Sunday, December 6 2009
The book “Mein Kampf — (My Struggle)”, Adolf Hitler’s anti-semitic autobiographical manifesto, is a top-selling Eid al-Fitr (Sugar Feast) present among ‘educated’ Dhaka Muslims in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, the BBC manages to produce an entire article about the selling of the book without mentioning the word ‘Jew’ or ‘Anti-Semitic’.
According to the BBC article, Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic autobiographical manifesto “Mein Kampf” is selling as well as Dan Brown’s latest novel, The Lost Symbol. Bangladeshi street vendors are found at every major road junction and intersection in Dhaka, most of them young boys, “touting their wares amid the heavy traffic in the Bangladeshi capital.” To them, “Mein Kampf” is nothing more than a best-seller.
Last week, during the Eid al-Fitr (“Festival of Breaking the Fast”) which marks the end of the month of Ramadan, Mein Kampf did “unusually well because many bought the book to give it away as an Eid present.”
Not surprisingly, Bangladesh, the fourth largest Muslim population after Indonesia, Pakistan and India, has a rising problem of Islamism, intolerance and violence against Bangladeshi minorities and atheists.
All the rage
One of the street vendors, Mabul, is selling copies of Mein Kampf (volumes one and two) as well as pirated copies of popular paperbacks The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama, the 9/11 Commission Report — Omissions and Distortions by David Ray Griffin and The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Mabul told the BBC,
“For some reason Hitler’s book is all the rage among educated people — on a typical day I can sell as many as five or six.”
Although not as popular as Dan Brown or Amartya Sen among the Bangladeshi, there is a constant demand for Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”.
“I think it’s because many people have seen Hitler in films and want to know more about him”.
Mabul says that “the best time to sell books is when traffic is at its heaviest, in the morning and evening rush hours. When it is gridlocked, some people appear to buy his books because they are bored and there is nothing else to do.”
According to the BBC, nearly all the sold books are photocopies bought from dealers and in some cases the photocopying is not of the highest quality.
Aminul, another street vendor selling books, told the BBC,
“If I didn’t do this job I would have no income — it’s as simple as that … It’s not easy being disabled and selling books in a Dhaka traffic jam. Several times we come close to getting run over.”
Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”
There is little surprise that a book by Adolf Hitler is a bestseller in Bangladesh, or any other Islamic country for that matter. Hitler is widely revered by Islamists for what he did to the Jewish people. Turkey is among the Islamic countries where “Mein Kampf” has become a bestseller.
Arabic and other editions of the book continue to be published and sell well across the Muslim world including Egypt and the Gaza Strip (it can be found even in Arab districts in London).
The remarkable thing about this article is the way in which the BBC presents the reader with a human interest story; weaving a subtle web of pathos and ironic humor to justify (and almost sympathise with) the open selling of this manual of Nazi genocide — the blueprint of the Führer und Reichskanzler’s Final Solution.
They present the dilemma of the disabled young innocent, who either sells books or starves; and suggested — without supporting evidence — that his clients, the rush hour drivers of Dhaka, were probably driven by little more than rush-hour ennui.
For the uninitiated, a couple of illustrative quotations:
“The Jews were responsible for bringing negroes into the Rhineland with the ultimate idea of bastardising the white race which they hate and thus lowering its cultural and political level so that the Jew might dominate.”
“The Jewish youth lies in wait for hours on end…spying on the unsuspicious German girl he plans to seduce…..he wants to contaminate her blood and remove her from the bosom of her own people. The Jew hates the white race and wants to lower its cultural level so that the Jews might dominate.” — Adolf Hitler, ‘Mein Kampf’
The only potential crime alluded to in the article is the possibility that Mabul, the young bookseller, may have been violating intellectual property laws by having copies of the books made up and photocopied.
The words Jews, Anti-Semitism, Holocaust and radical Islam are not even mentioned. All the more ironic, then, to learn that the direct Arabic translation of the work’s title is ‘My Jihad’.
Characteristically perhaps, the heavily pro-Islam BBC chose to omit this particularly salient point, too.