Sunday, January 29, 2006

Article 22 of Hamas’s covenant on Jews, Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, and the Lions

Nick Cohen writes Fascists are on the march again,
It is impossible to write anything about Jews these days without being accused of being an anti-semite or a Zionist imperialist. I think I’ll take the coward’s course and look at what the victorious Islamists of Hamas think of Freemasons instead.

It was Masons, not Jews, who were the target of the original conspiracy theory of the far right. What would end up as fascism began as a reaction against the American and French revolutions. The counter-revolutionaries had to explain why people were proclaiming heretical ideas about the rights of man. They couldn’t admit that the French and Americans were embracing Enlightenment values of their own free will. There had to be a conspiracy. Europe’s Jews were in the ghetto in the 1790s, and it was preposterous to pretend that they were secret rulers of the world. So the far right decided that the conspirators were the Freemasons.

Hitler banned Freemasonry and General Franco executed thousands of Spanish Masons. You get an idea of how thoroughly the ideas of the European reaction have penetrated the Middle East when you look at the loathing of Masons on the Arab far Right.

Article 22 of Hamas’s covenant says of the Jews: ‘They were behind the French Revolution, the communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money, they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies.’

I know Iraqis who had to run for their lives when Saddam Hussein accused them of being part of a Masonic plot. Last year, the Telegraph reported that Ahmad Thomson, a Muslim lawyer who advises the Prime Minister on community relations, had declared that a ’sinister’ group of Jews and Freemasons was behind the invasion of Iraq.

Everything from the ravings of the Iranian leadership to the genocide in Darfur makes a little more sense if you grasp that parts of the poor world have taken up the insane theories of European fascism. And as Europeans ought to know by now, you need to be very worried when the men who spout them get into power.

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