Muslims Who Fought Against the ‘Real’ Fascists & Nazis - updated 5/15/14

Sheila Musaji

Posted May 15, 2014      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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Muslims Who Fought Against the ‘Real’ Fascists & Nazis

by Sheila Musaji

With the recent increase in the use of the misleading term Islamic Fascists it is important to point out a few facts.  There may have been a few Muslims who cooperated with the Nazis/Fascists during the Second World War, but they were a small minority.  Most Muslims followed the Qur’anic injunction:

Oh you who believe, stand up firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even if it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor; for God can best protect both. Do not follow any passion, lest you not be just. And if you distort or decline to do justice, verily God is well-acquainted with all that you do” (Quran 4:135).

As Mas’ood Cajee points out

A growing chorus of voices which exploits the Holocaust for political gain has been trying to smear Muslims — and Arabs in particular — with grand accusations of complicity in the Holocaust and support for the Nazis. These voices serve hawkish interests in Israel and the United States who wish to justify and legitimize continued war, violence, and yes — even genocide — against Muslims and Arabs. Identifying Muslims with and as Nazis eases the task of selling continued bloodshed to war-weary publics. Reading the books and op-eds of the smearers, one could almost conclude absurdly that the Nazi holocaust was an Arab Muslim and not a European Christian project. As evidence, the smearers usually trot out the pro-German Mufti of Jerusalem Amin Al-Husayni and the Bosnian Muslim SS “Handschar” division.

What these smearing Islamophobes don’t like to tell you: the “Mufti” was actually an appointee of the Jewish administrator of British Palestine who completed one measly year at Al-Azhar and betrayed the Ottoman Sultan to join the British. The much-vaunted “Hanschar” SS division — disbanded after a few months due to mass desertions — was the only SS division ever to mutiny.

There is a photo below of Bosnian Muslim anti-Fascist fighters. 

Here is a photo of Hitler conversing with the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo.  What does such a photo “prove” about Christianity?  Source.  There are hundreds of photos of Christian clergy with Hitler, Mussolini, and other Nazis and Fascists. 

  Picture of Adolf Hitler conversing with the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo, at a New Year's reception in Berlin in 1935.

As I said in an article about the current common usage of the term “Islamic Fascists” - Islamic Fascists?  Deceptive Labels & Propaganda are Counterproductive

In just the past few months there has been a rash of articles and blog entries that bring up and expand upon the sad fact that Amin el-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem collaborated with Hitler during WWII.  This comes at the same time as President Bush’s use of the term Islamic Fascists appearing to validate a term used over the last few years among those determined to provoke a clash of civilizations.  Whether the sudden proliferation in the use of this term (or its’ variants - Islamo-Nazi, Islamo-Fascist, etc.) and the articles attempting to find some connection with Islam and the Nazis and Fascists is simply a case of extremists feeding off of each other in our world of almost instantaneous communication, or is due to a calculated campaign is debatable, but the end result is an increase in Islamophobia and mutual distrust.  Such stereotyping all too often leads to a dehumanization of the “other” and has historically been the precursor to isolation, discrimination, and violence.  Such descriptions also blur distinctions and create an atmosphere in which the “enemy” becomes most or all Muslims.
Robert Duncan’s article “Islamic terrorism linked to Nazi fascists” on Renew America uses the Mufti/Hitler photo as justification for President Bush’s use of the term Islamic Fascists.  Others who have jumped on this bandwagon are Jonah Goldberg in “The Swastica and the Scimitar”, Gene Pinkam, Alan Dershowitz, Timothy Furnish (who is opposed to the use of the term, but whose ‘reasons’ for that opposition still play into the same mindset, Daniel Johnson, etc.  Little Green Footballs showed archival footage of Hitler and the Mufti, a number of blogs are referring to a photo of Hitler together with the Grand Mufti,  and Daveed Gartenstein-Ross even stretches the Mufti’s aberrational behavior to include a generalized “Muslim World’s sympathy with the axis alliance”.  And, the propoganda film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” is being shown across the U.S. and Canada and attempts to make this same connection.

Robert Spencer said “The misbegotten term “Islamo-fascism” is wholly redundant: Islam itself is a kind of fascism that achieves its full and proper form only when it assumes the powers of the state.”  Spencer also said “The term “Islamo-Fascists” no more blames the religion of Islam than the term “Italian Fascism” blames Italy for fascism. It merely refers to those Muslims—who obviously really exist—who invoke Islam to justify violence and supremacism, whether they are invoking Islamic doctrines correctly or not.” 

In fact, Spencer, and his partner Pamela Geller use the term “fascists” and “brownshirts” and “nazis” so often in relation to Muslims that it is for them commonplace.  Another associate of Spencer and Geller in the Islamophobia industry, David Horowitz, even holds an annual “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” on college campuses.

This is a pointless attempt at justifying stereotyping and Islamophobia.  Certainly there were some Muslims who were Nazis or Fascists, but they were a small minority compared to all of those who fought against the Nazis and the Fascists.

...  The actual Nazi party originated in Germany, a predominantly Christian country.  The actual Facists came out of Italy, another predominantly Christian country.   The Nazis and Fascists were predominantly Christians Christianity had a role in the rise and fall of the Nazi’s. The Vatican signed a concordat with Hitler’s Reich.  The Catholic responses to Hitler were ambiguous at least.  There are numerous photographs of Hitler with various Christian clergy including Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo, the papal nuncio in Berlin, and with a Catholic Cardinal, Spanish and German Bishops giving Nazi and Fascist salutes, Cardinal Michael Faulhaber marching in a Nazi parade, the Reich Bishop Ludwig Muller, and many more that are still available.  There are also numerous photographs of Christian symbols in Nazi artifacts.  And, photographs of Nazi soldiers praying in churches.  (One such photo at bottom of this page)

Hitler himself referred to Christianity as a foundation for his beliefs:  “The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.” Source: My New World Order, Proclamation to the German Nation at Berlin, February 1, 1933

The Christian connection with the Nazis and Fascists was widespread and well-documented.  The Muslim connection was minimal.  And, just as there were Christians who resisted and fought against the Nazi and Fascist regimes there were also many Muslims who fought against this evil worldview. 


The holocaust was a terrible stain on humanity, and there were villains and heroes everywhere.  The Mufti of Jerusalem was one of the villains and will have to answer to God for his crimes.

The bottom line is that all of those who participate in, cooperate with, or do not speak out against evil (no matter what their religion) bring shame on the human race, and all of those who stand for justice and compassion give us all hope.

All too often the Muslim and Arab soldiers who fought with the Allies are the forgotten heroes.  In the U.S. alone, over 15,000 Arab Americans served in WWII.  You can see some photographs of Muslim soldiers buried in military cemeteries in Europe here.  And, there are crescents among the crosses at Arlington military cemetery.  In the French Military Cemetery in Rome, Italy, there are 1,888 burials.  It is a modest cemetery for 1,700 French Expeditotionary Corps soldiers, mainly Moroccans and Algerians. The cemetery is at the end of a small road, Via dei Casali di S. Spirito. Most of the grave markers bear a Muslim crescent while some have crosses. All, however, bear the inscription “Mort pour la France”.

Arabs and Jews once fought together under the British Flag against the Nazis in the Palestine Regiment.  Robert Fisk wrote about the Arabs in the Palestine regiment in an article that opens with this statement:  No one remembers the Palestine Regiment. Even this morning, on the actual day of remembrance, few will recall that Arab and Jew once fought together under the British flag against Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Even fewer will know the extraordinary story of an Arab and a Jew who fought side by side against Hitler, and then twice fought each other as enemy combatants - in 1948 and 1967 - and of how, in their declining years, they became friends. But in a Middle East in which “hawks” and “doves” and “terrorists” and “security forces” battle to the death, their story provides an extraordinary - and shaming - indictment of both Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat.   He also writes about other Arab and Muslim soldiers who fought for Britain in battles like El Alamein.  There was also an Arab Legion from what was then called Trans-Jordan. In May 1941, the Arab Legion Mechanized Regiment participated against pro-Nazi Rashid Ali who had seized power in Iraq and was attacking British forces located there.

There were many Muslim Merchant Seamen in WWII.  In fact, War History reports “If we look at just the ships sunk by U-boats in WW2, we see that over 3,300 Indian crewmembers died in these attacks, of which the overwhelming majority were Muslim.” 

Inayat Bunglawala reports in Honor our Muslim soldiers  “Inscribed in marble at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres, Belgium, are the names of 54,896 soldiers of Britain and the Commonwealth who died in the Ypres Salient in the first world war and whose graves are unknown. The German army had surrounded Ypres on three sides and subjected it to bombardment throughout much of the war as it stood in the path of its plans to occupy the rest of Belgium. Among the dead recorded at the Menin Gate Memorial are Muhammad Aslam, Abdullah Kh