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Jihad and Jew-Hatred

[1]Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11

by Matthias Küntzel
2007, Telos Press
ISBN-10: 0914386360
ISBN-13: 978–0914386360
180 pages

Jihad and Jew-Hatred makes a major con­tri­bu­tion to the under­stand­ing of rad­i­cal Islamism by trac­ing the impact of Euro­pean fas­cism on the Arab and Islam­ic world. Draw­ing exten­sive­ly on Ger­man-lan­guage sources, Matthias Küntzel ana­lyzes the close rela­tion­ship that began in the 1930s between Nazi lead­ers and Mus­lim extrem­ists, espe­cial­ly the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and the Mufti of Jerusalem. This path-break­ing book pro­vides com­pelling doc­u­men­ta­tion of the Nazi roots of what became Islamo-fas­cism and jihadist ter­ror.

This study demon­strates in his­tor­i­cal detail how the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood has con­sis­tent­ly placed the hatred of Jews at the cen­ter of its ide­ol­o­gy and poli­cies through an incen­di­ary rhetoric that inter­weaves pas­sages from the Koran hos­tile to Jews with ele­ments of Nazi-style world-con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries. Ancient prej­u­dice and mod­ern fan­tasies have become a dead­ly com­bi­na­tion.

Jihad and Jew-Hatred also explains how the defeat of Nazi Ger­many in 1945 led to the shift of the cen­ter of glob­al anti­semitism to the Arab world, lay­ing the foun­da­tion for rad­i­cal Islamist cur­rents in and around the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and more recent ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions.

Küntzel con­vinc­ing­ly shows that anti­semitism is no mere sup­ple­men­tary fea­ture of mod­ern jihadism, and cer­tain­ly no after­thought but its defin­ing ide­o­log­i­cal core. This hatred also goes far beyond ques­tions of Zion­ism and Israel. For Islamism, not only is every­thing Jew­ish evil, but every evil is Jew­ish, as the writ­ings of Sayyid Qutb and the Char­ter of Hamas clear­ly explain to any­one will­ing to read them. It was this Jew-hatred that fueled the Jihad of the 9/11 ter­ror­ists.

The Ger­man schol­ar Matthias Kuentzel . . . takes anti-Semi­tism, and in par­tic­u­lar its most potent cur­rent strain, Mus­lim anti-Semi­tism, very seri­ous­ly indeed. His brac­ing, even star­tling, book, Jihad and Jew-Hatred (trans­lat­ed by Col­in Meade), reminds us that it is per­ilous to ignore idi­ot­ic ideas if these idi­ot­ic ideas are broad­ly, and fer­vent­ly, believed. . . . Kuentzel is right to state that we are wit­ness­ing a ter­ri­ble explo­sion of anti-Jew­ish hatred in the Mid­dle East, and he is right to be shocked. His invalu­able con­tri­bu­tion, in fact, is his capac­i­ty to be shocked, by the rhetoric of hate and by its con­se­quences. The for­mer Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi once told me that “the ques­tion is not what the Ger­mans did to the Jews, but what the Jews did to the Ger­mans.” The Jews, he said, deserved their pun­ish­ment. Kuentzel argues that we should see men like Rantisi for what they are: heirs to the mufti, and heirs to the Nazis.
Jef­frey Gold­berg, New York Times

Kuentzel’s method is a dialec­ti­cal mas­ter­piece; he is a social sci­en­tist who pur­sues con­nec­tions. The sui­cide attacks of the intifa­da in Israel are, for Kuentzel, inher­ent­ly linked to the attacks in Amer­i­ca on Sep­tem­ber 11. That explains his rem­e­dy for fight­ing anti-Semi­tism: “Who­ev­er does not want to com­bat anti-Semi­tism . . . has­n’t the slight­est chance of beat­ing Islamism.” Kuentzel is in many ways the mod­ern suc­ces­sor to Paul Merk­er, a rare voice in Ger­many, who, like Merk­er’s view of Arab princes as embody­ing “reac­tionary inter­ests,” shifts the terms of the dis­cus­sion to anti-Jew­ish ide­ol­o­gy as the sine qua non of under­stand­ing rad­i­cal polit­i­cal Islam, its destruc­tive ener­gy and its social and polit­i­cal vio­lence.
Ben­jamin Weinthal, Haaretz

About the Author
Matthias Küntzel is a Ger­man author and a polit­i­cal sci­en­tist. He is a research asso­ciate at the Hebrew Uni­ver­si­ty of Jerusalem and a mem­ber of Schol­ars for Peace in the Mid­dle East.

THIS BOOK IS IN PRINT. Avail­able com­mer­cial­ly [1]. Find out more about Matthias Küntzel [2].