Remember Matthias Kuentzel? He is the German academic who was prevented from speaking at Leeds University on the touchy and politically-incorrect subject of the links between fascism and Islamism. Here Irene Lancaster reviews the publication by Telos Press of the English-language translation of Matthias Kuentzel's Jihad and Jew-Hatred.
"Recent events in Britain have led many of us to believe that politics is never 'pure' and is always motivated by psychology and often also by theology, or a 'world-view'. It is impossible therefore not find this book by a leading German scholar in the field thoroughly convincing.
"In my view, only a German can really understand the links between fascism and Muslim revolutionary movements. The early Muslim Brothers were inspired by 1930s European fascism and their writings are a fusion of the Koran and Nazi teaching. They came to the conclusion that not only everything Jewish is evil (which they took for granted), but that 'all evil is Jewish'. For me, this is the nub of the book and is a phrase which should be taken very seriously by all those who believe that 'Islamism' is a mere aberration of the 'pure Islam' which is completely harmless and even beneficial.
"Kuentzel points out that although at first the Arabs supported the 1917 Balfour Declaration, in the 1920s, the Moslem Brotherhood changed all that. They became a populist movement, which like the National Socialists a decade later, recruited foreign students to obtain a foot in the door of as many countries as possible. The MB wished to replace democracy by sharia law and a Caliphate, much as Hamas in Gaza wishes to do today.
"Kuentzel refers to these activists as a 'community of male zealots' which took 'pleasure in un-pleasure', projecting all their hatred of pleasure on 'the Jews'. Like the Nazis, they were 'dedicated to the restoration of male supremacy.' Women's role would be like that in Nazi Germany - merely in the home and subjected to men.
"As for the concept of 'jihad', this had previously been an internal 'fight': now it was externalized as 'holy war'. The ideal was an 'industry of death', fostered by the 'art of death', which was encouraged as being a concept based in the Koran.
Importantly for those in the West who support suicide bombers, the aim of jihad was never to improve one's lot, but insteady to destroy the evil enemy, i.e. the 'Jews'.
The onset of the Nazis encouraged the Egyptian regime, which had at first welcomed Zionism, and even helped Egyptian Jews who wished to emigrate to Mandate Palestine as late as 1933, by threatening their financial interests. Due to Nazi influence the Brotherhood grew from 800 to 200,000 within two years up to 1938.
The Brotherhood distributed Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Arabic. The Nazi ideal of the Volk was paralleled by the Muslim concept of 'umma'. Language, culture and blood ties were what counted. Communities, not individuals, were of paramount importance. Arab youngsters took part in the Hitler Youth marches during the 1938 Nuremberg Rally.
"As for the Mufti of Jerusalem, he was interested in the figure of Hitler, per se. Muslims inside and outside Palestine welcomed the Nazi regime and operated the 'Nazi Scouts' in parallel to the Nazi 'Hitler Youth'. The anti-Jewish Nuremberg race laws were welcomed throughout the Arab and Muslim world, but particularly in British-mandate Palestine.
"In order to strengthen the Mandate Arabs against the Jews, Hitler offered scholarships to the the Arabs from mandated Palestine and employed them in Germany. The German Propaganda Ministry set up and increased its Arab service (just like the BBC today). Germany also funded Arab spies.
"The antisemitism of the Mufti was inherited from his father who had fought against Jewish immigrants to Palestine at the time of the Ottoman Turks. His father had much admired German militrary discipline and incited anti-Jewish riots in Jerusalem. The Mufti was responsible for the 1920 anti-Jewish (not anti-Zionist) porgrom in Jerusalem, and then later for the pogroms against the Jews of the holy cities of Tsfat and Hebron. He used his office to 'Islamise anti-Zionism' and provided a religious rationale for the hatred of the Jews.(..)
"The escalation of the so-called 'Palestinian conflict' was thus the result of a purposeful campaign based on the theological concept of Islamic Holy War. The Moslem Brotherhood and the Mufti worked together to usher in a new Caliphate based on sharia law. It was thus the shared hatred of the Jews which became the bond which tied disparate Arab groupings together. In other words, revolutionary antisemitism was the core of modern jihadism."