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The Peculiar Alliance

Islamists and neo-Nazis find common ground by hating the Jews.

12:00 AM, Sep 1, 2005 • By DAVEED GARTENSTEIN-ROSS
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THERE HAVE BEEN rumblings of late about the developing alliance between Islamic radicals and neo-Nazis. In late May, Israeli president Moshe Katzav gave a speech before the German parliament in which he warned, "Let's not be surprised if terror organizations use neo-Nazis for carrying out terror attacks." And on August 5, WorldNetDaily reported, "Neo-Nazi skinheads are working with radical Islamists in a growing unholy alliance that has European law enforcement officials concerned about a new front in the war on terrorism."

Such an alliance seems unlikely on its face; after all, neo-Nazis view most Muslims as racially inferior, while Islamic extremists believe that neo-Nazis are just another flavor of infidel. However, a closer examination reveals that many white-supremacist groups have expressed solidarity with Islamic terrorists recently, and in turn some white supremacists and far-right Holocaust deniers have found newfound supporters among the Islamists.

THE MOST PROMINENT recent example of white supremacists' vocal support for Islamic terrorism came from August Kreis, the new head of Aryan Nations. In an interview with CNN earlier this year, Kreis said of al Qaeda, "You say they're terrorists, I say they're freedom fighters. And I want to instill the same jihadic feeling in our peoples' heart, in the Aryan race, that they have for their father, who they call Allah." Going a step further, Kreis told CNN that he had a message for Osama bin Laden: "The message is, the cells are out here and they are already in place. They might not be cells of Islamic people, but they are here and they are ready to fight."

The Aryan Nations website reflects Kreis's desire to instill a "jihadic feeling" in his followers. For example, it features an article purporting to show that the idea of jihad can be found not only in Islam but also in the Bible. The article concludes with a battle cry: "All the sons of Abraham, all descendants of his three wives, Sarah, Hagar and Ketourah, the parties of the Islamic and Aryan World, all need to understand their duty to enact Holy Jihad, we need to live this Jihad; total war, death to our enemy, the insidious, poisonous and rabid satanic jEw." [sic]

Aryan Nations also boasts a quote on its main page further reflecting its support for radical Muslims. Attributed to Obergruppenführer Gottlob Berger, the quote states that "a link is created between Islam and National-Socialism on an open, honest basis. It will be directed in terms of blood and race from the North, and in the ideological-spiritual sphere from the East." The main page also touches on other issues of importance to Muslim radicals. It demands immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Middle East, and under the headline "Ariel Sharon: your typical domineering jew," the website features a picture of the Israeli prime minister with fire coming out of his mouth that ends in a mushroom cloud. Underneath, the website proclaims the photograph to be Sharon's "plan for Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc . . . "

BEYOND THE ARYAN NATIONS, a surprising number of other white-supremacist websites openly sympathize with Islamic terrorists. The National Alliance, the country's largest neo-Nazi organization, published a 2002 essay by its founder, the late William Pierce, which claimed that the September 11 attacks were a salutary event. Pierce wrote that through the attacks, bin Laden "forced the whole subject of U.S. policy in the Middle East into the open: the subject of American interests versus Jewish interests, of Jewish media control and its influence on governmental policy." Because bin Laden broke the "taboo" about questioning Jewish interests, Pierce claimed, "[i]n the long run that may more than compensate for the 3,000 American lives that were lost."