It is well documented that Islamists have support from certain elements in the European Left. What is less well known is that Muslim extremists and Islamic regimes have been forging links with European neo-Nazi organisations and Holocaust deniers for several decades. Both camps share the irrational belief that Zionism is the predominant force in the world. Both share strong anti-Semitic and pro-Palestinian views.
Before looking at the situation in World War Two, let us look at the nature of the alliance in the decades following the Holocaust. In the 1960s, George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party (ANP), expressed (ironic) admiration for black supremacists Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, the main players in the extremist Nation of Islam organisation. The ANP and Nation of Islam came to an agreement that both parties should challenge the civil rights movement, which was considered a Jewish conspiracy to integrate “white” and “black” people.
Some scholars of comparative religion argue that the Nation of Islam is anti-Semitic and advocates denial of the Holocaust. In the Global Journal of Classical Theology, Professor Richard V. Pierard writes:
“Holocaust denial is a stock in trade of Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, Skinhead…and one also finds it in Black hate groups like Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, some Afrocentrist writers, and in Arab anti-Israel rhetoric. The common thread running through all these manifestations is anti-Semitism; that is, hatred or dislike of Jews.”
In the early 1970s, German neo-Nazi Willi Pohl provided weapons and fake passports to Palestinian Arab terrorists who kidnapped and murdered Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Pohl was arrested the same year but only served a two-year sentence. Before his arrest, German police believed Pohl intended to carry out terrorist attacks on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs.
Since the 1970s, there have been several cases of neo-Nazis either converting to Islam or coveting a close relationship between the two ideologies. In the 1980s, Louis Beam, an American neo-Nazi, called for an alliance between the Far Right and Muslim terrorist groups. Albert Huber, a journalist who converted to Islam in 1962 and changed his first name to Ahmed, became increasingly convinced that Islam and Nazism shared the same ideological platform. Another example is David Myatt, a neo-Nazi who converted to Islam in 1998. Myatt, who has referred to the Holocaust as a “hoax,” called for an international jihad against Jews.
In 2014, Maxence Buttey, a Front National local councillor, embarrassed France’s infamous Far Right party by announcing his conversion to Islam. Urging fellow members to join him, he said Front National and Islam had a lot in common:
“Both are demonised and very far from the image portrayed in the media,” he told Le Parisien newspaper. “Like Islam, the Front National defends the weakest. The party denounces exorbitant interest rates charged on the debt of our country, and Islam is against the practice of usury.”
In the last few years, the neo-Nazi/Islam pact has manifested itself at street level. In the aftermath of 9/11, German neo-Nazis dressed in PLO headscarves burnt an American flag. In 2009, members of the Aryan Guard marched alongside supporters of Hamas at an anti-Israel rally in Canada. Also in 2009, the extreme right National Democratic Party planned a “holocaust vigil” for Gaza in support of the Palestinians. Two years later, the Neo-Nazi German People’s Party urged its followers to take part in Berlin’s celebration of al-Quds Day, an Iranian-backed anti-Israeli event. The Central Council of Jews in Germany has remarked that “joint hatred of everything Jewish is unifying neo-Nazis and Islamists.”
One of the newest radical organisations is the extreme-right Bosnian National Pride Movement. Bosnian National Pride, which venerates the cooperation between Nazis and Muslims during World War II, has an overwhelming majority of Muslim members. Founded in 2010, the Bosnian National Pride Movement describes itself as a Nazi movement advocating Bosnian national revival. The movement differs from other European neo-Nazi groups in that it was founded by (and intended for) Muslim Bosnians.
The site’s “Question and Answer” section explains the group’s hostility towards the Jews:
“The Jews have immense influence throughout the world – in [the domains of] politics, economy, culture, and religion. Anyone who scoffs at [the notion of] a Jewish conspiracy need only open the Bible. He will find that, for over 1,000 years, the European peoples have embraced a religion that, for some unknown reason, designates the Jews as the chosen people, and states that the son of God was a Jew and that God promised the Jews control of a certain geographic area. A thinking man should ask himself: how is it that a nation so small has played such a large role in the lives of the European peoples? To ignore this question is to ignore reality.”
Far Right politics is not limited to grassroots organisations, it has infected entire national policies. After the Second World War, many Nazis fled to Egypt and Syria, where they helped organise the Arabs’ multi-pronged attack on the new State of Israel in 1948 and 1967. In the 1970s, Saudi Arabia hired an American neo-Nazi in the 1970s to lobby political decision makers in the US.
Iran (not surprisingly) has courted neo-Nazis. In December 2006, the Iranian regime hosted a two-day event called the “International Conference on Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision.” The conference was a deliberate exercise in Holocaust denial and/or revisionism. Among the attendees were American David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan leader; Bendikt Frings from the far right National Democratic Party of Germany; French writer Georges Thiel, who had been convicted under Holocaust denial laws in France; Fredrick Töben of Australia who had been imprisoned in Germany for three months in 1999 for Holocaust denial; and Michele Renouf, the wife of Holocaust denier David Irving.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Relations between Islam and fascism run deep. It is no secret that the Nazis and several Arab leaders – most notably Haj Muhammad Amin el-Husseini, the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem and spiritual leader of the Palestinian Arabs, made a pact against the Jews in the 1930s. Husseini collaborated with the Nazis to an astonishing extent during the 1930s and 1940s, and met Hitler on several occasions. His alliance was so successful that the Nazis declared their readiness to eradicate the Yishuv, the Jewish National Home in Palestine.
In 1937, Husseini visited the Jerusalem German Consul, where he met with Eichmann to discuss “the Jewish question.” This meeting resulted in the Nazis agreeing to finance Husseini’s pogroms against the Jews in Palestine. Hitler publicly expressed his support for the Palestinian Arabs. This support was motivated by anti-Semitism and a suspicion of Britain’s colonial rule in the Middle East. In a speech made before the Reichstag in 1939, Hitler opined that Palestine is “occupied not by German troops but by the English,” and he accused British troops of oppressing the Arabs for “the benefit of Jewish interlopers.”
Not surprisingly, Husseini was keen to capitalise on the Fuehrer’s sympathy. Under the Mufti’s influence, the Nazi regime gave the go-ahead for the conversion to Islam of 25,000 Nazis in 1939. The newly-formed Jamait-e-Muslimin (“Muslim group”) were sent to Cairo to assist Nazi operations in Egypt, Palestine, Sudan and Transjordan. In the spirit of cultural exchange, a number of young Arabs were given training in Germany and Italy.
In 1941 Husseini began recruiting Bosnian Muslims to the Nazi cause. In a visit to Bosnia, he convinced Muslim leaders that a Muslim S.S. division would be advantageous to Islam. The Bosnian Muslims were organised into several divisions of the Waffen SS and other units. The largest was the 13th Hanzar division, which had more than 21,000 members. Declaring himself the “protector of Islam,” Husseini and his recruits were responsible for the deaths of thousands of Serbian Christians and Jews.
In a speech to his Bosnian Muslim Waffen-SS Division in 1944, Husseini declared that his Bosnian division was an “example for Muslims in all countries”. He continued:
“Many common interests exist between the Islamic world and Greater Germany, and those make cooperation a matter of course […] Further, National Socialist Germany is fighting against world Jewry […] There are also considerable similarities between Islamic principles and those of National Socialism, namely in the affirmation of struggle and fellowship, in stressing leadership, in the ideas of order, in the high valuation of work. All this brings our ideologies close together and facilitates cooperation.”
What about the Muslim Brotherhood? The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna in 1928 as an Islamist movement. A political alliance with Nazi Germany began in the 1930s and continued into the 1940s, during which time both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Nazis supported and funded the anti-Semitic pogroms in British Mandate Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood also translated into Arabic Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Hamas, which is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, continues to disseminate the kind of conspiratorial Far Right nonsense that inspired Nazism. This extract from the Hamas charter is eerily reminiscent of the anti-Semitic propaganda produced by Hitler and his stooges:
“With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.”
So when Israelophobes dare to compare Israel with the Third Reich, let them be reminded that cooperation between Muslim regimes and Far Right fascists was – and still is – a problem that remains unaddressed. While Germany underwent a process of denazification after the Second World War (not completely successful judging from the presence of German neo-Nazi groups), vast swathes of the Muslim world – from Bosnia to Syria – continue to operate under the spell of fascism. The fact that Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion remain best-sellers in the disputed Palestinian territories and Egypt should serve as potent reminders that IslamoNazism is an ongoing concern.