The Blog

The Peculiar Alliance

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

12:00 AM, Sep 1, 2005 • By DAVEED GARTENSTEIN-ROSS
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Neo-Nazi James Wickstrom has a webpage that includes a number of featured articles, the headlines of which provide a good indication of where he stands on the Islamist question. These include "Military Personnel Wounded in Iraq & Afghanistan For The JEW Neo-cons," "U.S. Slaughters People At Prayer At Baghdad Mosque," "U.S. Teachers Targeted By jews If They Teach Contrary to Israeli," and "The President and his jewish handlers LIED about 9/11!"

And the neo-Nazi ADLUSA website (a site designed to oppose the Anti-Defamation League) brands the Anti-Defamation League's call for Hezbollah TV to be designated a foreign terrorist organization as part of a campaign "of smear, corruption, and harassment," and promotes the conspiracy theory that Jewish hands were behind the 7/7 and 9/11 terrorist attacks. In case this doesn't make their position perfectly clear, the ADLUSA features a direct appeal to Muslims: "Moslems, lay down your guns and join our mission to remove Jews from positions of power from which they persecute one people after another; killing Americans misled by Jews only incites endless wars."

This vocal neo-Nazi support for al Qaeda reaches back to shortly after 9/11. The Jewish newspaper Forward reported in November 2001 that the World Church of the Creator displayed a bin Laden quote on its website warning Americans that they needed to tend to their own interests and not those of the Jews.

Around the same time, the website for Florida-based Aryan Action displayed the message: "Support Taliban, Smash ZOG." (ZOG stands for Zionist Occupation Government, a term rooted in the idea that the Jews control world affairs.) In a perverse twist on President Bush's declaration that "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," Aryan Action's website voiced its unequivocal support for al Qaeda: "Either you're fighting with the jews against al Qaeda, or you support al Qaeda fighting against the jews."

THUS FAR, THERE has been no proof of neo-Nazi cooperation with Muslim terrorist groups in planning attacks. Despite the lack of proof of operational links, several figures with feet in both movements have actively tried to bring them closer. One such individual is Ahmed Huber, a 77-year-old Swiss convert to Islam whose study is adorned with twin pictures of Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden.

Huber told the Washington Post that his goal is to build bridges between radical Muslims and the "New Right." He said that a prevalent view on the New Right is that "what happened on the 11th of September, if it is the Muslims who did it, it is not an act of terrorism but an act of counterterrorism." Certain far-right figures, such as German National Democratic Party theorist Horst Mahler, seem amenable to Huber's ideas. Mahler has spoken of the "sense of sympathy" and "common ground" that far-right European groups share with Islamists, and has admitted to "contacts with political groups, in particular in the Arab world, also with Palestinians."

The neo-Nazis' newfound love for Islamists is by no means unrequited. Some radical Islamic groups have--perhaps in an effort to undercut one of the justifications for the state of Israel--forged intellectual ties with right-wing Holocaust deniers.

At the forefront of contemporary Holocaust denial is the California-based Institute for Historical Review (IHR), which is dedicated to the idea that the Holocaust is a historical fiction. The IHR has been so heartened by the support it's received in the Islamic world that investigative journalist Martin A. Lee noted its journal's frenetic description of a "white-hot trend: the rapid growth of Holocaust revisionism, fueled by increasing cooperation between Muslims and Western revisionists, across the Islamic world."

A number of Middle Eastern newspapers, in countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, have published articles endorsing the Holocaust deniers' thesis. Beyond that, neo-Nazi writers who lack legitimacy in the West have increasingly found a platform in the Arab world. For example, Lee further reported that an article by David Duke was featured on the front page of the Oman Times.