A very nice article from the Wall Street Journal about the connection between Adolf Hitler and Islam. See WSJ “Why Hitler Wished He Was Muslim”, January 2015.
Hitler believed that Islam was a religion for real men that lacked the flabbiness of Christianity and the filthiness of Judaism. The article also says that even though Muslim people fought on both sides of WW2, the Islamists fought mainly on the side of the Nazis. The Nazis even allowed Muslim people to enroll to the SS, and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a famous Nazi collaborator, was recruiting Muslims for the SS. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was the man who convinced Hitler to exterminate the Jews of Europe, because the Jews who were leaving Europe were ending up in Jerusalem, where the Arabs and the Jews were fighting for Palestine. See “Hitler, Netanyahu and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem”.
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was one of the closest associates of Hassan al-Banna, the man who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928, and who was another famous Nazi collaborator. For al-Banna’s alliance with the Nazis see Wikipedia “Relations between Nazi Germany and the Arab world : Fundamentalist Panislamists”.
The two battles that cost Hitler the Second World WAr were the Battle of El-Alamein (Egypt) and the Battle of Stalingrand (Russia). Therefore it was very normal that the Germans were trying to find allies in Egypt, and the Arab World in general, given that during WW1 the British had liberated the Arabs from the Ottomans, and they had very strong connections in the Arab World.
I believe that Hitler’s admiration for the Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood was more of a practical thing, because Hitler needed allies in the Middle East to fight the British and the French. And the same is true for the Muslim Brotherhood. The reason the Muslim Brotherhood loved Hitler so much was because its members were hoping that Hitler would exterminate the Jews of the Middle East, and he would also beat the British in Palestine.
What is very interesting is that the Germans were supporting the Islamists in Africa a long time before the Nazis came to power. The reason the Germans were doing that was to fight the English and the French who had colonized Africa. The English were controlling East Africa and the French were controlling West Africa, while the Germans had almost no influence in Africa. And since the Islamists wanted to fight the English and the French in Africa they were a natural ally for the Germans.
Map : African Colonies (French Colonies with light green and British colonies with pink)
Actually the person who proposed that Germany should support Pan-Islamism in Africa, in order to fight the British and the French, Max von Oppenhaim, was a German Jewish diplomat. We are talking about the early 20th Century Germany which was not anti-Semitic. The main idea of Max von Oppenhaim was that Islamists wanted to fight the Brits and the French, and the Ottomans, who were German allies during WW1, could help the Germans to cause an Islamic revolt against the French and the English in Africa. See Western Journalism “The Unexpected Founding Fathers Of ISIS, And The Shocking Connection To Hitler”, December 2014.
Therefore Hitler’s alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamists was nothing new, since it was a tactic which had been used by Germany a long time before the Nazis rose to power.
The Americans used the same tactic when they supported the Islamists against the Soviets in 1979, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan (1979-1989).
The Russians used the same tactic in Syria, when together with Assad they created the Islamic State to prevent the Americans from finding allies in the Sunni parts of Syria. See “How Putin and Assad Created the Islamic State”.
“Why Hitler Wished He Was Muslim”, January 2015
1st – 8th Paragraphs
‘It’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion,” Hitlercomplained to his pet architect Albert Speer. “Why did it have to be Christianity, with its meekness and flabbiness?” Islam was aMännerreligion—a “religion of men”—and hygienic too. The “soldiers of Islam” received a warrior’s heaven, “a real earthly paradise” with “houris” and “wine flowing.” This, Hitler argued, was much more suited to the “Germanic temperament” than the “Jewish filth and priestly twaddle” of Christianity.
For decades, historians have seen Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 as emulating Mussolini’s 1922 March on Rome. Not so, says Stefan Ihrig in “Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination.” Hitler also had Turkey in mind—and not just the 1908 march of the Young Turks on Constantinople, which brought down a government. After 1917, the bankrupt, defeated and cosmopolitan Ottoman Empire contracted into a vigorous “Turanic” nation-state. In the early 1920s, the new Turkey was the first “revisionist” power to opt out of the postwar system, retaking lost lands on the Syrian coast and control over the Strait of the Dardanelles. Hitler, Mr. Ihrig writes, saw Turkey as the model of a “prosperous and völkisch modern state.”
Through the 1920s and 1930s, Nazi publications lauded Turkey as a friend and forerunner. In 1922, for example, the Völkischer Beobachter, the Nazi Party’s weekly paper, praised Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the “Father of the Turks,” as a “real man,” embodying the “heroic spirit” and the Führerprinzip, or führer principle, that demanded absolute obedience. Atatürk’s subordination of Islam to the state anticipated Hitler’s strategy toward Christianity. The Nazis presented Turkey as stronger for having massacred its Armenians and expelling its Greeks. “Who,” Hitler asked in August 1939, “speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?”
This was not Germany’s first case of Türkenfieber, or Turk fever. Turkey had slid into World War I not by accident but because Germany had greased the tracks: training officers, supplying weapons, and drawing the country away from Britain and France. Hitler wanted to repeat the Kaiser’s experiment in search of a better result. By 1936, Germany supplied half of Turkey’s imports and bought half of Turkey’s exports, notably chromite, vital for steel production. But Atatürk, Mr. Ihrig writes, hedged his bets and dodged a “decisive friendship.” After Atatürk’s death in 1938, his successor, Ismet Inönü, tacked between the powers. In 1939, Turkey signed a treaty of mutual defense with Britain, but in 1941 Turkey agreed to a Treaty of Friendship with Germany, securing Hitler’s southern flank before he invaded Russia. Inönü hinted that Turkey would join the fight if Germany could conquer the Caucasus.
As David Motadel writes in “Islam and Nazi Germany’s War,” Muslims fought on both sides in World War II. But only Nazis and Islamists had a political-spiritual romance. Both groups hated Jews, Bolsheviks and liberal democracy. Both sought what Michel Foucault, praising the Iranian Revolution in 1979, would later call the spiritual-political “transfiguration of the world” by “combat.” The caliph, the Islamist Zaki Ali explained, was the “führer of the believers.” “Made by Jews, led by Jews—therewith Bolshevism is the natural enemy of Islam,” wrote Mahomed Sabry, a Berlin-based propagandist for the Muslim Brotherhood in “Islam, Judaism, Bolshevism,” a book that the Reich’s propaganda ministry recommended to journalists.
By late 1941, Germany controlled large Muslim populations in southeastern Europe and North Africa. Nazi policy extended the grand schemes of imperial Germany toward madly modern ends. To aid the “liberation struggle of Islam,” the propaganda ministry told journalists to praise “the Islamic world as a cultural factor,” avoid criticism of Islam, and substitute “anti-Jewish” for “anti-Semitic.” In April 1942, Hitler became the first European leader to declare that Islam was “incapable of terrorism.” As usual, it is hard to tell if the Führer set the tone or merely amplified his people’s obsessions.
Like Atatürk, Hitler saw the Turkish renaissance as racial, not religious. Germans of Turkish and Iranian descent were exempt from the Nuremberg Laws, but the racial status of German Arabs remained creatively indefinite, even after September 1943, when Muslims became eligible for membership in the Nazi Party. As the war went on, Balkan Muslims were added to the “racially valuable peoples of Europe.” The Palestinian Arab leader Haj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, recruited thousands of these “Musligermanics” as the first non-Germanic volunteers for the SS. Soviet prisoners of Turkic origin volunteered too. In November 1944,Himmler and the Mufti created an SS-run school for military imams at Dresden.
Haj Amin al-Husseini, the founder of Palestinian nationalism, is notorious for his efforts to persuade the Nazis to extend their genocide of the Jews to the Palestine Mandate. The Mufti met Hitler and Himmler in Berlin in 1941 and asked the Nazis to guarantee that when the Wehrmacht drove the British from Palestine, Germany would establish an Arab regime and assist in the “removal” of its Jews. Hitler replied that the Reich would not intervene in the Mufti’s kingdom, other than to pursue their shared goal: “the annihilation of Jewry living in Arab space.” The Mufti settled in Berlin, befriendedAdolf Eichmann, and lobbied the governments of Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria to cancel a plan to transfer Jews to Palestine. Subsequently, some 400,000 Jews from these countries were sent to death camps.
“Relations between Nazi Germany and the Arab world : Fundamentalist Panislamists”
Although the Mufti may be the most well-known Arab collaborator with Nazi Germany, there were other influential Arab and Muslim political leaders who made common cause with the Germans. Hassan al-Banna, an ally of the Mufti who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, openly acknowledged the common interests with National Socialist anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist politics, and actively collaborated with the Nazis:
Al-Banna was also fascinated by Hitler. Both hated Jews, democracy, and Western culture. When the war broke out, the Muslim Brothers promised that they would rise up and help General Rommel and make sure to kill the Allies in Egypt. The Muslim Brothers representative for Palestine, the grand Mufti of Jerusalem (al-Husayni), worked for the Third Reich during the war and played a major role in the recruitment of the SS Arab division that would be known as the “SS Handjar.” The “Himmler to Mufti telegram” of November 1943 attested the alliance between Nazi Germany and the Mufti: “the firm foundation of the natural alliance that exists between the National Socialist Greater Germany and the freedom-loving Muslims of the whole world.” The Muslim Brothers were not prosecuted after the war despite the participation of the Mufti and “freedom-loving Muslims” in the Holocaust. In the second half of the 1930s, the Muslim Brothers were strongly engaged to help the Palestinians. They raised and channelled funds to fight the Jews, and intensified contacts with religious leaders in Palestine. Banna was interned from 1941 to February 1942 due to his “critic” of the British presence. The secret apparatus of the Muslim Brothers bombed British clubs during the Second World War and assassinated Egyptian officials. In 1945, the Palestinian question became even more explosive, and the Muslim Brothers were organizing violent demonstrations against the Jews. Military training centers were set up to send volunteers in Palestine to fight “Zionism.”
“The Unexpected Founding Fathers Of ISIS, And The Shocking Connection To Hitler”, December 2014
6th – 9th Paragraphs
That diplomat was Max Von Oppenheim, born in Cologne in 1860 to a Jewish banking family whose members converted to Catholicism after his birth.
Von Oppenheim traveled throughout the Middle East in the last years of the 19th century, visiting Syria, Mesopotamia (now called Iraq), the Persian Gulf, Morocco, and Egypt. After his return to Germany, he published his observations in a two-volume book. He studied law and, later, Arabic in Egypt, and in 1896 became an attaché at Germany’s embassy in Cairo, Egypt.
During that Egyptian stint, Von Oppenheim authored 467 reports on the Middle East, including a lengthy report on the rise of the Pan-Islamic movement. These influenced and, to an extent, even determined German policies in the region. He eventually became a key adviser to the German emperor Wilhelm.
On the eve of Wilhelm’s visit to the Middle East in 1889, Von Oppenheim recommended that Germany support the emerging Islamist movement. This, he argued, would benefit German interests in the region. On one hand, the Germans were without colonies in the Middle East. On the other, the area’s Muslims sought an end to the dominance of the Christian powers – Great Britain, France, and Russia – in a region with a Muslim-majority population. There was therefore a shared interest. The Muslims alone were not able to bring an end to foreign domination. And Germany was anxious to expand its influence in the Middle East at the expense of the French and British.
10th– 16th Paragraphs
In his report to the emperor on Pan-Islamism, Von Oppenheim explained that the Muslims already had established a Caliphate, an overarching state, in the Middle East in the seventh century and that state had existed for centuries. The German diplomat argued that the Ottoman Turks had managed to breathe new life into this state and had succeeded in attracting Muslim loyalty to the Sultan/Caliph.
The Muslim masses increasingly viewed the Ottoman leader as the protector of Islam and its holy sites, Von Oppenheim wrote. He concluded that if the Sultan would issue a fatwa calling for Jihad, three hundred million Muslims could be counted upon to rise in revolt and put an end to Anglo-French dominance in the Middle East.
The mission, in his words, was therefore “to unleash Muslim fanaticism that would border on madness”.
Von Oppenheim’s plan led to a pact between Germany and the Ottoman Empire. However, the concept of a massive jihad that might have produced a German-Turkish victory over the Allies in the First World War failed completely.
Mainly, this was the result of fundamental errors in his analysis. Von Oppenheim ignored the internal divisions in the Muslim world, for instance. And he over-estimated the extent of Arab acceptance of the Turkish Caliph’s authority.
But along with a group of German Middle East experts, Von Oppenheim succeeded in establishing Islamist groups that did in fact begin to execute the planned Jihad in certain Muslim countries.
In November 1914, he dispatched a 136-page plan entitled “Revolutionizing the Islamic territories of our enemies” to his emperor. The plan was quickly approved and Von Oppenheim’s team was provided with the necessary funds. Shortly afterwards, Von Oppenheim’s terrorist groups began deploying suicide attacks as a means of achieving their goals. In India, for instance, a group of 25 Jihadists attacked British targets.
22nd– 32nd Paragraphs
Following the failure of Von Oppenheim’s plan in World War I, a second German attempt was made by Hitler through his alliance with the Islamist, Haj Amin al-Husseini.
Husseini originally harbored pan-Arab ambitions, aspiring to become the leader of the Arab world. He eventually settled for becoming the Grand Mufti of Palestine and the de facto leader of the Palestinian Arabs.
Husseini and Hitler shared a deep hatred of the Jews and other common interests. Hitler sought an Arab leader who would promote his agenda of world domination in the Middle East. Husseini in turn needed a Western ally who would prevent the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine and put an end to Western domination of Muslim countries.
Husseini’s collaboration with the Nazis is well known. It went well beyond preventing the emergence of a Jewish state in the Middle East. For example, Hitler made the decision to embrace the so-called ‘Entlosung,’ the strategy of systematically exterminating European Jewry, a few hours after a meeting with Husseini. During that meeting, Husseini had exerted pressure on Hitler to solve the “Jewish problem” once and for all.
In 1944, Husseini succeeded in preventing a deal between the Germans and the Allied forces in which 5,000 Jewish children would be exchanged for Allied prisoners of war, and frustrated the escape of 14,000 Jewish children from Hungary. Almost all of these children were later murdered in the Nazi death camps.
Husseini spent much of World War II living in Berlin, establishing his headquarters in a confiscated Jewish mansion. The Nazis provided him with funds to undertake a range of Islamic projects in Europe and beyond.
He developed a plan to establish death camps in Arab countries for the intended extermination of the Jews in the Middle East. This failed because of the 1942 defeat of the advancing German army at El Alamein, Egypt, and the collapse of Hitler’s Africa Korps. Most of the Middle East’s Jews thus escaped the Holocaust.
Husseini escaped prosecution for war crimes after World War II, largely for political reasons. He was thus able to continue to lead the jihad against Israel and keep the Islamist movement alive. In May 1946, carrying a false passport, he escaped from French custody and fled to Egypt. Once in Cairo, he founded a new army – al-Jihad al-Muqaddas – under the leadership of another Nazi collaborator, al-Qawuqii. With a training camp near the Libyan border, its soldiers prepared for the ”struggle against the Zionists” and participated in the War of Independence in 1948.
Following the Arab defeat in the 1948 war, Husseini united the Islamists under his leadership in a new organization called the Islamic World Congress (IWC). Among its other prominent members: Sayyid Qutb, the ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood; and the Iranian Islamic spiritual leader Abd al-Qasim al-Kashani. One of Kashani’s students was Ruhollah Khomeini who went on in 1979 to lead Iran’s Islamic revolution.
Husseini moved the headquarters of the Islamic World Congress (IWC) to Karachi, Pakistan, in 1949. He appointed Dr. Inamullah Khan as its Secretary General. Khan, known for his hatred of Jews, nevertheless became the recipient of the prestigious 1988 Templeton Prize for Progress. This prize had been awarded in previous years to Mother Teresa and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
Syrian Islamist Maaruf al-Dawalibi, who had also collaborated with the Nazis, was Husseini’s successor. In 1984, he declared at a United Nations seminar that Hitler had been right when he wanted to exterminate the Jews because of their belief that they were God’s chosen people. In the same speech, he repeated the classic anti-Semitic blood libel that the Talmud commands the Jews to drink the blood of non-Jews at Passover.
“Muslim Brotherhood and Hitler”
13th – 33rd Paragraphs
The Muslim Brotherhood began as a social and religious organization in Egypt whose members regarded Islamas a way of life. Many Syrian supporters founded their own branches in Syria, one of which was the Aleppo branch, founded in 1935. The Aleppo branch eventually became the Syrian headquarters of the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood expanded its political involvement as the Party of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun.
The Brotherhood’s founder, al-Banna, was a devout admirer of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. During the 1930s, the Brotherhood became more political in nature and an officially political group in 1939. Over the years, the organization developed an apparatus through which to provide military training to its followers and to engage in political terrorism against Egyptian Coptic Christians and government officials.
In 1942, during World War II, Hassan al-Banna set up more Brotherhood branches in Transjordan and Palestine. The headquarters of the Syrian branch moved to Damascus in 1944. After World War II, Egyptian members took violent action against King Farouk’s government. When the organization was banned in Egypt, hundreds moved to Transjordan. Many also participated in the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-1949.
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood initially supported Gamal Abd an-Nasser’s secular government and cooperated with it, but resisted left-wing influences. A Muslim Brother assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi on December 28, 1948. The Brotherhood was banned, and al-Banna himself was killed by government agents in Cairo in February 1949.
Muslim Brother Abdul Munim Abdul Rauf allegedly tried to kill Nasser on October 26, 1954. The Brotherhood was outlawed again and more than 4,000 of its members were imprisoned, including Sayyid Qutb, who later became the most influential intellectual of the group. He wrote influential books while in prison. More members moved to Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.
The organization opposed the alliance Egypt had with the USSR at the time, and opposed the communist influence in Egypt, to the extent that it was reportedly supported by the CIA during the 1960s.
Nasser legalized the Brotherhood again in 1964, and released all prisoners. After claiming more assassination attempts against him, he had leaders executed in 1966 and imprisoned most others again.
Nasser’s successor in Egypt, Anwar Sadat, promised reforms, and that he would implement Shariah. However, Sadat’s peace treaty with Israel in 1979 angered the Brotherhood, which led to his assassination in 1981.
In the 1950s, Jordanian members supported King Hussein of Jordan against political opposition and against Nasser’s attempts to overthrow him. When the King banned political parties in Jordan in 1957, the Brotherhood was exempted.
The Syrian branch was the next to be banned when Syria joined Egypt in the United Arab Republic (UAR) in 1958. The Brotherhood went underground. When Syria left the UAR 1961, the Brotherhood won 10 seats in the next elections. However, the Ba’th coup in 1963 forced them underground once more, alongside all the other political groups.
The appointment of Hafez al-Assad, an Alawite Muslim, as the Syrian president in 1971 angered the Brotherhood even more because the majority of Muslims do not consider Alawites true Muslims at all. Assad initially tried to placate them, but made very little progress. Assad’s support of Maronites in the Lebanese Civil War made the Brotherhood re-declare its jihad. They began a campaign of strikes and terrorist actions. In 1979, they killed 83 Alawite cadets in the Aleppo artillery school. Assad’s attempts to calm them by changing officials and releasing political prisoners did not help. Eventually the army was used to restore order by force.
An assassination attempt against Assad on June 25, 1980, was the last straw. Assad made the Syrian parliament declare Brotherhood membership a capital offense and sent the army against them. In the operation, which lasted until February of 1982, the Syrian army practically wiped out the Brotherhood, killing an unknown but large number of people in the Hama Massacre. The Syrian branch disappeared, and the survivors fled to join Islamic organizations in other countries.
The Saudi Arabian branch convinced king Ibn Saud to let them start the Islamic University in Medina in 1961. After the Six-Day War in 1967, the movement as a whole split into moderates and radicals. The latter faction in Syria declared jihad against the Ba’th party leaders. King Hussein allowed the Jordanian branch to give military training to Brotherhood rebels in Jordan.
In 1973, the Israeli government allowed local leader Ahmad Yassin to run social, religious and welfare institutions among Palestinian Muslims. In 1983, he was arrested for illegal possession of firearms and sentenced to prison. When he was released 1985, he became more popular then ever. When the first Intifadabegan in 1987, he became one of the founders of Hamas.
In 1984, the Muslim Brotherhood was partially reaccepted in Egypt as a religious organization, but was placed under heavy scrutiny by security forces. It remains a source of friction.
In 1989, the Jordanian Brotherhood’s political wing, the Islamic Action Front, won 23 out of 80 seats in Jordan’s parliament. King Hussein tried to limit their influence by changing the election laws, but in the 1993 elections, they became the largest group in the parliament. They strongly opposed the Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty in 1994.
In the early days of the Soviet-Afghan war, the Muslim Brotherhood was seen as a constituent part of the Afghan anti-communist opposition.
The resistance movement in Afghanistan formed in opposition to the leftist policies of King Zahir Shah. The movement had connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Russian government alleges that the Muslim Brotherhood is a key force in the ongoing Chechen revolt. Russian officials accused the Muslim Brotherhood of planning the December 27, 2002 suicide car bombing of the headquarters of the Russian-backed government in Grozny, Chechnya.
Though the Muslim Brotherhood is now viewed as a more moderate group than other Islamist organizations operation in the Middle East, such as al-Qaida, and has participated in free elections in countries where they were permitted to, messages delivered by the group’s Supreme Guides have made clear the Brotherhood remains committed to militancy. In September 2010, Muhammad Badi’ gave a sermon in which he said, “… the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death, just as the enemies pursue life.”
In an effort to possibly hide their militant Islamit rules from the eyes of Western observers, the Brotherhood removed the organizational by-laws from their main English language website in mid-February 2011. The bylaws, which were still available to Arabic readers, have long been a source of discussion and debate because of the group’s stated goal of establishing an Islamic state while uniting Muslims around the world. For example, section E of the bylaws states, “Need to work on establishing the Islamic State, which seeks to effectively implement the provisions of Islam and its teachings.” Likewise, Section G reads as follows: “The sincere support for a global cooperation in accordance with the provisions of the Islamic Sharia … and constructive participation towards building a new basis of human civilization as is ensured by the overall teachings of Islam.”