There are several points to make with regard to the manner in which Dr. Kaukab Siddique of Lincoln University (Pa.) has chosen to characterize my exchange with him of last week. Thanks to a friend who, by coincidence, happens also to teach at a traditionally black college, I was tipped off that Dr. Siddique had published our exchange, as well as his "final response." I was only apprised of this a few days later by Dr. Siddique himself. One must wonder whether Dr. Siddique planned to publish his response to me without letting me know he had. Anyway...
As is my wont, I'll be quoting directly from Dr. Siddique and then responding in kind.
(1) "For Muslims, it's important that they listen to views opposed to those of the victors of the Second World War. The emergence of Israel as a terrorist entity implanted by force of arms in the heartland of Islam is directly connected to the Jewish version of WWII. The attack on Darfur is coming out of the Jewish Holocaust Museum."
So, to put it more plainly, it is important for Muslims to listen to the views of Holocaust deniers. Really? Why's that? Would it be, say, to cover up for the shame that certain Muslims from Bosnia and Albania should feel for having enlisted in the Waffen-SS? For the knowledge that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem himself was responsible for setting up these SS units and was a visitor in Berlin at the Führer's pleasure during the war? Is that why?
No, Dr. Siddique tells us, the reason that Muslims should "listen to views opposed to the victors" of WWII is because Israel arose as a state as a result of WWII and because the "attack on Darfur" is "coming out of the Jewish Holocaust Museum."
I would remind Dr. Siddique that partition plans for Palestine, which the Zionist movement accepted, were floated as early as 1936 (by the Peel Commission), long before any mass murder of Jews had taken place in Europe. Partition of Palestine was going to happen regardless of what happened in Europe. The Holocaust was certainly a factor in speeding up recognition of Israel by the superpowers, but Israel's existence did not depend in 1948 and does not depend now on the historiography of the Holocaust.
Furthermore, I find it deeply distressing that Dr. Siddique seems to have a moral blindspot where genocides committed by Muslims are concerned. Perhaps we can put him in the shoes he would like to place Europe's Jews and suggest, e.g., that Muslims were not executed en masse by Serbian nationalists throughout the second half of the twentieth century? After all, don't we, in fact, have a large community of Serbian historians suggesting that these massacres are nothing but propaganda? Should we be affording to the deniers of the genocide against the Balkan Muslim communities equal consideration with those that affirm the atrocities committed against the Muslims of Yugoslavia?
If Dr. Siddique is only willing to look at "both sides" of the Jewish Holocaust and not of other genocides, then he is applying a double standard and, by definition, is evincing prejudice against Jews.
(2) I'll deal with Irving, Zündel, and Rudolf in greater detail below, so I won't go into specifics right now, except to say that Dr. Siddique plays the same stupid game that Jew-haters in the Muslim community have been playing since the publication of the "Muhammad cartoons" last year, i.e., he plays an equivalency game between freedom of the press with regard to religious matters, on one hand, and freedom of the press (or lack thereof) on political matters, on the other. He mistakenly attributes religious standing to the Holocaust and suggests that, if the Prophet Muhammad may be lampooned in the European press, then the Jewish Holocaust should be fair game as well.
I, for one, have a hard time with the idea of criminalizing any form of expression that is not a violation of laws against libel, sedition, or immediate breach of the peace. So I do not have a program from a legal standpoint with people like Dr. Siddique casting doubt on the Holocaust. I just find his reasoning, i.e., that it is OK and right to do so because his prophet has been attacked, as specious at best.
(3) "I wrote back to Dr. Mathis that I would find it no problem to refute his views but first I need to know what is his religion [mine is Islam], how often he goes to Israel and how much he donates to Israel. His refusal to to touch the Zionist Connection gave him away..."
Yeah, my refusal "gave me away," whatever the hell that means. Note that Dr. Siddique published my initial answer to his query -- "Before (and if) I choose to answer those questions, how is that at all relevant to the truth or falsity of the normative history of the Holocaust?" This is a question he never answered, I suppose because he couldn't.
(4) "I asked Dr. Mathis not to write to me any further after I saw that he has put me on the 'untrue_madhouse blogspot.'"
Yes, I republished Dr. Siddique's letter to me on my personal blog. Why he found this distressing, I have no idea, as he went and republished the correspondence between us on his "newsletter."
(5) "He however did write again and claimed that he is 'Jewish' but has no connection to Israel. [Try to imagine a Jew unconnected to Israel. Even a critic of Israel like Chomsky supports Israel.]"
One must wonder what would constitute proof to Dr. Siddique that I have no connection to Israel. I have never been to Israel. I have never given money to Israel. I own no property there. The same three answers go for my wife and my in-laws. None of them have been to Israel. (I mention my wife's family because her family is entirely Jewish, while mine is not -- mine is predominantly Catholic, with a few Muslims and Unitarians in the mix.)
As a Jew (and one must wonder here why Dr. Siddique sees fit to put the word "Jewish" in sneer quotes), my only connection to the land that is currently called Israel is spiritual, as, I assume, as a Muslim but not an Arab, Dr. Siddique feels a connection to the holy sites of Islam.
(6) "Dr. Mathis ended by insulting me, calling me names and claiming that I must be teaching the wrong things to my students. Do Jews have a special way of knowing how those who disagree with them teach class? Go figure!"
Well, in all fairness, and as his republished e-mail from me indicates, Dr. Siddique did insult me first, saying, "Your arguments are extremely weak and easily refutable."
(7) "Educated people do not dismiss a person's arguments by putting a label on that person. I am interested in views opposed to those of the establishment, especially as I have seen the established powers tearing the world apart with their lies and propaganda. A journalist must know both sides of the story."
Indeed, a journalist, who by the definition of his/her own job description, must be objective, should know both sides of a story -- provided there actually are two sides. In the case of the Jewish Holocaust, there are not two sides. The Nazi government of Germany, quite simply, sought to exterminate the Jews of Europe using, among other means, gas chambers, and racked up a death toll of between five and six million Jews, not to mention millions of other innocent victims, including Muslim victims, primarily from within the Roma communities of Eastern Europe.
This historical truth has been so thoroughly proved that only a fool would consider that there are "two sides." I am happy to discuss the physical evidence with Dr. Siddique, and I am happy to do so in public debate with him. We both teach at universities in Delaware County. So I invite him to meet me face to face with his best evidence.
(8) "Dr. Mathis does not know that David Irving is the greatest historian of the Second World War and meticulously documents his facts."
This is so wrong a statement as to be laughable. Here is Irving himself, talking about how he "meticulously documents his facts," here with regard to the interrogation of Adolf Eichmann:
"Well, if you look just at that sentence, we can say that you've only got to change one or two words and you get a completely different meaning. If it wasn't "The Führer has ordered the PHYSICAL DESTRUCTION of the Jews," but rather "the extirpation of Judaism," you've only changed the words by a fraction and yet you've got a totally different meaning."
As Holocaust History Project contributor Jamie McCarthy commented on this statement by Irving put it, "Historians shouldn't change words if their documents contradict their claims."
More evidence of Irving's dishonesty can be found here:
(9) "HE [Irving] HAS NEVER TRIED TO JUSTIFY HITLER or anyone else. That's not the task of the historian. In fact his greatest books are not even about Hitler but about Churchill."
Actually, which books are Irving's "greatest" is a matter of opinion. The book that made Irving famous as an apologist for Hitler was Hitler's War, which was among his earlier books.
Regarding the question of whether Irving is an apologist for Hitler, he may want to check the judgment against Irving in Irving v. Lipstadt, or, for that matter, the declaration by Britain's House of Commons that Irving is a "Nazi propagandist and long time Hitler apologist."
(10) "Germany and Austria are not controlled by Zionist Jews? You gotta be kidding, Dr. Mathis! Germany has given BILLIONS of dollars to Israel and even sold Dolphin class submarines at throwaway prices to that terrorist entity."
And Israel has sold arms to Germany. Did you know that, Dr. Siddique? Did you also know that the reparations payments given by Germany to Israel are based not on the number of people killed in the Holocaust but on the number of survivors? Would it not stand to reason, therefore, Dr. Siddique, that if Israel were out to fleece Germany over the Holocaust, they would have inflated the number of survivors -- not victims?
That point aside, you have engaged in a simple non sequitur fallacy with regard to arms sales, aid, and "Zionist control." You have not shown causation.
By the way, you should be aware, Dr. Siddique, that the number and power of Zionist Christians far outweighs that of Zionist Jews.
(11) "As for Austria, go to the site of the Austrian embassy in Washington, DC and you will be amazed at the self-humiliation and 'lick spittle' attitude towards Jewish power exhibited by that "democratic" country."
Without a URL, I cannot evaluate the Austrian embassy's Web site.
However, I will ask of Dr. Siddique to explain something about laws against Holocaust denial: Along with Germany, Austria, and Israel, eight other countries have criminalized Holocaust denial: France, Belgium, Switzerland, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Poland. Assuming, as you assert, that "Zionist Jews" are behind these laws, why would such a law exist in Poland, a country both without a Jewish population to speak of and with a long history of nationalist anti-Semitism?
(12) "If you think you or any supporters of the holocaust story can stand up to Rudolf or Zundel in a forum where both can get equal time, why have they been put in prison? If their arguments are weak, why would Jewish organizations be hounding them from country to country, trying to silence them through THOUGHT CONTROL laws?"
I don't know, Dr. Siddique. Perhaps you should ask someone who supports such laws. You are employing a straw man fallacy here -- imputing to me views that I do not hold.
(13) "Evidently Dr. Mathis doesn't know much about Germar Rudolf's work. He was a scientist at the Max-Plank-Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany, and certainly not a Nazi. When he cast doubt on the holocaust story, his entire career was ruined and he was hounded out of his homeland and finally imprisoned. Anyone who has read DISSECTING the HOLOCAUST. THE GROWING CRITIQUE of 'Truth' and 'Memory' edited by Germar Rudolf [612 pages], would know that the holocaust story cannot withstand scientific criticism."
Answer me a question, Dr. Siddique: If Rudolf's "anthology" is so impressive, then why were there so few contributors? Did you know that Rudolf wrote the vast majority of articles in that anthology? As you are apparently already aware, Ernst Gauss is Germar Rudolf, as that is the name of the putative editor of Dissecting the Holocaust. In fact, of the twenty-plus "contributors" to Rudolf's "anthology," Rudolf is actually Ernst Gauss, Manfred Koehler, Karl Siegert, and Anton Maegerle as well. Rudolf is among the most dishonest "scholars" of the Holocaust with regard to his use of sources. Further information can be found here:
You defend this sort of "scholarship," Dr. Siddique?
(14) "David Irving's challenge is that the entire holocaust industry cannot come up with an order from Hitler for the mass gassing and extermination of the Jews. Is it physically possible to gas six million people without Hitler's orders going through the entire German system in writing? The German's are known for their desire to record and write everything."
That is a common misconception and one that is based on a stereotype of German people, generally speaking. First and foremost, Irving's demand for a Fuehrerbefehl is a red herring. He knows there isn't one, and he knows that normative Holocaust historians stopped looking for one decades ago. Several people, notably Adolf Eichmann on more than three occasions, including before his abduction by the Mossad, stated that the order was oral, given via Goering to Reinhard Heydrich.
There is no reason why we should consider this strange: Hitler wanted the extermination of the Jews to be carried out with the uttermost secrecy and, in fact, SS-men who discussed the program with anyone outside the SS were subject to the death penalty. Hitler did not sign any order because he had been badly burned by having signed the T-4 order several years earlier. He had learned his lesson not to leave a paper trail.
(15) "No doubt the Jews suffered at the hands of Hitler in many ways. Germans suffered likewise at the hands of the allies. German civilians, including vast numbers of women and children, were literally INCINERATED in the allied bombings of German cities. Vast numbers of German civilians were raped and/or starved to death by the allies. If we believe humanity is one, it doesn't make sense to have an entire holocaust industry [Finkelstein's term] about the Jews, and the scholars who look at the war evenhandedly are locked up."
A straw man, again, Dr. Siddique. You should consult a logic primer sometime.
(16) "Imagine a historian like Irving being locked up for saying something 16 years back! Is that Austrian democracy, with no Jewish influence behind it?]"
Non sequitur again, Dr. Siddique. You're not looking very good here.
(17) "Dr. Mathis: The people of America are not going to accept a one-sided version of the war forever. Israel is a terrorist state. When this representative power of the Jews, tells bare-faced lies about its victims, the Palestinians, almost on a daily basis, what do you expect it and its supporters to say about Germany which actually persecuted the Jews."
I don't know, but once again, because of your utter lack of logic in constructing these questions, I can't see a connection between cause and effect in your question.
(18) "Finally, we must seek an understanding of the Jew-German conflict not in an amorphous, conceptual, "evil" of the German race, or in Hitler as the devil incarnate [somewhat like Sharon], but in the conflict between Hitler and the Soviet Union. The Jews were part of Stalin's 'revolution' as well as leaders of his dreaded secret police. In Germany, the communists and the nazis were locked in a fight to the death."
It's interesting that you are willing to cast Ariel Sharon as devil incarnate, but you'll give Hitler the benefit of the doubt. It speaks to your outstanding prejudices against Jews.
Anyway, it is a vile myth that Jews controlled the secret police in the Soviet Union, and even if they did, it would not be an excuse, valid or otherwise, for mass murder of Jews. And you should know that while it's true that a large number of Jews played roles in the Bolshevik Revolution (which was Lenin's, not Stalin's -- have you ever taken and passed a history course?), it was Stalin who purged the large majority and, in fact, was planning a major anti-Jewish action when he died. Stalin was no friend to the Jews, and trying to depict him as such merely exposes what your hatreds are.
(19) "Depiction of one side as angels and the other side as devils is simplistic, medieval moralism."
I agree, but perhaps you can explain how 1.5 million Jewish children were "devils"?
I want to return to two points here: (1) Zuendel as "scholar," and (2) the question of Rudolf's affidavit in the application for leave for appeal in Irving v. Lipstadt. Ernst Zundel is not a scholar; he is a photo retoucher and amateur artist. He has no experience in writing history and, when I called him a National Socialist in my initial correspondence with Dr. Siddique, I was speaking the truth, not libeling the man. He himself would not shrink from the title, so I don't see why you do.
As for the Rudolf affidavit, I find it curious indeed that you avoided the question. For a "scholar" such as Rudolf to have his expert testimony withdrawn by a plaintiff doesn't speak well to his credentials, does it?
My invitation to debate you in person remains, Dr. Siddique. If you are so sure of your positions, then you will take me up on this invitation.