Al-Muthanna Club

The Al-Muthanna Club (Arabic: نادي المثنى‎) was an influential pan-Arab fascist society established in Baghdad ca. 1935 to 1937 which remained active until May 1941, when the coup d'état of pro-Nazi Rashid Ali al-Gaylani failed.[1] It was named after Al-Muthanna ibn Haritha, an Iraqi Muslim Arab general who led forces that helped to defeat the Persian Sassanids at the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah.[2] Later known as the National Democratic Party, Nadi al-Muthanna was influenced by European fascism and controlled by radical Arab nationalists who, according to 2005's Memories of State, "formed the core of new radicals" for a combined Pan-Arab civilian and military coalition.[3][4]

Al-Muthanna Club

Nadi al-Muthanna
ChairmanSaib Shawkat
Succeeded byIraqi Independence Party
(not legal successor)
Youth wingAl-Futuwwa
Political positionFar-right
International affiliationNone
Colours     Black

Sami Shawkat

In 1938, as fascism in Iraq grew, Sami Shawkat, a known fascist and a pan-Arab nationalist, was appointed director-general of education.[5]

The al-Muthanna club, under German ambassador Fritz Grobba's influence, developed a youth organization, the al-Futuwwa, modeled on European fascist lines and on Hitler Youth,[6] it was founded in 1939 by then director-general of Iraq's education (al-Muthanna's co-founder) pan-Arab activist Sami Shawkat, and was under his guidance.

He is also famous for his 1933 speech "The Manufacture of Death", in which he preached for the highest calling of accepting death for the pan-Arabism cause, he argued that the ability to cause and accept death in pursuit of pan-Arab ideals was the highest calling. It has been said, that Shawkat's path (ideology and military youth movement), influenced the Popular Army and youth organizations of the Baath Party, which appeared much later on.[7]

Yunis al-Sabawi

Yunis al-Sab'awi (يونس السبعاوي) (who translated Hitler's book Mein Kampf into Arabic in the early 1930s) was active in the al-Muthanna club[8] and in the leadership of the al-Futuwwa.[9] He was a deputy in the Iraqi government,[10] minister of economics.[11]

Shawkat, al-Sab'awi had developed strong anti-Jewish (anti-Semitic) sentiments, leading to the tragedy known in colloquial Iraqi Arabic as the (Mufti al-Husayni's inspired[12]) Farhud (Pogrom), as a result, a mob led by al-Muthanna Club members and its youth organization attacked the Jewish community of Baghdad on June 1 and 2, 1941, killing and wounding many Jews.[13] Yunis al-Sabawi planned even a larger slaughter of Jews but it was avoided due to him being deported.[14][15][16]

See also


  1. ^ Party, Government and Freedom in the Muslim World: Three Articles Reprinted from the Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2d Ed., V. 3. E. J. Brill. 1968. p. 9. ISBN 9789004017061. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  2. ^ Edmund Ghareeb, Beth Dougherty. Historical Dictionary of Iraq. Lanham, Maryland, USA; Oxford, England, UK: Scarecrow Press, 2004. Pp. 167, 1.
  3. ^ The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Volume 4, p. 125, by Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb, Johannes Hendrik Kramers, Bernard Lewis, Charles Pellat, Joseph Schacht, 1954, [1]
  4. ^ Davis, E. (2005). Memories of State: Politics, History, and Collective Identity in Modern Iraq. University of California Press. p. 74. ISBN 9780520235465.
  5. ^ Saddam Hussein and the crisis in the Gulf p. 73, Judith Miller, Laurie Mylroie, Biography & Autobiography, Times Books, 1990
  6. ^ "'You boys you are the seeds from which our great President Saddam will rise again' - Telegraph". Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  7. ^ Iran, Iraq, and the Arab Gulf States, Joseph A. Kechichian, Gustave E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies, lgrave Macmillan, 2001, p. 84 [2]
  8. ^ Intellectual life in the Arab East, 1890–1939, Center for Arab and Middle East Studies, American University of Beirut, 1981, p. 172 [3]
  9. ^ "The Farhud". Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  10. ^ Documents on German foreign policy, 1918–1945: from the archives of the German Foreign Ministry, H.M. Stationery Off., 1966, p. 566 [4]
  11. ^ Britain's informal empire in the Middle East: a case study of Iraq, 1929–1941, Daniel Silverfarb, Oxford University Press US, 1986, p. 135 [5]
  12. ^ "Remembering the Farhud – the Mufti Inspired Krystallnacht in Iraq | Middle East, Israel, Arab World, Southwest Asia, Maghreb". Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  13. ^ Davis, E. (2005). Memories of State: Politics, History, and Collective Identity in Modern Iraq. University of California Press. p. 70. ISBN 9780520235465. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  14. ^ mbih. "The Farhud (Farhoud). MIDRASH ben ish hai lecture". Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  15. ^ "The Scribe - Issue 11 (May-Jun 1973)" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  16. ^ "The Iraq coup of Raschid Ali in 1941, the Mufti Husseini and the Farhud (Farhoud)". Retrieved 2014-12-14.
Abd al-Rahman al-Bazzaz

Abd al-Rahman al-Bazzaz (Arabic: عبد الرحمن البزاز; l20 February 1913– 28 June 1973) was a politician, reformist, and writer. He was a pan-Arab nationalist and served as the Dean of Baghdad Law College and later as Prime Minister of Iraq. Al-Bazzaz main political project was the professionalization of the government through increasing access to civilian expertise. That civic agenda came at the expense of the military. Al-Bazzaz was charged by the Ba'athist-dominated government of participation in activities against the government and he was tortured and imprisoned. Al-Bazzaz was finally released because of illness in 1970 and moved to London for treatment where he later died in Baghdad, 28 June 1973.

Al-Muthanna ibn Haritha

Al-Muthanna ibn Haritha (Arabic: المثنى بن حارثة الشيباني‎) was a Muslim Arab general in the army of the Rashidun Caliphate.

Amin al-Husseini

Mohammed Amin al-Husseini (Arabic: محمد أمين الحسيني‎; c. 1897 – 4 July 1974) was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader in Mandatory Palestine.Al-Husseini was the scion of a family of Jerusalemite notables, who trace their origins to the eponymous grandson of Muhammad. After receiving an education in Islamic, Ottoman, and Catholic schools, he went on to serve in the Ottoman army in World War I. At war's end he stationed himself in Damascus as a supporter of the Arab Kingdom of Syria. Following the Franco-Syrian War and the collapse of Arab Hashemite rule in Damascus, his early position on pan-Arabism shifted to a form of local nationalism for Palestinian Arabs and he moved back to Jerusalem. From as early as 1920 he actively opposed Zionism, and was implicated as a leader of the 1920 Nebi Musa riots. Al-Husseini was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for incitement but was pardoned by the British. In 1921 the British High Commissioner appointed him Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a position he used to promote Islam while rallying a non-confessional Arab nationalism against Zionism. During the period 1921–1936 he was considered an important ally by the British Mandatory authorities.His opposition to the British peaked during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. In 1937, evading an arrest warrant, he fled Palestine and took refuge successively in the French Mandate of Lebanon and the Kingdom of Iraq, until he established himself in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. During World War II he collaborated with both Italy and Germany by making propagandistic radio broadcasts and by helping the Nazis recruit Bosnian Muslims for the Waffen-SS (on the ground that they shared four principles: family, order, the leader and faith). Also, as he told the recruits, Germany had not colonized any Arab country while Russia and England had. On meeting Adolf Hitler he requested backing for Arab independence and support in opposing the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish national home. At the end of the war he came under French protection, and then sought refuge in Cairo to avoid prosecution for war crimes.

In the lead-up to the 1948 Palestine war, Husseini opposed both the 1947 UN Partition Plan and King Abdullah's designs to annex the Arab part of British Mandatory Palestine to Jordan, and, failing to gain command of the 'Arab rescue army' (jaysh al-inqadh al-'arabi) formed under the aegis of the Arab League, formed his own militia, al-jihad al-muqaddas. In September 1948 he participated in the establishment of an All-Palestine Government. Seated in Egyptian-ruled Gaza, this government won limited recognition by Arab states but was eventually dissolved by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1959. After the war and subsequent Palestinian exodus, his claims to leadership were wholly discredited and he was eventually sidelined by the Palestine Liberation Organization, losing most of his residual political influence. He died in Beirut, Lebanon in July 1974.

Husseini was and remains a highly controversial figure. Historians dispute whether his fierce opposition to Zionism was grounded in nationalism or antisemitism or a combination of both. Opponents of Palestinian nationalism have used Husseini's wartime residence and propaganda activities in Nazi Germany to associate the Palestinian national movement with European-style anti-Semitism. While his ideological influence on post-war Palestinian nationalism is minimal, al-Husayni's legacy is of interest to modern scholars of Political Islam for his role in introducing radical antisemitism into Islamic fundamentalism.

Fascism and ideology

The history of Fascist ideology is long and it also involves many sources. Fascists took inspiration from sources as ancient as the Spartans for their focus on racial purity and their emphasis on rule by an elite minority. Fascism has also been connected to the ideals of Plato, though there are key differences between the two. Fascism styled itself as the ideological successor to Rome, particularly the Roman Empire. The Enlightenment-era concept of a "high and noble" Aryan culture as opposed to a "parasitic" Semitic culture was core to Nazi racial views. From the same era, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's view on the absolute authority of the state also strongly influenced Fascist thinking. The French Revolution was a major influence insofar as the Nazis saw themselves as fighting back against many of the ideas which it brought to prominence, especially liberalism, liberal democracy and racial equality, whereas on the other hand Fascism drew heavily on the revolutionary ideal of nationalism. Common themes among fascist movements include; nationalism (including racial nationalism), hierarchy and elitism, militarism, quasi-religion, masculinity and voluntarism. Other aspects of fascism such as its "myth of decadence", anti‐egalitarianism and totalitarianism can be seen to originate from these ideas. These fundamental aspects however, can be attributed to a concept known as "Palingenetic ultranationalism", a theory proposed by Roger Griffin, that fascism is essentially populist ultranationalism sacralized through the myth of national rebirth and regeneration.

Its relationship with other ideologies of its day was complex, often at once adversarial and focused on co-opting their more popular aspects. Fascists supported limited, nominally private property rights and the profit motive of capitalism, but sought to eliminate the autonomy of large-scale capitalism by consolidating power with the state. They shared many of the goals of the conservatives of their day and often allied themselves with them by drawing recruits from disaffected conservative ranks, but presented themselves as holding a more modern ideology, with less focus on things like traditional religion. Fascism opposed the egalitarian (Völkisch equality) and international character of mainstream socialism, but sometimes sought to establish itself as an alternative "national" socialism. It strongly opposed liberalism and capitalism , as well as communism, anarchism, and social democracy.


Futuwwa (Arabic: فتوة, "young-manliness" or "chivalry") was a conception of moral behavior around which myriad institutions of Medieval confraternity developed. With characteristics similar to chivalry and virtue, these communal associations of Arab men gained significant influence as stable social units that exerted religious, military, and political influence in much of the Islamic world.

Iraqi Independence Party

The Iraqi Independence Party (Arabic: حزب الاستقلال العراقي‎, Hizb al-Istiqlal al-Iraqi) was an Iraqi nationalist political party founded in December 1945 that supported the independence of Iraq from British colonialism.

Iraqi Jews in Israel

Iraqi Jews in Israel, also known as the Bavlim (related to "Babylon"), are immigrants and descendants of the immigrants of the Iraqi Jewish communities, who now reside within the state of Israel. They number around 450,000.

List of fascist movements by country G–M

A list of political parties, organizations, and movements adhering to various forms of fascist ideology, part of the list of fascist movements by country.

Saib Shawkat

Saib Shawkat (Arabic: صائب شوكت‎) was an Iraqi doctor and Arab nationalist leader.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.