A review by Janet Levy of:
A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the
Muslim Brotherhood in the West (2010) By Ian Johnson
The presence of Muslims in the West is not a recent phenomenon; on the contrary, it reaches back many decades, to Nazi Germany. Then, a group of former Soviet Muslims, seeking better treatment in Germany, defected and aided the Nazi effort. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) cohorts in the Middle East conducted a parallel effort. Later, under the control of U.S. intelligence, many of these same Muslims were harnessed as a bulwark against worldwide Communist domination during the Cold War. Eventually completely taken over by the MB, these German Muslim cohorts were courted by the West as a most curious partner to counter Islamic extremism. The locus for much of their activity, which they later used to spread Islam throughout Europe and plan major terrorist attacks in the West, including 9/11, was to become a beachhead in Europe — the Munich mosque.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ian Johnson details this history in his book, A Mosque in Munich. Johnson examines nearly 80 years of the Muslim presence in Europe and how America helped strengthen the very community dedicated to the destruction of the West. Most of it is on target, except for Johnson’s crucial underplaying of the Muslim Brotherhood’s key role in the mission to destroy America.
Muslims Fighting for Nazism
During World War II, the Nazis saw an opportunity to use disenfranchised non-Russian Muslim minorities to fight the Soviet Union. As victims of Soviet repression, Muslims were treated as an underclass. Their farms were collectivized, their assets were confiscated, they were persecuted for practicing their religion, and their mosques were shuttered. Thus, they became ripe for Nazi exploitation, and, as devalued soldiers, non-Russian Muslim minorities were eager to be captured by the Germans and fight against Stalin. In addition, since anti-Semitism was an intrinsic part of their religious doctrine, these Muslims naturally allied with Nazis efforts to exterminate Jews.
Johnson recounts that by the 1930s, another force in the Islamic world, the MB, founded in 1928, was accepting money from the Nazis and using it to establish a military wing. The nascent organization run by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, focused on anti-British colonialism and opposition to Jewish immigration. In 1933, al-Husseini contacted the Nazis about supplying recruits for the Waffen-SS, the military wing of the Nazi party, and joining a collaborative effort to eliminate Jewish influence in economics and politics.
Seduced by the oil-rich Caucasus inhabited by the Muslim minorities, Hitler realized the potential of being viewed as a liberator of this oppressed region. When the Wehrmacht seized the North Caucasus in 1942, the Germans announced to cheers that the mosques would be reopened and the SS began actively courting émigré leaders in the region in an effort to employ Islam as a motivating force to assist their fighting units.
Using Islam to Fight Communism
Just as the Nazis had used Muslims for their own ends, the U.S. government acted similarly, as Johnson recounts in A Mosque in Munich, which traces the United States’ burgeoning interest in using Islam as an anti-communist tool. As early as 1951, at the end of Harry Truman’s second term in office, U.S. intelligence agencies considered using Islam to shore up the free world in the fight against Soviet Cold War influence and essentially split the Soviet Union by pitting non-Russians against Russians. At first, the United States concentrated on working with ex-Nazi, non-Russian Muslim émigrés as part of a CIA-funded broadcast organization, Radio Liberty, headquartered in Germany and dedicated to overthrowing the Soviet Union. At the time, U.S. Cold War policy focused on “containment,” or preventing the spread of Communism. Eventually, U.S. Cold War efforts became more aggressive, and the goal shifted to overturning communism altogether by various covert operations, economic warfare, sabotage, and propaganda.
Read more: Family Security Matters
Janet Levy, MBA, MSW, is an activist, world traveler, and freelance journalist who has contributed to American Thinker, Pajamas Media, Full Disclosure Network, FrontPage Magazine, Family Security Matters and other publications. She blogs at www.womenagainstshariah.com
Washington’s Secret History with the Muslim Brotherhood (counterjihadreport.com)