Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hindu Fundamentalism Does Not Exist

Some things do not exist. For example, there are no active volcanoes in Belgium. Just as there is no ocean front property in Wyoming. Also there is no liquid water on the surface of Pluto. Nor are there any living veterans of the American Revolutionary War.

Question: Does "Hindu Fundamentalism" exist?

The word "fundamentalism" itself comes from debates among Protestant Christians in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In those debates, far from being some kind of slur meant to conjure up visions of proto-fascist preachers whipping their flocks up into a xenophobic frenzy, it was a badge of honor proudly worn by self-defined "fundamentalists".

The idea that fundamentalism is a pathological condition to with all religions are equally prone and of which they are all equally guilty is a very recent development. But does this idea have any basis in reality?

In a very thoughtful article (first published back in June of 2010) over at the Patheos website, David Frawley poses the question: Is There Hindu Fundamentalism?

The short answer to that question, according to Frawley, is: "No." The long answer is: "Unequivocally, no."

Here is an excerpt:
No Hindus -- including so-called Hindu fundamentalists -- insist that there is only one true faith called Hinduism and that all other faiths are false. Hinduism contains too much plurality to allow for that. Its tendency is not to coalesce into a fanatic unit like the fundamentalists of other religions, but to disperse into various diverse sets and fail to arrive at any common action, historically even one of self-defense against foreign invaders.

Fundamentalist groups insist upon belief in the literal truth of one book as the Word of God, on which they base their behavior. Muslim fundamentalists insist that the Koran is the Word of God and that all necessary knowledge is contained in it. Christian fundamentalists say the same thing of the Bible. Again even orthodox or ordinary Muslims and Christians often believe this.

Hindus have many holy books like the Vedas, Agamas, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, and so on, which contain a great variety of teaching and many different points of view, and no one of these books is required reading for all Hindus. Hindus generally respect the holy books of other religions as well. What single holy book do Hindu fundamentalists hold literally to be the word of God, upon which they base their behavior? Christian and Islamic fundamentalists flaunt their holy book and are ever quoting from it to justify their actions. What Hindu Bible are the Hindu fundamentalists all crying, quoting, and preaching from and finding justification in?

The "Tidal Wave" Of Islamophobia That Wasn't

In 2009, hate crimes against Muslims accounted for 1.6% of all hate crimes: 128 out of 7,789 "offenses" in the FBI hate crime database (link to 2009 stats). According to newly released data this ticked up to 2.4% (168 out of 7,699) in 2010 (link to 2010 stats).

In other words, there was a very small increase (both in absolute numbers and in relation to hate crimes as a whole) in anti-Islamic hate crimes in 2010. Meanwhile, religiously motivated crimes against Muslims in America continued to pale in comparison to attacks against African Americans (34% of all hate crimes), gay people (19%), and Jews (12%).

Flying bravely in the face of reality, Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center claims (link) that these same data actually show that there was "a dramatic spike in anti-Muslim hate violence":
Anti-Muslim hate crimes soared by an astounding 50% last year, skyrocketing over 2009 levels in a year marked by the vicious rhetoric of Islam-bashing politicians and activists, especially over the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" in New York City.
This is like saying that in the runup to the New Hampshire Republican primary Michelle ("Cazy Eyes") Bachmann (at 2.3% in the polls) is doing "dramatically" better than Rick ("the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex") Santorum, who languishes at a mere 1.8% (stats from RealClearPolitics here). But most people readily understand that what these numbers really mean is that both Santorum and Bachmann are completely irrelevant and safely ignored.

I don't think religiously motivated crimes should ever be ignored, no matter how few in number they (thankfully!) are. All hate crimes should be condemned, and those who commit them should be treated as the worst kind of criminals. But the simple fact is that the 2010 Ground Zero Mosque brouhaha did not "unleash a tidal wave of Islamophobia", and those who hoped that this would be the case are now exposed as either cravenly cynical propagandists or delusional blowhards.

Related posts from this blog:

[Pie charts were made using the ahndy tool found here: http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/frames_asid_183_g_1_t_1.html (The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives).]

Monday, November 28, 2011

Confessions of a Christian Missionary: "The old religion used to hold their life together. Now there is a void."

"What kind of a Christianity emerges
after this kind of a religious change?"

The following long excerpt from a book by an experienced Christian missionary who is also a respected scholar of "missiology", strikes me as essential reading for anyone who wishes to have any hope of understanding the current state of affairs vis-a-vis African Traditional Religion and Christianity in Africa today. It is from Alan Tippett's Introduction to Missiology, pp. 168-174.

I hope that in the not too distant future I will be able to write a more detailed analysis of this remarkable passage from Tippett. In the meantime I offer this very bare bones list to draw the reader's attention to some of the highlights:
  • 1. Tippett's repeated admissions concerning the role of coercion in suppressing non-Christian religions.
  • 2. Tippett's elaborations on the varieties of "oppressive procedure[s] for procuring conversion", including "military action", the taking of hostages, "social pressures", "economic sanctions", "legislation", and so forth.
  • 3. Tippett's admission that such coercive means do not result in genuine conversion of the heart, and the concomitant admission that in such cases "the old religion" remains not only as a "submerged" or "latent" religion, but that "It will be this latent religion that speaks to their deepest feelings."
  • 4. Tippett readily admits that there is a direct parallel between the coercive means employed in the Christianization that took place in the Americas, Asia, and Africa during the 16th-20th centuries and the means employed during the Christianization of Europe.
  • 5. Tippett cannot resist repeating the stereotypical, and thoroughly racist, trope that the ancient religious traditions of non-Europeans are distinguished from Christianity by a prevalence of "[s]uch things as cannibalism, widow strangling, infanticide, patricide, feuding, raiding and sorcery (to name only a few of the customs in mind) ..."
  • 6. Tippett admits that all religions are not equally guilty of the use of coercion to gain converts. He does this in a roundabout way with his assertion that Islam has "possibly the worst record of this kind."
  • 7. Tippett's discussion of "witchcraft" is especially worth careful consideration. In particular, he states, accurately, that the treatment all forms of indigenous (non-Christian) magical practices, including especially healing and other beneficial practices, as intrinsically evil is an "imposition" utterly "foreign" to indigenous African views of magic. His presentation is deeply marred, however, by his own ignorance of the fact that the English word "Witch" is itself quite flexible in its range of meanings and has not, as Tippett implicitly assumes, historically been reserved only for harmful magic.
  • 8. Finally, there is Tippett's admission that he intends what he is saying here as a justification for the sending forth of Protestant missions aimed at Catholic populations, because "any evangelical mission to these persons was without a doubt a mission to animists."
And now without further ado, here is Alan Tippett in his own words, submitted for your approval (the interested reader is also strongly encouraged to study Tippett's 1975 paper on "Christopaganism or Indigenous Christianity"):
[p. 168] We like to think that when people change from animism to Christianity it has been a voluntary and an acceptable decision, but we know that it has not always been so. My history book tells me that Olaf Tryggveson and his fleet put in at the island of Rolandsa and found that the pagan earl had only one fighting ship. Olaf told him of the benefits of becoming Christian. Before the might of the visitor's fleet and the option of baptism [p. 169] or execution, the pagan earl could hardly be called a voluntary convert, especially as the earl's son was taken away as a hostage against the stability of the baptism of the island of Rolandsa. The question of immediate concern to us here is: what kind of Christianity emerges after this kind of religious change?

The religion with possibly the worst record of this kind is Islam, which overran northern Africa na wiped out what remained of early Christianity there. The symbol of the sword was written into their war cry. Many of their methods were most infuriating to the Christians, especially when they kidnapped Christian children and raised them as fanatical Moslem warriors to be turned against their own Christian flesh and blood.

But military action is not the only form of pressure that has been applied for the purposes of securing religious change. Social pressures inside the country and economic sanctions have been used both to prevent secession from the one religion to another and to achieve conversion. This has been so within Christianity in the history of the sects. The geographer, P.W. English, has written a fine volume, which would qualify as history or anthropology as well as geography, City and Village in Iran (1966). In one place he demonstrates how social pressures and economic sanctions were deliberately used by the Moslems to achieve the conversion of the seventh century Zoroastrians (1966:23-24).

Another oppressive procedure for securing conversion is legislation. There was a period of English history, for example, when the fortunes of the country were fluctuating between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, when the changing monarchs and their administrations had a strong disposition to one or the other form of Christianity; when the general public was virtually pushed one way or the other by the legislation. The result was there never was a period of English history more riddled with intrigue. Always the submerged religion refused to die and plotted against the ruling faith. The internal and international politics of the country were mere reflections of the religious forces at work, one trying to rule by legislation and the other trying to resist the legislation by intrigue. For English in the period of the Tudors, the Commonwealth and Stuarts we see the central place of religion in the society; but as there were two religions, one in control and the other submerged, there was no peace.

Now what, we may ask, has this to do with the conversion from animism to Christianity, which is really the subject of this chapter? The story of Christian mission over the last century and this, whether we like it or not, has gone "hand in glove" with the march of colonialism, both the imperial and commercial forms. Frequently we must admit it was deliberately planned this way, the representatives of Government, Commerce and Church, operating together; for example, the Niger Experiment (Walker 1930 [The Romance of the Black River: The Story of the C.M.S. Nigeria Mission]:18). Once a colony was established, the impact of each of those forces was increased many fold. Each of them in its own way bore down on the animistic faith of the inhabitants. The actual acceptance of [ p. 170] the new faith--Christianity--was a voluntary matter, and economic pressures were little used in recent times to effect conversions. But a change from animism is a negative as well as a positive thing, an act of rejection or deprivation as well as the acceptance of a new way, and these do not necessarily have to take place at the same point of time, as we have seen in the case of the demoralization of Hawaii. Such things as cannibalism, widow strangling, infanticide, patricide, feuding, raiding and sorcery (to name only a few of the customs in mind) have all religious significance. To administrator, trader and missionary alike, these were undesirable and disruptive to his program. Each of these foreigners depended on the maintainence of what he called "law and order." What he meant was a kind of law and order which he called civilized. Acutally all these customs operated under law and order, but few of the foreigners saw this. A state of law and ordered was achieved by legislation, and legislation was more concrete, it was written down, and we can now look back at it and study it historically.

Even in the most enlightened colonial administrations, where the claim of freedom of religion has been made, legislation has been disruptive to the aboriginal animism. Thus when cannibalism had to go, the acquisitions of religion's power for facing danger, producing fertility and curing sickness were seriously interfered with; when the widow strangling had to go, the beliefs and provisions for life beyond the grave were all disturbed; when patricide had to go, the continued physical presence of the senile elder interfered with the social rights and controls of the active elder in public life; when feuding had to go, a mechanism of leadership selection was lost to the tribe; and when headhunting had to go, much of the philosophy of mana had to go with it; and when sorcery had to go, society was left with scores of moral and religious problems for which the people had no means of solving. When the system of taboo was legislated against, hygeign declined and body waste was left lying about in the villages. All these religious disturbances have been documented without going outside Melanesia.

I know nothing so disruptive to animist religion and the social life, of which it is the integrator, equal to colonial legislation. The missionaries at least put something in the place of the religion they took away, even if it was so often, alas, a foreign substitute. But legislation was an end in itself. It was a negative approach to life. It needed a gospel to give a positive dimension.

Quite apart from the negative aspect of colonial legislation against animist institutions, it is appalling for the abysmal ignorance it displays of what it legislates against. Nothing shows this up better than the laws of the African colonies against witchcraft. One would surely assume that such a legislator would at least need to know the difference between a witch, a witch doctor, and a witch finder, seeing the legislation will need to deal with them all; and their measure of social guilt or misfortune is certainly [p. 171] not equal. These countries have now their independence and I do not know whether the national legislators have modified these laws or not, but writing in 1958, Parrinder in his book on Witchcraft [full title: Witchcraft: European and African] discussed the Laws and Ordinances of Nigeria, Tanganyika, Uganda and Kenya in an illuminating passage (1958: 126-127). A law stating that "any person who represents himself to be a witch ...." is a foreign and not an African notion. Normally the witch does not profess to be such except under accusation and pressure from the witch finders. No one is a witch by choice. The social penalties are too great. A law which punishes the individual who seeks to preserve society from witchcraft, mistaking him for a sorcerer, is surely to punish the innocent with the guilty. A law covering everything by means of a blanket phrase "occult power and knowledge" is inadequate for definition and dangerous in its scope, open for abuse. The same may be said of a Kenya Ordinance (1928) which covered any person claiming "to exercise supernatural power." A pentecostal type of priest or prophet in any harmless movement or a Christian church could be charged under such a law.

Witchcraft is only one of the many religious problems which have been brought under colonial legislation without a clear understanding of their nature and function; but it is a good example of foreign imposition. It also shows how legislation against witchcraft, without any clear understanding of what the institution is and how it operates, can undermine the religious configuration which is the integrator of the society, in spite of the Colony's boast of freedom of religion.

If the place became a Colony by military conquest, and this was followed immediately by foreign land settlement, the establishment of schools and medical services, the establishment of plantations and the codification of laws (quite apart from the presence or otherwise of a Christian mission), the chances of the survival of the original animism would be remote. Several things could happen. There might be a general demoralization and the people might even die out altogether. The people might modify their animism and settle down to an unhealthy coexistence with the foreigners. Or the people might elect to accept Christianity in a nominal fashion and try to fall into step with the foreigners--and this might be for any of a number of motives. They might consider it politic or prestigious to accept the religion of the foreigner because he is the conqueror, or because he is wealthy or because he has so many amazing things. These are nominal Christians at best. I am not speaking here of genuine conversion movements, with which I will deal under then next heading, and which are classed by themselves because they have an inner dynamic, a self-image and a healthy creativity in spite of the colonial situation.

The nominal Christians and also the modified animist coexisters whose religious change is due in some way to imposed foreign controls, commerce, instructions and legislation, because their manifest religion is [p. 172] formal and "a thing of convenience," will frequently have also a latent religion. It will be this latent religion that speaks to their deepest feelings. In this, one will discover significant elements of the old animism, or at least what the believer things his or her old animism was (because this can recur in a later generation which is not clear about the old religious beliefs and rites). It may be an individual retires surreptitiously to the forest and explores the past. It may be a whole village breaks away openly under some native prophet wh oclaims to have a revelation from the past and to have recovered what the people have lost by accepting the foreign religion.

The old religion used to hold their life together. Now there is a void and the foriegner rules the land. If the current religion is nominal, formal, not dynamic, you can be quite sure that some animism is latent. The term I use is for this is submersion. It does not require much to fan this coal into fire. Normally submerged animism is not organized. It is scattered about in hidden places; but if there are enough of these coals smoldering away, it only takes a single prophet to arise and the organization can emerge with startling rapidity. This kind of outburst has been a feature of the post-war situation in many parts of the world. It would be appropriate at this point, if I had the space, to discuss a nativistic movment out of a second or third generation Christian community, but I refer the reader to Solomon Islands Christianity [a book-length study of published in 1967 by Alan Tippett], where this is dealt with at length. It must suffice here to modify my model to illustrate submersoin, as seen in Figure 14.

[p. 173] There are degrees of submersion of animism in nominal Christianity. It may be very deep, or it may be very shallow--just beneath the Christian veneer. Evangelicals are disposed to speak of this as syncretism or as Christopaganism. Syncretism may be quite manifest, of course, but on investigation one is shocked by the amount of submerged animism which is found.

It is submerged because it is driven underground by military conquest, land alienation, economic pressures and legislation; all of which frequently suggest to the indigene that the foreigners lack sympathy. It is possible for years to become centuries, and for that submerged animism to go on building itself stronger and stronger into the subculture of the nominal Christianity.

For years I used to wonder if an evangelical mission could be regarded as justifiable in a community where the people were already Christian--as in a Spanish colonial location which was strongly Catholic. It was not until I eventually did some research in Mexico and found so much manifest animism that I could hardly recognize the Church as Christian at all. I saw devotees (whose devotion I do not doubt) crossing a cement plaza on their knees to a shrine more Aztec than Christian, while others put paper or cloth under their bloodstained knees to get it charged with power for magical healing purposes; vendors selling magical herbs whose efficacy came from the blessings of the saints rather than any medical property, and this on the steps of the church; worshippers carrying shrines of straw and corn in some way after the manner of an old fertility cult; and a stream of persons one by one kissing away the toe of a stone statue to obtain thereby blessing on their lives and household; and all this done in the name of Christianity.

This I saw in Mexico, and I knew that any evangelical mission to these persons was without a doubt a mission to animists. I saw much the same thing in a rural city in Guatemala. I was speaking about these things to a gathering of Mayan pastors in Guatemala and described a Mexican situation without naming the place. My Mayan friends said they recognized the place from my description, but I had never been the place they thought it was, so I am led to think it is typical.

Such is the nominality of the Christianity that has come in the train of the Spanish military conquest: a Christianity which merely drove the animism underground. I saw a group of Mayan converts in a Guatemalan village. They registered their public confessions by surrendering their wooden crosses to the evangelist. In conversation afterwards I discovered that they were Mayan, not Christian crosses. From the way they viewed and used those symbols I knew they were fetishes--nothing else, however much they appeared to be Catholic and Christian. Other fetishes included a root which seemed to have a face and an ancient pre-Catholic Mayan figurine. Supposedly this was a Catholic Christian; it reality it was submerged animism.

[p. 174] Take, for example, that amazing autobiographical story of Juan the Chamula (1962) which the translator anthropologist, himself a Mexican, insists is the story of a typical person. Here then is a typical Mexican Indian Catholic, emotional and crude in many ways, yet deeply religious, always attending to his "Christian" duties. I read through this book and marked the religious features. The veneer of Christianity of the Catholic type featured the Virgin and the continual patronage of the saints, the use of the symbol of the cross (as much Mayan as Christian), adoration of and making vows at the cross, and the trinitarian formula. These are the features of Catholicism open for animisation. In reality the saints are Mayan deities with Christian names. Many features are quite syncretistic--the ritual and beliefs of the Cult of Saint John, the role of the Savior, the festival performances and processions, a large corpus of mythology, ideas about disease and healing--and although the Christian strands of thought can be detected here and there, they are dominantly animistic. On the other hand, many features of the religious life of this man are completely animist: the attitude to the spirits of the dead, the worship of the sun, the communion with the ancestors, the burial ritual and its religious presuppositions, the association of spirit animals with the sickness and health of human beings, the magic of curing the spillling of libations of liquor, the function of charms, sacred objects and taboos and the means of diagnosis or divination.
A man is sick because his spirit animal in the forest is sick. A curer is brought, and candles, resin, liquor, a rooster and flowers for the curing rite. The curer pours an oblation on the ground and drinks the rest of the liquor. The flowers are put on the altar. After the oblation the curer prays to the Christian God and the Son, the Earth and the Heaven, offers the gifts brought by the sick man, with incense, and prays to the spirit of the Moon and Earth Mother, and while praying wrings the neck of the rooster. At the moment of this sacrifice the sick man suddenly feels free (cf. 88-91).
The old animism has gone, along with its organized priesthood and its pre-Christian structure. Once the Spanish swept over the land it could never be the same again. The Spanish brought their Christian organization with them and the people nominally accepted the new religion. But at heart they were still animist, and, inasmuch as I have myself observed and read, they still are: a case of submersion.

Related posts from this blog:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Even More Videos

(svetlana loboda is a genius. in case you didn't know.)

(cowboys and indians and, for some reason, poodles)

(and here's one from zanna friske)

(a little something retro from NikitA)

(an achingly beautiful and brilliantly understated song)

(i am not tired of the Quest Pistols. i hope you are not either.)

("little angel" by "slot")

(don't fuck with russia. "let us put a bullet into the brow / of the rotten fascist vermin.")

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blood Libel, Witchcraft, & Ratzinger's 2011 Visit to Africa

Here is a sampling of some of the Blood Libel style accusations against African Traditional Religions that have surfaced in the last three months:
It's enough to make one think that there must be something in the air. And, indeed, there is. The time is fast approaching for yet another Papal Visit To Darkest Africa, and the droogies are all creeping out from under their rocks to help Prepare The Way for bringing the Good News to the African Heathens.

It is clear that all of the above cited sources are reading from the same script as the Holy Father himself, who recently (October 30) addressed a group of visiting bishops from Angola. Here is the full text of an article from TheVaticanInsider.Com website reporting on this speech, under the very subtle title: Pope against "witchcraft" that affects children:
Three weeks from his second African trip in Benin, the Pope centers his attention on one of the worst plagues of the "sick giant" (Africa), "witchcraft", whose main victims are children and defenseless people.

According to UNICEF, tens of thousands of children in Africa are tortured and killed because of witchcraft. A terrible and little known fact. Unicef has emphasized the same points as the Synod of Africa, which in 2009 denounced “witchcraft” as a “social drama”: in poor households or those affected by catastrophes, often the culprit is sought out in those who are weakest, who are then tortured or killed.

The Pope does not limit himself to condemning these facts, but points the finger at tribal practices and witchcraft, a plague in Africa, which makes its victims among children, and calls on Christians and civil authorities to monitor and repress these attitudes with rigid laws.

It is urgent, the Pope said while receiving the visiting Angolan bishops on their "Ad Limina" visit, that a "joint effort" of the Church, civil society and governments be made "to counter the "scourge" of ritual “murder” of “children and the elderly" due to “witchcraft”. And denouncing the risks of traditional rites and customs, he urged the church to educate against "practices that are incompatible" with Christianity.

The condemnation of these phenomena occupied a large part of the Pope's speech to Angolan bishops today, in which Benedict XVI recalled that the Gospel is "the first factor of development" for Africa. He also warned about "the remnants of ethnic tribalism that is perceived in the attitudes of communities that tend to close in on themselves, not accepting people from other parts of the country."

The spread of the "scourge" of "witchcraft", the Pope argued, stems from the fact that "the heart of the baptized" is often "divided between Christianity and African traditional religions." "Being a regional problem,” he recommended, “a joint effort of the ecclesial community would be important to counter this calamity, trying to determine the deep meanings of these practices, to identify the risks for pastoral and social development, and to find a method leading to its definitive eradication, with the cooperation of governments and civil society."
Here are links to other coverage of the Pope's October 30 speech on African Witchcraft:
Also check out this old post of mine related to Ratzinger's 2009 visit to Africa: "Why not leave them in peace?"

And if you want to learn more about African Traditional Religions, check out my big page on Africa and African Traditional Religions at EGREGORES.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hitler discovers that Starship Troopers was a parody

After watching the brilliant video: "Hitler Finds Out Rick Perry Completely Failed at the CNBC Debate"(see embedded video below), I found myself reading an old NYT article on the phenomenon of "Downfall Parodies" (from Feb. 2010). And then I spent about 10 minutes trying to think up a good topic for a "downfall parody" of my own. And then it hit me: "Hitler discovers that the film Starship Troopers was actually a parody of fascism and militarism."

Of course I will probably never actually carry through and make the video. So if anyone reads this and wants to take a shot at it, please feel free, so long as you 'fess up and admit that you stole the idea from me!!

Are You Doing Your Part??

Hey kids, here are some more Starship Troopers related links:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Not-So-Occult Foundations of Nazism


The Latin verb occultare (occulto, -are, -avi, -atum) means to conceal or hide. In English, "the Occult" refers to spiritual teachings and practices that are (at least in their details) concealed from public view and only available to the initiated, that is, teachings that are esoteric as opposed to exoteric. In popular usage, references to Occultism conjure up in the mind things mysterious and unexplainable, and, most importantly, things that are different from our ordinary experience of reality. Occult things, in the popular sense, are not normal, rather they are aberrational.

It seems that there is something comforting in the idea that the Nazis came to power with the aid of "Occult" forces, and/or that the racist and antisemitic ideas at the core of Nazism arose from small, secretive Occult groups lurking on the fringes of society. This reassures us that Nazism was just a terrible aberration appearing suddenly out of nowhere, or, more precisely, that the origins of this aberration were themselves also aberrational. (Why, look, it's aberrations all the way down!) The appeal of this comforting explanation has led to the great popularity of books, articles, websites, and made-for-cable schlockumentaries on the subjects of "Nazi Occultism", "Nazi Pagans" and so forth.

The problem is that, like many comforting explanations, this is a lie. There was nothing hidden or secret or "Occult" (or Pagan) about the roots of Nazism. Virulently racist and antisemitic ideas were extremely popular in mainstream German society (and throughout Europe and also in the United States) long before the Nazi party ever existed, and these ideas were expressed openly and, indeed, proudly. No secret cults were needed for formulating the racial theories that paved the way for the Final Solution, nor was there anything "esoteric" about how these ideas were spread, or how those who supported these ideas came to power.

The non-occult origins of Nazism are personified in the man who was hailed by the Nazi's themselves as the author of their "gospel": Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Not only was Chamberlain lauded in the official Nazi press and even in Hitler's own Mein Kampf, he had also been a friend and trusted advisor to the leader of the Second Reich, Kaiser Wilhelm II. And the book that the Nazis embraced as their "gospel" also won high praise from less likely fans, such as Theodore Roosevelt and George Bernard Shaw.

Chamberlain's "Foundations"

In the year 1900, Houston Stewart Chamberlain published Foundations of the Nineteenth Century. The book was an instant best-seller, and it's previously little known author became an overnight sensation.

Although an Englishman by birth (b. 1855 in Portsmouth), Chamberlain spent most of his life on the Continent. His earliest published works (on both biology and literature) were in French, but starting in 1888 he published mostly in German, the language in which he wrote Die Grundlagen des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts (which was only translated into Chamberlain's native language a full decade later).

Chamberlain was a true polymath who studied botany, history, astronomy, physiology, languages, literature, music and philosophy with equal ease and enthusiasm. He was strongly influenced by Kant, Wagner, and Nietzsche, but it was the racialist theorizing of French aristocrat Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (author of An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, first published in 1853) that was to play the decisive role in shaping Chamberlain's own thinking. Although Gobineau is also considered an important figure in the intellectual genealogy of Nazism in his own right, he never achieved the level of popular success and influence that Chamberlain did, and Gobineau's racism was deficient in one crucial way: he was not an antisemite.

I will say more about the actual content of Foundations below (especially in the section on "Key Ideas of Nazism"). For now it is important to emphasize the great success and acclaim of the book. It went through numerous printings and sold 60,000 copies in the first 10 years after it was published. It was translated into English in 1910 and was favorably reviewed in a number of publications, including the London Times Literary Supplement, in which Chamberlain was hailed as "Kant in the 20th Century", and the anonymous reviewer stated that "we wholly believe that Mr. Chamberlain has the root of the matter in him."

An early fan of Chamberlain's Foundations was the Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia, Kaiser Wilhelm II. Wilhelm was so impressed with the book that he invited the author to meet with him privately at his palace in Potsdam in 1901. That first meeting was the beginning of a lasting and close friendship between the two men. The Kaiser declared to Chamberlain: "God sent your book to the German people, just as he sent you personally to me." The author was no less profuse in praising his Emperor: "May you save our German Volk, our Germanentum, for God has sent you as our helper!" Chamberlain urged the Kaiser to forge a renewed Germany that was "racially aware" and that would "rule the world." The two exchanged dozens of letters, and material from Chamberlain's letters often ended up in the Kaiser's speeches.

For many years after WWII historians had been (not merely woefully, but willfully, it now appears) ignorant of the depth and breadth of Kaiser Wilhelm's antisemitism. This started to change only in 1987 (over four decades after the fall of the Third Reich) with the publication of John C. G. Röhl's book-length study The Kaiser and his Court, in which Röhl devotes the concluding chapter to the subject of "Kaiser Wilhelm II and German Anti-Semitism." But today there continues to be little appreciation of just how significant a role Wilhelmenian antisemitism played in preparing the way for the Final Solution.

Wilhelmenian Racism and Antisemitism

As early as 1888, the future Kaiser Wilhelm II was already referring to the doctors attending his father, who would soon be dead of throat cancer, as judenlümmel, a standard antisemitic slur meaning "Jewish louts". Moreover, Wilhelm suspected these Jewish doctors of "racial hatred" ("Rassenhaß") against Germans. [link, auf Deutsch] This means that a year before Adolf Hitler was born, the man who was about to become Kaiser was not only already giving voice to paranoid accusations of Jewish plots against the German Reich, but was articulating his antisemitism in explicitly racial terms.

John C. G. Röhl writes, in his The Kaiser & His Court: "When Wilhelm acceded to the throne in 1888, anti-semites from Paris to Vienna crowed: 'All those who are truly Christian-German are devoted with their entire soul to Kaiser Wilhelm II and cheer him along the paths that he has chosen to go.'" According to Röhl, the infamous Austrian antisemite Georg Ritter von Schönerer was especially adulatory toward Wilhelm: "Germans had only one hope of salvation from the Jewish yoke, he [von Schönerer ] declared, and that hope was Kaiser Wilhelm II." [p. 202]

Röhl also writes: "By the mid-1890s, Kaiser Wilhelm II had adopted a thoroughgoing racism as a central element of his Weltanshauung and lost no chance of proclaiming the need for a pure and exclusive Germanic race." But Wilhelm was a little unsure about just where to focus his racism. In this, however, Wilhelm was displaying a common trait of racists, who often have long lists of "enemies". The Kaiser's enemies list included not just the Jews, but both the Slavs and the English as well. Wilhelm also had a lifelong obsession with the Asiatic "yellow peril," and he even proudly claims to have invented that term (a claim that is probably true). [pp. 202-203]

But by the late 1890s Wilhelm was focusing increasingly on the Jews: "Wilhelm's visceral anti-semitism of the the 1880s resurfaced .... From around the turn of the century, under Chamberlain's influence, and unnerved by the rising tide of democracy and socialism at home and Germany's increasingly exposed position internationally, Wilhelm II gave voice ever more openly to antisemtic convictions." [pp. 204-205] During this time, Röhl characterizes Wilhelm's attitude as "wavering between pogrom antisemitism and extermination antisemitism." That is, Röhl, probably the world's leading expert on Kaiser Wilhelm II, claims that, "under Chamberlain's influence," the Second Reich was already moving in the direction of "extermination antisemitism" while Adolf Hilter was still ein Schuljunge.

After the war, Wilhelm focused his embittered rage not on the Allied Powers who had defeated Germany on the battlefield, but on the "internal enemy": the Jews. In 1919, the deposed Kaiser wrote "Kein Deutscher darf das je vergessen noch ruhen, bis diese Parasiten von deutschem Boden vertilgt und ausgerottet sind! Dieser Giftpilz an der deutschen Eiche." ("No German can ever forget or rest until these parasites have been destroyed and exterminated from German soil.") He even speculated as to the best method to accomplish this wished for extermination: "ich glaube, das beste wäre Gas." ("I think gas would be best.") Wilhelm wrote these words in his own hand in a letter to General August von Mackensen (link). In the same letter Wilhelm called for a "regular international all-worlds pogrom à la Russe". In other words, Wilhelm had stopped his "wavering" and had now fully succumbed to the mentality that would eventually lead to the "final solution" to the Jewish problem.

"Key Ideas" of Nazism

Now lets look a little more closely at the substance of Chamberlain's book, Foundations of the Nineteenth Century. Richard Evans (Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge) in his 2004 study The Coming of the Third Reich investigates the various writers and thinkers who helped to shape the racist and antisemitic ideological core of National Socialism. Evans singles out Chamberlain for particular attention:
"It was Chamberlain who had the greatest impact, however, with his book The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, published in 1900. In this vaporous and mystical work Chamberlain portrayed history in terms of a struggle for supremacy between the Germanic and Jewish races, the only two racial groups that retained their original purity in a world of miscegenation. Against the heroic and cultured Germans were pitted the ruthless and mechanistic Jews, whom Chamberlain thus elevated into a cosmic threat to human society rather than simply dismissing them as a marginal or inferior group. Linked to the racial struggle was a religious one, and Chamberlain devoted a good deal of effort to trying to prove that Christianity was essentially Germanic and that Jesus, despite all the evidence, had not been Jewish at all. Chamberlain's work impressed many of his readers with its appeal to science in support of its arguments; his most important contribution in this respect was to fuse antisemitism and racism with Social Darwinism . . . . Here were assembled already, therefore, some of the key ideas that were later to be taken up by the Nazis."
[pp. 33-34]
Below are five of these "key ideas" of Nazism, referred to above by Richard Evans, to be found in Foundations:

(1) Human history can only be understood in terms of race, and, in particular, in terms of the struggle of the Teutonic race.
"The leitmotiv which runs through the whole book is the assertion of the superiority of the Teuton family to all the other races of the world." [Introduction by "Lord Redesdale", aka David Mitford]

(2) The races of humanity are not equal.
"[T]he most learned gentlemen in Europe have solemnly protocolled the fact that all the races bear an equal share in the development of culture . . . . It provokes a smile! But crimes against history are really too serious to be punished merely by being laughed at; the sound common sense of all intelligent men must step in and put a stop to this." [Chapter Six: Entrance of the Germanic People Into History]

(3) Aryans constitute the "Master Race", and they should rule over all other races.
"Physically and mentally the Aryans are pre-eminent among all peoples; for that reason they are by right, as the Stagirite [Aristotle] expresses it, the lords of the world." [Chapter Six: Entrance of the Germanic People Into History]

(4) Jews, as a race, constitute the great, internal enemy of the Aryans.
"The Indo-European, moved by ideal motives, opened the gates in friendship: the Jew rushed in like an enemy, stormed all positions and planted the flag of his, to us, alien nature — I will not say on the ruins, but on the breaches of our genuine individuality." [Chapter Five: The Entrance of the Jews Into Western History]

(5) Jesus was Aryan, and Christianity is the natural religion of Aryan people.
"He won from the old human nature a new youth, and thus became the God of the young, vigorous Indo-Europeans, and under the sign of His cross there slowly arose upon the ruins of the old world a new culture -- a culture at which we have still to toil long and laboriously until some day in the distant future it may deserve the appellation 'Christ-like' . . . . Whoever wishes to see the revelation of Christ must passionately tear this darkest of veils from his eyes. His advent is not the perfecting of the Jewish religion but its negation." [Chapter Three: The Revelation of Christ]

Very Strange Bedfellows

Wilhelm II wasn't the only high profile fan that Houston Stewart Chamberlain had. When Foundations was translated into English in 1910, Theodore Roosevelt wrote a review that began and ended with praise for the author, although in between there was a significant amount of often quite pointed criticism, as the following passage shows:
"A witty English critic once remarked of Mitford that he had all the qualifications of an historian—violent partiality and extreme wrath. Mr. Chamberlain certainly possesses these qualifications in excess, and, combined with a queer vein of the erratic in his temperament, they almost completely offset the value of his extraordinary erudition . . . . Mr. Chamberlain's thesis is that the nineteenth century, and therefore the twentieth and all future centuries, depend for everything in them worth mentioning and preserving upon the Teutonic branch of the Aryan race. He holds that there is no such thing as a general progress of mankind, that progress is only for those whom he calls the Teutons, and that when they mix with or are intruded upon by alien and, as he regards them, lower races, the result is fatal. Much that he says regarding the prevalent loose and sloppy talk about the general progress of humanity, the equality and identity of races, and the like, is not only perfectly true, but is emphatically worth considering by a generation accustomed, as its forefathers for the preceding generations were accustomed, to accept as true and useful thoroughly pernicious doctrines taught by well-meaning and feeble-minded sentimentalists; but Mr. Chamberlain himself is quite as fantastic an extremist as any of those whom he derides, and an extremist whose doctrines are based upon foolish hatred is even more unlovely than an extremist whose doctrines are based upon foolish benevolence. Mr. Chamberlain's hatreds cover a wide gamut. They include Jews, Darwinists, the Roman Catholic Church, the people of southern Europe, Peruvians, Semites, and an odd variety of literary men and historians. To this sufficiently incongruous collection of antipathies he adds a much smaller selection of violent attachments, ranging from imaginary primitive Teutons and Aryans to Immanuel Kant, and Indian theology, metaphysics, and philosophy—he draws sharp distinctions between all three, and I merely use them to indicate his admiration for the Indian habit of thought, an admiration which goes hand in hand with and accentuates his violent hatred for what most sane people regard as the far nobler thought contained, for instance, in the Old Testament. He continually contradicts himself, or at least uses words in such diametrically opposite senses as to convey the effect of contradiction; and so it would be possible to choose phrases of his which contradict what is here said; but I think that I give a correct impression of his teaching as a whole."
But despite these reservations, Roosevelt began his review by calling Foundations "a noteworthy book in more ways than one" and ended his review on a very positive note:
"Yet, after all is said, a man who can write such a really beautiful and solemn appreciation of true Christianity, of true acceptance of Christ's teachings and personality, as Mr. Chamberlain has done, a man who can sketch as vividly as he has sketched the fundamental facts of the Roman empire in the first three centuries of our era, a man who can warn us as clearly as he has warned about some of the pressing dangers which threaten our social fabric because of indulgence in a morbid and false sentimentality, a man, in short, who has produced in this one book materials for half a dozen excellent books on utterly diverse subjects, represents an influence to be reckoned with and seriously to be taken into account."
George Bernard Shaw (social reformer, playwright, and founder of the London School of Economics) also wrote a review of Foundations. Shaw began his review like this: "This very notable book should be read by all good Fabians." The Fabian Society is a group (still in existence) that advocates moderate, non-revolutionary, Socialism. Among its illustrious members have been H.G. Wells, Annie Besant, Virginia Wolf, and Emmeline Pankhurst, as well as Labor Party stalwarts such as Harold Wilson, Tony Benn, and Tony Blair

Why did George Bernard Shaw believe that "all good Fabians" should read Chamberlain's book? Because, in Shaw's own words, "it is a masterpiece of really scientific history. It does not make confusion: it clears it away." Shaw ends his review by writing, "Meanwhile, as this book has produced a great effect in Germany, where 60,000 copies are in circulation, and is certain to stir up thought here, whoever has not read it will be rather out of it in political and sociological discussions for some time to come." Shaw would also later write that "the greatest Protestant Manifesto ever written, as far as I know, is Houston Stewart Chamberlain's Foundations of the Nineteenth Century: everybody capable of it should read it."

As the reaction of the moderate Socialist George Bernard Shaw demonstrates, Houston Stewart Chamberlain's antisemitism was, apparently, socially acceptable in the early 20th century. And the reaction of the Progressive Republican Theodore Roosevelt demonstrates that this acceptability still held even for those who explicitly recognized Chamberlain's antisemitism for what it was and rejected it in no uncertain terms. The importance of this acceptance must be underscored. Although to the average 21st century reader, Foundations sounds like an unhinged antisemitic rant, its author genuinely hoped to reach out to and influence well-educated, serious minded, socially conscious individuals. The reactions of Shaw and Roosevelt demonstrate that he achieved some real success in doing so.

Another "strange bedfellow" is Chamberlain's longtime close friend, Adolf von Harnack, a highly influential Protestant theologian and church historian. For those familiar with modern theological trends, it is worth noting that Harnack made significant contributions to both the Higher Criticism and the Social Gospel as well as to liberal theology generally. In doing this Harnack had helped to lay the theological groundwork for what the Nazis would come to call "Positive Christianity," concerning which the official Nazi Party Program, adopted in 1920, states:
"We demand freedom for all religious confessions in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or conflict with the customs and moral sentiments of the Germanic race. The party as such represents the standpoint of a positive Christianity, without tying itself to a particular confession. It fights the spirit of Jewish materialism within us and without us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our Volk can only take place from within, on the basis of the principle: public need comes before private greed.”
Point 24, Party Program, National Socialist Workers Party of Germany
The friendship between the liberal theologian Adolf von Harnack and Houston Stewart Chamberlain is far from aberrational, as shown by George Bernard Shaw's exclamation (quoted above) that the book viewed by the Nazi's as their "gospel" was viewed by Shaw as "the greatest Protestant Manifesto ever written"! In fact the affinity between Nazism and Protestantism, and liberal Protestantism in particular, is far deeper and stronger than is generally recognized. This (very) dark side Protestantism also manifests itself in America's own unique contribution to fascism: the Ku Klux Klan. Another example is that of the Calvinist Afrikaaners of South Africa and their (now long departed) Apartheid system.

Modern liberal Protestantism, and especially the Higher Criticism and the Social Gospel, were both crucial to the version of Christianity preferred by the Nazis. The Higher Criticism, especially as it was formulated by Harnack, gave the green light to the Nazi agenda of purging Christianity of all Jewish influences and associations. For example, one of Harnack's criticisms of Luther was that he had not seen clear to dispense with the Old Testament: "What an unburdening of Christianity and its doctrine it would have been if Luther had taken this step!" [Marcion: The Gospel of the Alien God, p. 134, trans. by John Steely and Lyle Bierma, Durham, 1999 (orig. 1920).] Because of his decades long association with Chamberlain, Harnack was well aware of the appeal that such an approach had to hard-core antisemites, although Harnack himself was probably no antisemite, and even criticized, in a friendly way, Chamberlain for his excessive antipathy toward Jews.

"Only When Jews Bleed, Are We Liberated"

In the years following Germany's disastrous defeat in WWI, Chamberlain's health and spirits declined precipitously. But then in the fall of 1923, at the age of sixty-eight and increasingly frail, the author received a visitor who was at the time almost precisely half his age. Chamberlain instantly realized that he was now in the living presence of the great leader who would fulfill the grand vision of Foundations. And the name of this Führer was Adolf Hilter. The day after their first meeting, Chamberlain wrote to Hitler: "You have great things to do . . . . With one stroke you have transformed the state of my soul. That in the hour of her deepest need Germany gives birth to a Hitler proves her vitality." That letter was written on October 7, 1923. Just one month later Adolf Hitler would stage his infamous Beer Hall Putsch, at which he declared, somewhat prematurely as it turned out, "The National Revolution has begun!"

The 1923 Putsch failed, but Hitler made use of his (brief) time in prison to start writing Mein Kampf, in which he made a point of praising Houston Stewart Chamberlain by name. In 1925, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, Chamberlain was proclaimed in the official Nazi press as "the author of the gospel of the Nazi movement," in an editorial written by Alfred Rosenberg, the principle theoretician of Nazi racial science. Rosenberg wrote his own sequel to Chamberlain's work and called it The Myth of the Twentieth Century, which went on to be the second best selling book in Germany under the Third Reich (right after Mein Kampf). In 1927, Chamberlain died. Neither Theodore Roosevelt nor George Bernard Shaw attended the funeral, but Adolf Hilter did.

The year after Chamberlain died, the Nazi Party won only 2.6% of the vote in the national elections of 1928. But just two years later, in the depths of the ever deepening Great Depression, the NSDAP (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) not only broke out of single digits for the first time, but rocketed to almost 20% of the popular vote to become the second largest party in the Reichstag. By 1930 Nazism was a genuine mass movement with millions in its ranks. The streets of Weimar Germany now rang out with the refrain from The Storm Trooper's Song:
"So stand our Storm Columns, for racial fight prepared.
Only when Jews bleed, are we liberated.
No more negotiation; it's no help, not even slight.
Beside our Adolf Hitler we're courageous in a fight."
Pitched street battles, especially between rival Communist and Nazi paramilitaries, were resulting in a mounting toll of killed and seriously injured. The Nazis, as they grew in numbers and influence, were now manifesting on an ever expanding scale yet another "key idea" already spelled out in Chamberlain's Foundations: the glorification of violence and "struggle".

In a section under the heading "Progress and Degeneration", Chamberlain approvingly quotes from John Fiske's work The Destiny of Man:
"It is the wholesale destruction of life, which has heretofore characterised evolution ever since life began, through which the higher forms of organic existence have been produced"
However, Chamberlain then changes his tone when it comes to what Fiske says next:
"as evolution advances, the struggle for existence ceases to be a determining factor ... this elimination of strife is a fact of utterly unparalleled grandeur; words cannot do justice to such a fact."
At this point Chamberlain plainly states that he "must beg to differ" with Fiske for the following reason:
"For what is to become of our soul, which we acquired with such honest pains? We were just informed that the struggle for existence had 'produced' the soul: will it henceforth arise without a cause? ... And why, if the struggle has already produced something so splendid, should it now cease? Surely not from sickly, sentimental horror of bloodshed. 'Death in battle,' said Corporal Trim, and thereby he snapped his fingers — 'death in battle I do not fear this much! but elsewhere I should hide from it in every crevice.' And though it is, under Professor Fiske's guidance, a 'joy to see how we have at last gained such glorious heights,' yet I can imagine and hope for something much more glorious still than what the present offers, and I shall never admit that the cessation of the struggle would mean an advance ...."

We have seen in the above that the "key ideas" of Nazism, including especially those ideas that led to the Final Solution, had long before been worked out at some length by Houston Stewart Chamberlain in his book Foundations of the Nineteenth Century. Both Adolf Hitler and the chief Nazi "race theorist" Alfred Rosenberg publicly and enthusiastically acknowledged their intellectual debt to Chamberlain and his book. Moreover, modern scholars of the Third Reich have also acknowledged this obvious close connection between Chamberlain and Nazism, including Richard Evans, Michael Mann, John C. G. Röhl, Roger Griffin, Richard Steigmann-Gall, and others.

It has also been shown that Chamberlain's Foundations was both well known and widely popular, including among many readers one would not automatically suspect to find in the same company as Hitler and Rosenberg, such as George Bernard Shaw, Theodore Roosevelt, and Adolf von Harnack. Of particular interest is the reception of Chamberlain's ideas by Kaiser Wilhelm II, whose own racism and antisemitism were a match for Chamberlain's, and who demonstrated that even before the founding of the Nazi Party, the long arc of European antisemitism was already undergoing a decisive transformation from mere "pogrom antisemitism" to full-fledged "extermination antisemitism".

One is left with no other alternative but to conclude that the roots of Nazism are hidden in plain sight. In other words, they are not hidden at all. Nevertheless, many insist on looking in the dark corners of the "Occult" fringes of fin de siècle European society for the origins and sources of Nazi ideology. Multiple possible explanations could be produced for this self-imposed obscurantism, but all such explanations must amount to the same thing: a willfull denial of reality has led to the fabrication of revisionist "historical" narratives whose only goal is to misdirect us away from the simple truth.

[An earlier version of this article appeared in the Lamas, 2011, edition of Pagan Friends Webzine: link. SCROLL DOWN for links to related posts from this blog.]

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Friday, November 4, 2011

More reactions to Islamic terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo

The special edition of Charlie Hebdo, featuring the Prophet Muhammad as "guest editor", was sold out within hours. The leftist Paris-based weekly satirical magazine quickly announced that, in spite of the fact that their offices had been destroyed in an Islamic terrorist attack, they would publish an additional 175,000 copies of the magazine, on top of their initial printing of 75,000.

One French Muslim leader, Abderrahmane Dahmane, who has served in the past as a presidential adviser on religious diversity, stated that he personally had not been outraged over Charlie Hebdo's satirical lampoonings of Islam:
“We have a sense of humour in the world of Islam. What we sometimes say about Islam and the Prophet, among ourselves and in the presence of imams, is worse than what Charlie Hebdo wrote.”
That quote is from an article at the NineNewsToday.Com website: France’s Charlie Hebdo plans reprint of Islam edition

Here are some other related stories:

l'Humanité in English: {Charlie Hebdo} Burnt on the Stake

Associated Press: Firebombed French paper posts blog after site hack

RFI English: Charlie Hebdo accuses Facebook of helping hatemongers after firebomb

The Spectator: Can we torch Time Magazine’s offices now?

The New Humanist: French daily Liberation loans office space to Charlie Hebdo and reproduces Muhammad caricature in solidarity following firebomb attack

Libération: «Charlie Hebdo» : «Nous interdire le blasphème, c'est nous interdire de respirer»

Irish Times: United condemnation of attack on French paper

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Islamic Terrorist Attack in Paris Against "Charlie Hebdo"

Two days ago I used an image from "Charlie Hebdo", the Paris based left-wing, anti-clerical, satirical weekly, in my post What Will 2010 Hate Crime Stats Show? The very next day, "Charlie Hebdo" was scheduled to come out with a special issue featuring the Prophet Muhammad as that week's "guest editor". But in the middle of the night the magazine's offices were firebombed and completely destroyed.

Here is a sampling of related news stories and reactions to this act of terrorism:

Reuters: French paper reprints Mohammad cartoon after fire-bomb

UK Guardian: Charlie Hebdo fire shows how polarised French attitudes to Islam are

In These Times: At Least Draw a Classy Mohammed

Le Monde: Un incendie d'origine criminelle ravage les locaux de "Charlie Hebdo"

The Daily Beast: 12 Most Shocking Charlie Hebdo Covers

BBC: Charlie Hebdo and its place in French journalism

Al Jazeera: French paper attacked over Islam-themed edition

BBC: French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo attacked in Paris

The Telegraph: French satirical newspaper firebombed after prophet Mohammed announcement

Huffington Post: Charlie Hebdo, Firebombs and the Role of Satire