The affinity of Arab nationalists and radical Muslims to the siblings of Nazism and Bolshevism ought to surprise no one. Hitler deeply admired Islam. The Muslim polymath known as al-Mashriqi met with Hitler in 1926, long before the Nazi Party was powerful or Hitler was particularly well known. In a letter, al-Mashriqi described this visit: “I was astounded when he [Hitler] told me that he knew about my [book] Tazkirah. The news flabbergasted me … I found him very congenial and piercing. He discussed Islamic Jihad with me in details” and nine years later, in 1935, al-Mashriqi noted “the success of the Nazi movement, simply by following the shining guidance of the Holy Koran.”
Nor is the tight relationship between Bolshevism and Islam news. During the Cold War, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser received the honors of Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin. His socialism was ever-present. By 1962, Nasser required that the government own a majority interest in every single business in Egypt. Dagobert Runes, who published an English translation of Marx's On the Jewish Question under the title A World Without Jews notes of Marx’s own writings about Jews: “Copies of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Russia’s Protocols of Zion have been distributed by Khrushchev’s close ally, Colonel Nasser.” Why would an ally of Khrushchev, theoretically a “mortal enemy” of the Nazis, be distributing copies of Hitler’s magnum opus? Perhaps the answer can be best understood by the term used once in our country to identify as one the Siamese twins of National Socialism and Communism: the “Communazi.”
The same is true of Italian Fascism and Islam. John Gunther wrote in 1939 about Mussolini: “In March 1937, he was presented with a ‘Sword of Islam’ and, accepting it, he announced that he was hereafter to be considered a protector of the entire Moslem world. [See photos, above and below.] ‘Fascist Italy,’ the Duce said, ‘means to insure to the population of Libya peace, justice, and well-being, and respect to the laws of the Prophet and wishes besides to show her sympathy to Islam and the Moslems of the whole world.” And consider the reception Mussolini got in Alexandria in 1926, which he visited only after the end of Ramadan: “The shop windows were crowded with gifts to be presented to Mussolini — prominent among them a gold scimitar, reminiscent of the Arabic proverb ‘Peace lies only under the shadow of the sword.’ The city was smothered in Fascist emblems.”
What was true in North Africa was also true in the Middle East. Yemen signed a treaty of friendship with Fascist Italy in 1926 and then a similar treaty with the Soviet Union in 1928. Russia and Italy were the first two European nations to recognize the government of Yemen, and the first Yemeni who visited Europe went to Fascist Italy in 1927. Although Yemen was pro-Axis in the Second World War, it signed another friendship treaty with the Soviet Union in 1955 and a similar treaty with Communist China in 1958. Are the Yemeni serious Muslims? Not only are they Muslims, but the rulers must be descendants of the Prophet or Sayyid.
The connection between radical Islam and other totalitarianisms is very close, but it is especially true about Nazism. This connection between Islam and Nazism is not something first noticed after the Holocaust or seen in retrospect as part of the reaction to the establishment of the State of Israel. In 1938, a full year before the Second World War began, R.H. Lockhart stated in his book, Guns or Butter?, that French, British and American businessmen, diplomats, and journalists were writing home in letters and reports about the condition of Nazi Germany. Lockhart wrote that what appeared to be happening was a supreme conflict between Christianity and Nazism, the “new Islam,” but that Christians lacked a Charles Martel, the Frankish king who stopped the Muslims at the Battle of Tours. The Dean of Chichester, writing in 1938, also describes National Socialism as “like Mohammedanism,” adding, “[T]he Nazi religion is a religion of blind obedience…Ultimately, National Socialism must be sterile, like Mohammedanism.”
Carl Jung, in an interview published in 1939, noted: “Hitler is going to found a new Islam. He is already on the way; he is Muhammad. The emotion in Germany is Islamic; warlike and Islamic.” Jung also said, “Hitler’s ‘religion’ is the nearest to Mohammedism.” Gregor Ziemer in 1941 described Nazi girls as “Mohammedans.” In his 1942 book, I Was in Hell with Niemoller, Leo Stein wrote: “The Nazi movement is not merely a political movement, but a religious movement, like Mohammedanism. From Mohammedanism Hitler derives his idea of the religious state.” Before the Second World War began, the Nazis published a book entitled All-Islam: World Power of Tomorrow.
All those who hate the God of Christians and Jews ultimately end up the same awful gangs. Like “Crips” and “Bloods,” these gangs may wear different labels — for a while, anyway — but the gangs are all the same. The plans are always the same: Grab the state; drive away any checks on unbridled government power; then form some thuggish regime. So Cuba looks like Libya which looks like North Korea which looks like Syria. The only cure is to have a people willing to trust other people enough to treat them with respect and peace, and that is something that comes from trusting first a loving God. Is a Nazi Party about to take over Egypt? Perhaps a better question might be: If a Nazi Party ruled Egypt, would anyone notice?
Photo: The Arab chieftain Kerbix, right, presents the "sword of Islam" to Italy's Premier Benito Mussolini, on horseback, in Libya, North Africa, March 31, 1937. The gold-hilted sword symbolizes the devotion of the Arabs to Mussolini and Fascism. (AP Photo): AP Images