Why do Bosnian Muslim still cherish positive memories of the Nazi collaborator Mustafa Busuladžić? Is it solely because he hated and expelled Jews?

Bosniak portals are quite normally publishing this interview with Mustafa Busuladžić, a proponent of Nazi ideology among Bosniaks, and a persecutor of Jews. The interview is featured on the dialogos.ba portal as part of Islamic culture and tradition.

 

The life struggle of one man, the history of a revolution, a movement. The Grand Palestinian Mufti Emin El Husseini, with his unwavering and arduous fight, ignited an entire world to rise up for freedom and human rights. The struggle led by Emin El Husseini and his associates from Europe against the “most ruthless violators of the rights of Islamic nations” has become the hope of millions of Muslims who closely follow the colossal struggle of our great German ally against the enemies of civilization.

It is no wonder that the Grand Mufti has endeared himself to the hearts of all Muslims worldwide, as he treads the same paths of struggle that the flower of Islamic pioneers and ideologists walked through the entire history of Islam, sacrificing for the general advancement of the captive and oppressed Islamic world. In November of last year, faced with the onslaught of Bolshevik and British hordes, El Husseini was compelled to leave Iran and sought refuge in Rome and later in Berlin, where he came into direct contact with the leaders of the German and Italian nations, as well as with the highest political and diplomatic representatives of Western countries.

While the Islamic East, especially Palestine, keenly feels the absence of this great fighter, El Husseini’s arrival in Europe represents an invaluable gain for the Islamic world, which is simmering and awakening. In these decisive moments when a war, the outcome of which determines the fate of Islamic countries, rages with all its intensity, the presence in Europe of a man who enjoys the undivided affection of the entire contemporary Muslim world is of immense significance. Engaging with the greatest political representatives of Western countries, especially Mufti’s discussions with the great leader of the German Reich, will have far-reaching consequences that we cannot yet fully comprehend.

By directly acquainting the Western world and its greatest political representatives, especially friendly Germany, with the needs, aspirations, and sentiments not only of the Arab world but of all Muslims in general, El Husseini fulfills the role of a pioneer and defender of millions of Muslims politically and economically subjugated by European oppressors, and who are now rising, both against the English and the Bolsheviks and against their colonial oppressors.

It only takes a brief look into the past to understand the significance of the former journeys through European countries of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Shaykh Muhammad Abduh, who, with spoken word and pen, portrayed Islam in its true light and the aspirations and needs of Muslim nations to Europe, which had completely wrong notions about Islam and Muslims. Emin El Husseini now does the same. While in Rome, the Mufti resides in the splendid castle “Villa Colonna” on the outskirts of the Eternal City, provided to him by the Italian government during his stay in Italy. I felt the need to visit him.

Expressing my desire to visit His Eminence Emin El Husseini to his secretary, Eng. Mohamed El Hafifi, my wish was promptly granted. On a designated day, I found myself at the villa, where Emin El Husseini received me. The encounter with a man who shook the British Empire with a handful of people was more than cordial. His smile, joy, and cheerfulness are the first things that stand out in a man who possesses unquestionable intelligence, a broad perspective, and extensive political experience. He is always in good spirits, smiling, and above all, modest and approachable. In addition to Arabic, he speaks Turkish, French, and English excellently.

At the beginning of our conversation, the Grand Mufti recalls his friends, our representatives at the All-Islamic Congress in Jerusalem. He expresses special gratitude to the committee and membership of “El-Hidaje,” under the presidency of Haji Mehmed Effendi Handzic, who, during their annual assemblies, promptly remembered Palestinian fighters, thus showing solidarity with the heroes who perished in the defense of Muslim holy places. Right from the start, the Mufti showed keen interest in the lives of all Muslims. Inquiring about Muslims in Croatia, in an unrelated conversation, the Mufti emphasizes:

“I am pleased that Croatian Muslims have finally found themselves in their own Independent State of Croatia. I am convinced that Muslims in the Independent State of Croatia are equal, enjoying all rights, and that their life achievements are largely protected. I have always had the best opinion of Croatian Muslims. In Palestine, too, there are settlements of immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina in various cities, who are diligent, honest, and upright. It always pained me when I thought about the trials that their brethren in the homeland faced during Yugoslavia. I have learned about the severe sufferings of Muslims who became victims of communist-committal atrocities. Be assured that the entire Islamic world sympathizes with you, and the developments in your country are followed with the greatest interest. We highly appreciate you for your religious zeal, resilience, and integrity. That is why Croatian Muslims enjoy such great esteem in the Islamic world. You are a jewel in the crown of the Islamic global community, one that all Muslims around the world are proud of. I have said this to both Hitler and Mussolini. I am exceptionally pleased that you have found your freedom and equality in your own country, and in the person of your Leader, about whom I have heard so many beautiful words, a just, wise, and powerful protector.”

Please note that the translation provided may not capture the full nuance and tone of the original text, as some expressions may be culturally specific.

— Your Eminence, have you been to Hitler, Mussolini?

Yes. Immediately upon arriving in Italy, I was received by Il Duce at “Palazzo Venezia.” After that, I traveled to Germany. At that time, the Führer was on a section of the Eastern Front. When he learned of my arrival, the Leader of the Reich specifically came to Berlin, where he received me.”

— Can you tell me something about your meeting with the Leader of the Reich?

I can only tell you that the conversation was marked by cordiality and sincere friendly feelings that the Führer and the noble German people have towards Muslims. Hitler is a great friend of Muslims. Everywhere in Germany, I was warmly welcomed and received. There is great interest in the contemporary Islamic world, and it is true that the Muslim world is entirely on the side of Germany and its allies. The Führer left an unforgettable impression on me. He is a man full of youthful strength and vigor, a divinely endowed genius who led the German people on the paths of glory and greatness.”

— What are your impressions of your trip through Germany?

Excellent, the whole of Germany is in tremendous dynamics. Work and life are bubbling everywhere. Everything is directed towards victory. The German people deserve victory. They will achieve it. Germany should be an example to Muslims in the struggle for independence, rights, and progress.

— What is your opinion on the war?

I am the greatest optimist regarding the outcome of the war. Modern warfare is not only a struggle between opposing armies but also an ideological wrestling, a struggle between oppressors and rejuvenated nations, especially Germany, for a more just order.

— Can you tell me about the attitude of Islamic nations in the current conflict?

The attitude of Muslims is determined and clear. The Islamic world, especially countries under the yoke of Great Britain and Bolshevik Russia, impatiently await the outcome of the current war. In the struggle for their political freedom, Muslim nations are on the side of Germany and Japan, as well as their allies. The fight against Great Britain, the jailer of nations, must be ruthlessly continued until the complete collapse of the British Empire. Similarly, against Bolshevik Russia, the century-old enemy of Muslims.

— Eminence, is there a threat of Bolshevism to Islamic nations?

Bolshevism is a danger in itself because it denies God and all the values on which civilization is based. You know that Islam is a natural opponent of communist teachings. The spirit of Islam is incompatible with communism; they are mutually exclusive. The principles of Islam are deeply imbued with social teachings, whose strict implementation guarantees social justice and a higher social life worthy of humans. Many learned people from the West, with whom I have come into contact, are convinced of this. Given all this, it is understandable why Bolshevik propaganda has no success among Muslims. Communism is harsh and inhumane. Its victory would mean the end of civilization and the world. Therefore, the war against communism is the sacred duty of Muslims. The history of Russian Muslims over the last 20 years, as well as under Tsarist rule, is a history of violence and bloodshed.

— Has Bolshevik propaganda succeeded among Muslims living or, rather, dying in Soviet Russia?

Even though the Bolsheviks closed Muslim schools and mosques and expelled, or rather killed, Muslim spiritual and secular intelligentsia, Muslims in Bolshevik Russia remained loyal to their faith. It is more than certain that after the collapse of Bolshevism, freedom will be born for millions of Muslims in the Soviet Union. It is not surprising that Muslims in Soviet Russia enthusiastically receive and greet brave German soldiers as their liberators. Crimean Muslims volunteer for the German army to fight side by side with German and Allied soldiers against their oppressors. Wherever Bolshevik hordes have gone, devastation has occurred everywhere. There are countless examples of these atrocities. Just think of the recent tragedy in Iran. But thank God, the bloody Bolshevik paradise is nearing its end.

— Do you believe in the liberation of Islamic nations?

Yes. The victory of the Axis Powers will be our victory. The entire Islamic world is in turmoil. Especially the youth, as the bearer of life and hope for the future, is awakening and active. The Islamic world is determined to shake off slavery. Just look at examples from Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. Signs of awakening are evident everywhere. It is too early to talk about the form in which this unity will be realized and which countries will enter into the structure of the post-war Arab-Islamic state. I can only tell you that our European allies have the greatest understanding of the needs and aspirations of the Islamic East. On one occasion, the Leader of the Reich told me and assured me that Germany is closely following the struggle of the Islamic world against oppressors and that Islamic nations can be confident and at ease as far as Germany is concerned. Germans do not want to enslave or oppress any Islamic country.

— What do you think about the establishment of the Caliphate?

Above all, political freedom. After obtaining political freedom, Muslims will resolve this issue in the way that best suits their general needs. After the war, it is necessary to strengthen and deepen spiritual ties between Islamic communities in Europe, especially with the Islamic community in the Independent State of Croatia. You are a link between the East and the West, so your role is significant. You are the outpost of Islam in Europe. Therefore, the Islamic world holds the most sincere and lively affection for Croatian Muslims.

— Do you have connections with Palestine?

Palestine is a crucible because it is caught in the crossfire between the Jews and the English. British violence and persecutions continue. The flower of Palestinian intellectuals and youth is in prisons and concentration camps. The same applies to Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and other countries under British control. All of this cannot break our will to continue the struggle for the good of all of us. The fight must go on. It is the law of life. Every nation pays for its freedom with blood. We believe in the victory of our cause because we believe in the triumph of justice.

— During my first visit, as well as every time I visited him, His Eminence El Husseini was always equally smiling and in good spirits, showing interest in Muslims in Croatia. Before his departure to Berlin, I visited him for the last time. On that occasion, he told me that his greatest desire was to visit our homeland, personally meet the Leader, and get to know the life and conditions of Croatian Muslims. When saying goodbye, he told me:

“Send greetings to all Muslims in the Independent State of Croatia. Tell them that the entire Islamic world has never more closely followed their development than in these moments. I wish them every success, as well as the success and progress of the Independent State of Croatia.”

Considering it my duty to convey the greetings of the Grand Mufti, I do so through this message.

Rome, August 1, 1942.
Mustafa Busuladžić (Osvit, No. 24)

The text is part of the historical Bosniak national material. In the city of Sarajevo, the only metropolis in Europe, public honor is still paid to this Nazi collaborator by having a street and a school named after him. But that’s not all. Throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, for example in Novi Travnik, El Fatih, the man who beheaded the last Bosnian king, is publicly glorified. Alija Izetbegović’s grave is publicly covered with dust. At the same time, Bosniak leaders want to claim the status of the sole and greatest anti-fascists in the country. In a land where even patriotism seems reserved for them, how do they plan to do this? By publicly praising the Ottoman conqueror Mehmed II El Fatih or the Nazi collaborator Busuladžić?