On the surface there would seem to be little to unite the Aryan racialists of the neo-Nazi movement with the terrorists of radical Islam. To the neo-Nazis, Muslims are almost all members of ”inferior” races; and to the Islamic terrorists, the neo-Nazis are almost without exception either atheists or members of fringe quasi-Christian sects.
But the reality is that there has been close cooperation between Muslim extremists and Fascists ever since the founding of the Nazi movement in the 1920’s. For all of their differences, Muslim extremists and Nazis have always been united by a common group of beliefs and goals: hatred of Judaism (and conventional Christianity), hatred of democracy, and a desire for the destruction of Israel and the United States.
A little background is in order. During World War II the rabidly anti-Semitic Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, pledged his unequivocal support to Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist movement. The Grand Mufti was put on the Nazi payroll in 1937 after he met with Adolf Eichmann in Palestine. In fact, when the Grand Mufti had to flee the Middle East in 1941 after the failure of the pro-Nazi coup in Iraq, he was welcomed to Berlin by Hitler and provided with high-power transmitters in order to broadcast pro-Nazi propaganda to the Middle East.
The Grand Mufti also organized an all-Muslim unit of the SS for Hitler and was instrumental in forming the pro-Nazi Muslim Hanschar brigades in Yugoslavia. After the war and his conviction for war crimes by the Nuremberg Tribunal, the Grand Mufti fled to Egypt where, as part of the ODESSA network of former SS operatives, he maintained close ties to former high-ranking Nazis who were now engaged in gun-running operations to Arab countries fighting the fledgling State of Israel.
One such ex-Nazi gunrunner was Major General Otto Ernst Remer (1912-1997), known as the ”Godfather of the neo-Nazi movement.” Remer had a major part in thwarting the Generals’ Plot against Hitler in July 1944. Hitler rewarded Remer by putting him in charge of his protection detail. In the chaos of the immediate post-war period, Remer escaped de-Nazification and returned to Germany.
In 1949 Remer and his associates founded the Sozialistische Reichspartei in Lower Saxony, but the party was banned in 1952 as a neo-Nazi political organization. Remer then settled in Egypt where he began his close friendship with the Grand Mufti and also became security adviser to Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Remer, along with his associate Alois Bunning (who was Eichmann’s assistant in the SS), operated his gunrunning company, the Orient Trading Company, out of Damascus for many years. In the 1980’s, when the statute of limitations expired for the crimes he was alleged to have committed, Remer retired and returned to Germany where he became a close adviser to Michael Kuehnen, the most important neo-Nazi leader of the postwar period in Germany.
It should be pointed out that National Socialism had a profound impact on the political philosophies of many radical Islamic political organization, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood (founded in Egypt in 1928), Nasser’s Young Egypt movement, the Social Nationalist Party of Syria founded by Anton Sa’ada, and the Ba’ath Party of Iraq. One of the main leaders of the 1941 pro-Nazi coup in Iraq was Khairallah Tulfah, the uncle and guardian of Saddam Hussein. When Saddam failed in his attempt to assassinate the Iraqi leader Abdel Karim Qassim in 1959, he fled to Egypt where he was given protection by Grand Mufti-protégé Nasser and ODESSA-connected former Nazis. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Third Position
The rise of Al Qaeda and the explosion of neo-Nazi activity in Germany and elsewhere coincided with the breakup of the USSR in the early 1990’s and the political vacuum created by the absence of the former Soviet behemoth. Neo-Nazis in both Europe and the United States began making overtures to Islamic terrorists and even to Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam movement. The resulting admixture of Nazi and Islamicist ideologies is something that is termed the ”Third Position.”