Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Hitler and Islam
Andrew Bostom has written an excellent article that not only summarizes most of the relevant information about the Hitler-Islam connection, but provides a couple of startling details I was unaware of.
One of these startling details involves a Muslim scholar and demagogue by the name of al-Mashriqi (born in 1888), who met Hitler in 1926 (at a time when Hitler’s political career was on an upward course and when he had already become leader of the National Socialist party in Germany). This Muslim, al-Mashriqi, founded the Khaksar Movement, an Indian Muslim separatist movement. In one of his writings, he expressed designs that go far beyond a mere regional concern in northern India:
“...we [Muslims] have again to dominate the whole world. We have to become its conqueror and its rulers.”
And in a pamphlet titled Islam ki Askari Zindagi he stated:
“The Koran has proclaimed in unequivocal words to the world that the Prophet was sent with the true religion and definite instruction that he should make all other religions subservient to this religion [Islam]...”
Al-Mashriqi also wrote a book called Tazkira which, as Bostom describes it, “produced a quintessential message of Islam enshrining the ideals of militaristic nation-building”—i.e., it promulgated and highlighted the supremacist expansionism through militant means that is essential to Islamic doctrine and Islamic history. What is startlingly noteworthy about this is revealed in al-Mashriqi’s own account of his meeting with Hitler in 1926:
“I was astounded when he [Hitler] told me that he knew about my Tazkirah. The news flabbergasted me. . . I found him very congenial and piercing. He discussed Islamic Jihad with me in details. In 1930 I sent him my Isharat concerning the Khaksar movement with a picture of a spade-bearer Khaksar at the end of that book. In 1933 he started his Spade Movement. ”
(For the similarities between al-Mashriq’s Khaksar movement and Hitler’s social transformation of Germany into a militaristic society through, in no small part, his “Spade Movement”, consider a comparison of this article and this article, as well as this article.)
Years later, on May 31, 1935, al-Mashriqi reflected upon that 1926 encounter with Hitler:
“If I had known that this was the very man who was to become Germany’s savior I would have fallen around Hitler’s neck, but on the occasion I was engaged in small talk and tried to find out what he understood about Germany’s weakness at the time. Professor [Weil, the host] said, introducing Hitler to me: “This is also a very important man, an activist from the Worker’s Party.” We shook hands and Hitler said, pointing to a book that was lying on the table: “I had a chance to read your al-Tazkirah.” Little did I understand at that time, what should have been clear to me when he said these words! “The astonishing similarities—or shall we say the unintentional similarity between two great minds—between Hitler’s great book and the teachings of my Tazkirah and Isharat embolden me, because the fifteen years of “struggle” of the author of “My Struggle” [Mein Kampf] have now actually led his nation back to success. But only after leading his nation to the intended goal, has he disclosed his movement’s rules and obligations to the world; only after fifteen years has he made the means of success widely known. It is possible that he has arrived at those means and doctrines by trial and error, but it should be absolutely clear that Mashriqi [referring to himself in the third person] has identified those means and doctrines in al-Tazkirah a full nine years and in the Isharat a full three years before the success of the Nazi movement, simply by following the shining guidance of the Holy Koran.”
There is much more in Bostom’s article about connections between Islam and major Nazi figures, such as Himmler and Albert Speer, and of course including interesting details about the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, al-Husseini, who collaborated with Hitler in the 1930s and 1940s, and who as Bostom notes correctly, was a major Muslim figure throughout the Muslim world from the 1920s clear through to his death in the 1970s.
For more information and analysis of the general topic of the connections between Islam and Nazism/Fascism, see:
The Swastika and the Crescent (faulty for its markedly asymptotic analysis, but contains a lot of useful information)
Documentation Center about Nazislamism (some useful information amid a jumble of a rather luridly busy presentation)