Reacting to Neville Chamberlain's Munich Pact with Adolf Hitler in the British Parliament in October 1938, Winston Churchill warned, "You have to consider the character of the Nazi movement and the rule which it implies....There can never be friendship between the British democracy and the Nazi power, that power which spurns Christian ethics, which cheers its onward course by a barbarous paganism, which vaunts the spirit of aggression and conquest, which derives strength and perverted pleasure from persecution, and uses, as we have seen, with pitiless brutality the threat of murderous force. That power can never be a trusted friend of British democracy."
With the outbreak of World War II one year later, Churchill's warning that Munich was "the beginning of the reckoning" with an implacable foe was of course proved correct.
In the week since last Thursday's attacks in London we have repeatedly heard the analogy between those bombings and the Nazi bombing war against Britain. Most of these analogies have to do with the famous British stiff upper lip in the face of terror and carnage. Some of these parallels relate to the determination enunciated by Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Tony Blair never to surrender to the forces behind the bombings. Indeed, in most cases, the analogies drawn between the two circumstances have to do with the British response to the attacks and not to the parallel nature of the perpetrators.
In truth though, just as the British stoicism recalls the same from 65 years ago, so too, there is a deep and instructive similarity between the Nazis and the Islamic-fascist forces that attacked then and attack today. The fact of the matter is that even more important than invoking the famous British "stiff upper lip," to fight this current war to victory requires understanding and accepting the similarities between the Nazis and the Arab-Islamic terrorist armies.
On Tuesday The Wall Street Journal published an investigative report into the establishment and growth of the Islamic Center in Munich. As Stefan Meining, a German historian who studies the mosque, told the paper, "If you want to understand the structure of political Islam, you have to look at what happened in Munich."
According to the report, the Munich mosque was founded by Muslim Nazis who had settled in West Germany after the war. These men, who were among more than one million citizens of the Soviet republics who joined the Nazis while they were under German occupation, were transferred by their Nazi commander to the Western front in the closing stages of the war to protect them from the advancing Red Army.
The Journal report explains that the first leader of the mosque was a native of Uzbekistan named Nurredin Nakibhidscha Namangani. Namangani served as an imam in the SS and participated in the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto and the putting down of the Jewish uprising in 1943.
According to the article, the exiled head of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Said Ramadan, participated in a 1958 conference organized by Namangani and his fellow Muslim Nazis to raise money to build the mosque.
The article then outlines the subsequent takeover of the mosque by the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1960s and its transformation, with Saudi and Syrian funding, into a nexus for the spread of Islamic-fascist ideology and its call for jihad and world domination.
Ignored by the report is that there was no particular reason, other than perhaps turf warfare, for the Nazis to have had a problem with the Muslim Brotherhood. As German political scientist Matthias Kuentzel chronicled in his work "Islamic anti-Semitism and its Nazi Roots," the Muslim Brotherhood, which spawned the PLO's Fatah as well as al-Qaida, Hamas and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, owes much of its ideological success and pseudo-philosophical roots to Nazism.
In the 1930s, the mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, rigorously courted the Nazis. When, in 1936, he launched his terror war against the Jewish Yishuv in the British controlled Palestine Mandate, he repeatedly asked the Nazis for financial backing, which began arriving in 1937.
From 1936-39 Husseini's terror army murdered 415 Jews. In later years, Husseini noted that were it not for Nazi money, his onslaught would have been defeated in 1937. His movement was imbued with Nazism. His men saluted one another with Nazi salutes and members of his youth movement sported Hitler Youth uniforms.
Husseini was allied with the new Muslim Brotherhood movement that was founded by Ramadan's father-in-law, Hassan al-Banna, in the 1920s. The impact of his terror war on the movement was profound. From a 1936 membership roster of 800, by 1939 the ranks of the Brotherhood had risen to 200,000 official members backed by perhaps an equal number of active sympathizers.
As Kuentzel argues, the notion of a violent holy war or jihad against non-Muslims was not a part of any active Islamic doctrine until the 1930s and, as he notes, "its concurrence with the arrival of a newly virulent anti-Semitism is verified in no uncertain terms." Husseini's gangs in the Palestine Mandate were joyously praised by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which held mass demonstrations with slogans like "Jews get out of Egypt and Palestine," and "Down with the Jews!"
For the Nazis, the Jews were seen as the principal force preventing them from achieving their goal of world domination. As Hitler put it, "You will see how little time we shall need in order to upset the ideas and the criteria for the whole world, simply and purely by attacking Judaism." In his view, once he destroyed the Jews, the rest of the world would lay before him for the taking. "The struggle for world domination will be fought entirely between Germans and Jews. All else is facade and illusion," he said.
Husseini, who became an active Nazi agent – fomenting a pro-Nazi coup in Baghdad in 1942 and then fleeing to Germany where he spent the rest of the war training a jihad army of Bosnian Muslims; exhorting the Arab world to rise up against the Allies; participating in the Holocaust and planning an Auschwitz-like death camp to be built in Nablus after the German victory – escaped with French assistance to Cairo after the war. There he was embraced as a war hero.
Hitler's obsession with the Jews as the source of all the evils in the world became so ingrained in both the Arab nationalist and Islamic psyche that it has become second nature.
At the 2002 trial in Germany of Mounir el-Moutassadeq, who was accused of collaborating with the September 11 hijackers, witnesses described the world view of Muhammad Atta who led the attackers. One witness claimed, "Atta's [world view] was based on a National Socialist way of thinking. He was convinced that 'the Jews' are determined to achieve world domination. He considered New York City to be the center of world Jewry, which was, in his opinion, Enemy Number One."
In light of the wealth of historical documentation of the Nazi roots of Islamic fascism, it is absolutely apparent that the collaboration between Nazis and the Muslim Brotherhood in the building and developing of the Islamic Center in Munich was anything but coincidental or unique.
It is also hardly surprising that PA chieftain Mahmoud Abbas, whose predecessor, Yasser Arafat, was Husseini's follower, devoted his doctoral dissertation to a denial of the Holocaust and a justification of Nazism.
The thing of it is, just as with the Nazis, it is impossible to separate the Islamist ideological and military quest for world domination from its genocidal anti-Semitism. As with the Nazis, they are two sides of the same coin. And, just as was the case from the Nazi ascent to power in 1933 through the end of World War II, the British and, to a lesser though increasing degree, the Americans refuse to acknowledge that the war against the Jews and Israel is the same as the war against them.
There are reasons for the attempts to separate the inseparable. The discovery that the London bombers were flowers of British immigrant youth – like the British-Pakistani al-Qaida-Hamas terrorists who committed the suicide bombing at Mike's Place in Tel-Aviv in April 2003, and Omar Sheikh, the British-Pakistani al-Qaida terrorist who kidnapped and murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in a Nazi-style execution in January 2002 – shows that the enemy today is largely homegrown.
One of the most difficult challenges for a democratic society is facing up to the presence of an enemy fifth column in its midst. Aside from this, the fact of the matter is that the global economy is fueled by oil, which is controlled by the same forces that stand at the foundations of the current war against the Jews and Western civilization.
Much easier than contending with these realities is to engage in the politics of denial. As the British and French blamed German anti-Semitism and warmongering in the 1930s on their impoverishment and humiliation by the Treaty of Versailles, so too, the British, like their European allies and large swathes of American society, today blame Arab and Islamic anti-Semitism and aspirations for global domination on poverty and perceived humiliation at the hands of Western imperialists and by the establishment and continued viability of the State of Israel.
It is the duty of the State of Israel (much ignored by its own leadership today) to point out this inconvenient reality to the rest of the world. And it is the duty and responsibility of all who treasure freedom and the right to live without fear to accept this reality in spite of its inconvenience. Refusing to do so is not simply a matter of cowardice. It is a recipe for suicide.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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