Friday, June 03, 2005

The Nazi roots of Muslim antisemitism

The silence over Islamist antisemitism persists alongside an accompanying silence over its roots in National Socialism, argues the German political scientist Matthias Kuntzel in this long but fascinating article published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Nazi-style antisemitism was transferred to the Muslim world in two ways: through the broadcasts between 1937 and 1945 of the German shortwave transmitter in Zeesen, and the role of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem. As well as giving money and ideological support to the Palestinians, the Nazis backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Perhaps Kuntzel sees too much of the history through a distorting prism which exaggerates the early influence of Islamism. No doubt it was shaped as an antisemitic and antimodern mass movement between 1936 and 1939. But to assert that 'until 1936 the moderate Arab forces, which welcomed or at least tolerated Zionism, had in no way been marginalized' is a controversial statement, given that the Jews were already being victimised by secular Arab nationalism. Read article in full.

No comments: