The terms Islamonazism and term:Islamofascism and their more subtle cousin term:Islamism are various ways of characterizing radical Islam as a political movement that tend to deny its legitimate religious and ethical character, and pretend that Islam as such has no inherent political values or directions (which it does, it is quite specific on some social justice and debt questions).
Islamonazism and Islamofascism are ideologically constructed terms that are claimed to denote the use of Nazi and/or fascist terminology and beliefs by Islamic religious and political leaders. The term is widely used by right-wing organizations such as free republic and even by more moderate right of center bloggers such as Andrew Sullivan.
The term is also used to denote any action or statement calling for the destruction of the state of Israel and of "infidels" (non-Muslims) in general.
The term is defective in that its claimed denotation is the use of specific kinds of languistic categories. Nevertheless, the term is also applied to individuals or groups which use categories that are deemed fascistic by a wide conceptual extension of the term. This is the case because fascism is almost meaningless as a description of non-western political systems or are in periods of vast historical transition. This is not to say that such language is not dangerous or does not merit condemnation. However, such condemnation has to be determined within its specific context. For instance, racism of all kinds merits condemnation regardless of whether it originates from a fascistic ideology.
Pre- and during WWII
Grand Mufti Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini with Hitler
Islamonazism began to develop during the time of the German Third Reich, as evidenced by the close relationship between Adolf Hitler-led Nazis and a number of Arab leaders, most notably, the Jerusalem Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini who was known as the "Arab Führer".
Dr. Serge Trifkovic documents the similarities between Al Husseini's brand of radical Islam and Nazism in his book The Sword of the Prophet. He noted parallels in both ideologies: anti-Semitism, quest for world dominance, demand for the total subordination of the free will of the individual, belief in the abolishment of the nation-state in favor of a "higher" community (in Islam, the ummah or community of all believers; in Nazism, the herrenvolk or master race), and belief in undemocratic governance by a "divine" leader (an Islamic caliph, or Nazi Führer).
According to documentation from the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials, the Nazi Germany SS helped finance al-Husseini's efforts in the 1936-1939 revolt in Palestine. Adolf Eichmann actually visited Palestine and met with al-Husseini at that time and subsequently maintained regular contact with him later in Berlin.
In 1940, al-Husseini requested the Axis powers to acknowledge the Arab right "... to settle the question of Jewish elements in Palestine and other Arab countries in accordance with the national and racial interests of the Arabs and along the lines similar to those used to solve the Jewish question in Germany and Italy."
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini reviewing Bosnian-Muslim troops - a unit of the Handschar (Saber) division of the Waffen SS which he personally recruited for Hitler, 1943
Muslim Croats from the Handschar SS division
While in Baghdad, Syria, al-Husseini aided the pro-Nazi revolt of 1941. He then spent the rest of World War II as Hitler's special guest in Berlin, advocating the extermination of Jews in radio broadcasts back to the Middle East and recruiting Balkan Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina (the Handschar Division) and Albania (Skanderbeg Division) and smaller units from throughout the Muslim world from Chechnya to Uzbekistan as the German army SS units that tried to wipe out Jewish communities throughout the region. His Arab Legions later participated in the massacres of thousands of partisan Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. This was only taking the first step in Heinrich Himmler's planned grand alliance between Nazi Germany and the Islamic world. One of his closest aides, Obergruppenführer Gottlob Berger, boasted that "a link is created between Islam and National Socialism on an open, honest basis. It will be directed in terms of blood and race from the North, and in the ideological-spiritual sphere from the East."
The Nazis provided Al Husseini with luxurious accommodations in Berlin and a monthly stipend in excess of $10,000. In return, he regularly appeared on German radio touting the Jews as the "most fierce enemies of Muslims," and implored an adoption of the Nazi "final solution" by Arabs. After the Nazi defeat at El Alamein in 1942, al-Husseini broadcast radio messages on Radio Berlin calling for continued Arabic resistance to Allied forces. In time, he came to be known as the "Führer's Mufti" and the "Arab Führer".
In the annual protest against the Balfour Declaration held in 1943 at the Luftwaffe hall in Berlin, the Mufti praised the Germans because they "know how to get rid of the Jews, and that brings us close to the Germans and sets us in their camp is that, up to today."
Echoing Muhammad after the battle of Badr, on March 1, 1944 the Mufti called in a broadcast from Berlin:
"Arabs! Rise as one and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history and religion. This saves your honor."
At the Nuremberg Trials, Eichmann's deputy Dieter Wisliceny (subsequently executed as a war criminal) testified:
"The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan. ... He was one of Eichmann's best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited incognito the gas chamber of Auschwitz."
With the collapse of Nazi Germany in 1945, the Mufti moved to Egypt where he was received as a national hero. After the war al-Husseini was indicted by Yugoslavia for war crimes, but escaped prosecution. The Mufti was never tried because the Allies were afraid of the storm in the Arab world if the hero of Arab nationalism was treated as a war criminal.
During the war, Arab Nazi parties were founded throughout the Middle East. The most influential one was Young Egypt which was established in 1933. Young Egypt imitated the German Nazi party in their ideology, slogans, processionals, and anti-Semitic actions. When the war was over, a member of Young Egypt named Gamal Abdul Nasser led the coup in 1952 that overthrew the Egyptian government. He made Egypt a safe haven for Nazi war criminals and, in 1964, he established the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
| "This will be a war of extermination |
and a momentous massacare which
will be spoken of like the Mongolian
massacares and the crusades."
Arab League Secretary General
Azam Pasha, May 15, 1948
It is no accident that a number of Nazi war criminals found refuge in Muslim nations. Take the notorious Otto Skorzeny, an SS officer who led the rescue of Benito Mussolini from captivity, was described by the OSS, predecessor to the CIA, as "the most dangerous man in Europe," and later found service under General Nasser in Egypt.
Major Nazi sympathizers of this era also include Ahmad Shukeiri, the first chairman of the PLO; Anwar Sadat, future president of Egypt; and the founders of the Pan-Arab socialist Ba'ath party, currently ruling Syria and until recently Iraq. One of the Ba'ath founders, Sami al Jundi, has since recalled of this time: "We were racists, admiring Nazism, reading their books and sources of their thought... We were the first who thought of translating Mein Kampf."
Many of the Nazi sympathizers of this era have never repudiated their beliefs; some still openly parade them.
Palestinians holding a handmade Nazi flag.
Eventually the leadership of the PLO was taken over by a man named Rahman Abdul Rauf al-Qudwa al-Husseini. Al-Husseini was a nephew and great admirer of Haj Amin al-Husseini. He was born in Cairo in 1929 and grew up in the Gaza strip. His mother, Hamida, was a cousin of the Grand Mufti. Due to internal Arab strife, his father Abdul Rauf al-Qudwa was forced to flee Gaza where the family took refuge in Egypt.
Al-Husseini's cousin was Faisal al-Husseini who was the grandson of Haj Amin al-Husseini and the PLO representative in Jerusalem who has directed attacks on the Jews praying at the Western Wall.
When Rahman Abdul Rauf al-Qudwa al-Husseini enrolled at the University of Cairo in 1951, he decided to conceal his true identity and registered under the name Yasser Arafat. He would carry on the Mufti’s legacy in his goal of annihilating Israel.
Saddam Hussein was also a protégé of the Mufti through his uncle and father-in-law Khairallah Tulfah, who, along with Gen. Rashid Ali and the so-called "golden square" cabal of pro-Nazi officers, participated in the Mufti-inspired failed coup against the pro-British government of Iraq in 1941. (see "The Nazi Background of Saddam Hussein")
1995 Arabic edition of Mein Kampf
Today, it can be evidenced in the proliferation of Nazi or Judeophobic literature (Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion remain best-sellers in many Arab nations), propaganda (blaming the Jewish community for events it has no connection to such as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks) and calls for genocide against the Jewish citizens of Israel and "infidels" (non-Muslims) in general.
Furthermore, many prominent Muslim leaders, whether officially in power or merely influential, have expounded Nazi ideology and used similar tactics to rouse their adherents in their pronouncements that Islam should be the world standard and strict lines of authority with heavy penalties for disobedience remain common. The brightest examples of employing these tactics and belief system is the deposed in the early 2002 Taliban regime in Afghanistan; genocide of non-Muslims in Darfur, Sudan by Janjaweed Islamic militias (see the Darfur Genocide website) with the silent approval of the Sudanese Government; genocide of Christians in then Indonesian East Timor in the 1970s-1990s.
Quest for world domination
Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime is hailed by many in the Arab world, largely because of its genocidal approach to the Jewish community. Palestinians, locked in a decades-long battle with Israel, have even adopted Nazi paraphernalia. The association between today's Palestinians and the Nazi movement dates back to the early days of Hitler's Third Reich, when the Mufti of Jersualem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, forged close and lasting ties with the German Nazis, as described above.
The Arab world does more than just mimic the actions of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime, as shown here with the "Heil Hitler" salute, their religious and political leaders frequently employ Nazi rhetoric, mixed with radical Islamic fundamentalism, to foster hatred for the Jewish world and, particularly, Israel.
Muslims saluting Nazi style.
Throughout the western world, many have noted that extreme Islam bears much in common with Nazi ideology and political process. Politicians from major parties throughout Europe become aware of the dangers Islam brings to their countries. In the United States, the Chairman of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Omar M. Ahmad told a crowd of California Muslims in July 1998, "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran... should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth."
Muslim demonstration in Luton, England.
As with the rise of the Nazis, extreme elements have captured the disaffected with familiar themes of placing blame and claiming superiority. Western sensibilities, it is often argued, have played a part - as they did in the rise of the Nazi regime - with many comparisons being made to the appeasement policies of the 1930s to the actions taken by current governments and world bodies.
Shaykh Rashid al Ghanuchi, Head of the Al-Nahda Islamic movement of Tunis, said in 2002: "Many Islamists associate democracy with foreign intervention and non-belief. But democracy is a set of mechanisms to guarantee freedom of thought and assembly and peaceful competition for governmental authority through ballot boxes. The Islamic movement's negative attitude toward democracy is holding it back. We have no modern experience in Islamic activity that can replace democracy. The Islamization of democracy is the closest thing to implementing Shura (consultation). Those who reject this thought have not produced anything different than the one-party system of rule."
Islamic leaders are constantly trying to put a blame for the failure of their economical, political and ideological systems on the West and Israel inciting more violence and hate toward "infidels" or non-believers. The former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad in his opening speech at a 57-nation Islamic summit in Malaysia urged Muslims to unite against Jews who, he said, rule the world by "proxy" - comments criticized by Jewish and some of the Western leaders as an invitation to violence.
The Associated Press quoted Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, California, as saying, "Mahathir's speech today is an absolute invitation for more hate crimes and terrorism against Jews. That's serious."
Palestinian Authority and Hamas
Palestinian forces under Arafat doing Nazi salute
While there is discussion in many circles (political, historical, religious, semantics) over the use of the word "Nazi" in modern day society, with the term being applied frequently and incorrectly to virtually any leader, government or organization based on unpopular policies, the proliferation of genocidal rhetoric and aims of domination amongst some Arab groups argues for its inclusion in this instance.
Former Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar, who orchestrated attacks against Israel, until his assassination by the IDF, praised a Palestinian bomber and gave insight into Hamas aims, telling followers, "she is not going to be the last (attacker) because the march of resistance will continue until the Islamic flag is raised, not only on the minarets of Jerusalem, but over the whole universe."
Palestinian boy wearing suicide belt.
This philosophy is also often seen in religious broadcasts, "A young man said to me: 'I am 14 years old, and I have four years left before I blow myself up'... We, the Muslims on this good and blessed land, are all - each one of us - seekers of Martyrdom... The Koran is very clear on this: The greatest enemies of the Islamic nation are the Jews, may Allah fight them... Blessings for whoever assaulted a soldier... Blessings for whoever has raised his sons on the education of Jihad and Martyrdom, blessings for whoever has saved a bullet in order to stick it in a Jew's head..." said Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi on a Palestinian television boradcast in August 2001. Months earlier, he had urged Palestinians to commit suicide bombings to kill Jews in the name of Islam, "Blessings to whoever put a belt of explosives on his body or on his sons' and plunged into the midst of the Jews, crying 'Allahu Akbar, praise to Allah, There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger."
Too, the Nazis would recognize the philosophy of indoctrinating the young. Palestinian textbooks make it quite clear that Islam is to be accepted by all people. "Islam is Allah's religion for all human beings. It should be proclaimed and invitepeopl to join it wisely and through appropriate preaching and friendly discussions. However, such methods may encounter resistance and the preachers may be prevented from accomplishing their duty... then, Jihad and the use of physical force against the enemies become inevitable", proclaimed an 11th grade textbook, Islamic Culture, issued by the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Education in 2003.
- Serge Trifkovic, The Sword of the Prophet: History, Theology, Impact on the World, Regina Orthodox Press, 2002, ISBN: 1928653111
- Antonio J. Munoz, Lions of the Desert: Arab Volunteers in the German Army, 1941-1945, Axis Europa Books, 2002, ISBN: 1891227033
- Kenneth Timmerman, Arafat's Hitler-loving role model
- Photos and Documents
- Who was the Grand Mufti, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini?
- Haj Amin al-Hesseini
- Foreign volunteers in the German army during WWII
- The Swastika and the Crescent: In the wake of Sept. 11, new light is thrown on the international ties increasingly linking Muslim and neo-Nazi extremists
- The Far Right and Islamic Fundamentalists
- CAIR: 'Moderate' friends of terror
- The Indoctrination of Palestinian children - Shahids
- Mahathir attack on Jews condemned
- Global Nazism and the Muslim Brotherhood