The sickness bequeathed : Islamic anti-semitism, Nazi fascism, and ethno-centric nationalism continuity in the Muslim Middle East / by Andrey S. Kulikov.
Present day analysis of the relations between Muslim and Jews almost automatically presumes a history of antagonism and animosity. This history is often addressed as primal and stretching back to the beginnings of Islam as a religion. Such postulations trickle into the contemporary political discourse constricting policy achievements for a constructive solution of the current geo-political stalemate in the Middle East. Muslims and Jews, in fact, have a history of co-existence. Anti-Semitism in the Middle East and hostility between Muslims and Jews increased toward the end of the Ottoman rule and moved further toward enmity by World War II. European anti-Semitism of the Middle Ages and Enlightenment period could be viewed as harsher, more violent and brutal than its examples in the Muslim Middle East. Anti-Judaism as a concept in the context of Islam did not always equate to the racial anti-Semitism of Europe and Russia. Anti-Semitism based particularly upon racial or ethnic grounds and involving false suppositions and accusations came to the Muslim Middle East from Europe. The discrimination against the Jews in Europe culminated in the highest form of persecution - Hitler's Holocaust. The Muslim Middle East was contaminated with the ideas of Mein Kampf in the early stages of formation of the independent Arab states out of the remains of the Ottoman Empire.After 1919, Germany, stripped of any role in the region by victorious Britain and France, became only a remnant of the Ottoman-German Alliance. The rise of German power under the Nazis in the 1930s fostered new hopes of alliance across the Muslim Middle East, which could have meant a removal of the British and French colonial powers then present in the region. Many Muslim Arab leaders saw the new Germany of the 1930's as the potential force poised to counter-balance the power distribution in parts of the Arab world governed by Britain and France. The new anti-Jewish ideology, conducive in building a common ground between the occupied Arab states and Germany as the new contender for the world domination, was injected into the religious thought of the day and later woven into the interpretation of the Qur'an. The evolution of religion alone was not responsible for the formation of anti-Semitic sentiment and the Jew-hatred preached today by some Islamic leaders. The term "Islamo-fascism"1, used in the political discourse in 2005, evoked an outburst of condemnation and protest. However, while it is not applicable to the Muslim world universally, some Muslim groups not only seek to bring about a totalitarian empire, but have their roots in Nazi ideology and genocide. Honest acknowledgment of the past propensities in the Muslim Middle East to embrace Nazi ideology and propaganda is a necessary step for understanding the phenomenon of the Islamic terrorism and racial anti-Semitism. Accurate historical background is essential for enacting effective policy decisions. Lastly, in light of the increasing number of comparisons made in the Arab media to equate Israel itself to Nazi Germany and some United Nations diplomats today publicly espousing similar views,2 there is urgency in the need to publicize an undistorted historical record on the subject of Islamic anti-Semitism and the Nazi ideological influence in the Middle East. 1George W. Bush, "President Discusses War on Terror at National Endowment for Democracy ", ed. The White House (Washington, DC: Office of the Press Secretary, 2005). 2Tim Franks, "The next UN investigator into Israeli conduct in the occupied territories has stood by comments comparing Israeli actions in Gaza to those of the Nazis," BBC World Service (2008), http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/7335875.stm .
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