Islam and its Denial - Part VII
It took thirty years before the threat of communism was taken seriously by our country as a whole. From the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 to Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech in 1947, many had warned of the pernicious nature of this ideology but those in power, backed by influential intellectuals, failed to face the stark reality. During the Red Decade of the 1930s, left-liberals minimized or trivialized – if not out right denied – the evil nature of communism and the horrors of the Soviet Union. I review the history of that denial here.
Similarly, during the 1930s too many people found it hard to believe that Hitler meant what he said. Nor that the German people would support him in another world war. As usual, it was common to project our war-weariness and decency onto the German people. Many still say that most Germans didn’t buy into the worse aspects of Nazism but that as good people they did nothing as “evil triumphed.”
Today we see the same smug dismissal of Islamist leaders who openly advocate a supremacist ideology of world conquest. Unable to see the implications of the ideology of Islam, our leading writers in the media and press, across the political spectrum, assure us that this is just a few malcontents. And once again, the silence among good Muslims – those lax, lapsed, perfunctory, or selective in their practice of Islam – should give neophytes to the study of Islam pause for concern. Their silent sanction is as dangerous as a vigorous endorsement.
With the rise of secular totalitarianisms, we can look back and in the stereotypical manner of Monday morning quarterbacks, imagine our ability to recognize and fight these threats. There were opponents, to be sure, but those that fully understood the grave threats of both communism and fascism were rare indeed. It is common for those that chastise the willing blindness to fascism to hold up as heroes, anti-fascists, blind only to communism. And vice versa, some applaud opponents of communism that failed to understand the depths of depravity of fascism. But there were a few who saw the coming horror of both.
I’ve summarized the blindness to the communism threat in the 1930s. In the following post, I review how blind many were to the fascist threat but this time I discuss it through the eyes of one witness to history: Eugene P. Wigner. A Hungarian born physicist, Wigner was instrumental in the creation of the Manhattan project and, like his friend Edward Teller, continued to be a fierce opponent of communism.