Nazis and Muslims Commit Book Burning
Book burning has a long and fanatical history, the recent examples belonging to the Nazi regime in 1933 and the Islamic regime of Iran short after the 1979 revolution.
“Bücherverbrennung”, book burning, of Nazis on 10 May 1933 remains a shame in the history of Germany. So-called “degenerate” books were burnt in Nazi-Germany. The “Säuberung”, cleansing, started from the capital of the third Reich, Berlin, with 20,000 books and went on in other German cities.
The Nazis burnt books with “non-German” ideas. The works of leading German writer such as Berthold Brecht, Lion Feuchtwanger, Erich Koestler, and Alfred Kerr, Karl Marx, Kurt Tucholsky were consigned to flames. Worthy books written by Freud, Einstein, Thomas Mann, Jack London, H.G. Wells and many others went up in flames, whilst Germans gave the Nazi salute.
The target of such a book burning is the suppression of free thoughts and ideas. The action in Germany was a tactic of Joseph Goebbels’ Ministry of Propaganda with the target of brainwashing a whole nation. The promotion of “Aryan” culture and the suppression of other forms of artistic production was yet another Nazi effort to “purify” Germany.
The same action was undertaken in Iran for the twin aims of the promotion of Islam and the suppression of Iranian identity (in favour of an “Arab” identity).
Like the Nazis, the Islamic regime of Iran’s book burning and censorship are aimed at stamping out ideas of freedom and also a more nefarious purpose in a line with the early Muslim invaders: suppressing the non-Islamic culture and values of that civilisation, all of which Islam considers to be but “jahiliyah” – ignorance. The Nazis in Germany and Mullahs in Iran were neither the first nor the last book-burners in history. Christianity has a longer history of defending an all-powerful deity by shielding the mind from strange ideas.
The “Dark Ages” of the Middle Ages in Europe is full of religious atrocity, many scientists were burnt with their ideas and books: Jean Calvin was probably the most efficient: in 1600, when he burned Michael Servetus at the stake for heresy, and around his waist were tied a large bundle of manuscript and a thick octavo printed book. Another notorious illustration of this was in July of 1562, when Bishop Diego de Landa burnet five thousand idols and many thousands of their written works.
Scientific inquiry had virtually no support in Western society from the 7th to 15th centuries. Bigoted Ecclesiasticism dammed the flow of free thought, blocking the seepage of knowledge within Western societies. Books were branded as magic and treasonous, and the writer or reader was punishable by torture or death. Bruno was burned at the stake for the crime of claiming that the earth rotates about its axis. Many similar events now happen under the plague of the Islamic regime.
Several decades after the advent of Islam in Arabia, Muslim invaders galloped through foreign territories. They destroyed great civilisations including many libraries because books are regarded by fanatics as the symbols of knowledge and wisdom of those cultures. This early book-burning of primitive Muslim invaders paved the way for 1400 years of darkness and backwardness in the Islamic world. The pre-Islamic Iranian great library of Ctesiphon was destroyed during the 637 Muslims’ conquest of Iran. It was the first huge book burning by Muslims in Iran under the caliphate of Umar — “If the books contradict the Qur’an, they are blasphemous. On the other hand, if they are in agreement, they are not needed, as for us Qur’an is sufficient.” That was the caliph Umar’s command to Saad ibn, the commander of Muslim invaders. So, the huge library of Ctesiphon was destroyed and the books, the product of the generations of Persian scientists and scholars, were thrown into fire or the river of Euphrates. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_book-burning_incidents
Muslim invaders occupied Iran with sword in one hand and the Koran in the other. The Koran was not sufficient; the sword said the last word. The expansion of Islam was not the result of the Koran but the result of the sword of the conquerors coupled with the effects of “Stockholm syndrome” on the conquered Iranians. The extreme brutality of the Muslims which caused these effects was related to an illusionary protection by divine providence. The solders of Islam conquering territories were in fact illiterate Bedouins; but ones firmly motivated by the spoils of war, slaves, paradise with 72 Huries and boys as their promised reward.
Recalling not only the book burning of 1933 by the Nazis, but also the 7th century invasion of Islam in Iran, the regime launched in 1980 a “cultural revolution” to further alienate Iranians from their pre-Islamic values. Following this so-called cultural Revolution, bands of Hezbollah attacked, destroyed and burnt libraries in Iran. Millions of “un-Islamic” books were burnt or confiscated. Writers, publishers, and thousands of readers were arrested and even executed.
Like the Nazis in 1933, the Islamic regime of Iran had its version of both book burning and censorship. Thousands of titles have been banned and hundreds of thousands of books are destroyed by unfortunate publishers who have not been authorised to distribute their books, even once published. Not only does the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ministry of Islamic Guidance and Culture now censor some of Iran’s best contemporary writers and researchers, such as Sadegh Hedayat, Sadegh Choobak, Ebrahim Golestan, Gholamhossein Sa’aedi, Ahmad Kasravi, Ali Dashti, Ebrahim Poordavoud, Zabih Behrouz and others; but in recent years they suppressed parts of, and even complete, pieces of works by well-known poets such as Souzani Samarghandi, Omar Khayam, Molana Jalaledin Rumi, Nezami Ganjavi, Abid Zakani, Iradj Mirza, and even some lexicons from Ali Akbar Dehkhoda and Farhang Mo’in as “non-Islamic”.
The ruling Mullahs are not solely aimed at stamping out ideas of freedom but for a more nefarious purpose and in a line with the early Muslim invaders, attempt to suppress the historical identity of Iranian citizens and this is their main difference with the Nazis. While the Nazis burnt written works with “non-German ideas”, Mullahs destroy every value of pre-Islamic Iranians.
In many ways the parallels between the Nazis and the Iranian Mullahs are close, but there is this difference: While the Nazis burnt written works they deemed to be without “German ideas”, the Iranian Mullahs destroy Iranian works with Iranian ideas. Whilst the Germans burned books with the aim of promoting “Germanic/Aryan supremacy”, the Iranian Mullahs promote “Iranian inferiority” to a foreign culture – that of Arab Islamism. In my opinion, this latter is the worse crime.