The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini

I picked up and read an advanced reading copy of a book to be published by Random House this summer, entitled Icon of Evil: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam by David G. Dalin and John F. Rothmann. It is a brief and somewhat sketchy biography of Amin al-Husseini, and provides an interesting survey of Arab, Islamic anti-Zionism, anti-Judaism, anti-Israelism, anti-Westernism, anti-Englandism and anti-Americanism.

I couldn’t decide if the book was more interesting than depressing, or or if it was more depressing than interesting.

There are two broad concentrations: one, al-Husseini, a vicious, but soft-spoken and charismatic individual, was a friend and ally of Hitler (and friend of Eichmann, Himmler and Ribbentrop) who spent the war years in Berlin broadcasting to the Arab world, working to expand the “Final Solution” to the middle east (after all, Germany and the Arabs both hated the Jews, Britain and the USA, and were natural allies, so he thought), and preparing for Arab sovereignty as an adjunct to the 1000 year Reich.

Two, the positions taken by al-Husseini are, and long have been ingrained, in the Koran as interpreted in Arab countries, and in their educational systems. They are not confined to a few; they are virtually universal. Jews and westerners as pigs and insects. Jews as plotting to take over the control of the world, as evidenced by the obviously-true “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. Yes, no question but that the “Protocols” are fact (if you deny that, you are a liar and a dog), just as there is little question but that the Holocaust is an exaggeration at best (if you deny that, you are a liar and a dog), and there is absolutely no question but that the blood of non-Jewish children are used to make matzoh. If you believe that one route to heaven is through killing Jews, why shouldn’t you kill Jews?

Now admittedly, this book was written with a bias, and is not particularly nuanced. But is it possible to deny its basic story, or its basic premises? I think not.

The problem we have here is much more than most think it is. Is it possible to have the kind of radical change in social perception that we found in Germany and Japan after the war? It seems that the distortions in Islamic/Arab thinking are so much deeper than they were in the Axis countries, that they have been around for so much longer, and permeate so many more aspects of their society.

Perhaps I exaggerate? Can anyone show me that I am wrong? And if so, how to change these perceptions?

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