The extent of love or hate of public or historic figures can perhaps be determined by typing the name of that someone into Google’s search engine. Plugging most Arab dictators name these days in Arabic yields mass dissatisfaction equating them to tyrants like Hitler. But what if you typed the name “Hitler” by itself in Arabic into Google? What will you find? “Hitler” in Arabic has as many hits as the number of Jews he liquidated – over 6 million. While its impossible to read 6 million blogs and websites to determine what the Arab world thinks of him, perusing hundreds of websites in Arabic might shock Westerners to find that most of the comments in some way or another either compliment or glorify Hitler.
The first Arabic website was a blog that introduces him: “Hitler was not an ordinary individual to be spun by the wheel of history to sprinkle him behind as dust to be forgotten across this vast globe. He was neither the king of the German people alone. He is one of the greatest few. Here is the king of history.” Westerners might think that the first comment on such an article would be in disgust. Hardly. Muhammad Jasem posted: “If the greatest leaders gather together, they would not equal the magnificence of Hitler.” The rest of the comments were not far off. The second hit was a YouTube page titled “The Cowardly Jews,” showing a Hitler lookalike walking the streets with Jewish passersby supposedly terrified as they move out of his way. This “proves that Jews are cowards,” the commentators interpreted.
The most common and popular quote from Hitler on Arabic websites was him supposedly saying, “I could have destroyed all the Jews, but I kept some so the world will know someday why I destroyed them.” The next hit after these is a YouTube video titled “Hitler’s declaration on Jewish Annihilation”; the first comment was how Hitler “respected Islam” and how he even enlisted a Muslim S.S. unit and gave them prayer breaks.
Perusing hundreds of websites in Arabic yielded similar comments. I was elated to find what I thought to be the first positive Western-typical comment out of thousands, which said: “Hitler was a psychopath. He would also have killed all the Muslims” to soon be disappointed with “but to be frank, I love Hitler for his ability to lead.” Of course, this was quickly met with rebuke by others: “Indeed if Hitler hated the Arabs why would he enlist Muslim soldiers in his ranks; this must be Jewish propaganda.”
Accusations of “Jewish propaganda” and conspiracy theories plague the Internet in Arabic; factual history is dismissed as a “Zionist conspiracy.” I concluded from my own anti-Semitic experiences growing up that a culture plagued with conspiracy theories is the one usually producing them.
One very typical comment stated: “Hitler left the other half [of the Jews] alive in order for Muhammad’s prophecy to be fulfilled and open the pathway for Islam to destroy the rest.” On Alsaha.com, which is a main news source in the Arab Gulf, a report on a newly released film in France depicts for the first time how the Paris Mosque saved Jews and Muslim resistance fighters during World War II. The common comments stem from Holocaust deniers – long posts on how the Muslim Grand Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini was a hero and how Hitler supposedly quoted the Quran: “the Hour is near, and the moon was rent asunder.” So common was this Quranic quote supposedly quoted by Hitler that Ayed Al-Qarni, one of the most respected Saudi Muslim theologians, remarked that Hitler had this Quranic phrase engraved on the canons and tanks of the S.S. army.
From Muslim scholars to historic references, Hitler is a hero. Objections to the love of Hitler do exist, but they are rarely void of contradictions within the same lines. One comment criticizes such love: “Hitler was a Nazi who believed in the Aryan race. … It was obvious that Hitler complimented Islam because he was allied to the Ottoman Muslims. But why do we Arabs have to insist on our love of Hitler? Just because he scrubbed away the Jews? Muhammad, then Omar after him, scrubbed them away in Jerusalem way before Hitler.” If Westerners in English were to equate Muhammad with Hitler, the reaction would be immense. But it is not unusual to find Arabic websites that claim Hitler was a model who emulated Muhammad. “The only one in history who was able to win the Jews in order to cripple them was Muhammad,” Hitler was quoted saying. Of course, it was considered a compliment.
Arab commentators are not void of using Hitler as an example to compare with Arab tyrants and to combat extremism. Walfajr.net, a Middle Eastern news site, featured an article by Al-Baqer Ali Al-Shamasi titled “Zionist’s drum beats for war.” He writes: “Hitler, this extremist nationalist, and his friend Mussolini came and sparked a world war which victimized 60 million.” So far so good – until a few lines later, “When Hitler did what he did with them [the Jews], the Zionist used their tactics to concoct the Holocaust.” Accepting the Holocaust as reality and denying it in the same story is not unusual on Arabic websites. It is a sign of a pathological liar.
Searching “Hitler” in Arabic was a journey of entering a tunnel of depressing darkness. “Hitler the artist,” says one article. Hitler was the one who even “discovered the Walt Disney cartoons,” stated one comment. It was “Hitler who first drew ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.’” From the first comment to the last, the article was a delight.
The final comment was that “Hitler hated Jews because his mother’s doctor who was Jewish failed and caused her to die. It was a Jew that purchased Hitler’s first pieces of art and paid Hitler very little to only sell them for major sums. Hitler later discovered the theft by the Jews of his art. It is this story that woke Hitler finally to see how Jews are cheaters.”
It all reminds me of the early days being schooled in Bethlehem when we studied the life and writings of the most notable and respected prominent Egyptian writer, Anis Mansour, who once wrote: “People all over the world come to realize that Hitler was right, since Jews are bloodsuckers … interested in destroying the whole world, which has expelled them and despised them for centuries … and burned them in Hitler’s crematoria … 1 million … 6 millions. Would that he had finished it!”
Anis Mansour was nothing more then a sleaze bucket. I know saying this might anger the hundreds of millions in the Arab world who respect him. Perhaps they might say that I was infected by an American conspiracy. Indeed I was – I call it “critical thinking.”
Walid Shoebat is the author of “God’s War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible” and “For God or for Tyranny: When Nations Deny God’s Natural Law.”