The Little-Known Origins of Islamofascism

American Thinker, Nov. 7, 2021

by L.K. Samuels

It is no accident that Palestinians and many Arab political and religious leaders are hostile to Jews and to the nation of Israel. This bitter animosity resulted from a little-known historical event that lead to the dark origins of Islamofascism. Starting in 1933, a cozy relationship bloomed between the National Socialists of Germany and the Arab-Muslim political elites in Palestine.

The Arab-Muslim world had always been receptive to various authoritarian, socialists, and nationalistic political systems. So, it is not surprising that a cordial ideological commonality soon developed between the Nazis and the Arab-Muslim world. Within a few weeks of Hitler’s rise to Germany’s Chancellorship in 1933, the German Consul-General in Jerusalem for Palestine, Heinrich Wolff, touted Mohammed Amin al-Husseini’s eager support of the Nazis, especially their anti-Jewish boycott across Germany. Wolff relayed to Berlin that Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem since 1921, had asserted that the Muslims in Palestine “looked forward to the spread of Fascism throughout the region.”

To many in the Middle East, Nazi Germany was considered the natural ally of the Arab and Muslim world. Spending much of his time in Nazi Germany during World War II, Amin al-Husseini finally met Mussolini in 1941 and declared his intentions to ally with the Axis. Many Fascist leaders were overjoyed at such an alliance with the Palestinian leader. Mussolini, who had been a hardcore atheist since his youthful Marxist days, declared to his Fascist cabinet that “Islam was perhaps a more effective religion than Christianity.”

A number of high-level Nazi leaders learned of this encounter and invited the Palestinian leader to visit Hitler in Berlin. Hitler was interested in the Arab world and their rising animosity towards Jews, capitalism, and British influence. The Führer agreed to meet with Amin al-Husseini on November 28, 1941. In that meeting, Al-Husseini pressed for Arab independence, particularly the liberation of Palestine from the British. He also sought to prevent the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, as had been proposed by the British government. This might look like normal political negotiations between nations, but al-Husseini had a darker side. He began to work for the Nazis and became involved in the Arabic-language service broadcast program.

He made a series of propaganda broadcasts from Berlin in an effort to “foment unrest, sabotage, and insurrection against the Allies.” Obviously, al-Husseini was a Nazi collaborator and used his influence to turn Arabs against the Jews and Western Allies. In a Nazi-sponsored radio broadcast in 1944, he asked Arabs to rise up and “kill the Jews wherever you find them.” In his supervision of pro-Nazi radio broadcasts out of Zeesen, Athens, and Rome, al-Husseini was considered more effective than any other Arab leader at “promoting hatred of the Jews among Muslims.”

But the Nazis did more than broadcast messages to the Middle East by Arabic National Socialists. There was a drive to give students from Arab countries German scholarships, to have business firms take in Arab apprentices, and invite Arab party leaders to “Nuremberg party rallies and military chiefs to Wehrmacht maneuvers.” In fact, the Nazis established an “Arab Club” in Berlin as the “center for Palestine-related agitation and Arabic-language broadcasting.” Some Nazi leaders, such as Heinrich Himmler, talked about the “ideology closeness” of National Socialism and Islam, coming up with the concept of Muselgermanen or “Muslimo-Germans.”

Adolf Hitler himself admitted in private conversations that he favored Islam over Christianity. Albert Speer, a member of the Führer’s inner circle, revealed Hitler’s anti-Christian stance in his book Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs. Hitler told Speer: “The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness.”

As for creating an Arab-Nazi army, Amin al-Husseini by 1943 helped to arrange the creation of the 13th Waffen-SS Mountain Division (also called the “Handschar”), mostly manned by Bosnian Muslims, to fight the Allies. Some 24,000 to 27,000 Arab recruits signed up to fight with the Nazis. Because of his collaboration with the Nazis, the American Jewish Congress (AJC) has described Amin al-Husseini as “Hitler’s henchman.”

But oddly, anyone today who dares to criticize the modern ideological and theological positions of Islam is often faced with accusations of islamophobia. And yet, the close link of German Nazism and Italian Fascism to Islamic fascism is undisputable. Hitler and Mussolini’s national socialism matched well to their Arab fascist counterparts. This is not a prejudice against the Islamic religion; it is an abhorrence of the violence, racism, and socialism of the Islamic Fascism movement.

L.K. Samuels is the author of Killing History: The False Left-Right Political Spectrum (2019) and other books.