In Telegram Series Advising Followers To Read Mein Kampf, Salafi-Jihadi Ideologue Abu Qatadah Al-Filastini: Hitler's Views On Jews Were Accurate, Holocaust Was Justified

By: Y. Kerman*
print
March 25, 2021
By: Y. Kerman*

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

Introduction

Jordan-based Salafi-jihadi ideologue 'Umar Mahmoud 'Uthman, who is known as Abu Qatadah Al-Filastini, is an important influence on Salafi-jihadis worldwide, particularly supporters of Al-Qaeda and Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS). Abu Qatadah was born in 1960 in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, which at the time was controlled by Jordan, making him a Jordanian citizen. He spent a brief period in Pakistan in the late 1980s, before returning to Jordan. In 1993 he applied for asylum in the UK, claiming he was suffering religious persecution in Jordan. In 1999, the Jordanian government tried him in absentia for alleged involvement in a terrorist plot to attack tourists and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Abu Qatadah was arrested in 2002 in the UK on terrorism charges and spent some time in prison there before being deported to Jordan in 2013. In Jordan he was retried and released from prison in 2014 after being found not guilty. Since then, he has been living in Jordan as a free man.


Abu Qatadah Al-Filastini

Al-Qaeda supporters worldwide are influenced by Abu Qatadah's writings and opinions, as they are influenced by those of other pro-Al-Qaeda clerics such as Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, Hani Al-Siba'i, and Tariq Abdelhaleem.[1] Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri praised Abu Qatadah in a 2016 video address.[2]   

Abu Qatadah writes prolifically on his Telegram channel. The topics he discusses include Salafi-jihadi ideology, works of Islamic theology and jurisprudence, and books by non-Salafis and non-Muslims about history, politics, and other subjects.

Abu Qatadah Urges Followers To Read Antisemitic Books

On November 3, 2020, Abu Qatadah Al-Filastini published a short post on his Telegram channel recommending that his followers read The Prince by Machiavelli, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and Hitler's Mein Kampf, which he described as "essential books for understanding modern political history." Abu Qatadah wrote that these works have been "treated unfairly" due to "Jewish propaganda against them on the one hand, as well as a negative popular reputation among the masses," and promised to write a series of articles discussing Mein Kampf.[3]

Between November 10 and 21, Abu Qatadah published a twelve-post series on Telegram titled "The Ideological Principles in the Book Mein Kampf by Hitler," in which he analyzed several themes in Mein Kampf and explained why Muslims and Arabs should study Hitler's ideas.[4]

In this series of posts, the jihadi ideologue presented an analysis of Hitler's ideas and expressed his personal opinions regarding the truth of the Nazi leader's views, making an effort to synthesize Hitler's opinions of the Jews with anti-Jewish statements found in classic Islamic sources. Abu Qatadah endeavored to find a way to accept Hitler's demonization of the Jews and to justify the Holocaust, while rejecting the Nazi leader's racism. He is unable to accept Nazi race theory which glorifies the European "Aryan race," since he considers it opposed to Islam and because it perceives most Muslims as inferior to European Christians.

Therefore, Abu Qatadah made the case that Hitler's conclusion that the Jews seek to infiltrate the societies in which they live with the goal of world domination was based on his empirical observations and a thorough study of Jewish history, and that it should be accepted, while his racial theories should be rejected. He asserted that Hitler understood the objectionable qualities which he saw in the Jews to be a product of their racial inferiority, while the jihadi cleric himself claimed the Jews have negative qualities due to their religious beliefs.

Abu Qatadah thus condemns Jews on an ideological-religious basis, much as Salafi-jihadis condemn Christians, Sufis, Shi'ites, secularists, and nationalists based on their beliefs, while rejecting distinctions between Muslims based on race or ethnicity.[5] The jihadi cleric went so far as to assert that some of Hitler's views, such as his racial prejudice and belief in an "individual hero" who can singlehandedly change the course of history, are false beliefs that the Nazi leader unwittingly adopted from the Jews.

The following report surveys the main themes discussed in Abu Qatadah's series of Telegram posts and the central views which the jihadi cleric expresses in the series.

Abu Qatadah: Studying Hitler's Ideas Helps Muslims Know Their Jewish Enemy; Hitler Was A Victim

Abu Qatadah launched his series by explaining why it is important for Muslims to study Hitler's ideas, asserting that the Nazi leader "succeeded in several aspects" and that the military defeat of the Third Reich does not prove that all his ideas were incorrect.

The jihadi cleric recommended studying Hitler's views, like those of any other "influential historical figure," in order to understand his "aspects of failure and success." He told his readers that reading Mein Kampf will "open the doors to you to philosophical, social, and historical questions," and described Hitler as a "thinker" who dealt with philosophical issues from a political perspective. However, at the same time, he acknowledged that Hitler's worldview is "composed of multiple contradictions."

In a later post, Abu Qatadah addressed the question: "What is the benefit of this study and of reading Hitler's book for the modern Muslim?", alleging that Hitler's ideas "have not been exterminated" and that most of the West actually shares many of Hitler's views, as "you will rarely find a European who does not glorify the White race," adding that the Nazi leader expressed them more explicitly.

Abu Qatadah argued that Hitler's "detailed description" of the Jews' ability to infiltrate their societies with the goal of dominating them, will allow readers to gain "awareness of [their] enemy" and learn how to deal with the Jews. He asserted that Jews have succeeded to such a great extent in their "treachery, concealing their beliefs, and espionage" not because of their intellectual superiority but due to their "accumulation of experience" and their need to find a solution to their host societies' hatred of them. Abu Qatadah, therefore, recommended that Muslims should read Hitler's manifesto in order to learn "the necessity of being aware of your enemy and the ways to deal with him."

While he acknowledged that much of Hitler's worldview amounts to a conspiracy theory, he claimed that mocking conspiracy theorists and calling them foolish is itself one of "the weapons of the conspirators to disparage conspiracy theories."

According to Abu Qatadah, Hitler was a "victim of two things – his hatred of the Jews and his defeat." He asserted that Hitler was demonized following the defeat of the Nazi regime and after his death because of the influence of Jewish propaganda. Abu Qatadah urged other Jew-haters to learn from Hitler's philosophy that they are "surrounded by all enemies" and that the choice between allying with "the Jews" or submitting to Iranian hegemony is a false dichotomy based on illusion.

Abu Qatadah claimed that the defeat of the Third Reich was "the greatest crime" which allowed the victors to write history in a way that discredits Nazi ideology and portrays the Nazi leader as "a mentally ill, insane fool."


In the ninth part of Abu Qatadah's Telegram series, he asserts that studying Mein Kampf will help Muslims gain "awareness of [their] enemy," the Jews.

Another reason Muslims should study Mein Kampf, according to the jihadi cleric, is Hitler's importance in modern Arab history. He declared that Hitler was "part of the dream of salvation by some [members] of our ummah," citing examples such as his claim that the Egyptian people viewed the German army as their savior from British colonialism, that Moroccan scholar Taqi Al-Din Al-Hilali viewed the Nazis as a potential savior from French colonialism, and how the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, saw him as an ally in his opposition to "the Zionist project to establish a Jewish state in Palestine."

 

Abu Qatadah: Hitler Was A Great Leader Who Built Up Germany

Abu Qatadah argued that Hitler was "a man of slogans more than a thinker" and that he was an "ideological politician," not a "political ideologue," explaining that the Nazi leader detested deep abstract analysis in favor of observations based on reality and simple slogans that speak to the masses. Abu Qatadah praised Hitler for using such slogans rather than sophisticated intellectual arguments, claiming that Hitler's skill in communicating with the masses in simple language that they could easily understand was one of "the reasons behind his success in the world of politics" and that "intellectual details are not suitable for speaking to the masses."

Lauding Hitler for his "honesty," Abu Qatadah maintained that the Nazi leader stated his ideology clearly "without hypocrisy or concealing his views," as he "was not the kind of man who feel ashamed of his beliefs."

He praised Hitler for "building Germany industrially and psychologically and achieving wonders in those two areas," writing that at a time when Germans felt worthless and crushed by their defeat in the First World War, the Nazi leader succeeded in "rebuilding his nation and reviving it anew."


In the twelfth and final instalment of Abu Qatadah's Telegram series, he praises Hitler for his "honesty" and for "building Germany."

 

Abu Qatadah: Hitler Hated The Jews Because He Accurately Understood Their Nature, The Jews Deserved The Holocaust

In an effort to resolve the apparent contradiction between Nazi race theory and Islamic teachings which call for equality among all mankind, Abu Qatadah repeatedly promoted the analysis that Hitler's hatred of the Jews was based not on "the lowliness of their ranking on the scale of human [natural] selection and progress," nor on his enmity toward Judaism as a religion, but on his view that every Jew is an enemy of the society in which he lives.

Before analyzing Hitler's hatred of the Jews, Abu Qatadah provided a preface based on his own views, stating that Jews believe they are "God's Chosen People," which causes them to look down on non-Jews and to believe that they deserve "power, wealth, and domination." The jihadi cleric argued that Jews "glorify money and wealth," which accordingly leads them to "the objectionable trait of stinginess and vileness in their principles, and to hoard [wealth] at the expense of society," and that as a minority, they are characterized by "hatred of the majority and plotting together with the enemy," as well as "fear and cowardice."

According to Abu Qatadah, these characteristics caused the Jews to be hated and persecuted by their surrounding societies, leading to what became known as the "Jewish problem." He claimed that the European Jews chose three different methods to attempt to solve this "Jewish problem" – non-Zionist secular Jews tried to assimilate into the surrounding society, Zionists worked to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, and Karl Marx and his followers advocated social revolution and the abolition of class distinctions.

Next, Abu Qatadah discussed Hitler's views concerning the Jews, noting that Hitler believed in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and judged their authenticity by their "congruence with reality," an approach which he endorsed as a "correct scientific method."

According to Hitler, the Jews are masters of disguising their true beliefs in order to further their aim of world domination. Abu Qatadah quoted Hitler's claim that Jewish merchants gradually acquired economic control over Germany and impoverished the country's farmers, while gaining access to the corridors of power and cementing their dominance over the country.

The jihadi cleric noted that Hitler claimed his antisemitism was the result of his personal observation of reality and his disgust at the "lying and deception" of the Jews and their "filth and lack of cleanliness."

Abu Qatadah suggested that Hitler's friendship with Arab leaders such as Hajj Amin Al-Husseini was due to their common views about the Jews, adding that any Muslim who reads Hitler's statements about the Jews ​"will shout: He was right!"

Accepting Hitler's views about the Jews as constituting "half of the truth," Abu Qatadah justifies Hitler's acts of genocide, asserting that "punishing a thief is not a crime and cutting off the head of a murderer is not corruption."


In the fifth part of Abu Qatadah's Telegram series, he claims that the Holocaust was justified, since "punishing a thief is not a crime and cutting off the head of a murderer is not corruption."

Abu Qatadah: Hitler Hated Marxism And Zionism As Jewish Inventions

Abu Qatadah wrote that the Marxists were "Hitler's enemy which totally occupied his mind in his ideological and political struggle" and that Hitler considered Marxism a "Jewish creation." According to Hitler, Marx sought to create Communism, which aims to "eliminate the special qualities of the peoples," to enable Jews to gain political power and dominate the world.

In his posts, Abu Qatadah supported Hitler's claim that Marxism is a Jewish invention, asserting that most Marxist thinkers and Communist party leaders throughout the world have been Jews and noting that "the first to discover Lenin's Jewishness was Hitler himself."[6] Abu Qatadah noted that it was Marx who wrote a treatise titled On the Jewish Question, in which he maintained that "the god of the Jew is money." The jihadi cleric added that although he does not completely accept Hitler's understanding that Marx created his ideology to serve a Jewish agenda, nevertheless supporters of Hitler may find "proofs in reality" of this assertion of Hitler's.

According to Abu Qatadah, Hitler viewed Marxism and Bolshevism as Jewish inventions and accordingly blamed the Jews for the Soviet Union's crimes, writing that "the Jews succeeded in killing or causing to perish from hunger almost thirty million inhabitants" of the Soviet Union.

Abu Qatadah argued that Communists were so successful because they inherited the "accumulated Jewish intelligence in the art of disguise, plotting, and penetration" of other societies.

The jihadi cleric added that although Marxism and Zionism would seem to be contradictory ideologies, Hitler "saw congruence between Zionism and Marxism." According to Abu Qatadah, Hitler believed that "the Marxist Jew and the Jew who assists him through global Zionism" employed two mutually complementary methods with a single aim – achieving world domination for Jews.

According to Hitler, the Jewish state which the Zionists sought to establish in Palestine was intended to serve as a base for a "central organization" on the way to achieving total Jewish world domination. Abu Qatadah added that the "reality of the situation reveals the truth of Hitler's theory."

 

Abu Qatadah: Hitler Sought To Practically Implement Nietzsche's Ideas As Lenin Did With Marx's

Abu Qatadah emphasized that many of Hitler's ideas can be traced back to those of the 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and maintains that Hitler applied the Nietzschean concept of the Übermensch or Superman to the Aryan race.

The jihadi cleric asserted that Hitler was deeply influenced by Nietzsche's ideas, describing the Nazi leader as "a writer who dealt with philosophy and society from a political viewpoint."

According to Abu Qatadah, although Hitler loathed Marxists and Communists, at the same time he was impressed with their accomplishments. He wrote that Hitler admired the "wondrous genius" of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union, and Hitler's wish was to practically implement Nietzsche's philosophy just as Lenin had succeeded in giving Marxist ideology "feet to walk on."

Abu Qatadah: Hitler's Racism Is Opposed To Islam, Unwittingly Based On Jewish Beliefs

Although he enthusiastically endorsed Hitler's antisemitism, Abu Qatadah is unwilling to embrace Nazi race theory, both because it relegates non-Aryans, including most of the world's Muslims, to an inferior status and because it contradicts Islamic teachings. He explicitly condemned the Nazi leader's "racist sickness" as being at variance with the Islamic belief that all humans descend from a single person, as expressed in the Quranic verse "O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul" (4:1).

The jihadi ideologue mocked Hitler's claim in Mein Kampf that the German nation "created civilization and spread it among the nations and peoples," writing: "I do not know from where Hitler arrived at this comprehensive conclusion."

Rather than accept Hitler's racial theory, Abu Qatadah claimed that "Hitler's belief in the uniqueness of the Aryan race is paralleled by the Jew's belief in the uniqueness of the Jewish race." Similarly, the jihadi cleric asserted that Hitler's belief in the ability of one Übermensch to singlehandedly change the course of history is a Jewish belief, writing that "the idea and belief in a king [i.e. the Messiah] and his domination over the world is the belief of the Jews and it is the same mentality and belief in an individual hero who makes history," adding: "There is no difference between Hitler and them in this area."

According to Abu Qatadah, Hitler saw himself as destined to save humanity from the destruction which he believed the Jews were causing to civilization, and this self-view was "Hitler's psychological essence." However, according to the jihadi cleric, this belief of Hitler's in an "individual hero" and his view that the head of state has almost superhuman powers are "Nietzschean ideas" which are ultimately based on "Torah-based theories par excellence." 

Abu Qatadah argued that Hitler's conflict with the Jews was based on a disagreement over which race is worthy of world domination – Hitler believed that the German Aryans should rule the world, based on his understanding of Nietzsche, while the Jews, based on the Torah, believe that they should dominate the world.


In the seventh part of Abu Qatadah's Telegram series, he claims that Nazi race theory ultimately derives from "Torah-based theories par excellence."

Although Abu Qatadah argued that Hitler's observations about the Jews are "true and not delusional," he faulted Hitler for not explaining the reason for the Jews' behaviors, which he claimed are derived from their religious beliefs.

Abu Qatadah accused Hitler of "ignorance" for claiming that the Jews sought to give the masses a greater role in governance in order to prevent the dominance of the Aryan race, stating that this claim of Hitler's was based on his belief in the power of the individual, but that the Nazi leader did not realize that "the Jew is part of the belief in the individual."

Abu Qatadah further argued that Hitler's concept of peace could be achieved only after the German people achieved domination, alleging that this concept of peace is shared by "every European and Jew," who believe in peace only in the sense of "maintaining the state of domination for the victor and subjugation for the conquered."


In the sixth instalment of Abu Qatadah's Telegram series, he asserts that Hitler shared the belief of "every European and Jew" that peace is achieved by the victor subjugating the conquered.

Abu Qatadah: All Minorities Profess Universal Values So They Can Dominate The Majority

Endorsing Hitler's view that the Jews disguise their belief that they are superior and worthy of dominating the world by claiming to believe in equality among all peoples, Abu Qatadah extends this to all "small minorities in all places," whom he claims only profess universal ideals which "destroy the existence of the majority" in order to gain power over the majority.

The jihadi cleric claims that minorities in Arab countries, such as the "Rafidites [a pejorative nickname for Shi'ites], Druze, Christians, and even nationalists," use values such as "globalization and modernity" as "weapons" which "weaken the majority's worth and importance" in order to wrest power from the majority and take over their countries.

Afterword

Antisemitism and hatred of Jews, justification of the Holocaust and calls to exterminate the Jews are widespread in the Muslim world, even among secularists and intellectuals. Anti-Zionism and enmity toward the state of Israel are also rampant in most Muslim countries, and often there is no clear distinction between Jews as a religious or national group and Israel as a political entity.[7]

Hatred of Jews is even more pronounced among Salafi-jihadis, who believe in the doctrine of al-wala' wal-bara', which mandates loyalty to and solidarity with fellow Muslims and hatred and disavowal of non-Muslims. Most Salafi-jihadis base their antisemitism on Islamic sources from the Quran, hadith, and medieval scholars, although these may be combined with modern conspiracy theories which maintain that Jews seek to control the world and that Israel aims to take over Muslim countries in the Middle East.

For instance, in a 2003 sermon, Osama bin Laden says: "Come let me tell you who the Jews are. The Jews have lied about the Creator, and even more so about His creations. The Jews are the murderers of the prophets, the violators of agreements […] These are the Jews: usurers and whoremongers. They will leave you nothing, neither this world nor religion. […] Such are the Jews who, in accordance with their religion, believe that human beings are their slaves and that those who refuse [to recognize this] should be put to death." In the same sermon, bin Laden claims that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was intended to facilitate the establishment of "the Greater State of Israel," which is to include parts of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, and encourages the killing of Jews: "You should know that seeking to kill Americans and Jews everywhere in the world is one of the greatest duties [for Muslims], and the good deed most preferred by Allah, the Exalted."[8]

This series of posts by Abu Qatadah is unique in that it is based largely on the book Mein Kampf, written by a non-Muslim. Unlike most jihadi clerics, Abu Qatadah frequently quotes from non-Islamic works and often analyzes books by non-Muslims. The series is also noteworthy in that it seeks to harmonize Islamic antisemitism with Nazi antisemitism.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the series of Telegram posts does not represent the first time that Abu Qatadah has adopted a Western antisemitic narrative. In a 2016 video, Abu Qatadah endorsed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and claimed that Jews use blood of children to bake their Passover matzah, which is a European antisemitic trope that was imported to the Middle East in the 19th century.[9]

Abu Qatadah continues to make antisemitic statements on his Telegram channel, in support of genocide against Jews. For instance, on April 2, 2021, Abu Qatadah commented on reports in Israeli media that Jews are being permitted to pray at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, claiming that "Torah Jews" continue to try to rebuild the Temple and destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque, but that Allah prevents them from doing so. The jihadi ideologue concluded the post with the assertion that "the Jews [are headed] toward a slaughter and massacre which history has not yet seen. Hopefully it will be soon".[10]

It cannot be discounted that Abu Qatadah's Palestinian nationality is a contributing factor to his interest in the Jews. As mentioned above, he was born in Bethlehem in 1960, when the city was under Jordanian control.

*Y. Kerman is a Research Fellow at MEMRI.

 

[1] For one recent example of Abu Qatadah's influence, see MEMRI JTTM Report: Leading Salafi Jihadi Clerics Clash Over Fate Of Jihad In Syria, September 25, 2019.

[5] ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other jihadi groups have portrayed the U.S. as marred by systemic racism and contrasted Western racism with Islam, which they claim is colorblind. ISIS portrays its caliphate as a racial paradise in which Muslims of all ethnicities are equal. See MEMRI JTTM Reports: Islamic State Video Features American, European Fighters Celebrating Eid Al-Fitr, August 2, 2014; The Issue Of Race In The Discourse Of The Islamic State (ISIS) And Its Supporters,  April 16, 2015; In Latest Issues Of Their English Magazines, ISIS And Al-Qaeda Take Different Tacks To Address Racial Tensions In West, October 22, 2015.

[6] According to many historians, Lenin's maternal grandfather was a Jewish convert to Christianity, although Lenin himself may have been unaware of his Jewish ancestry.

[7] See examples of antisemitic remarks in MEMRI Report: Contemporary Islamist Ideology Authorizing Genocidal Murder, January 27, 2004.

[8] See MEMRI Report: Bin Laden's Sermon for the Feast of the Sacrifice, March 6, 2003.

The Cyber & Jihad Lab

The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

Read More