By Gary Aminoff, American Thinker
Despite common misconceptions, modern Islamic Fascism was not born during the 1960s, but during the 1930s. Its rise was not inspired by the failure of Nasserism in Egypt, but by the rise of Nazism in Germany, and prior to 1951 all of its campaigns were directed, not against Western colonialism, but against the Jews.
It was the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Cairo in 1928, that established Islamic Jihad as a mass movement. The significance of the Muslim Brotherhood to Islamic Fascism is comparable to the significance of the Bolshevik Party to Communism: it was, and it remains to this day, the ideological reference point and the organizational core for all later Islamist groups, including Al Queda and Hamas.
While British colonial policy contributed to the rise of Islamic radicalism, the Brotherhood’s jihad was not directed against the British, but focused almost exclusively on Zionism and the Jews.
Membership in the Brotherhood rose from 800 members in 1936 to over 200,000 in 1938. In those two years the Brotherhood conducted a major campaign in Egypt, and it was against the Jews, not against the British occupiers. This campaign against the Jews, in the late 1930s, which established the Brotherhood as a mass movement of Islamic Jihadists, was set off by a rebellion in Palestine directed against Jewish immigration from Europe and Russia. That campaign was initiated by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini.
Al-Husseini was extremely impressed with Adolf Hitler and his anti-Jewish rhetoric. In 1941 he visited Hitler in Berlin. He was so enthralled with Hitler and the Nazis, and their plans to exterminate the Jews that he decided to remain in Berlin. He lived there from 1941 to 1945, recruiting Muslims in Europe for the Waffen-SS. He was very close to Hitler. Husseini’s best friends were Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann.
He convinced Hitler that he would be able to persuade his Muslim brothers in the Arab world to carry out the extermination of Jews in the Middle East, just as the Nazis were doing in Europe.
In November, 1943, In appreciation of the work that al-Husseini was doing in exterminating Jews, Himmler wrote him the following telegram:
“To the Grand Mufti: The National Socialist movement of Greater Germany has, since its inception, inscribed upon its flag the fight against the world Jewry. It has therefore followed with particular sympathy the struggle of freedom-loving Arabs, especially in Palestine, against Jewish interlopers. In the recognition of this enemy and of the common struggle against it lies the firm foundation of the natural alliance that exists between the National Socialist Greater Germany and the freedom-loving Muslims of the whole world. In this spirit I am sending you on the anniversary of the infamous Balfour declaration my hearty greetings and wishes for the successful pursuit of your struggle until the final victory. Signed: Reichsfuehrer S.S. Heinrich Himmler”
In his memoirs after the war, Al-Husseini noted that “Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews.” The answer I got from the Fuehrer was: ‘The Jews are yours.'”
The Muslim Brotherhood organized mass demonstrations in Egyptian cities during the late 1930s under the slogans, “Down with the Jews”, “Jews get out of Egypt and Palestine”, and the like. Leaflets called for a boycott of Jewish goods and Jewish shops, and the Brotherhood’s newspaper, Al-Nadhir, carried a regular column on “The Danger of the Jews of Egypt.”
The Brotherhood’s campaign against the Jews in the 1936-1938 period used not only Nazi tactics, but also significant Nazi funding. As the respected Norwegian historian Brynjar Lia recounted in his monograph on the Muslim Brotherhood, “Documents seized in the flat of Willhelm Stellbogen, the Director of the German News Agency in Cairo, show that prior to 1939 the Muslim Brotherhood received financial subsidies from the German Legation in Cairo. Stellbogen was instrumental in transferring these funds from the Nazi regime to the Muslim Brotherhood.”