Interesting article in The Jersusalem Post about the ties that the modern version of radical Islam has with the Nazis.
Herf, whose forthcoming book deals with Nazi Germany’s propaganda aimed at the Middle East, said that while Islamic extremism could have emerged without Nazism it played an important role in its development.
“The history of radical Islam must include the history of the interaction between fascist Italy, Vichy France and above all Nazi Germany, and the radical Arab nationalists of the wartime years,” he said.
Herf detailed Nazi Germany’s propaganda outreach to the Arab world, which was designed by the German Foreign Office and broadcast over short-wave radio.
“When the Nazis broadcast propaganda in Arabic, Persian and Turkish to the Middle East, they were taking a narrative that they had developed – rooted in a paranoid fantasy of an international Jewish conspiracy – and presenting it in a different context,” Herf said.
The radio broadcasts, primarily in Arabic, sought to create a connection between devout Muslims and the secular political message of Nazi Germany, and quickly outnumbered the Nazis’ broadcasts to Europe and the United States, he said.
“The Nazi hardliners saw an affinity between Nazi ideologies and that of a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam,” Herf said.
I’m currently reading a book on the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, titled Icon of Evil. Husseini actually met Hitler and Himmler and was enthusiastic about the Nazi’s plan for the Jews, encouraging the extermination of Jews in Europe and offering help for a holocaust in the Middle East. Not only did he help promote the Nazi idealogy in the Middle east, he assisted the formation a 100,000-man strong Waffen SS division composed entirely of Bosnian Muslims. (Oh, and he was related to Yassir Arafat.)