The Odd Twists of Guilt
Mark Steyn proposes an interesting turnabout:
… As paradoxical as it sounds, Muslims have been far greater beneficiaries of Holocaust guilt than the Jews. In a nutshell, the Holocaust enabled the Islamization of Europe. Without post-war guilt, and the revulsion against nationalism, and the embrace of multiculturalism and mass immigration, the Continent would never have entertained for a moment the construction of mosques from Dublin to Dusseldorf and the accommodation of Muslim sensitivities on everything from British nursing uniforms to Brussels police doughnut consumption during Ramadan. Holocaust guilt is a cornerstone of the Muslim Europe arising before our eyes. The only minority that can’t leverage the Shoah these days is the actual target. It is disheartening to see Elie Wiesel, in Toronto the other day, calling for Holocaust denial to be made a crime throughout the world (as it already is in many European countries). He so doesn’t get it. The greater risk to Jews is not that the world will “forget” the murder of 6 million people but that it has appropriated the crime for its own purposes. In Europe, the ever more extravagant Holocaust Memorial Day observances have taken on the character of America’s gay-pride parades with their endlessly proliferating subcategories of celebrants. As Anthony Lipmann, the son of an Auschwitz survivor, wrote in The Spectator five years ago: “When on 27 January I take my mother’s arm — tattoo number A-25466 — I will think not just of the crematoria and the cattle trucks but of Darfur, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Jenin, Fallujah.”
One could note that the Holocaust wasn’t the only moral crime contributing to social guilt and the multiculturalist mindset, which Islamofascists — while feeling no guilt about their treatment of Jews, women, homosexuals, Christians, and any other subjugable groups — leverage to self-present as an oppressed minority. In the United States, slavery and segregation are the hinge pin.
In a sense, Western Civilization has been in a sort of cultural Purgatory. Having awoken to some of the evils in which we’ve participated — although they are by no means unique to us — we are shocked into a crisis of confidence. Not surprisingly, our own demons and those from outside see an opportunity to seize while we’re locked in an unhealthy vanity of repentance. The challenge is to learn from the past rather than wallowing right back into it.