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Wednesday, 7 November 2007
Where is the Modern Day Huizinga?

More evidence of Western Europe’s moral and intellectual decay, and capitulation to the Ur Fascism of the Islamic Jihad emerged on Wednesday November 7, 2007, with this announcement:


Tariq Ramadan is to hold the Sultan of Oman chair of Islamology at the University of Leiden. Education and Culture Minister Ronald Plasterk said yesterday in the Lower House that he does not object to Ramadan's appointment.


The appointment was a sickening reminder of its diametric opposite: the principled stand taken at Leiden by Huizinga in 1933 as described in “Huizinga before the Abyss: The von Leers Incident at the University of Leiden, April 1933,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 1997, 27:385-44.  Johan Huizinga, the great Dutch historian, then serving as rector of Leiden University, withdrew university hospitality to the Nazi scholar, Johannes von Leers, who was attending an international student conference at the university. Huizinga acted on the grounds that von Leers had published an anti-Semitic election pamphlet in which he knowingly presented the blood libel of Jewish ritual murder as a historical fact, and contemporary threat. Despite subsequently winning public approval, Huizinga stood in courageous isolation when he took this action, suffering both personal criticism and significant problems in his dealings with German and Swiss publishing houses in the aftermath of the affair. (Ultimately, he died in Nazi detention, during 1945.) Thus in sharp contrast to his modern heirs at Leiden University, Huizinga had a very definite sense that a university had to judge its behavior according to concepts of intellectual honor and dignity which von Leers’ actions infringed upon.

Add to the bitter irony that von Leers, who was Goebbel’s favorite Nazi propagandist of annihilation, two decades before his eventual conversion to Islam, in Blut und Rasse in der Gesetzgebung (“Blood and Race in Legislation,” 1936) expressed his admiration for “the imperious and warlike Islam [of the peoples] who still had a clear Nordic racial component,” while also extolling in Der Kardinal und die Germanen (“The Cardinal and the Germans,” 1934) Islam’s ecumenical “tolerance.”  Already in additional essays published during 1938 and 1942, von Leers produced analyses focused primarily on Muhammad’s interactions with the Jews of Medina. These essays reveal his pious reverence for Islam and its prophet, and a thorough understanding of the sacralized Islamic sources of Jew-hatred, i.e., in the Koran, hadith, and sira, which is entirely consistent with standard Muslim apologetics, past and present.  


Punctuated by this adoption of Islam, von Leers worked as an anti-Western, and anti-Semitic/ anti-Zionist propagandist under Nasser’s regime from 1956, until he died in April, 1965. His collective activities throughout this period epitomize the convergence of Jihad, Islamic anti- Semitism, Nazi militarism, and racist, Nazi antisemitism. Von Leers’ described the origins of the Muslim “forename,” Omar Amin he adopted as part of his formal conversion to Islam in a November, 1957 letter to American Nazi H. Keith Thompson,


I myself have embraced Islam and accepted the new forename Omar Amin, Omar according to the great Caliph Omar who was a grim enemy of the Jews, Amin in honor of my friend Hadj Amin el Husseini, the Grand Mufti. [emphasis added]


Until his death in 1965, von Leers remained unrepentant about the annihilationist policies towards the Jews he helped advance serving Hitler’s Reich. Indeed he was convinced of the righteousness of the Nazi war against the Jews, and as a pious Muslim convert, von Leers viewed the Middle East as the succeeding battleground to seal the fate of world Jewry. His public evolution over the course of three decades illustrates starkly the shared centrality to these totalitarianisms – both modern and ancient – of the Jews as “first and last enemy” motif.  An October 1957 US intelligence report on von Leers’ writings and activities for Egypt and the Arab League confirms his complete adoption of the triumphalist Muslim worldview, desirous of nothing less than the destruction of Judeo-Christian civilization by Jihad:


He [Dr. Omar Amin von Leers] is becoming more and more a religious zealot, even to the extent of advocating an expansion of Islam in Europe in order to bring about stronger unity through a common religion. This expansion he believes can come not only from contact with the Arabs in the Near East and Africa but with Islamic elements in the USSR. The results he envisions as the formation of a political bloc against which neither East nor West could prevail.


Instead of being rejected by the current leadership at Leiden University, a more stealthy modern purveyor of von Leers’ ugly fusion of Islamic and European totalitarianisms – Tariq Ramadan – whose “spiritual” roots like Leers’ can also be traced to Jihadism and Nazism in Egypt – is welcomed, and granted a prestigious academic post. Protests by The Party for Freedom (PVV) and PVV MP Bosma – that Ramadan does not reject stoning of women and wants to destroy Israel, and that “the sultan of an Islamo-fascist dictatorial state (i.e., Oman)” is paying 2.5 million euros to garner influence at a Dutch university – have been blithely ignored at Leiden. Huizinga’s noble legacy at Leiden has been defiled by his avaricious and morally blind successors.

Posted on 11/07/2007 1:32 PM by Andrew Bostom
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