Talk:Haj Amin al-Husseini

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Recruitment draft work in progress[edit]

Himmler had a romantic vision of Islam as a faith ‘fostering fearless soldiers’, and this probably played a significant role [1][2]in his decision to raise three Muslim divisions under German leadership in the Balkans from Bosnian Muslims and Albanians .[3][4]  : the 13th Waffen SS Mountain Division Handschar,[5] the 21st Skanderbeg, and the 23rd Kama (Shepherd's dagger). Riven by interethnic conflict, the region's Jewish, Croat, Roma, Serb and Muslim communities suffered huge losses of life,[6][7] Bosnian Muslims losing around 85,000 from a genocidal Četnik ethnic cleansing operations alone.[8]. The Muslims had three options: to join the Croatian Ustaše, or the Serbian partisans, or to create local defense units. Following a tradition of service in the old Bosnian regiments of the former Austro-Hungarian army, they chose an alliance with Germany, which promised them autonomy. Husseini, having been petitioned by the Bosnian Muslim leaders, was well informed of their plight.[9] Dissatisfied with low enlistenment, Himmler asked the mufti to intervene.[10] Husseini negotiated, made several requests, mostly ignored by the SS, and conducted several visits to the area.[11] His speeches and charismatic authority proved instrumental in improving enlistment notably.[12] In one speech he declared that:

Those lands suffering under the British and Bolshevist yoke impatiently await the moment when the Axis (powers) will emerge victorious. We must dedicate ourselves to unceasing struggle against Britain -that dungeon of peoples - and to the complete destruction of the British Empire.We must dedicate ourselves to unceasing struggle against Bolshevist Russia because communism is incompatible with Islam.'

One SS officer reporting on impresssions from the mufti's Sarajevo speech said Husseini was reserved about fighting Bolshevism, his main enemies being Jewish settlers in Palestine and the English.[13]

In an agreement signed by Husseini and Himmler on May 19,1943, it was specified that no synthesis of Islam and Nationalism was to take place.[14][15]Husseini asked that Muslim divisional operations to be restricted to the defense of the Moslem heartland of Bosnia and Herzegovina; that partisans be amnestied if they laid down their arms; that the civilian population not be subject to vexations by troops;that assistance be offered to innocents injured by operations; and that harsh measures like deportations, confiscations of goods, or executions be governed in accordance with the rule of law. [16]The Handschar earned a repute for brutality in ridding north-eastern Bosnia of Serbs and partisans: many local Muslims, observing the violence, were driven to go over to the communist partisans.[17][18] Once redeployed outside Bosnia, and as the fortunes of war turned, mass defections and desertions took place, and Volksdeutsche were drafted to replace the losses.[19] The mufti blamed the mass desertions on German support for the Četniks.[20] Many Bosnians in these divisions who survived the war sought asylum in Western and Arab countries, and of those settling in the Middle East, many fought in Palestine against the new state of Israel. [21]

  1. ^ Tomasevich 2001, p. 496
  2. ^ Lepre 1997, pp. 12, 310
  3. ^ Stein 1984, pp. 184-5.
  4. ^ Lepre 1997, p. 228, n.28.
  5. ^ Lepre 1997, p. 47 named from the word for a Turkish policeman's sword (or fighting knife:handžar from Turkish hancerTomasevich 2001, p. 497), which had figured as an emblem on the Bosnian coat-of-arms.
  6. ^ Mojzes 2011, p. 78
  7. ^ Lepre & 1997 313:'Overall, it is fairest to say that the Yugoslavian insurgency was a racial - national - ideological - religious struggle that was unique in its barbarity and excesses were perpetrated by all of the warring sides against both combatants and the civilian population.'
  8. ^ Mojzes 1984, pp. 97-98: ‘a scorched-earth practice commenced . .”During the operation, we carried out the complete annihilation of the Moslem inhabitants, without regard to their sex and age . .The whole population has been annihilated.'
  9. ^ Lepre 1997, p. 31:'The hearts of all Muslims must today go out to our Islamic brothers in Bosnia, who are forced to endure a tragic fate. They are being persecuted by the Serbian and communist bandits, who receive support from England and the Soviet Union.... They are being murdered, their possessions are robbed, and their villages are burned. England and its allies bear a great accountability before history for mishandling and murdering Europe's Muslims, just as they have done in the Arabic lands and in India.'
  10. ^ Lepre 1997, pp. 26-28
  11. ^ Lepre 1997, p. 34.
  12. ^ Lepre 1997, p. 313.
  13. ^ Lepre 1997, p. 33.
  14. ^ Tomasevich 2001, p. 497:'the objective was not to synthesize National Socialism and Islam, nor to convert the Bosnian Muslims (who, it said, though racially Germanic, were ideologically part of the Arab world) to National Socialism. . .though distinctm the two ideologies would act togfether against their common enemies-Jews, Anglo-Americans, Communists, Freemasons, and the Catholic Church.'
  15. ^ Lepre 1997, p. 67:'Husseini and the Germans opted against forming any synopsis between Islam and national socialism. . .The Idea of Family (Familiengedanke) - the strong family sense possessed by the German and Muslim peoples.The Idea of Order (Ordnungsgedanke) - the idea of the New Order in Europe. The Idea of the Fũhrer (Fũhrergedanke) - The idea that a people should be led by one leader. The Idea of Faith (Glaubensgedanke) - That Islam (for Muslims) and national socialism (for Germans) would serve as educational tools to create order, discipline, and loyalty.’
  16. ^ Lepre 1997, p. 135.
  17. ^ Tomasevich 2001, p. 499
  18. ^ Hoare 2014, pp. 194-195.
  19. ^ Lepre 1997, pp. 247ff..
  20. ^ Lepre 1997, p. 257
  21. ^ Lepre 1997, p. 303.

Mallmann and Cueppers[edit]

Does anyone want to defend their retention? I'm sure anything we harvest from them can be found and sourced in Schwanitz and Rubin. Achcar and Nicosia's reviews condemn the book out of hand.Nishidani (talk) 08:16, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Gensicke to the conrary is RS. But we use him for one quote, Grobbe, on the mufti's visit. We're at a point where we should try to consolidate sources and remove those which are used once or twice to document facts already probably mentioned covered in other more comprehensive volumes Nishidani (talk) 08:20, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Mallman and Cüppers are less reliable than Achcar and Schwanitz.
Per the argumentation provided by Ronreisman here above to remove Laurens, feel free to remove references from them if Achacar or Schwanitz can be used.
Pluto2012 (talk) 18:10, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Nish: Please see note above, when Huldra also tried to suppress Mallmnan & Cüppers, and then presented false information to back up her claim. Achcar's comments in 'Arabs and the Holocaust' do not disqualify them. Full Disclosuer: I'm personally fond of Gilbert, and have had very pleasant correspondence with him. Nevertheless, he is hardly an unbiased source, and has a very well-developed POV (as he would be the first to admit). There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a POV, and Achcar's work, though debatable in parts and certainly controversial in some of its claims, is a great resource. Nevertheless, his opinions on other writers must be taken with a grain of salt, as evidenced by his treatment of Benny Morris. He spends an entire chapter attacking poor Dr. Morris, calling him all sorts of names and making all sorts of accusations that impugn the man's character and motivations. Nonetheless, are any of us tempted to argue that Morris is not WP:RS.? Nish, Pluto: I really don't think that even you would want to try to disqualify Morris's work, regardless of Achcar's opinion.

I hesitate to bring this up in public, incidentally, because IRW I've been shy about mentioning this to Gilbert and truly hope he's not offended, since I have great respect and fondness for him, and am very grateful for his book (and other works). It it not necessary to agree with a book in order to appreciate its quality, and in any case Dr. Achcar doesn't require or request the approval of anyone (least of all me :-) for the formulation of his own opinions. In fact, Achcar makes searingly insulting comments about *many* people in that book, and that's part of it's charm and (in the best sense) entertainment. There is no evading the author's POV in that volume!  :-)

Nevertheless, we should note in passing that in the entire chapter devoted to attacking Dr. Morris's political views, there is never a mention of Morris's own explanation of his own view of the 'demonization' of Israel, even though these views were well known, widely-published, and often repeated:

"the demonisation of Israel is largely based on lies—much as the demonisation of the Jews during the past 2,000 years has been based on lies. And there is a connection between the two." (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Morris#Political_views, or )

Of course, there much, much more criticism (from both Left & Right, Israelis & Palestinians) of Morris than has ever been directed against Mallman & Cüppers. Since no one, however will argue that Morris is not WP:RS, then what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Ronreisman (talk) 17:15, 19 March 2014 (UTC)


Mallman & Cüppers are professors at German Universities who specialize specialize in German history, and therefore they are certainly qualified to write about their own field of specialty.

Please present either present legitimate WP:RS that (actually) argues that Mallman & Cüppers are not WP:RS, or else please stop trying to use your own OR & SYNTH arguments to disqualify sources. Please stop violating WP:RS. Ronreisman (talk) 17:15, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

They are WP:RS, as Laurens is WP:RS.
If we have better than them, let's use better. Else, we can keep them.
If we have better or equivalent than Laurens in English, let's use the one in English. Else, we can keep Laurens
That's what you asked yourself.
Pluto2012 (talk) 18:12, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Pluto: Again, for the record, that not 'what you asked yourself.' I've asked for translations of NONENG citations so that the readers of English Wikipedia will be able to easily verify each footnoted statement, in accordance with WP:RS and WP:VERIFY. The current situation leave people who can't read French in a situation where they cannot easily verify the citation integrity of more than 50 different citations in this article, and that's simply not acceptable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ronreisman (talkcontribs) 19:40, 19 March 2014 (UTC) Ronreisman (talk) 20:18, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Did you read what was answered to you ?
Whether you agree or not, could you just repeat what was told to you about this ?
Pluto2012 (talk) 21:51, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Pluto's native language is French. He has Laurens. He corrected me recently on a hasty oversight in one of my translations, because he checks my use of French sources. We don't share the same POV. We share down to small details a commitment to neutral editing, high quality sources and careful weighing. You don't trust him, I guess. I always use Morris, though privately I reckon I could run a bulldozer through his interpretation of his own evidence. He is an impeccable archivist, whatever his POV, and therefore my personal views must not affect my continual recourse to his data. As to Mallmann and Cueppers I disagree with Pluto. They are German historians who, according to the paradigmatic approaches of such varied scholars as Gilbert Achcar, Francis Nicosia, Götz Nordbruch, Yekutiel Gershoni, James Jankowski, Gerhard Höpp, Peter Wien and René Wildangel, are totally out of their depth in contextualizing the historical material within what we now know of the Islamic world (Götz Nordbruch, 'The Arab World and National Socialism,'), in that their reading is profoundly ethnocentric and politicized. I disagree with Pluto on this, for the same reason I concur with him and others re Ilan Pappé, and never cite him (though I sympathizise with his readings). The POV slant is too partisan, and better sources exist. This criterion is true of Mallmann and Cueppers, (and of Gensicke). Schwanitz and Rubin appear to have all of the 'dirty' interpretations resuscitated in their new book, which qualifies as WP:RS, and supercedes the other objections because Schwanitz is an Arabist (though his POV is strongly disfavoured by scholars of this sector of Islam).
Generally, articles like this are the finest testing ground of an editor's neutrality, and are wracked by contentious editing because most coming to it want to prove a point, demonizing the subject and showcasing him as a premier example of why Israel does well to be wary of the Arab world. This is evidenced by your own words below:

He was honored by multitudes, by Arab Nationalists from Nassar to Arafat, and by Muslim Nationalists across the globe. He was a world-historical leader who should be granted the respect that he earned, and we should needlessly and carelessly offend the large number of people who still respect him

I.e. you are citing as much material from poor sources to 'prove' he was deeply implicated in the holocaust, while touting the view that he was a 'world historical figure' who commands widespread respect in the Arab world. This translates out as:'The Arabs revere a man who deeply approved of the Holocaust, ergo, the Arab world has the same intent as the Nazis'. That is the cartoon view of complex events, and fits only one known POV, a national one.
Those with a less hysterical approach to the subject know that the finest historical works on the subject, by Mattar and Elpeleg, manage a minor miracle in managing to see beyond the polemical use of history: they give you Amin warts and all, but the warts do not produce a rash of hives or anxiety attacks when you examine them. They show you a dangerous fool who, for much of his life, was out of his depth, blinded by stupid calculations, as callous as his adversaries, in a milieu where catastrophes were the norm. There is no need to make him a figurehead, positive or negative. The bare, closely documentary record of his life is more than sufficient for our readership to draw whatever conclusion they like about him, without our pulling them one way or another. That is what WP:NPOV is all about, and that is what you consistently fail to grasp, since you have explicitly said you embrace a belief that several editors here are tagteaming to promote a shared POV. The POV we share is functional: i.e., that we write to history as that is written by its finest exponents, those who have, unlike Schwanitz and Rubin, no particular case to make, no bilious defence to mount, no sneaky urge to succumb to the instrumental uses of facts. You're not obliged to believe this, but your behaviour is problematical because that conviction of an editorial ganging up here makes you consistently misread most of what editors write here. Nishidani (talk) 07:31, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Husseini "French"??[edit]

I don't see anything particularly French about the spelling "Husseini" (a transcription with strictly French vowel values would actually be "Housseini"). In fact, "Husseini" is just a popularizing or journalistic transcription (while "Ḥusaynī" would be more a technically linguistic transcription)... AnonMoos (talk) 09:02, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

One of the standard biographies (I think it was Mattar but my memory is poor) said that his family prefers Husseini rather than Husayni. Zerotalk 09:18, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
That may be the case, but neither one is very French... AnonMoos (talk) 08:04, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
We should just harmonize spellings: Kamil al-Husayni. Pluto2012 (talk) 19:28, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia policies place most common name considerations above strict consistency... AnonMoos (talk) 08:04, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
You are incorrect in your initial assertion.:'"Husseini" is just a popularizing or journalistic transcription '. Husseini is how French diplomatic reports from Palestine transcribed his name in the nineteenth century (Laurens, vol. p.84). I confirm what Zero notes, that the form Husseini was how his francophile family is said to have preferred to transcribe their name.Nishidani (talk) 09:39, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
I know Laurens is the source for this, but note 5 is wrong. There is nothing on p.19 vol.1. stating that, so I'll have to check. Evidently in endless reediting something went astray. Nishidani (talk) 09:58, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
If it was really a French transcription, then why wasn't it "Housseini" with a "u"?? AnonMoos (talk) 11:54, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
In French, both "u" and "ou" exist and are pronounced differently even if they are close. I don't read nor speak Arabic but reading fr:Hussein I deduce that the right pronounciation of the Arabic of Hussein in French is "u" (or "au") and not "ou". Pluto2012 (talk) 19:54, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Pluto2012 -- In ordinary French spelling, "u" indicates a front-rounded or "umlaut" vowel pronounced like German ü, while "ou" indicates an ordinary back rounded vowel like German u without diacritics. If French-speaking people ever use a notation in which the spelling "u" indicates the non-umlauted [u] sound, then it's generally in a technical linguistic context (not ordinary spelling), or as an undigested foreignism. Furthermore, standard or classical Arabic simply does not have front-rounded or "umlaut" vowels. I can't say with absolute certainty that there isn't some obscure spoken Arabic dialect somewhere with a front-rounded vowel in its inventory, but as a general rule front-rounded vowels are not a prominent feature of Arabic speech varieties.
All this being the case, a transcription of Arabic حسيني by French speakers for French speakers would be expected to be "Housseini", not "Husseini". If the French use "Husseini", then they would appear to be using an English-based transcription (or perhaps German-derived) rather than anything distinctively French... AnonMoos (talk) 09:48, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Here you can search several Jewish French newspaper sources of the period. Although "Housseini" occurs, "Husseini" is more common. Le Figaro also used "Husseini" more than other spellings. So did L'Humanité. I'm not arguing about the reasons, just pointing out that French newspapers did not use "Houseini" very much. Zerotalk 12:24, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
Hi AnonMoos, I am a French speaker ;)
'umlaut' is interesting to explain my point but I think we understand each other. In French, we say "Hüssein[i]" (DE) and write "Hussein[i]", which is French is different from "Houssein[i]", which is not used. In German, they write "Hussein[i]", which should be translitterated in French "Houssein[i]", but it is not the case.
I don't know arabic so I cannot state who is wrong or right. Pluto2012 (talk) 12:30, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree that most common name is important, but that doesn't make the decision easy. "Husayni" is popular among modern scholars, which is due to an attempt within the profession to standardise the transliteration of Arabic. We would be justified in using it. In earlier times, "Husseini" was near universal. It was essentially the only spelling used during the British mandate and for some time afterwards: I checked tons of British documents, the British newspaper archive, and several Jewish newspapers in English and French and couldn't find "Husayni" at all. I think that if we just took the majority of reliable sources without considering their age, "Husseini" would win by a mile. We would be justified in using that too. Zerotalk 10:20, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

"discredited" in lead section[edit]

The bit in the lead section about him being "wholly discredited" is chronologically vague and potentially misleading. The WW2 / Cold War major powers had no more use for him after WW2, and some Arab leaders grew tired of him in the 1950s, but he retained a cadre of strong supporters for a long time. For better or worse, he was the leading (or at least most publicly prominent) Palestinian political personality down to at least 1964 (and of course he always remained Arafat's personal hero). If there ever came a time when he was "wholly discredited", it must have been quite late in his life... AnonMoos (talk) 08:17, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't like "wholly discredited" since it doesn't say in whose eyes he was discredited. However there is near-unanimity among his biographers that his influence waning strongly after 1948 and became negligible after 1964; it should say something like that. Zerotalk 09:39, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
That depends in what context. According to Husseini, any effort to establish any kind of Palestinian Arab state or entity of any kind which did not have as its main goal elevating him to power over said state or entity was vile treacherous plotting and scheming. Abdullah of Transjordan rejected this view from day one, while the other Arab leaders were always more interested in enhancing their own power than enhancing Husseini's, and by the 1950s mostly didn't take him seriously as a future ruler. However, he still had a prominent public role as quasi-figurehead of the so-called "All Palestine Government" (until even Nasser tired of him), and many Arab supporters, and there was no one who could realistically even attempt to challenge his role as Palestinian leader until Nasser elevated Ahmad Shuqayri... AnonMoos (talk) 12:13, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Palstinian politics was (and still is) riven by clan divisions, so you have to look at (a) clan rivalries (b) the larger Arab states which meddled, interfered or often expressed their own interests by backing or withdrawing backing from, various Palestinian clan leaders (c) International great power manipulations. For the last two, after 1948, the mufti was dead meat politically, hated by, manipulated by, and manipulating desultorily by turns Jordan, Egypt and other regional powers: when you say his role as 'Palestinian leader' was unchallenged, - he even opposed the PLO in its early days (as did Arafat, since he saw it as a Saudi vehicle) and as late as 69 was complaining that its secular cast was inadequate and urged the formation of an Islamic Fatah. Buty his nephew sided with Arafat? What leading did he do after 59? He had to live off his figurehead status. He had some rhetorical value as one who 'resisted' Zionism, but he himself after 59 refused many attempts to reengage him in politics, according to Robert Fisk. He played a very important branding function in early Zionist historiography because his involvement with the Nazis enabled propaganda to tar every later Palestinian with the same brush. Nishidani (talk) 12:52, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't read it as saying that he was wholly discredited: the lead says that his claims to leadership were wholly discredited. I don't think that is the same thing. Britmax (talk) 13:45, 27 September 2014 (UTC)