING number of white attackers (2,657 in 2015 versus 5,149 in 2001), went against the liberals view of the world.


The reason that independents and libertarians are abandoning the Democratic Party is liberal’s blind adherance to a narrative that has no basis in facts. How can such a party hope to arrive at solutions to society’s ills if it will not honestly look at the world as it is?

hate-crimes-2015


Related First.One.Through articles:

Obama’s Select Religious Compassion

The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

Ramifications of Ignoring American Antisemitism

Leading Gay Activists Hate Religious Children

The Dangerous Red Herring Linking Poverty and Terrorism

A Deplorable Definition

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

Older White Men are the Most Politically Balanced Demographic By Far

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The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

President Barack Obama gave his final State of the Union address on January 12, 2016.  He gave an outline of a speech in four parts: economic opportunity; technology; a safe America; and politics, as he projected a future world ten-plus years out.

obama 2016 SOTU
Obama State of the Union Address
January 12, 2016 (photo:  M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO)

Safe America: Regarding a safe America, Obama continued to limit his global enemies to two parties: al Qaeda and ISIL/ Islamic State. Other countries that shout “Death to America! Death to Israel” like Iran were not labeled enemies that threaten the USA.  Obama mentioned Iran just a single time, when he extolled the “principled diplomacy” that “avoided another war.”  That may have been true in 2015.  But the future in ten-plus years that he facilitated, is a nuclear weapons-armed Iran.

A fanatical, anti-Semitic, America-bashing country with weapons of mass destruction is not a recipe to “keep America safe.”  Unless, of course, Obama has banked on Iran limiting its attack only against Israel, as he doubts that Iran would consider attacking the “most powerful nation on Earth.

Politics of religions: When Obama delved into politics, he not-so-subtly put Donald Trump in his crosshairs as he said “When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer.  That’s not telling it like it is.  It’s just wrong.  It diminishes us in the eyes of the world.  It makes it harder to achieve our goals.  And it betrays who we are as a country.

Obama berated Trump for his comments about Muslims in the past. This time, he extended his comments passed the politics of Trump, to anti-Muslim actions in the United States generally.  While he repeated prior statements that anti-Muslim actions betray the values of the United States, he added the dimension that Islamophobia “diminishes us in the eyes of the world.”  The two additions are noteworthy.

As detailed in “Ramifications of Ignoring American Antisemitism” an average American Jew is over TWICE as likely to be attacked as either a Muslim or black American.  Yet anti-Semitism is never flagged by Obama.  That is actually too kind.  Anti-Semitic attacks are often whitewashed by the Obama administration, such as his denial that Jews were targeted in Paris in January 2015.

Obama’s SOTU remarks add some color to his blindness.  He is concerned that Islamophobia “diminishes us in the eyes of the world.”  Not so anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism has a long history in the world.  Over the past eighteen months it has reared it’s ugly head again in Europe. It is pervasive in the Middle East.  As such, flagging anti-Semitism may diminish America’s standing in the world.

There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and only 16 million Jews, a 100:1 ratio.  Islamophobia upsets at least 1.6 billion people and few seem to notice or care about the more prevalent anti-Semitism.  So Obama omitted discussing anti-Semitism and only highlighted the less common attacks on Muslims.

 

In his seventh year as president of the United States, Obama finally made his views on anti-Semitism a little more clear: Jews and Israel are small sacrifices to ensure a safer America.


Related First.One.Through articles:

“Jews as a Class”

Obama’s “Values” Red Herring

Obama’s Select Religious Compassion

Bibi’s Paris Speech in Context

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

Failures of the Obama Doctrine and the Obama Rationale

Joe Biden Stabs a Finger at Israel

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“Jews as a Class”

In December 2015, Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump announced his intention to impose a ban on all Muslims coming into the United States in response to various terrorist attacks done by militant radical jihadists. The question of whether such an action could be legally and practically enforced made historians look back to the treatment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. However, there is a better reference point for singling out a religious group, which happened 153 years ago this week.

General Grant Expelled the Jews

In the heat of the American Civil War, Major General Ulysses S. Grant was eager to establish military advantage. One of the ways he sought to accomplish this task was to curtail illegal smuggling of cotton and other goods out of the South which helped finance the Confederate’s war efforts. One group that Grant saw as being particularly involved in the trade was the Jews.

As such, on December 17, 1862 Union General U. S. Grant issued General Order No. 11 which stated:

The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the Department [of the Tennessee] within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order.

Post commanders will see to it that all of this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permit from headquarters.

No passes will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application of trade permits.

By order of Maj. Gen. U. S. Grant”

As clearly spelled out, the order singled out one minority group – in its entirety – to be expelled from their homes within Grant’s territory (western Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi). This order continues to stand as the most anti-Semitic act by the US government to this day.

Grant expel jews
Jonathan D. Sarna’s book on Grant Expelling Jews in the Civil War

The Objection

As detailed in Jonathan D. Sarna’s book “When General Grant Expelled the Jews,” there were many objections to Order No. 11 at the time:

  1. Treat smugglers as individuals. While there were certainly Jewish smugglers profiting from the war, American laws require action against the people who actually commit the crime, and in some cases, people who aid and abet the illegal activity. In no situation does the law enable prosecution of an entire category of people who have no connection to the illegal activities.
  2. Prosecute all smugglers. There were many non-Jews involved in the smuggling trade. The North itself enabled the sale of cotton which it hoped would be used to finance its own war efforts while it penalized the South. Yet Grant’s orders do not punish all smugglers, but only Jewish one’s together with co-religionists, reeked of anti-Semitism and illogic.
  3. Non-violence, nor calls for violence. None of the smugglers committed any violent acts against other Americans. While Grant argued that the smuggling itself helped fund the Confederacy, neither Jews as individuals, nor any Jewish group overall called for harming the Union. All of the smugglers – Jews and non-Jews alike – were simply seeking a profit.
  4. Jews were serving in the Union Army. There were roughly eight thousand Jews serving in the Union army, including nine generals. The broad edict by Grant would have forced his own soldiers to be expelled from the region.

President Lincoln thought the order was inappropriate and countered the order. Lincoln commanded his general chief of the army, Henry Halleck, to revoke the order on January 4, 1863. Halleck wrote a letter to Grant which stated:

“It may be proper to give you some explanation of the revocation of your order expelling Jews from your department. The President has no objection to your expelling traitors and Jew peddlers, which, I suppose, was the object of your order; but, as it in terms proscribed an entire religious class, some of whom are fighting in our ranks, the President deemed it necessary to revoke it.”

Grant, who was later to become president of the United States, deeply regretted his Order No. 11 later in life, according to Sarna. He created a cabinet that included more Jews than any previous administration. When he was asked in 1875 why he issued such a bigoted order, he simply replied that in wartime “nice distinctions were disregarded. We had no time to handle things with kid gloves.”

Which has a similar ring to some calls against Muslims in America today.

Muslims in America Today

On December 8, 2015, the Wall Street Journal led with an editorial “The Obama-Trump Dialectic” which blamed the rise of Donald J. Trump’s illiberal suggestions of how to treat Muslims on the failures of Obama to confront militant radical jihadists.

The Obama failures regarding calling out and responding to radical Islam are plentiful, but beyond the scope of this article.  The question is Trump’s desire to treat “an entire religious class” (to use the Lincoln-Grant phraseology) as a single unit.

Trump had two principle ideas of handling Muslims as of December 2015:

  1. a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”
  2. a database for tracking all Muslims in the United States

Each of Trump’s ideas treats all Muslims as a distinct minority subject to rules that do not apply to any other people.  The distinction is based on religion, as was the case for Jews in 1862, which was objectionable to President Lincoln.

1. Immigrants: The first idea relates to incoming immigrants, not US Muslim citizens.  As such, while objectionable in principle, it is different than applying discriminatory laws against US citizens who have broad protections under the law.  Trump’s arguments for foreign Muslims today are different than for Jews in 1862, as they also are in comparing Jewish immigrants fleeing Europe in the 1930s and 1940s:

  • There were no global Jewish militants threatening to destroy America, like radical jihadist groups ISIS, Al Qaeda, and others today
  • Foreign Jewish groups did not kill thousands of Americans as was the case of Muslim foreigners over the recent past
  • There was no Jewish state for Jews 150 years ago or during World War II to act as a natural safe haven for Jews fleeing persecution, while there are 57 Muslim countries to absorb fellow Muslim immigrants
  • Jews were not engaged in any violent activities in America in the 1860s or during World War II, while Muslims today are engaged in several international wars and have attacked America
  • Jews have always been a very small minority, while there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world leading to a potentially much more significant immigration issue
  • Jews have a long history of being expelled from countries, and hoped for a tolerant country in the United States which was founded on the principle of religious freedom; Muslims do not have a history of being expelled, but they also hope to enjoy America’s freedoms

Regarding Muslim immigration, Obama’s failures to call out Islamic terrorism is magnified by his refusal to take a strong stand on border control, according to Republicans and the WSJ.  Trump said that the ban would only be temporary until the government better understands the situation.

As detailed in “A Logical Approach to Immigration from Personal History,” there is a successful history of the US processing immigrants fleeing persecution to make sure that proper vetting takes place.  It would NOT ban all Muslims, but instead require them to first be situated out of harm’s way in a displaced person’s camp, say in Jordan, at which point vetting would occur.  Women and children would be permitted into the US first, followed by men at some point in the future.

Most significantly, not every situation is the same.  Muslims in Myanmar are different than Sunnis and Shiites from the Middle East.  Each may or may not have valid reasons to seek asylum in the USA.

Trump’s call for an edict against “Muslims as a class” regarding immigration recalls Grant’s comment during wartime that “nice distinctions were disregarded. We had no time to handle things with kid gloves.”  But today, there is time to manage a logical vetting process – which is more robust than put forward by President Obama.

2. Muslim Citizens. While non-American Muslims are not afforded protection of US laws (but only those that relate to immigration policies), American Muslims are full citizens with full rights and protections.  They account for 0.9% of the US population.  While some may have committed terrorist acts, the vast majority have not.  Further, there is no indication that there is a widespread plot to harm America or American interests.

Like the Jews in 1862, there is no basis of treating all co-religionists as a single “class,” while the treatment of the Jews was punitive, and the Trump suggestion for Muslims would just be placing the group under surveillance.

The US government just ended its vast metadata collection program.  That database was on all Americans that helped to track connections between potential terrorists.  Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie stated that ending that program was a big mistake, as using data collection and analytical tools helped locate would-be terrorists and keeps Americans safe.

Chris Christie RJC
NJ Governor Chris Christie addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition
in Washington, D.C., December 2015

(photo: First.One.Through)

A new modified approach of data collection in which people who make calls to, or visit war zones, such as Iraq and Syria, would be tracked may be an appropriate next step.  That would be more logical and fair and not treat all Muslims “as a class” simply for their religious beliefs, but based on actions.  An action-based monitoring system and database would capture information on Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Conclusion

On December 10, 2015, the liberal newspaper The New York Times led with an editorial “The Trump Effect, and How it Spreads” which blamed the entire Republican party as being a bunch of racists.  As opposed to the Wall Street Journal editorial two days prior, it did not place any blame for the popularity of Trump’s positions on the many failures of the Obama administration.

While liberals and conservatives would both agree that a government’s primary concern is for the safety of its citizens, it does so within the framework of laws. America has laws requiring the separation of church-and-state and also does not have a class-based entrenched society.  The foundation documents of the country are that “all men are created equal, and they should be treated equally under the law.

General Grant made an anti-Semitic order during the Civil War, but society was fortunate to have Abraham Lincoln who realized the deep inherent flaw of punishing an entire group of people.  In the middle of that episode, Lincoln made the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which freed the slaves.  Lincoln understood that if all men are to be equal, it must include every minority – blacks or Jews.

General Grant had Lincoln to keep his anti-Semitic edict in check, and Grant ultimately proved to be a good friend of the Jews.  His Order No. 11 was issued in the fervent hope of winning the war and protecting the Union.

Donald Trump has no power today so his words can best be kept in check by public voices, and ultimately the public vote.  Both Republicans and Democrats have spoken out against his suggestions as being un-American.  Indeed they are.

However, just as Grant was acting out of the interest of protecting America (with a very bad idea), it did not mark him as a permanent anti-Semite. It is similarly possible that a President Trump would place many Muslims on his cabinet.

Trump’s calls to treat Muslims “as a class” is wrong and racist. However, it does not mean that he will ultimately harbor anti-Muslim animus, just as Grant reformed in a time of peace.  The NY Times suggestion that all of the Republican candidates are racists is as narrow-minded and bigoted as Trump’s declaration.  However, it is more unlikely that the Times changes its biased viewpoints, than Trump modifying his.


Related First.One.Through articles:

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

Dancing with the Asteroids

The Gap between Fairness and Safety: WMDs in Iraq and Iran

Not Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the Girders

The Banners of Jihad

Finding Mr. Right-Wing

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New York Times Finds Racism When it Wants

On January 3, 2015, the New York Times posted a large color picture on its front page about people in Sweden standing against a suspected arson attack on a mosque. The article on page A4 that continued onto page A9 described how anti-Muslim sentiment has taken hold in a country that had been known for its liberal immigration policy.

Sweden-articleLarge
New York Times cover about Attack on Mosque in Sweden

Anti-Muslim vs. Anti-Semitism

It is interesting to note how the paper highlighted the “anti-Muslim sentiment” in the title of the article after three suspected arson attacks against mosques in Sweden over the previous ten days. There were no witnesses and no arrests in the attacks but the Times drew its own conclusion that the fires must have been driven by “anti-Muslim” anger.

Compare that conclusion with the one at which the Times arrived in reviewing the actions in Europe during a week in July 2014. There were a dozen incidents involving thousands of people:

  • A synagogue was firebombed in Paris
  • Jewish stores including kosher butchers were looted and 18 people were arrested
  • A mob that gathered outside a synagogue with a hundred Jews trapped inside, shouted “Death to the Jews” and “Hitler was right”
  • In Belgium signs posted in store windows read “no Jews allowed”
  • In Berlin, an imam called for the murder of Jews
  • In Paris, a riot of 4000 people with weapons called for attacks on Jews; 70 were arrested
  • A Facebook page with the names and faces of Jews was posted with a call to attack the individuals who were later beaten
  • The leaders of several countries in Europe condemned the attacks as raw “anti-Semitism”

Despite the clarity of the attacks against Jews, in two separate articles the New York Times said those incidents had an “anti-Semitic tinge”. “TINGE” – meaning that the anti-Jewish sentiment was barely noticeable.

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The Invisible Cause

The Times article on Sweden did not highlight any Muslim actions that may have caused the Swedish “anti-Muslim” sentiment. It mentioned European “rising fear of Islamic radicalism” in a general manner, and mentioned the poor economic situation that recent immigrants find themselves in, and the generous benefits afforded by Sweden’s welfare economy. But the article sought to distance the economic strain on Swedish society by quoting a recent immigrant who stated: “We were not looking for food or benefits. We were looking for somewhere to feel safe.” Some stories neglected by the Times article:

Muslim riots: In 2013, various riots broke out in Sweden with Muslim immigrants burning cars and neighborhoods and throwing stones. Some of those events were covered by the Times. The paper referred to the rioters as “immigrants” throughout the article, and never mentioned their Islamic faith.

Explosion of Rape cases: Over the past decade, the number of reported rapes in Sweden has exploded. The country now ranks as the third highest country in terms of the number of rapes, as the frequency has jumped 250% between 2003 and 2010. While most of the world has seen reported cases of rape dropping or leveling out, the trend in Sweden has been alarming and the focus of much discussion and debate. Many people have attributed the dramatic spike as due to the influx of immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and southeast Asia where rape is much more common than western Europe. This piece of information was also not included in the Times article about Swedes becoming “anti-Muslim”.

Interestingly, in perhaps a related trend, a huge scandal broke in the summer of 2014 about 1400 girls in northern England who had been systematically raped by a gang of Pakistani Muslim men over 13 years. During its reporting of the story, the New York Times refused to publish that any of the attackers was Muslim and just referred to them as men with “Pakistani heritage”. Other media outlets did not exclude the common faith in their reporting.

It would appear that the New York Times deliberately avoids mentioning the religious background of Muslims when reporting crimes, but is quick to blame crimes against their community as “anti-Muslim”.

Conversely, in reporting the European riots protesting Israel, the New York Times seemed perplexed as to why Americans supported Israel while Europeans did not. It put forth an absurd idea that Americans supported Israel “because of the failure of the Arab Spring to spread democracy in the Middle East.” It ignored the actual evil actions and comments of the Palestinians that have been waging war against Israeli civilians for years. Once again, the Times absolved the Muslims of culpability. Regarding the riots in Europe against innocent Jewish citizens of their respective countries who were not Israelis, the Times dismissed the anti-Semitism as not noteworthy.

Racism and anti-religious feelings are indeed real.  The Times has shown that it is adept at finding or ignoring such sentiments as it fits the narrative they are selling.

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Sources:

Immigrant riots in Sweden: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/world/europe/swedens-riots-put-its-identity-in-question.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Rapes in Sweden: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/1-in-4-swedish-women-will-be-raped-as-sexual-assaults-increase-500/

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=de1_1394099792

Global rape statistics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics

Pat Condell on Sweden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZsvdg1dkJ4

Related FirstOneThrough articles:

Anti-Semitic Tinge: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/an-anti-semitic-tinge/

NY Times calling “an anti-Semitic tinge” for a second time: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/tinge-two-idioms-for-idiots/

1400 girls raped in Britain, yet the NY Times refuses to point to the rapists as Muslims: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/the-ties-that-bind-and-those-unmentioned/