Paul E. Marek, an educational consultant and blogger, is a second-generation Canadian whose grandparents fled Czechoslovakia prior to the Nazi invasion of 1938. A widely circulated essay he wrote over a decade ago is a warning against inaction.
I used to know a man whose family were German aristocracy prior to World War II. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since.
“Very few people were true Nazis,” he said, “but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.”
We are told again and again by experts and talking heads that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.
The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.
It is the fanatics who march.
It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide.
It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave.
It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or execute honor killings.
It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque.
It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals.
The hard, quantifiable fact is that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority,” and it is cowed and extraneous.
• Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.
• China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.
• The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a war-mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians–most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet.
• And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were “peace loving”?
History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt; yet, for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by the fanatics. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because, like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.
Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghanis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us, watching it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts: the fanatics who threaten our way of life.