Point of No Return
14 July '10
While we're on the subject of the Nazi influence on fundamentalism in the Arab and Muslim world, Daniel Pipes has a review in Commentary (subscription required) of Jeffrey Herf's book Nazi propaganda for the Arab world. Pipes' conclusion is all the more remarkable because he is a late convert to the idea that fascism had a weighty impact on Islamism. Via Jonah Goldberg's blog:
"A specialist in modern German history at the University of Maryland, Herf brings a new corpus of information to light: summary accounts of Nazi shortwave radio broadcasts in the Arabic language that were generated over three years by the U.S. embassy in Cairo. This cache reveals fully, for the first time, what Berlin told the Arabs (and to a lesser extent, the Iranians). As page after page of Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World establishes in mind-numbing but necessary detail, the Germans above all pursued two themes: stopping Zionism and promoting Islamism. Each deserves close consideration.
And his conclusion:
Ideas the Nazis helped spread in the Middle East have had an enduring twofold legacy. First, as in Europe, they built on existing prejudice against Jews to transform that prejudice into something far more paranoid, aggressive, and murderous. One U.S. intelligence report from 1944 estimated that anti—Jewish materials constituted fully half of German propaganda directed to the Middle East. The Nazis saw virtually all developments in the region through the Jewish prism and exported this obsession.
(Read full post)
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