Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More on Nazism and the Brotherhood

Mike L.

{Cross-Posted at Geoffff's Joint, Bar and Grill and Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers.}

When we think about the rise of radical Islam in the Middle East and the Obama administration's bolstering of that movement, particularly in Egypt, it is helpful to know some history of the Brotherhood and its connection to Nazi ideology.

As I have mentioned many times on this blog Matthias Küntzel (author of Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11) is among the foremost scholars working on this question. Below is a bit of a 2008 interview (pdf) which should be required reading for anyone who intends to form an opinion on the Brotherhood:

Bridges between early Islamism and late Nazism

Alan Johnson: In your book you show that from the 1930s to the mid 1940s there was a growth of ‘personal contacts and ideological affinities between early Islamism and late Nazism.’ Let’s talk about two people who acted as bridges between an older, doctrinal or Koranic anti-Judaism and a modern political and Islamist antiSemitism, influenced by Nazism: Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, and Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. First, who was Haj Amin al-Husseini and what was his central achievement?

The first thing to understand, and it is virtually never mentioned in the mass media, is the "personal contacts and ideological affinities between early Islamism and late Nazism."

This is a key point that must be addressed because we need to know just who these people are that the Obama administration is helping into power in Egypt. The fact of the matter, however much they may pose as "moderate" for a gullible western audience, is that the Brotherhood is a fascist movement, heavily influenced by European fascism of the early-middle twentieth century.

Matthias Küntzel: The main achievement of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, was to combine the Jew-hatred of ancient Islam with modern antiSemitism into a new and persuasive rhetoric. I discovered a speech he gave in 1937 with the title, ‘Jewry and Islam.’ Here, he intermingled modern anti-Semitism the stories of very early Islam, going back and forth from the 7th and the 20th centuries, and connecting both kinds of Jew-hatred. This was something new.

So the Mufti, who is the father of Palestinian nationalism, merged early Islamic Jew Hatred with the Nazi variety during the 1930s.

When Churchill visited Jerusalem in March 1921, just before the British Mandate, he was given a petition by the then Palestinian leadership which was very antisemitic. But it was a purely European anti-Semitism – about the alleged Jewish responsibility for the First World War, about how later Jews incited the Russian Revolution and so on. It was ridiculous and no Muslim of that time would have been able to understand any of this, because it was really a précis of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion! This was not the way to mobilise the Arab masses. It was the Mufti who realised this. He was always a special case in this regard. High ranking Muslims at this time rarely wanted to mobilise masses, but Haj Amin al-Husseini
did. Indeed it was a mass mobilisation that in 1921 led to his appointment as Mufti,against other Jerusalem notables.

The Mufti combined Nazi anti-Semitism with traditional Islamic Jew Hatred and used both to "mobilize the masses" in the 1920s. It was the Arab riots and revolts throughout the 1920s and 1930s that led the British to issue the infamous White Paper restricting Jewish immigration to mandated Palestine directly during the Holocaust.

Here was a modern feature – the mobilisation of masses to rescue your position. To this end he invented a form of Islamic anti-Semitism which was able to reach the illiterate masses by recruiting their religious feelings and by repeating the antiJewish verses from the Koran and Hadith again and again. Thus, we find for the first time in about 100 years the famous Hadith about the stones and the trees that want to kill Jews – a Hadith which constitutes today a part of the Hamas Charter – mentioned in the Mufti’s speech of 1937.

The Mufti was the most important founder of modern Islamic anti-Semitism and this achievement – with all its after-effects – is more important than his role during the Nazi time. Amin el-Husseini is often reduced to this time. But I think that what he did before and after this period of time was much more important. Before, he created the new antisemitic rhetoric, the rhetoric the Islamists would spread. Between 1946 and 1948, he played a key role in mobilising the Arab world against Israel. Sometimes individuals can change a lot, and the Mufti was by far the best-known representative of the Muslim world at that time, among other things because of his broadcasting of pro-Nazi and antisemitic sermons into the Middle East during the war over the Berlin short wave transmitter. He pursued his passion after May 8, 1945 and stirred up a specifically antisemitic hatred against the Jews in Palestine and Israel.

There is much more to this interview and I very much recommend that it be read in full. I may continue this little exercise going forward, but for the moment the purpose is simply to point out... to insist, really... that the Muslim Brotherhood has historical connections to Nazi ideology and that we must bare this in mind when we consider the US-Brotherhood connection under the Obama administration.

The point, it should be understood, is not that Barack Obama intends to support an Islamic variant of fascism in today's Middle East. I have to go on the assumption that he has no such intention. Instead there are two possible explanations for Obama's behavior, ignorance and / or the sincere belief that either the Brotherhood has moderated itself or that bringing it into power will serve to moderate it.

Sometimes pundits will say that the Muslim Brotherhood has given up on the violent Jihad with the obvious implication being that there is nothing to fear from them. If that is the case, however, how is it that the Brotherhood calls for a renewed Caliphate with Jerusalem as its capital?

One of my foremost criticisms of the progressive-left, and particularly the Jewish left, is their insensibility concerning the rise of radical Islam. They are almost entirely incapable of discussing what is perhaps the foremost international political development of our time for reasons that amount to social cowardice.

This makes standard progressive-left, including standard "progressive Zionist," opinions on the Arab-Israel conflict almost entirely worthless because they fail to take into account the fact that it is radical Islam, itself, which is driving the conflict. The reason that there is no peace is not because Jews are building housing for themselves in Judea, but because the Arab world absolutely refuses to allow Jewish sovereignty on Jewish land and they do so for religious reasons.

You may ignore it, but ignorance will not make it go away.


  1. “President Obama is fond of lecturing Israel’s leaders,” Romney said. “The people of Israel deserve better than what they have received from the leader of the free world. And the chorus of accusations, threats, and insults at the United Nations should never again include the voice of the president of the United States.”

    One of Romney's core messages was attacking Obama’s relationship with Israel, a common theme for Republican candidates during the primary.

    Romney was cutting in his criticism of how Obama has dealt with Israel, accusing the president of neglect and "shabby treatment" of a key ally.

    The Republican presidential candidate also slammed Obama, alleging without mentioning specifics, that officials in his administration had leaked details of American cyber-attacks on Iran, and for, as he perceived, not succeeding sufficiently at undermining Iranian efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

    “There is no greater danger in the world today than the prospect of the ayatollahs in Tehran possessing nuclear weapons capability,” Romney said. “Yet for all the talks and conferences, all of the extensions and assurances, can anyone say we are farther from this danger now than four years ago?”


    1. Well, you can't blame the Republicans for taking advantage of Obama's horrendous Mid East policy, that much is certain.

      I still haven't decided if I want to actually endorse Romney. I will, I think, vote for him as the lesser of evils... but do I actually want to endorse?

      I'm simply not sure, yet.

      Of course, I am under no obligation to endorse anyone and my endorsement would have zero meaning to the outcome, anyway.

      That, too, is certain.

    2. Some people actually look at Obama's policies in the Middle East and find no fault in the decisions.

      At the time, Carter's way to deal with Iran seemed reasoned, but the results showed the error of judgment. Obama seems not to have learned very much.

      Republicans, however, seem to have small regard for the causes of economic suffering in the US and policies that produce more negative effects.

    3. There is no possible way that I will vote for Barack Obama come November, but the only thing that gives me a little pause is that the Democrats tend to be better on domestic economic issues.

      The difference between the parties, as I hope we've all realized over time, is not all that great on economic issues. The Republicans are a tad more hard-nosed and the Democrats are a bit more loose with the purse strings... but that's basically it.

      I think tho, School, that there comes a point when a people need to vote their self-interest. The whole electoral-political history of the United States is grounded in peoples voting their interests, so why should Jews be any different?

      We, as a people, seem to have this thing wherein we think that voting for what is in our own best interest is somehow wrong, but that is precisely how everyone else votes.

      How odd.

    4. I have never been so comfortable with Obama from back in 2007. I criticize him as a Democrat. Too many Democrats refuse to speak for fear it helps Republicans, when it seems to me it hurts Democrats. Is Obama the only Democrat above scrutiny and criticism when deserved?

      When it comes to what constitutes "best interest" of people and peoples when it comes to voting, who is to say what that means, and to what degree.

      Jews are as diverse as any people, I suppose. That does not provide license to cast aspersion against those that seek to present evidence of blatant hatred toward Jews, Israel, America, that is irrefutable yet far too unknown by most people. To call it bigotry and the like is not a serious reply, but an empty one.

    5. Well, it's up to each of us to decide on what constitutes "best interest." Many people will say that what's in the best interest of the Jewish people, both Israeli and diaspora, is a strong United States which is precisely why we should vote for Barack Obama.

      I'm just not buying it because I refuse to vote for an American president who (much like some 14th century Italian potentate) feels he has a right to tell Jewish people where we may or may not live.

      It's a matter of self-respect, really.

      I will also not vote for an American president who doesn't really believe that the Jewish people want peace and that we are in need of further self-reflection.

      And this, too, is a matter of self-respect.

      As for the best interests of the American people, I am not the least bit convinced that the Democrats are just so much better for the country that I need to vote for them despite Obamas behavior toward the Jewish state.

      The truth of the matter is that there is a broad political consensus among the American people, left, right, and center, Democrat and Republican.

      We are, almost all of us, regulatory capitalists.

      The only real difference between the parties is what kind of regulation and where. The Democrats want a little more regulation in some areas and a little less in others. Ditto for the Republicans, although they tend to disagree on just where to emphasize regulations.

      It's only political partisans who insist that one party or the other was born from the devil.

    6. Such tendencies are rather obviously explained away by a particular form of Liberal White Guilt, 'School -

      "Jews are as diverse as any people, I suppose. That does not provide license to cast aspersion against those that seek to present evidence of blatant hatred toward Jews, Israel, America, that is irrefutable yet far too unknown by most people. To call it bigotry and the like is not a serious reply, but an empty one."

      I've found, all too often, at least amongst such types here in the US, that those who are the quickest and the loudest to level "racistbigotracistbigotracist!!1!" charges, are those who consider themselves of the Left, yet who made the decision that it was best to raise their families in areas with as few non-white folks as possible.

      They're clearly uncomfortable with this, so to assuage their guilt at their own not-so-subtle racism, they have decided they must loudly smear as many people as possible with that disgusting label. Evidence or any kind of proof whatsoever be damned. After all, they have none. But they must do this to clear their own consciences. To make themselves feel like good progressives.

      It is a sickness.

      And it apparently clearly hurts some of them when I point this out, so I must be onto something.

    7. And again, I'm not disparaging anybody's decision to live anywhere they please. My problem, however, is with those who DO have a problem with their own choices, and yet decide that it's best to just smear others to assuage their own guilt.

      People like that are amongst the very worst who walk this earth, imo.

  2. "Well, it's up to each of us to decide on what constitutes "best interest." Many people will say that what's in the best interest of the Jewish people, both Israeli and diaspora, is a strong United States which is precisely why we should vote for Barack Obama."

    Mike, I would have thought this is precisely the reason why you should NOT vote for Obama.

    Obama has been good at killing terrorists and he deserves full credit for that. Taking out that piece of filth in Pakistan was hugely impressive but that was just the start of it. I must say I haven't been as exhilarated about deserving dead meat since the Entebbe rescue.

    But how much has this been due to the power and courage of his political judgement and how much to the skill of the US military and, importantly, the dramatic advances in Drone technology?

    One of those machines has already had a nomination for the Geoffff's Joint Peace Prize and I can report here exclusively, sourced from an insider on the nomination committee, that it's only a matter of time before one picks up the award. Get your bets on now.

    Apart from that, what?

    You know what.

    I don't like buying into this in a conversation with Americans because to do so seems to me to show disrespect for Americans. It's your country and you know it best and it's your decision. But I am a passionate friend of the US and your decision does affect the rest of us so I guess I can say this.

    If I was an American in 2008 I would have voted for Obama for sure. No question. I would have been out wearing his buttons and I can tell you his victory warmed a middle aged man's heart. At one time I worked as a defence lawyer in my country in native communities and I am pretty certain that, as liberals, you do not need me to tell you the name of the book and movie that changed my life.

    You are right. "socialism", "capitalism" and other economic ideologies are not reasons to vote. No one believes that crap any more except some lunatics on the left and some lunatics on the right who have always struck me as saying the same lunatic things. If it wasn't for the suits and haircuts you couldn't tell them apart.

    There is a huge issue in the world today and we all know what it is. We are faced with the worst threat to our species since the Nazis. The guy you vote for in November might be the most important man in our history since we emerged as distinct creatures over 100 000 years ago.

    I sure hope that isn't Obama.

    The other guy? He's said and done all the right things so far. Mormons are good hard working and honest people. I hope it's not racist to say that.

    1. Geoffff,

      please do not get me wrong.

      It's not that I believe that an Obama presidency makes for a stronger America, on the contrary, but that is one of the arguments that Jewish Obama supporters in the States advance. They make the argument on progressive economic grounds.

      The argument in the US, and I imagine it's similar in Australia, has been for a very long time between supply-side economic conservatives versus demand-side economic progressives.

      Most American Jews believe in demand-side economics and I, in fact, lean in that direction.

      BUT there is simply no way in hell that I am going to allow the small difference between Democrats and Republicans on economic issues to make me ignore Obama's foreign policy, which is both horrendous and dangerous, particularly for world Jewry.

      Mormons are good hard working and honest people. I hope it's not racist to say that.


      Sorry, that was pretty funny!


      Of course they are and, of course, it's not the least bit racist to say so.

      In the west, today, questions of race are, more than anything else, a club. Race is now used as a bully-boy tactic to keep people in line. I just think that it's sad, given the history of racism in the US and the long, hard battle that was fought against it, that now Jews who point out majoritarian Arab and Islamic racism against the Jewish minority in the Middle East are called "racist."

      What a hideous irony. It's a perversion of history, actually. For a Jew who calls out widespread Islamist racism in the Middle East to be called a "racist" would be something akin to condemning a Jew as a racist for calling out Nazi anti-Jewish racism in the early-mid 20th century.

      What a sick and evil joke, yet many Jews go for it, either out of ideology or just plain stupidity.

      The guy you vote for in November might be the most important man in our history since we emerged as distinct creatures over 100 000 years ago.

      That may very well be, but I have to say that I am getting a bit jaded. Every election cycle for so many years now that tell us that THIS IS THE ONE... and, yet, not a whole lot ever seems to change.

      Nonetheless, I am voting for Romney.

      One of the differences between this political blog and some others is that we do not require ideological conformity in order to participate in a friendly manner.

      {Good for us, eh?}

    2. We're cool Mike,

      You asked for some foreign comment and I've delivered and naturally you can't expect any worthwhile context on domestic issues from me.

      My comment about Mormons was an attempt at "irony". An art form of humour that Australians and Brits are adept and brought up with but I know from experience can bewilder or irritate Americans. Put it down to cultural difference.

      On foreign policy, what can I tell you? We're talking about Nazis with the Bomb. Aren't we?

      If that's not a threat to the species, what is. Who is better to deal with that?

      That's your decision but you know who I would vote for. I'll shut up now.

    3. You have no need to shut up and, yeah, I saw you were being ironic about Mormons, which is why I thought it was funny.

      Y'know, for a long time I considered an Obama re-election as a shoo-in, but now I am not so sure.

      I think Romney could actually take this thing.

      Let's hope so, eh?