Jew-Hatred as History
Posted: December 31, 2001
The not-so-secret relationship between the Nation of Islam and another contemporary hate movement underscores the lengths to which the organization will go to argue against concerns about anti-Semitism. Recently certain leaders within the NOI have expressed support for Holocaust "revisionism," the propaganda movement which claims that the Nazi genocide of six million Jews, as well as millions of non-Jews, during World War II never occurred. For example, in the May 6, 1991, issue of NOI's The Final Call newspaper, Abdul Allah Muhammad wrote, "... the four million extermination victims cited on the stone [at Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration camp] was a blatant lie.... But the most astute Jewish mathematicians will ignore plain facts, continue to bellow the six-million holocaust [sic] lie, and to condemn anyone who insists upon being intelligent enough to subtract three from six." Elsewhere, Muhammad referred to Simon Wiesenthal, in the October 6, 1992, issue of The Final Call, as "a so-called Nazi-hunter who has been proven to be a liar and a fraud"; this too is a frequent allegation of the Holocaust "revisionists."
In December 1991, Khallid Abdul Muhammad, another NOI activist, used the Holocaust to level an even more outrageous charge against Jews. According to New York's Amsterdam News, December 28, 1991, Muhammad said, "They are always talking about what Hitler did to the Jews, but what did the Jews do to Hitler?"
An NOI-Holocaust Denial Connection
The Historical Research Department, however, seems to embrace this racial definition of Judaism for prejudicial reasons of its own.
A more precise connection between the Nation of Islam and the organized Holocaust-denial movement comes through Professor Arthur Butz. A professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Northwestern University, Butz is the author of The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, an early "revisionist" work that, in its distortion of conventional scholarly procedures to support a wholly implausible theory, could have served as a model for The Secret Relationship. In 1985 Butz lectured to a Nation of Islam audience in Chicago on the subject of "International Zionism," and much of this speech incorporated his fraudulent beliefs on the Holocaust. By accepting Butz as an authority on either the Holocaust or "Zionism," the Nation of Islam thus dismisses even the most horrendous act of anti-Semitism in history, Hitler's plan to murder every Jew in Europe, as a "Jewish hoax."
Jews as a Race
Were it possible to convince the NOI of the Holocaust's veracity, which is of course one of the most meticulously documented facts in history, the group would likely still dismiss the anti-Semitism of the genocide, because, after all, the Nazis murdered Jews in the name of "racial purity," not religion. The Historical Research Department, however, seems to embrace this racial definition of Judaism for prejudicial reasons of its own. For example, the authors devote an early section of the book to the Marranos - Jews who remained in Spain after the 1492 expulsion by converting to Christianity. Although many Jews did, as the authors note, secretly adhere to Judaism, others sincerely converted, and members of both groups were frequently persecuted regardless of whether or not incriminating evidence against them existed.
Christians as "Jews"
For the most part, it is fruitless to speculate as to which of these Marranos identified with Judaism and which with Christianity, yet the authors consider the entire class as Jews in order to bolster their claims about Jewish involvement in the Spanish and Portuguese slave trade. Thus, they quote a 1611 source on Brazilian sugar plantations which states, "The Jew had more than 100,000 crowns worth of merchandise... There was also another Jew on board as rich as he.... The profits they make after being nine or ten years in those lands are marvelous, for they all come back rich; many of these new Christians, Jews by race, but baptized being worth 60, 80, or even 100 thousand crowns...." (p. 22) The contradiction of referring to baptized Christians as "Jews" seems to escape both the original commentator and the authors of The Secret Relationship. Moreover, the emphatic scrutiny of the New Christians' wealth calls to mind the timeless stereotype of Jews as rich, greedy, and obsessed with money.