In a confusing misstep, the Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement comparing the Egyptian military to Hitler, the Emperor Nero and Genghis Khan’s grandson.
Also it urged Egyptian soldiers to rebel against their commanders and come over to the side that wants to ban liquor, women walking around with uncovered faces and any reason to live. Considering the temperament of the average soldier, this strategy may backfire on them.
Going Godwin’s Law and playing the Hitler Card may be the worst strategic misstep yet as Hitler is actually pretty popular in Egypt.
Hitler’s Mein Kampf is on sale in Cairo, both in well-known bookstores and on the streets around Midan Tahrir, the city’s chaotic main square. The Arabic translation sits beside the reams of religious books, as well as works on Saddam Hussein, al-Qaida in Iraq mastermind Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, and Osama bin Laden.
The fair also has its darker sides, with anti-Christian polemics advocating conversion to Islam as the only solution to a flawed religion and of course plenty of editions of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” for sale.
“It makes up a big part of our success, especially among the 18 to 25 crowd,” said Mahmud Abdallah of the Syrian-Egyptian Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi publishing house.
The Muslim Brotherhood risks losing the core 18-25 audience. And the Muslim Brotherhood’s position is stranger considering how traditionally close it’s been to Hitler.
“This burgeoning Islamist movement was subsidized with German funds,” Küntzel writes. “These contributions enabled the Muslim Brotherhood to set up a printing plant with 24 employees and use the most up-to-date propaganda methods.” The Muslim Brotherhood, Küntzel goes on, was a crucial distributor of Arabic translations of “Mein Kampf” and the “Protocols.” Across the Arab world, he states, Nazi methods and ideology whipped up anti-Zionist fervor, and the effects of this concerted campaign are still being felt today.
The Brotherhood’s campaign used not only Nazi-like patterns of action and slogans but also German funding. As the historian Brynjar Lia recounts in his monograph on the Brotherhood, “Documents seized in the flat of Wilhelm Stellbogen, the Director of the German News Agency affiliated to the German Legation in Cairo, show that prior to October 1939 the Muslim Brothers received subsidies from this organization.
So all those Mein Kampfs can be credited to the Muslim Brotherhood which found a useful patron in Adolf Hitler. And has always been positive about his work.
Not too long ago, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Qaradawi claimed that Hitler had been acting as an agent of Allah. Sort of like Mohammed Atta.
“Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.”
Now suddenly the Muslim Brotherhood has turned on Hitler. And on Genghis Khan’s grandson. And the Emperor Nero. At least that one is easy to understand.
Islam forbids playing stringed instruments. It is however a big fan of killing Jews.