Jihadists are like Nazis, says British politician

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Tory leadership hopeful David Cameron today likened Islamic "jihadists" pursuing a holy war against the west to the Nazis of the 1930s and communists who built a totalitarian state. He said a strain of Islamist thinking developed during the last century "which, like other totalitarianisms, such as Nazism and Communism, offers its followers a form of redemption through violence".

Mr Cameron, in a speech to the Foreign Policy Centre in London, said some Islamic thinkers had argued that the "simple explanation" for the decline in the Arab world's power and prestige was its "abandonment of true Islam".

Some, including Osama bin Laden, "have argued for a jihad to purge the Arab world".

The Tory frontbencher went on: "Jihadism, like Nazism and Communism before it, often bewitches the minds of gifted and educated young men.

"Just like the Nazis of 1930s Germany, they want to purge corrupt cosmopolitan influences.

"The parallels with the rise of Nazism go further. Just as there were figures in the 1930s who misunderstood the totalitarian wickedness of Nazism and argued that Hitler had a rational set of limited political demands, so there are people today who try to explain Jihadist violence with reference to a limited set of political goals.

"If only, some argue, we withdrew from Iraq, or Israel made massive concessions, then we would assuage Jihadist anger.

"That argument, while often advanced by well-meaning people, is as limited as the belief in the Thirties that, by allowing Germany to remilitarise the Rhineland or take over the Sudetenland, we would satisfy Nazi ambitions.

"As we discovered in the 1930s, a willingness to cede ground and duck confrontation is interpreted as fatal weakness."

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