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Monday, September 12, 2005

We live and learn …

Although it had quotation marks, there was no name to identify the 'source' at the bottom of the passage printed in large white letters against a green background, subconsciously suggesting a Muslim connection. My own first reaction to it was that, if it weren't for the obvious Christian references, these words — with some variation — could have easily been misconstrued as the rants and raves of a fanatical Muslim preacher.

"... My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to the fight against them and who - God's truth! - was greatest not as sufferer but as fighter. In boundless love, as a Christian and as a man, I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and of adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion, I recognize - more profoundly than ever before - the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I do have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. And, as a man, I have the duty to see to it that human society does not suffer the same catastrophic collapse as did the civilization of the ancient world some two thousand years ago - a civilization which was driven to its ruin through this same Jewish people."

This obnoxious piece of paper was thrust into my hands, as I got off the bus at a street corner in New Jersey, by a group of 3 white youths, who then scurried away hastily. I assumed, later, that their action was probably because distributing such hate material must be against the law (but, with today's USA, I am only guessing). The back of the sheet was plain: no address to contact; no organization to join; no action demanded. This struck me as odd, even as I stuffed it into my bag-load of shopping, to read again at leisure and hazard a guess at who would be behind it and why.

Later, as I thought things over, I wondered whether it was handed over to me because my Pakistani looks indicated that I would be sympathetic to the preaching of such hateful stuff. If so, wasn't that, too, a form of racial profiling? Another thought — despite the fact that I was now in my motel room, far away from the bus-stop — sent a sudden shudder down my spine: Was I being set up? Could the next step for those kids have been to send a policeman after me and have me searched for spreading hate-literature?
Recent events indicated that, in such a case, I would be guilty until I could prove my innocenc

On re-reading the passage, I felt absolutely certain that these could only be the words of a rabid Anti-Semitic Evangelist. Heaven knows, there are several hate-spewing preachers I have come across, during my years of seafaring, who could have uttered such crap without a blink! Just before I burnt the paper (I was still worried that some room-service guy would find it on my desk and report me), I decided - can't quite remember why - to type a phrase from it in ScrapX: As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I do have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. The phrase seemed innocuous enough, at the time. Even mundanely moral. Until today!

Stumbling across it, several months after the New Jersey trip, I decided to cut-and-paste it into the iSeek search box. Imagine my disbelief when the name of Adolf Hitler jumped out at me from all the links that were displayed. Reading his Munich speech, from which this quote was taken, has certainly made it a lot easier for me to comprehend the sinister routes such scoundrels take, be they a Christian Adolf Hitler in Germany, a Hindu Narendra Mody in Gujarat, or a Muslim Zia-ul-Haque in Pakistan.

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Anonymous Rahmat Masih said...

Fascinating … Did not know Hitler was such a devout but misguided Christian.

16 September, 2005 20:18


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