Islam, Naziism and Antisemitism

By Sultan Knish

Andrew Bostom and Robert Spencer have both recently written pieces critical of the idea that Islamic Anti-Semitism was a product of Nazi propaganda. As any honest reader of the Koran already knows, Islamic Anti-Semitism, and general intolerance for non-Muslims originated with Mohammed himself. While Mohammed had set out to replace the region’s existing religions, including Judaism and Christianity– he only succeeded in eradicating and replacing the majority of the local polytheistic religions. While sizable numbers of Jews and Christians were forcibly converted to Islam, during the more than millennium of occupation of the Middle East– the religions themselves survived.

This was something of a theological problem for Islam, which had shamelessly looted both Judaism and Christianity’s holy books for material, and claimed Mohammed as the successor to both religions. But in reality, Islam only succeeded in replacing the polytheistic religions that were its true core. So that while on the surface, Jews and Christians were supposed to hold a higher status than pagans, Muslim resentment toward them ran far deeper than toward religions that Islam did not consider to be part of its chain of succession. Muslim daily prayers to this day reference Jews and Christians.

“Guide us to the Straight Way. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians)”

This prayer is also the opening of the Koran. And it demonstrates markedly more hostility toward the Jews, than toward the Christians. As does the Koran itself, which dated to a time when Muslims were at war with the Jews, but were not yet significantly at war with the Christians.

The above translation incidentally comes from the Hilali-Khan translation of the Koran, the most popular Sunni translation of the Koran. Muslims however avoid using this translation for non-Muslims, as one Muslim site explains; “I strongly recommend that you use an alternate translation of the meaning; the Hilali & Khan work is the least appropriate for dawah work; it comes across to non-Muslims as extremely bigoted… Scroll down to 1:7 and imagine you are trying to use that translation to bring Islam to a Christian or Jew.”. The 1:7 being referred to here is the above quoted text. Dawah is Islamic missionary work. Of course it comes across to non-Muslims as bigoted… because it is.

Now it’s possible to go into exhaustive detail on the subject of Islamic anti-semitism. Plenty of such work has been done. Entire books have been written on the subject, among them by Andrew Bostom. But it’s sufficient here to simply point out that every time a Muslim opens the Koran and every day that he prays, he is reminded that Allah hates Jews and has very little use for Christians. It would be very hard to imagine such religious indoctrination not resulting in bigotry.

However Nazism had a profound impact on modern Islamic anti-semitism as well. While in some Asian countries such as Japan, their attempt to export Anti-Semitism was baffling and confusing to the locals– Anti-Semitism was not a brand new product in the Middle East. But the Nazis had successfully used Anti-Semitism as one of their tools of political organization at home, and to form cross-cultural connections by finding common ground in other parts of the world. The Jews gave the Nazis and the Islamists something in common. Not the only thing of course.

Some of the Nazi elite were looking around for a replacement for Christianity, because of its Jewish associations and what they felt was its excessive humanism. Meanwhile the Islamists wanted to understand how to Islamize their countries in the wake of the fall of the Ottoman Empire, while challenging modernism. For the Nazi elite, Islam was fascinating because it emphasized obedience to authority and fused power and religion in a way that was appealing to them. For the Islamists, Nazism demonstrated how a reactionary ideology could use political organization to take over a country and move it back spiritually to the dark ages, while still being able to compete on the global stage.

And so the Cult of Hitler would owe something to the Koran, just as the Muslim Brotherhood would owe something to Mein Kampf– which today remains one of the most popular books in the Muslim world. For Muslim rulers, Western dictators always had a special appeal because they maintained power without giving in to liberalization. But for the Muslim world, Nazism was more than just a dictatorship, it showed how political organization could be transformed into political power. And even after Hitler’s defeat, numerous coups in the Muslim world would be derived from Nazism– from secular Arab Socialist ones like Nasser’s in Egypt to radical Islamist ones like the Ayatollah Khomeni’s in Iran. Both men had been strongly influenced by Nazi propaganda.

But that propaganda did not teach them to hate Jews. Muslims did not need a lesson from the Third Reich on hating Jews. It was there every time they opened the Koran. What the Third Reich did teach them however, was that Anti-Semitism could be a powerful tool of political organization. This was not an entirely new idea in the Muslim world either. After all Mohammed’s campaign against the Jews had as much to do with gaining followers with the promise of loot, as it did with religion. Much as Hitler’s own had as much to do with finding ways to pay for his attempt to combine capitalism and socialism, without annoying either the owners or the workers– as it did with Nazi ideology. And throughout the centuries, plenty of Muslim mobs had been led by men who understood that Ibtach al Yahood (Kill the Jews) was a safer cry than Down with the Caliph, but that once the mob had assembled and was looting the Jewish quarter, they might be feeling their oats enough to take on the Caliph as well.

Yet these sorts of tactics seemed crude compared to what the Nazis had accomplished. And the Islamists would borrow many things from them. Their love of uniforms and banners. Even their salute, which can still be seen performed today by more than a few Muslim terrorist groups such as Hezbollah or the KLA. And their exploitation of political Anti-Semitism. Had there been no Israel, the political Anti-Semitism of the Islamists would have been limited to domestic campaigns against Judaization, a theme duplicating that of the Nazis, but one that had existed beforehand in the Middle East. However the existence of Israel allowed the bulk of Jews living in Muslim countries a way out, and created Israel as a compass needle for the Islamists.

For the Islamists, the State of Israel become a goad, a way to humiliate the rulers of the Muslim world, by pointing to their ongoing failure to destroy Israel. This allowed them to portray the rulers they wished to overthrow as weak, corrupt and inept– while promising that once in power, they would destroy Israel. The obvious analogy to the propaganda used by the Nazis is there. And what WW1 was to the Nazis, a theme of Germany’s humiliation that they would always return to, the State of Israel is to the Islamists. And after generations of Muslim children growing up immersed in that brew of hateful propaganda, it is not at all surprising that the hatred of Jews in the Muslim world has reached absolutely psychotic levels.

Just as the Nazis turned defeating the Allies into the symbol of Germany’s resurgence that would wipe away its humiliation in WW1, so too the Islamists turned killing Jews into the symbol of Islamic resurgence that would wipe away their humiliation over the independence of the Jews in the Middle East from Muslim rule. The same theme that had resonated in Germany, had far more reach in the Honor/Shame cultures of the Muslim world. And it has helped feed the war against the Jews, as even secular Muslim leaders feel obligated to maintain hostilities with Israel to stay ahead of the Islamists.

While the Nazis certainly did not teach Anti-Semitism to the Muslim world, they did teach the Islamists by example how to better exploit it for political power. The Islamists learned not Anti-Semitism itself, but technique from Nazi Germany. And it was not just the technique of exploiting Anti-Semitism, but many other techniques of political organization as well. Quasi-Fascism today remains common among political groups in the Middle East, who rejected the more liberal English and French models, in favor of the Fascist and National Socialist model. The results of this can be seen in politically sophisticated Islamist movements that monitor the media, use front groups, maintain social services for their supporters, employ uniforms, rely on support from the Muslim diaspora– and the rest of the haul from Nazism, and of course Communism.

For the greater mass of the Muslim world, Anti-Semitism is a belief. For the Islamist elite however, it is a technique. One of many that they have at their disposal. It is not an original technique. The idea dated back to Mohammed, but it also predated him. Hitler however provided an example of the sophisticated and sharper uses that it could be put to in order to promote ideological purity. And the Islamists have profited by his example.?

May 12, 2010 | 7 Comments »

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  1. Israeli Arabs: Jews are fair game

    Balad Party activist Omar Abdo and Ameer Mahoul, the head of an umbrella group of Arab NGOs, have been arrested for spying for Hezbollah.

    Their relatives claim unfair prosecution. And they are right: it is only fair for Israeli Arabs to spy on their country.

  2. ayn reagan Said:

    Islamic anti-Semitism is a function of literally interpreting Koranic law:

    @ ayn reagan:

    I WILL CAST TERROR INTO THE HEARTS OF THOSE WHO DISBELIEVE. THEREFORE STRIKE OFF THEIR HEADS AND STRIKE OFF EVERY FINGERTIP OF THEM. THIS IS BECAUSE THEY ACTED ADVERSELY TO ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER; AND WHOEVER ACTS ADVERSELY TO ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER – THEN SURELY ALLAH IS SEVERE IN REQUITING (EVIL). THIS – TASTE IT, AND (KNOW) THAT FOR THE UNBELIEVERS IS THE PUNISHMENT OF FIRE. O you who believe! When you meet those who disbelieve marching for war, then turn not your backs to them. And whoever shall turn his back to them on that day – unless he turn aside for the sake of fighting or withdraws to a company – then he, indeed, becomes deserving of Allah’s wrath, and his abode is hell; and an evil destination shall it be. So you did not slay them, but it was Allah Who slew them and you did not smite when you smote (the enemy) but it was Allah Who smote, and that He might confer upon the believers a good gift from Himself; (8:12-17)
    edited by knadia from” to ”
    “i just wanted to add the full verses of the Quran so that a thinking one may judge for themselves from the full text of chapter 8:12-17 say
    12. Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.”

    Speakes for itself

  3. Does J Street Stand For Jordan Street?

    J Street, the controversial Jewish pressure group that was created to lobby for a Palestinian state, is back in the news. J Street is now in the news in — of all places — Amman, Jordan because of its unauthorized freelance diplomacy mission there. The Jordan Times reported on May 2 that “[t]heir Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania on Sunday met with delegates from the American organization, J Street, who are on a visit to the Kingdom as part of a regional tour.”

    The question is, why would the Jordanian monarchy be interested in meeting with J Street in the first place? One might think that a group that held its first national convention only in October of 2009 would not be deemed worthy of meeting with Jordan’s king and queen.

    It is also curious that the visit to Jordan did not generate the headlines that J Street has been getting somewhat used to. After all, J Street has been making the news a lot since 2009.

    Perhaps the Jordanian government believed that it was worth meeting with J Street because of the connections J Street has with the Democratic Party.

    A key strategy of J Street from its very outset has been to use the gravitas that even the most radical Democrats now have in the Obama era to provide it with the cover it needs to advance its pro-Palestine agenda.

    Five of the Democratic congressmen who signed a controversial letter that urged President Obama to increase pressure on Israel were rewarded by the radical J Street lobby organization with a five-day President’s Day weekend tour of Israel, Jordan, and the so-called “Palestinian Territories.” That this letter precipitated what many have termed the worst crisis in U.S.-Israel relations in decades must not be discounted.

    Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress, was the key organizer of the letter to President Obama asking the administration to use diplomatic pressure on Israel to end the so-called blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. Ellison and the 53 other Democrats who signed the letter were widely labeled as the “Gaza 54.”

    Matt Brooks, the Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, released the following statement about the letter on January 29:

    By now, you’ve probably heard that 54 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives (no Republicans) sent a letter to President Obama — a letter in which they urge him to pressure Israel to loosen security measures on Israel’s border with Hamas-controlled Gaza. This is outrageous. And we need to raise our voices to respond! These security measures were implemented to counter the threat from terrorism originating from the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip.

    Every congressman on the J Street-sponsored President’s Day trip signed Ellison’s letter, which J Street endorsed.

    J Street’s February 12 press release on its “first Congressional mission” read in part:

    Representatives Lois Capps (CA-23), Bill Delahunt (MA-10), Bob Filner (CA-51), Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15), and Donald Payne (NJ-10) will meet with Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian government officials as well as civil society leaders to get an in-depth, on-the-ground look at the state of the peace process, and to explore the American role in bringing about regional, comprehensive peace. “We’re excited to start bringing members of Congress to the Middle East as part of our overall effort to promote strong US leadership to achieve a two-state solution and regional, comprehensive peace,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, Executive Director of the J Street Education Fund.

    Several important nuanced phrases in Ben-Ami’s statement and the press release illustrate the cause for alarm that J Street has generated from its critics both in Israel and in the U.S. Zionist community.

    J Street’s very radical stance is based on the idea that the U.S. should pressure Israel into accepting a “two-state solution” and that a “two-state solution” is the remedy for a “regional, comprehensive peace.” This is a seriously dangerous view. How will a “two-state solution” make peace magically happen between Muslims and Christians in Lebanon or Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq? Will a “two-state solution” bring a stop to the murder and persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt? This “two-state solution” rhetoric gives credence to the ridiculous claims that Israel’s existence is the obstacle to peace in the Middle East. According to the May 2 Jordan Times, King Abdullah stated to J Street “that the continuation of the status quo will lead to a new cycle of tension and violence in the region.”

    There is no reason to believe that a “two-state solution” will be any solution at all. After all, the creation of a de facto Islamic Republic in Gaza not only hasn’t brought peace to the region, but it has dramatically increased the footprint of Iranian backed Islamic terrorism in the area.

    J Street had stated that the congressmen were to meet with Palestinian “government officials.” Which officials did they mean? The Fatah terrorists posing as a government in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) or the Hamas terrorists posing as a government in Gaza?

    Were leaders of Israel’s settlers granted any access to the congressmen? Without meeting the settlers — the only community being transferred and displaced by J Street’s “two-state solution” Palestinian statehood scheme — how could these Americans ever hope to get an accurate idea of the full situation?

    J Street is more interested in the views of Jordan. Jordan’s Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, Ambassador of Jordan, was a presenter at the J Street Conference on October 26, 2009, the first full day of the Capitol Hill event. And this was just weeks after Christiane Amanpour’s October 2, 2009 CNN interview with Queen Rania when Rania directly attacked Israel stating “can the world afford for this conflict to keep the way — I mean, it is — it’s a disgrace to humanity that there is still this occupation, that there’s an entire population that’s still dehumanized, that’s still under occupation and suffering.”

    J Street seemed in part to be following Queen Rania’s lead when it joined an alliance of organizations with a strong history of criticizing Israel when it too endorsed Ellison’s letter. These staunch critics of Israel include The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF), the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), the American Near East Refugee Association (ANERA), the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), and Rabbis for Human Rights.

    Since being elected to Congress in 2006, Ellison has caused controversies several times, perhaps most significantly when he demanded to use a Koran for his ceremonial swearing-in in 2006. Ellison has traveled to Iraq, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Gaza since being elected. In February 2009, Ellison and fellow Democratic congressman Brian Baird toured Gaza. At the time, Ellison and Baird issued a joint statement assigning moral equivalency to Israel and the Hamas terrorist group, saying, “The first and most urgent priority must be helping the people in Gaza. At the same time, the rocket attacks against Israeli cities must stop immediately. Just as the people of Gaza should not be subject to what they have experienced, the Israeli civilians should not have to live in fear of constant and indiscriminate rocketing.”

    So far, J Street’s JStreetPAC has distributed over half a million dollars to U.S. congressional candidates it is backing for the November 2, 2010 elections. Ellison was among those that the JStreetPAC financially contributed to and has officially endorsed.

    Did these congressmen show their appreciation to J Street by setting the stage for J Street’s unusual May visit to the Jordanian Royal Court when they were there back in February? How will J Street reward the 49 others of the Gaza 54? We will have to keep watching.

    Moshe Phillips is a member of the executive committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans for a Safe Israel / AFSI. The chapter’s website is at, and Moshe’s blog can be found at

  4. Speaking of anti-Semitism:

    Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Johnny!

    John Mearsheimer:

    “To give you a better sense of what I mean when I use the term righteous Jews, let me give you some names of people and organizations that I would put in this category. The list would include Noam Chomsky, Roger Cohen, Richard Falk, Norman Finkelstein, Tony Judt, Tony Karon, Naomi Klein, MJ Rosenberg, Sara Roy, and Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss fame, just to name a few. I would also include many of the individuals associated with J Street and everyone associated with Jewish Voice for Peace, as well as distinguished international figures such as Judge Richard Goldstone. Furthermore, I would apply the label to the many American Jews who work for different human rights organizations, such as Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch.”

    I always wondered how best to define a “righteous Jew”.

    Thanks to Mearsheimer, now I know.

    A “righteous Jew” supports Hamas and denies the Holocaust.

  5. Islamic anti-Semitism is a function of literally interpreting Koranic law:

    Hadith, the body of traditions relating to Mohammed and now supplemental to the Koran: He (Abu Hurayah) reported the messenger of Allah as saying: The last hour will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, so that Jews will hide behind stones and trees and the Stone and the tree will say, O Muslim, O servant of God! There is a Jew behind me; come and kill him. The only exception will be the box-thorn for it is one of the trees of the Jews. (Sahih of Muslim, quoted by Israel and the Prophecies of Al Quran by Ali Akbar, Bismi Publishers 1992, p.44)

    The Muslims enthusiastically murdered Jews before the Nazis existed.

    And while the Nazis existed.

    And after the Nazis existed.

  6. Muhammad was primarily not interested in anything religious or spiritual- that gives him too much credit. He was a frustrated Meccan businessman with big ambitions- a sort of 7th century Donald Trump, but with even more personal grandiosity and self-centeredness. When the Meccans laughed off his incompetent business ventures and grandiose pronouncements, he grew enraged and retreated to Medina, where he found a receptive, if at first small, audience. He slowly built his following there, and when he was strong enough, he returned to Mecca, where he battled and easily defeated the polytheists, as Belman said, but was less successful with the established Jews and Christians. By this time he had a full-blown Messianic delusion, and could not tolerate rejection of his “final” and “perfect” prophesy. Thus, the Koran. And the abiding hatred of non-Muslims, Jews especially, with second place for the Christians.

    If you look at the history of other major religions, and the biographies of their founders- Abraham, Jesus, Buddha, etc.- you find that they were simple men who were local and largely non-violent. They did not commit large-scale acts of violence and raise up armies in the conventional sense against their enemies and rivals. Jesus may have smashed the moneychangers’ tables in the Temple in Jerusalem, but he did not raise armies to murder non-Christians wholesale. Only Islam among the major religions is this way. This is because Islam, reflecting the thought-patterns and frustrated personal ambitions of dominance of its founder, is a primarily a political movement and ideology- one based on violence, conquest, and subjugation (the word “Islam” of course means “submission” in Arabic, not “peace”) – with some religious/spiritual folderol tacked on to proclaim itself a “religion.”