The Muslim Brotherhood’s viral antisemitism



Ian Hamel (*)

In early March, Tariq Ramadan demanded the dismissal of a court-appointed expert to analyse the control he could exercise over young women with whom he had violent sexual relations. The preacher’s defence for the dismissal of Dr Daniel Zagury refers to “manipulation”. In fact, the main reproach levelled at this doctor is that he is… Jewish!

In the meantime, a supporter of Tariq Ramadan goes so far as to claim on social networks that “all judges, lawyers and experts who are Jewish or bi-national Israeli must be dismissed on grounds of legitimate suspicion”.

Since his multiple indictments for rape, the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, has made little attempt to hide his antisemitism. Admittedly, in the past, Tariq Ramadan sometimes went off the rails, as when he published in October 2003 a “Critique of the (New) Communalist Intellectuals”, attacking Alexandre Adler, Bernard Kouchner, André Glucksman. Or when he paid homage to Roger Garaudy, author of the book The Founding Myths of Modern Israel, denying the genocide committed by the Nazis against the Jews. For Ramadan, Garaudy remained the “philosopher of reference in the understanding of the Western world”.

The historian Dominique Avon notes that in his works, Tariq Ramadan never refers to a Jewish author! Nevertheless, unlike the “humorist” Dieudonné and the extreme right-wing ideologist Alain Soral, the preacher has so far refrained from using antisemitism as a business opportunity.

This hatred of Jews does not exactly date back to the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood on the banks of the Suez Canal in 1928. It only really manifested itself at the time of the Arab revolt in Palestine from 1936 to 1939 against British domination and the massive arrival of Jews in Palestine. In 1935, Hassan al-Banna made the first contacts with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini. The latter was in contact with the Abwehr, the German military intelligence service.

The book The Swastika and the Crescent tells that the political leaders of this region are fascinated “by the totalitarian methods of the fascist movements in Europe”, whether it be the Italian fascist model or the German model (1). The Grand Mufti settled in Germany in 1941 and remained there until 1945. A photograph immortalises him forever, showing him in lively conversation with Adolf Hitler. Millions of copies of this photograph were distributed throughout the world, and it is on the cover of the book Jihad and Jew-hatred by the German essayist and political scientist Matthias Küntzel (2).

From this interview, Amin al-Husseini said: “The precise condition of our collaboration with Germany was complete freedom to eliminate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler for his explicit agreement to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a way that would be beneficial to our racial and national aspirations and in accordance with the scientific methods that Germany has invented to deal with its Jews. The answer I received was: ‘The Jews are yours’.”

In his university thesis, The Roots of the Muslim Revival, Tariq Ramadan devotes only two lines to the links between his grandfather and Amine al-Husseini: “Hassan al-Banna will prepare and organise his political exile in Egypt in 1946” (3). In fact, the Grand Mufti in turn contaminated Hassan al-Banna. The latter no longer hides his admiration for Nazism. Inspired by the Hitler Youth, he created in 1940 “Young Muslims”, nicknamed the “Khaki Shirts”. These Khaki Shirts paraded in the evening in the streets of Cairo with torches, “singing Islamic slogans expressing the strength and superiority of their movement (…) These young militants of the Brotherhood were moreover responsible for attacks against Jewish shops and properties” (4). The Khaki Shirts chanted “Egypt above all”, imitating “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles” (Germany must dominate the world), interpreted by the National Socialists. In Muslim Brotherhood: survey last totalitarian ideology, Michaël Prazan notes that the Brothers’ motto, “Action, obedience and silence”, reasons like an echo of the “Believe, obey and fight” of the Italian fascists (5).

According to the Qatari preacher of Egyptian origin, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, quoted in The Secret History of the Muslim Brotherhood, “the ideology of the German Reich is almost similar to the vision and political project of Hassan al-Banna for the Islamic ummah”. In the same way that the German Reich claimed to be the defender of the Aryan race, “Islam obliges every Muslim to consider himself the protector of anyone who respects the prescriptions of the Koran” (6).

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, now 93 years old, is undoubtedly the best-known Muslim Brother in the world for having hosted the programme “Sharia and Life” on Al Jazeera for a long time. He is also the author of the most notable antisemitic blunders. On 30 January 2009, speaking on the Qatari channel, he proclaimed that “throughout history, Allah has imposed [on Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was administered by Hitler […] It is a divine punishment. If Allah wills, the next time it will be at the hands of the believers”.

While Islam prohibits suicide, such as attacking women and children, Yusuf al-Qaradawi supports Hamas, justifying the use of suicide attacks in Israel. “The operations of Hamas are jihad and those who [carry them out and] are killed are considered martyrs,” he said in 2001, adding that Israeli society is a military society, “all men and women are soldiers. They are in their totality occupation troops (…) And if a child or an old man is killed in these operations, he is not targeted, but it is by mistake, and as a consequence of the absolute necessities of war, and absolute necessities lift the prohibitions”.

 

* Journalist and writer, specialist on the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

(1) Roger Faligot and Rémi Kauffer, Albin Michel, March 1990, p. 58.

(2) Matthias Küntzel, Jihad and Jew-hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11, éditions du Toucan, August 2015.

(3) Tariq Ramadan, Editions Tawhid, 2002, p. 206.

(4) Chérif Amir, The Secret History of the Muslim Brotherhood, ellipses, February 2015, p. 29.

(5) Michaël Prazan, Muslim Brotherhood: Investigating the Latest Totalitarian Ideology, Grasset, January 2014, p. 41.

(6) Chérif Amir, op. cit., p. 34.