This was an eye-opener for me. The goals and the rhetoric are still the same.
Quote from: The Middle East. The Brief History of the Last 2000 Years. By Bernard Lewis (Scribner 1995) pp. 348-9
As far back as 1933, immediately after Hitler's accession to power, the British-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husayni, made contact with the German consul to declare his support and offer his help. After years of uncompromising struggle against the British and the Jews, the Mufti left Palestine, and with stops in Beirut, Baghdad and Tehran en route, reached Berlin in 1941. The most important of these stops was Baghdad, where in April 1941, an Iraqi politician called Rashid 'Ali al-Gaylani, with military support, seized power and established a pro-Axis regime. Despite some help from Syria, at that time still controlled by the Vichy authorities, the Axis powers were too far away to save him, and his regime was overthrown by British and British-led forces. In Syria a committee was formed to mobilize support for the Rashid 'Ali regime. This was the nucleus of what later became the Ba'ath party, rival branches of which came to govern both Syria and Iraq.
Rashid Ali fled and later joined the Mufti in Berlin. Among the many who supported or sympathized with the Axis during the war years were some who later became famous. Nasser recorded his sympathy and his disappointment at Germany's defeat; Sadat according to his own memoirs, was a willing co-operator in German espionage. Even Rashid 'Ali has been resuscitated as a hero in Saddam Husayn's Iraq.
At first sight, this enthusiasm for the Nazi cause seems very strange. Nazi racism cannot have had much appeal for a people who, according to Nazi pseudo-science, were themselves racial inferiors. Nazi propaganda, in so far as it was specifically anti-Jewish rather than generally anti-Semitic, had considerable support. But it was, after all, the persecution of Jews by the Nazis in Germany and their imitators elsewhere that was the driving force of Jewish migration to Palestine and the consequent strengthening of the Jewish community in that country. The Nazis not only caused this migration; they even encouraged and facilitated it until the outbreak of war, while the British, in the forlorn hope of winning Arab good will, imposed increasing restrictions. Nevertheless, significant numbers of Arabs favoured the Germans, who sent the Jews to Palestine, rather than the British, who tried to keep them out.
The Axis powers tried in different ways to profit from this mood. First Fascist Italy and later Nazi Germany launched massive programmes of propaganda and penetration in the Arab world, with considerable impact on the new generation of political thinkers and activists. The Nazis in particular, by preaching hatred of Jews, were able to exploit a problem which they themselves had in large measure created.