Prof. Michael details several phases of collaboration between Muslims and right wing extremism -- beginning with the "cordial relationship between Hitler and the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini," followed by post-World War II collaboration with Middle Eastern nations, when "out of work Nazis" lent their expertise in the development of the military and intelligence agencies of Middle Eastern nations:
After Gamal Abdel Nasser became Egypt's president, for example, a number of Nazis were given prominent positions in his government. Nazi commando Otto Skorzeny trained thousands of Egyptians in guerilla and desert warfare, and even organized early Palestinian terrorist forays into Israel and the Gaza Strip in the mid-1950s. Johann von Leers, who had been a high-ranking assistant to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, produced material for Nasser attacking the United States and Israel. Von Leers even converted to Islam during this period, adopting the name Oman Amin von Leers. Corresponding with a fellow fascist, von Leers opined that "if my nation had got Islam instead of Christianity we should not have had all the traitors we had in World War II."
The third stage was the rise of Palestinian terrorism in the late 1960s. Apparently the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics gave rise to new appeals by the far right for collaboration and some involvement in anti-Israel operations. And in the 1990's, the attacks on American soil on 9/11 won the right's twisted admiration and support:
In the United States, late National Alliance founder William L. Pierce praised Osama bin Laden prior to his death. The Aryan Nations established a Ministry of Islamic Liaison, and the group's head August Kreis declared his solidarity with Osama bin Laden during an interview with CNN.
As Gartenstein-Ross notes, the extent of future collaboration is not yet certain -- "neo-Nazi groups, in their current state of decline, may be viewed as a liability rather than an asset by Islamic militants." Nevertheless, there are signs of trouble.
The Middle East's Reception of Holocaust Revisionism
In January 2006 Edwin Black wrote on Iran's enthusiastic support of the Holocaust-revisionism (Denial of Holocaust nothing new in Iran, San Francisco Chronicle January 8, 2006):
Iran has become a refuge for the biggest names in European Holocaust denial. When in 2000, revisionist author Jürgen Graf was sentenced in Switzerland to 15 months in prison for Holocaust falsification, Graf fled to Tehran "at the invitation of a group of Iranian scholars and university professors who are sympathetic to Holocaust revisionism," according to the Institute for Historical Review, a denial clearinghouse.
What's more, in May 2000, Iran's embassy in Vienna granted asylum to Austrian Holocaust denier Wolfgang Fröhlich, who testified as a so-called expert witness during Graf's 1998 trial. This saved Fröhlich from Austria's severe anti-Holocaust denial statutes. Fröhlich argued that evidence proved no Jews were killed by Zyklon B gassing.
Earlier, about 600 journalists and 160 members of the Iranian parliament signed petitions supporting French revisionist Roger Garaudy, who was fined $40,000 by French authorities for his book claiming the Holocaust was a myth. When Garaudy landed in Iran, the country's supreme spiritual leader, Ayatollah Sayyad Khamenei, granted him an audience and lauded his work.
William Baker - Neo-Nazi on the Muslim Lecture Circuit
Another example of collaboration between Muslims and the extremist right is the strange case of William Baker. Baker is founder of "Christians and Muslims for Peace," and author of the book Theft of a Nation -- a purported history of Israel, the premise of which is that "The entire country of Palestine has been ‘taken’ by political Zionists, and it would seem the entire world has believed, supported and participated in the ‘theft’ of an entire country from an entire nation."
In 1984 Baker organized the convention for The Populist Party, founded by Willis Carto, whose platform called for the repeal of U.S. civil rights laws.
The Orange County Weekly's Stan Brin ran an expose on Baker in 2002, documenting his ties to right-wing extremism (Hour of White Power OC Weekly Feb. 14, 2002):
In a written statement, Baker claimed he did not know the Populist Party was racist and that he never shared Carto’s racist politics.
"I never supported the views of Willis Carto," he wrote. "I was chairman of the Populist Party for a short time and publicly resigned due to infiltration from various racist individuals and organizations."
But evidence supplied by the Anti-Defamation League shows that Baker delivered a 1983 speech to the racist Christian Patriot Defense League in Licking, Missouri, in which he made several references to Carto’s neo-Nazi newspaper, Spotlight. A 23-page transcript of that rambling speech reveals a number of anti-Semitic remarks, including Baker’s reference to Reverend Jerry Falwell as "Jerry Jewry." (Falwell is known to be friendly to Jews.) In the same speech, Baker described his disgust at traveling to New York City: "God help me. Why? ’Cause the first people I meet when I get off the plane are pushy, belligerent American Jews."
Two years later, Brin wrote a follow-up piece on William Baker's transition to the "Muslim lecture circuit" (From Nazis to Schuller to Arabs OC Weekly January 22, 2004). In 1999, Baker's Christians and Muslims for Peace and the Institute for Arabic & Islamic Studies coordinated a trip to Damascus, Syria for the American televangelist Dr. Robert Schuller, founder of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. Schuller expelled Baker from the Crystal Cathedral Ministries following the Orange County expose, but Baker continued to speak for Muslim student organizations, in one case at the invitation of CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations).
The Neo-Nazi interest in, and in some cases collaboration with, Militant Islam is a disturbing but not entirely unexpected phenomenon.
- Muslim Students at Penn Sponsor Nazi, by Jonathan Calt Harris. FrontPageMag.com Oct. 9, 2003.
- Keeping up with William W. Baker and the Islamists Daniel Pipes. [Ongoing roundup - last updated May 2005].
- William Baker Tells Muslim Crowd at Boca Marriott that 9-11 Hijackers Weren't Muslims Militant Islam Monitor May 1, 2005.
- An unholy alliance: Aryan Nation leader reaches out to al Qaeda by Henry Schuster. CNN.com March 21, 2005.
- A Nazi-Islamist Hatefest, by Joe Kaufman. FrontPageMag April 26, 2005 - on William Baker's invitation as featured speaker at a commemoration of Mohammad hosted by the Assidiq Islamic Educational Foundation (AIEF), an Islamic center in Boca Raton.
- Hitler’s Mufti: The Dark Legacy of Haj Amin al-Husseini, by Ronald J. Rychlak. Crisis Magazine Dec. 5, 2005.
- The Peculiar Alliance: Islamists and neo-Nazis find common ground by hating the Jews, by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross. Weekly Standard Sept. 1, 2005.
- Holocaust denial finds new home February 22, 2001. Canadian Jewish News "A gathering of Holocaust deniers in Lebanon is only the tip of the iceberg in the ongoing collaboration between neo-Nazi activists from the West and Muslim fundamentalists in the Arab world."
- What the neo-Nazi fanatic did next: switched to Islam, by Nicola Woolcock and Dominic Kennedy. UK Times April 24, 2006:
A NEO-NAZI whose ideas were said to be the inspiration for the man who let off a nail bomb in Central London in 1999 has converted to an extremist form of Islam.
David Myatt, a founder of the hardline British National Socialist Movement (NSM) who has been jailed for racist attacks, has changed his name to Abdul Aziz ibn Myatt. . . .