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Muslim World (GSA 2008) Date: Thursday, October 30, 2008 I am very grateful to Francis Nicosia for his thorough and appreciative discussion on H-German of the panel at the German Studies Association on "Germany's Efforts to Influence the Arab and Muslim World before and during the Nazi Period." As commentator, he made an excellent contribution to the GSA session. He rightly draws attention to the fine papers of Martin Cuppers and Suzanne Marchand. While I very much appreciate his summary of my own paper, I want to amend his view that the "main conclusion" of my paper "was that any consideration of Nazi propaganda and the policies it promoted in the Arab world during World War II clearly reveals a common National Socialist and Arab/Islamic hatred of the Jews and determination to destroy the Jewish people, one that clearly reflected, as Herf stated, a 'history of political and ideological fusion.'" In view of the sensitivity of these issues, it is important for H- German readers to know that I referred to the _selective reading of the Islamic tradition evident in Nazi propaganda_. This selective appropriation depicted an "Islam" that echoed the radical anti- Semitism of the Nazi regime. I did not refer to an "Arabic/Islamic hatred of the Jews" in general. I did write that the "power and enduring historical significance" of Nazi Germany's Arabic language propaganda "as a chapter in the history of radical Islam and radical anti-Semitism lay far more in the integration of Nazi and fascist modes of thinking and feeling with _a selective reading_ of the already existent themes, beliefs and expressions of pre-existing Arab nationalism and the messages of the Koran and Islamic commentaries about it." [Emphasis added, JH]. I concluded that "the Arab exiles [in wartime Berlin, JH] aided in this radicalization of their own traditions by pointing out where the legacies of the Koran offered entry points for the radical anti-Semitism and hatred of democracy coming from the Third Reich. Just as the Nazis had learned how to radicalize pre-existing anti-Semitic potentials in European and German culture, so the officials and ideologues working on propaganda aimed at Arabs and Muslims learned how to build on the already existing anti- Jewish themes that comprised _a component_ of the traditions of Islam." [Emphasis added, JH]. A balance of selectivity, innovation and tradition was central to the intellectual and cultural history of Nazism in the context of European culture and traditions. This balance applied as well to the Nazi appropriation of the traditions of Islam in its wartime efforts to appeal to Arabs and Muslims in North Africa and the Middle East. I address these and related issues at greater length in a forthcoming book on Nazi Propaganda in the Middle East during the Second World War. Jeffrey Herf University of Maryland