Hermann Goering would be proud

“Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” Goering shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”

“There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”

“Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

– Hermann Goering, 1946

Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times, posted on Twitter on Friday that “Anti-film protests part of organized effort by power hungry extremists to promote local Islamist agendas and undermine moderates”. In other words, craven opportunists are exploiting the religious sentiments of the people to create a ‘siege mentality’ in which global forces led by the familiar bogeys – America and Jews.

As if on cue, Amir Jamaat-e-Islami Munawar Hasan began Tweeting himself:

Syed Munawar Hasan Tweets

What is extraordinary about Munawar Hasan’s claims is not only that he is clearly repeating disinformation, but that he did so just after being given the updated information:

Not only did the JI chief not correct his previous Tweet, he continued repeating information that he knew was not true. One can forgive someone for being misinformed, but to willfully misinform others is simply lying. So why would a supposedly pious man like Munawar Hasan knowingly misinform people about something as sensitive as who was behind a blasphemous and offensive film? The answer might be found on the streets of Karachi.

JI protest Karachi

It is, after all, much easier to rally unwavering support for your political agenda if you can point to a Zionist-American conspiracy against Islam than it is if the culprit is a convicted Egyptian drug cooker.

Munawar Hasan, however, was really just following in the footsteps of another Islamist totalitarian, Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who issued an address on Thursday blaming “the antagonistic policies of the Zionists and the US and other heads of the global arrogance”. And, just as with Munawar Hasan, Ayatollah Khamenei gives himself away at the end:

Muslim brothers and sisters must know that this desperate move by the enemies in the wake of the Islamic Awakening is a sign of the grandeur and importance of this uprising and heralds its increasing growth.

These are just two examples, of course, and each of them must be sending cases of sweetmeats to Khaled Abdallah and the hardline Egyptian clerics who brought the unknown film to the attention of the world. That’s the saddest part of this who tragedy. At its core, it was never about love for the Prophet (PBUH), it was about the lust for power and control. Hermann Goering would be proud.

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