Temple Judea. June 24th, 2008. 7:30 p.m.Books and Books presents Rabbi David G. Dalin discussing and signing the book "Icon of Evil: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam" at Temple Judea, located at 5500 Granada Boulevard in Coral Gables.
In 1921, the beneficiary of an appointment the British would live to regret, Haj Amin al-Husseini became the mufti of Jerusalem, the most eminent and influential Islamic leader in the Middle East. For years, al-Husseini fomented violence in the region against the Jews he loathed and wished to destroy. Forced out in 1937, he eventually found his way to the country whose legions he desperately wished to join: Nazi Germany.
Here, with new and disturbing details, David G. Dalin and John F. Rothmann show how al-Husseini ingratiated himself with his hero, Adolf Hitler, becoming, with his blonde hair and blue eyes, an “honorary Aryan,” while dreaming of being installed Nazi leader of the Middle East.
Al-Husseini would later recruit more than 100,000 Muslims in Europe to fight in divisions of the Waffen-SS, and obstruct negotiations with the Allies that might have allowed four thousand Jewish children to escape to Palestine. Some believe that al-Husseini even inspired Hitler to implement the Final Solution. At war’s end, al-Husseini escaped indictment at Nuremberg and was harbored in France before being given a hero’s welcome in Egypt.
Icon of Evil chronicles al-Husseini’s postwar relationships with such influential Islamic figures as the radical theoretician Sayyid Qutb and Saddam Hussein’s powerful uncle, General Khairallah Talfah, and his crucial mentoring of the young Yasser Arafat. Finally, it provides compelling evidence that al-Husseini’s actions and writings serve as inspirations today to the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations pledged to destroy Israel and the United States. Revelatory and unsettling, Icon of Evil reveals an essential character in the worst crimes of the modern era. It is an important addition to our understanding of the past, present, and future of radical Islam.
David G. Dalin is the Taube Research Fellow in American History at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He is the author, co-author, or editor of nine books, including Religion and State in the American Jewish Experience (with Jonathan D. Sarna), The Presidents of the United States and the Jews, and The Myth of Hitler’s Pope. His numerous articles and book reviews have appeared in American Jewish History, Commentary, First Things, The Weekly Standard, and the American Jewish Year Book
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