Winston Churchill defined Mein Kampf as “the new Qur’an of faith and war.” Consistent therewith, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the notorious former Mufti of Jerusalem, declared, “There is a definite similarity between the principles of Islam and the principles of Nazism.”
Hitler and Muhammad more alike than not
Although Hitler and Muhammad shared an enthusiasm for military adventurism and a hatred of Jews, still, their world views would seem to be diametrically opposed. Let us see.
Hitler grounds his Jew-hatred in racism as well as atheism. His Jew-hatred flows from the sewers of nineteenth-century ‘race theory.’ Its calculated blasphemy, its materialism (despite Hitler’s self-described ‘idealism’), and most obviously its idolatry of a ‘master race,’ ought to offend, and deeply offend, any serious student of the Qur’an . Islam calls for the conversion of all ‘races’ to Islam, and it does much more than merely call for such conversion – it conquers for it….This suggests that Islam is ‘totalitarian.’ Various scholars, Bernard Lewis and Daniel Pipes among them, deny this….
What links Islam to Nazism is the ethos of jihad. For both Islam and Nazism war is not merely a means to an end: mere conquest. War for both is a moral imperative: for the Nazi, to purge the world of racial impurity, for the Muslim, to purge the world of religious impurity. Both have or require an enemy: for the Muslim the ‘infidel,’ for the Nazi the ‘Jew,’ Accordingly, both Islam and Nazism aim at purifying i.e. conquering the world, and there is no limit to the violence that may be used to achieve that aim. The genocide perpetrated by Muslims against the Armenians preceded the genocide the Nazis perpetrated against the Jews.
The Nazis regarded the Jews as a virus infecting mankind, something that had to be exterminated. Although Muslims reject this racism – for a Jew could convert to Islam – Islam’s contempt for non-believers has much in common with the Nazi’s contempt for non-Aryans, Jews in particular. As in Nazism, Islam has never respected the sanctity of human life; it has always regarded infidels, Jews or Christians, as devoid of human rights, hence as subhuman. Bat Ye’or has documented fourteen centuries of dhimmitude – the degradation and dehumanization of countless Jews and Christians. Dhimmitude is inherent in the ethos of jihad – the most distinctive principle of Islam.
Also inherent in the ethos of jihad, but which has no parallel in Nazism, is the will to martyrdom. The most horrific manifestation of this jihad ethos is the homicide-suicide bomber. Islam may forbid what may be termed ‘personal’ suicide but not in the ethos of holy war. That Arab parents can exult in their children being sacrificed as human bombs is of course mind-boggling. This pagan-like phenomenon indicates that the sanctity of human life is not a normative Islamic doctrine. Indeed, on page after page of the Qur’an¸ unbelievers are consigned to Hell – Islam’s crematoria.
If the will to martyrdom is construed in terms of sacrificing the individual for the sake of the community, then Islam converges with Nazism. While Muslims exalt the umma, the Islamic nation, Nazis exalt the volk, the Aryan race. Lost in both is the dignity of the individual.
Islam and Nazism both reject the individual
In Jewish law the individual stands on a par with the community, and such is his infinite worth or dignity that he cannot rightly be sacrificed for the sake of his community. (That Nazism regards Jews as ‘selfish’ should be understood in this light.) The dignity of the individual has no other rational source than the Torah’s conception of man’s creation in the image of God. Adam is an individual. It follows, given Islam’s subordination of the individual to the collective, that Islam, like Nazism, rejects the God of the Bible! The same God also creates diverse nations, which attests to His infinite creativity. Both Islam and Nazism reject the existence of diverse nations. Both would impose on mankind a stultifying uniformity.
The contrast with Judaism could hardly be more striking. Aside from the Seven Noahide Laws of Universal Morality, Judaism insists on differentiation and individuation. One nation should not impose order on others by erasing their salutary national differences. Diversity in unity, reflected in the twelve distinctive tribes of Israel, is a basic Torah principle.
Militant nations cannot tolerate much diversity, especially where the militancy is animated by a creed or ideology as in Islam and Nazism. In the case of Islam, its extraordinary military success and global expansion during the first hundred years of its inception was perceived by Muslims as ‘proof’ of Islam’s validity and superiority. Might did indeed make right, in Islamic history. In fact, according to Islamic doctrine, the mere seizure of state power gives religious authority to its leader even if he is not a devout Muslim.
The ethos of jihad has an ethics which is quite pragmatic, as one may expect from a militaristic religion. One might go so far as to say that Nazi militarism is jihad secularized—jihad without religious pretensions and obfuscations. Although literary Islam and Nazism have profound differences, these are of little significance to the victims of these militant doctrines. The one reduces human beings to dhimmis, the other to slaves. Militarism, in a religious as well as in an atheistic creed, means expansionism, murder, and degradation….
Der Sturmer is tame compared to the anti-Semitic cartoons of the Arab world. Such is their hatred and loathing that Arabs depicts Jews as snakes, dogs, spiders, rats, and locusts.
A chilling example of what this zoomorphism signifies may be gleaned from the Syrian celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. In that ceremony, “Syrian militia trainees [male and female] put on a show for Syrian president Hafez Assad. Martial music reached a crescendo as Syrian teenage girls suddenly bit into live snakes [some four or five feet long], repeatedly tearing off flesh and spitting it out as blood ran down their chins. As Assad applauded, the girls then attached the snakes to sticks and grilled them over fire, eating them triumphantly. Others [militiamen] then proceeded to strangle puppies and drink their blood.”
Bearing also in mind that the Syrians exterminated some 18,000 Sunni residents of the city of Hama in 1982 with cyanide, to speak of Arab Nazis is not to succumb to hyperbole.
Some scholars may contend that what has here been imputed to Islam should in truth be imputed to “Islamism.” They allege that Islamism, as distinct from Islam, twists Qur’anic teachings to un-Qur’anic uses. The candid scholar will admit that the Qur’an lends itself to such twists, and much more clearly so viewed from the Sharia, Islamic law. Robert Westrich lists Qur’an verses condemning a variety of vices imputed to certain Jews, including falsehood, distortion, cowardice, greed, corruption of Scripture. But the fact that the Qur’an condemns these vices does not preclude those influenced by the Qur’an from attributing such vices to the Jews – the more readily so given the Qur’ans unrelenting degradation of non-believers. This degradation was canonized by the Umariyah (the legal code of the seventh-century Caliph Umar) which established dhimmitude. That dhimmitude was also construed as an act of charity or patronage hardly minimizes its dehumanization of Jews and Christians under Muslim rule. Indeed, as Bat Ye’or has shown, the condition of the dhimmi was in certain respects inferior to that of a slave.
Turning to the Middle East, if distinctions are to be made between Islam and Islamism, two are in order. First and foremost, Islamism is a rejection of Arab nationalism and, in this respect, a return to classical Islam. However, Islamists have been influenced by modernism, which makes the return to classical Islam impossible. Second, Islamism has adopted the anti-Semitic racism of Nazism.
It is easy to see exactly where Israel stands with respect both to Arab nationalism and Islamism. Arab nationalism was always an instrument of state-builders, just as nationalism had been in Europe. It opposes the imperial state (except when a given nation-state decides to take on an empire), but loyally serves whatever state the state-builders envision. What are the Islamists, but Muslims who seek to seize control of the apparatus of the modern state, which they nonetheless reject as fragmenting the umma?
The existing regimes in the Islamic world are highly unlikely to change (except for the worse) by means of internal forces – ‘inside-out.’ Despotism can be quite stable, making victory out of failure. Only a comprehensive geopolitical strategy can transform those regimes, ‘outside-in.’ [According to the first named author of this essay], such a transformation would require the radical transformation of the United States into an all-conquering, benevolent world power – hardly imaginable, unless another 9/11 drove America to desperation, and transformed this complacent democracy into a benevolent universal despotism, something beyond the will and wisdom of the American people, as well as beyond the secular mentality of contemporary political science.◙
By Paul Eidelberg with Will Morrissey
 Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1948, p. 55.
 See Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), p. 31; Daniel Pipes, Militant Islam Reaches America (New York: W.W. Norton, 2002), pp. 39-40, who distinguishes between Islam and Islamism and regards the latter as totalitarian.
 Bat Ye’or, Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide (Fairleigh Dickenson University Press, 2002), pp. 85, 87.
 See Bezalel Naor (ed.), Of Societies Perfect and Imperfect: Selected Readings from Eyn Ayah Rav Kook’s Commentary to Eyn Yaakov Legends of the Talmud (New York: Sepher-Hermon Press, 1995), pp. 7-10.
 For an extensive collection of these cartoons accompanied by penetrating political analysis, see Arieh Stav, Peace: The Arabian Caricature, A Study of Anti-Semitic Imagery (New York: Gefen, 1999).
 Jerusalem Post Magazine, October 21, 1983.
 See Westrich, op.cit.
 See Bat Ye’or, op. cit., p. 89.
 The locus classicus of this view is Sayyid Qutb’s Milestones. The book is widely distributed in the Arab world, and is easily available on the Internet. For an excellent commentary see Zeidan, op. cit. It might also be noted that the attempt by many Islamists to dominate existing state apparatuses by infiltration is right out of the playbook of the Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci. It is fair to say that Islamists have learned from radical modern thinkers ‘right’ and `left.’ Indeed, Arafat (to give only the most prominent example, aligned himself with the Soviet bloc throughout the Cold War, styling himself along the lines of a Mediterranean Castro.
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