Tuesday, November 15, 2005

About that word "Islamofascism"

Don Surber has pointed out that recently--first on October 6, and then again yesterday--Bush has begun to use the word "Islamofascism" in his speeches to name the enemy.

I have a bit of history with that word myself, and so I have some advice for him.

I was reminded of this by accident the other day when I was looking in my old e-mail files and came across something I'd sent to a friend way back in the spring of '04. It was written during a time when I'd just "outed" myself at a party where a group had been speaking in glowing terms of none other than Michael Moore and "Fahrenheit 9/11."

After I had piped up and let them know I didn't consider MM and his movie to be the repository of truth, a stunned and shocked silence ensued, and then a variety of reactions followed. Some people were angry and argumentative, some quiet. But one or two of my friends came up to me afterwards and said they wouldn't mind if I e-mailed them some more information, and maybe some links.

In the end, though, it didn't work out too well--both of them asked me to cease and desist after a month or two. One of them took great umbrage in particular at my use of the term "Islamofascism" in one of my e-mails. She wrote to me asking whether I would ever use the terms "Christianofascism" or "Judeofascism," and why I didn't condemn skinheads as well as Islamofascists.

So, if Bush runs into the same sort of trouble with the word that I did, perhaps he'd like to take a look at my answer to my friend:

The word doesn't mean "Islam" and it doesn't mean "Moslems." It's simply a shorthand expression to signify "the current crop of people who quote the Moslem religion to justify terrorism and other types of violence and who purposely target innocents such as women, children, and other bystanders with the goal of being a minority who rule over the vast majority of peace-loving people (including the vast majority of Moslems) who would prefer nothing better than to be left alone to live their own lives in peace; and who have a declared agenda to take over the rule of all Moslem countries and the rest of the world, imposing a very strict, repressive, intolerant, illiberal, anti-woman regime on all of mankind." Think Taliban, ruling the world--that's the goal.

That's quite a mouthful, I know, so I use the term "Islamofascist" to cover it. Why "fascist?" Well, the connection to "fascist" is that it is a totalitarian and tyrannical group seeking power over a wide area of the globe, and these people don't care what they do to get it--it's no-holds-barred. The particular group I'm speaking about does this in the name of Islam, but if in fact there were some Buddhists, Christians, Jews, or any other sect with such an agenda in the name of their religion, I would call them "whatever-fascists," also (as I call Nazis fascists; but they were secular fascists). White supremacist fascists (I assume that's what you mean by "skinheads?") are to be condemned also, of course, and in no uncertain terms--but right now they don't seem to have purposely and premeditatedly blown 3,000 people to kingdom come and are not threatening to do it again and again, so my primary concern is with the people who have done just that.

By the way, another reason I use the term "fascist" to refer to the current crop of terrorists and their followers and sympathizers is that, historically speaking, they are actually the direct heirs of the Nazis. I don't mean that in the metaphorical sense--although I do mean that, as well--I mean it in an actual sense. The Arab countries in general were allies of the Nazis in WWII and were, unfortunately, fed vast reams of Nazi propaganda, which, just as unfortunately, took root. Skinheads or neo-Nazis are unusual in the US, although of course they exist---but admiration of Nazis and their agenda became almost mainstream in the 30s in the Arab world as a direct result of Nazi influence, propaganda, and involvement there, and it has not gone away.

Reasonable minds may differ on what is to be done. I'm only writing about what my own study has led me to believe, and of course it's possible I'm wrong. Perhaps we don't disagree as much as you might think, because I, too, would love for the young men of that area, as you write, "to change their minds before they are poisoned." That is actually what the whole idea of liberating Iraq was about--and you may laugh, or think I'm wildly naive to still use the word "liberated"--but I mean what I say. The Iraqi bloggers whom I've been reading are trying to do just that: change minds before they are irrevocably poisoned. They are the ones who have given me hope that a liberation is slowly but surely happening there, in a way that they say was utterly impossible before the war, and in a way that our media has hardly ever written about (and in a way that won't be possible if we don't stay the course until things are more stable there).


Well, now that I look at it, it may be a tad long and convoluted to put in a speech. But I did get a good response from my friend, who seemed to understand when I put it that way. And we're still friends, although I stopped sending her anything political.

47 Comments:

At 2:34 PM, November 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well stated. The connection between Islamofascists and Nazi fascists could be stated even more strongly. They, including especially the arabs later to be known as Palestinians, cooperated actively with the Nazis, espoused the same views with regard to Jews, and most importantly were not defeated after WWII and did not have their fascist views publicly and legally repudiated in the Middle East. So Saddam could be an admirer of Hitler in a direct line of Baathist thinking that went directly back to the 1930s or earlier.
JohnH

 
At 2:53 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

You betcha' the swastika flys high over gaza, tehran, damascus, etc. What did the prez of iran just say? Israel needs to be wiped off the planet. What do the pali terrorists say? Israel has no right to exist. Fire up the ovens, boys, because the kapos are lined up to hand em' over - Kapo Chirac, Kapo Koffi, Kapos McCain, Dean, Kennedy and Moore. Substitute the pen for the truncheon, it's all you have to do.

 
At 2:58 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Pastorius said...

Hi Neo,

I stopped using the term Islamofascist on my blog just a few weeks before President Bush began using it. When I stopped using the term, I actually announced on CUANAS that I would no longer use it, and why.

The reason I gave is that I realized that it is a term which sounds radical, thus making me sound like a radical. I absolutely agree with your definition of Islamofascist, but as long as others can not get their minds around it, it is simply an excuse for them to shut their minds, before they've ever truly opened them.

The term I have chosen in the place of Islamofascism is Islamic Jihadism. Everyone seems to know what I mean by that. Even if a person would ordinarily object that Jihad mean "spiritual struggle," they still know what I mean by the phrase, and they can't truly object, without betraying their own intellectual conscience.

 
At 3:44 PM, November 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...and they can't truly object, without betraying their own intellectual conscience."

Yes they can, pastorius, and they can even label you a "racist" for seeming to oppose something as integral to Islam as jihad (the peaceful inner struggle).

Face it, the enemies of the War on Terror will make whatever logical twists they want, to brand anyone outside their multiculturast orthodoxy a "racist," even defining religions as races whenever they care to. We have to do more than fight Islamofascism; we must also fight their propagandists, or we will again be defeated politically no matter how successful we are militarily.

 
At 4:03 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger DonSurber said...

Thanks for the link. Linked you back
This form makes it simpler

http://www.aylwardfamily.com/content/tbping.asp

 
At 4:18 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Eric said...

I've only started to use the term 'Islamofascist' because I think it's a more-accurate description. I like it better than 'Islamist' because adding '-fascism' implies a geopolitical element together with the 'radical' religious element implied by 'Islamist' alone. The term doesn't shy away from the Islamic component but also distances the terrorist movement from the religious practice of Islam.

It IS a fascist movement. What eventually convinced me was my personal interactions with the dogmatic radical anti-American left at home. It dawned on me that they use very fascistic methods to dominate political discourse at home, which led me to look at their allies - the terrorists - in a new light. 'Islamofascism' fits.

However, I admit I avoided using the term for a long time because of the Nazi tie-in. At first sniff, the term smells of 'boogeyman' alarmism and reverse moral equivalency, in equating the threat of a new enemy with the old enemy. Eventually, though, the right term is the right term and deserves to be used.

 
At 4:29 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Pastorius said...

Anonymous at 3:44 PM,

I am not naiive. I know they will "twist" logic. But, that's not what I said. I said, they can't object without betraying their own "intellectual conscience."

What I mean by that is, they will know they are lying to themselves.

 
At 5:07 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

"She wrote to me asking whether I would ever use the terms "Christianofascism" or "Judeofascism," and why I didn't condemn skinheads as well as Islamofascists."

Or "Judeophobia" or "Christophobia". It's nice to be nice; to know one's place. One might wonder if she questions her own use of syntax, meaning, connotations, etc. as trenchantly and willingly and generously as she's willing to question others' use thereof. One might take a guess as to what that answer might be.

 
At 5:17 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Bush needs to say this to any of his critics.

"Bring it on, Islamofascists, we got your Virgins ready to be delivered right in Iraq"

If Bush can't be diplomatic, and suave (isn't that a French word?) like Kennedy/Clinton, then he needs to stick to his Western toughness routine.

Belay the idiots complaining in government and outside.

Talk tough, act tough, be tough, and soon enough Bush will be tough on the War on Terror once again. Which is unlike now, that is.

He needs to take some lessons from Arnold.

 
At 5:26 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

No matter how careful I am, whenever I use the term Islamofascist with someone who calls themselves 'anti-war', they immediately launch into a tirade about how I'm slandering 1 billion Muslims, don't you know they're not all terrorists, how can you slander a whole religion, etc.

It may help to use the words that Muslims use to describe terrorists. Since these anti-war types usually know next to nothing about Islam, at least it'll confuse them.

Aziz at City of Brass uses the word 'hirabist'. Hirabist is an Islamic term for bandits and terrorists. He says:

They invoke with empty words the welfare of muslims as justification for their evil, yet muslims are always their most numerous victims. And the damage extends far beyond tragic loss of life, to culture and heritage as well. For their crimes against muslims and greater humanity alone, not taking into account how they defame the holy faith of Islam itself, they are a blight upon the earth and they deserve death and speedy return to the fires of hell from whence they came.

(I started reading Aziz's blog when he told me that most Muslims think the current leaders of Saudi Arabia are 'parasite usurpers to the throne'. He has a way with words)

Other words used to describe political, extremist Islam: Qutbists, Wahhabis (Wahhabists were always equivalent to terrorism in the Muslim world) or Salafists.

 
At 5:51 PM, November 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That other "anonymous" alluded to an important point: the Baath party formerly in power in Iraq, and still in power in Syria, was founded by the Nazi Gestapo (yes, that Gestapo!) to cause trouble for the British in the Middle East. My source for this assertion: Professor Bernard Lewis of Princeton, whom I heard lecture in NYC on this topic a couple of years ago.

So the current war is concluding unfinished business from the Second World War: wiping Nazi-inspired fascism off the face of the earth.

 
At 6:18 PM, November 15, 2005, Anonymous E.M.H. said...

Wait... what?? Look, I'm not being sarcastic when I ask this, but: Some people object to the term "Islamofascist"?? Why???. I mean... it seems to be a pretty self contained, non-exaggerated term to me.

No offense to your friend, ma'am, I try to say this with all due respect to her, but it bothers me that someone would choose to counter the term Islamofascism with "Judeofascism" and "Christianofascism". That is at once a trivialization of the deep problematic issues with the nihlist philosopies espoused by groups like Al-Qaieda (sp?), Abu Sayyaf, the various radical Palestinian militant groups, etc. as well as a severe exaggeration of the problems posed by the far religious right today. Yes, I understand that there are some Christians in the US who'd cheerfully bomb abortion clinics, and a small subset who'd happily assasinate doctors who perform the procedure. I sure as heck don't condone them; I condemn their actions fully, passionately, and without reservation. But... since when have those numbers been as big as suicide bombers in Israel? When have they been as numerous as Jihadists in Iraq? Since when have churches in the US openly proselytized by using those folks as examples of what to expect? And since when has the far religious right in this country been anywhere near the existential threat to western society that Islamofascism is?

Far right religious radicalism in the US is simply not at the same level as the severe militant radicalism of the Islamofascist groups. It's a problem, but c'mon! It's not anywhere near the same order of magnitude.

 
At 6:29 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Wikipedia has an interesting little ditty on Neo-fascism and religion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neofascism_and_religion

Oddly enough, there is little or no mention of Mussolini in the discussion.

On Christo-fascism:
“the Reverend Rich Lang of the Trinity United Methodist Church of Seattle, gave a sermon titled George Bush and the Rise of Christian Fascism in which he said "I want to flesh out the ideology of the Christian Fascism that Mr. Bush articulates. It is a form of Christianity that is the mirror opposite of what Jesus embodied. It is, indeed, the materialization of the spirit of antichrist: a perversion of Christian faith and practice...".”

On Islamo-fascism
“The discussion of the existence of various forms of "Islamic fascism" is highly contentious. The claim by most proponents is rooted in the assertion that various Islamist political movements call for some imposition of Islamic law that critics consider totalitarian. Critics associate the term "Islamic fascism" with groups of Islamic fundamentalists like the Taliban which governed Afghanistan, al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. There are no self-identified Islamic fascists, and many Muslims (and some non-Muslims) find these claims offensive.”

“The term has gained wide currency in the United States, particularly among neo-conservatives. It has been attributed to Christopher Hitchens, Khalid Duran, Stephen Schwartz, and Michael Savage, but was used earlier than any of them by Malise Ruthven, in an article for The Independent on 8 September 1990…”

 
At 7:10 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Logofascism

Logofascism would be the insinuation of varying degrees of watered down meaning, even meaninglessness, in order to deny, usurp, dismiss, occlude, debase, etc. more meaningful content and more meaningful comprehensions.

Logofascism, whether employed with facile ease or great sophistication, produces an effect and seeks to establish a base of power and a praxis of power dynamics, regardless of content and regardless of more commensurately weighed meaning.

Logofascism. A lot of that goin' around.

 
At 7:41 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Always On Watch said...

"Islamofascist" touches some hot buttons, but it is still accurate and descriptive.

I get sarcastic from time to time and use "jihadopsychos," but my coined term doesn't incorporate the totalitarian aspect.

As to why people object to certain terminology, I feel their discomfort is due to coming up against a stark reality. "Fascist" is one of the most hated terms, partly because it implies genocide.

 
At 7:55 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Fascism puts the rights of state over the rights of the individual. Islam is similar in that individual rights do not enter into the equation of submission. I can not think of another religion that is preached at the tip of a sword.

I like the term ‘splodey-dope’, but Islamofascist will do just fine.

 
At 8:21 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger blert said...

I would not characterize Nazism as secular at all. It was an Anti-Religion.

Hitler was its man-god. The Swastika being mounted in lieu of the Cross all over Greater Germany.

Himmler was its high priest. The SS mocked the Catholic Church: using black as working dress, white as ceremonial dress. The SS was absolutely patterned after the Society of Jesus; the Jesuits. The SS were fighting monks for their anti-religion.

( BTW, Hollywood never picked up on that. Only in Italian war films have I seen the SS properly dressed in white for formal party scenes.)

Ceremonies at Nuremberg made mock of a Vatican High Mass with columns of searchlights beaming luminescent pillars to heaven.

Their procedures were straight out of the Thirty Years War: anything goes.

Communism was and is an Anti-Religion.

Soviet Communism mocked the Church: its structure being a perfect clone.

The Party Chairman was Pope for life. ( Well, one exception.)

Other than formally denying God, the Soviets proceeded to ape every function of the Church in its theocratic heyday.

The only difference between Religion and Anti-Religion: Man is bonded with and under God in the first; Man is anti-bonded and denies God in the second.

I object to Islamofascism because it lacks euphony. I also feel that the Islamists are closer to the Imperial Japanese – the Shintoists – than the Nazis.

There you will find the parallels absolutely striking: Beheadings, suicide troops divinely blessed, extreme ethnocentrism, persistent caste structure, perpetual clan feuds, tribal alliances, totalitarian control…. Just too much to list in this post.

I prefer Islamism and line it up with Shintoism, Hitlerism, Stalinism.

BTW, the Japanese throughout the war constantly tried to get Hitler and Stalin to come around to a pact based on themselves with the explicit enemy being America. Contemporary American political analysts rated Japanese political thinking miles ahead of their peers for just this alone. The Shintoists correctly predicted the vast bulk of the immediate post-war era. They just couldn’t sell their vision. Ethnocentrism carries a price.

 
At 8:42 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Epaminondas said...

They are the KKK, nnc.
They say what the KKK did
They do what the KKK did

The KKK was a christian organization

All of which explains why David Duke is THEMAN to these utter morons (like THE ARAB NEWS)

All of which means diddley

They are simply those who believe that god has made it their individual responsibility to spread islam by any means needed (including applying a ginstu to your neck or wearing a special vest) and if you resist this message, then it's jihad. Either we resist and have jihad, we get a 10 year truce and then jihad, or we become dhimmis
or we are dead. They also believe the muslims who don't believe this (or whose conscience forbids them untrammelled murder) are not muslims and therefore fall into the same category as the rest of us

They have been taught this.
Ibn Tamiyya taught this
Sayd Qutb taught this
His brother Muhammad who taught at King Abdul Aziz U in KSA, taught this

No quranic scholar can yet refute them

 
At 9:31 PM, November 15, 2005, Anonymous fred said...

"Soviet Russia is as fascist a state as Germany... ." This comment, a few months before the 1939 Hitler-Stalin "non-aggression" treaty, by Peter Drucker, would, I believe, evoke the same objections from some of the people objecting to the term Islamofascism. For them Stalin was "somehow different" from Hitler.

 
At 9:38 PM, November 15, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

I'm not bothered by the term. At the same time, fascism is a fairly modern idelogy (late 19th and 20th centuries), primarily European. When Germany's version, and perversion, of fascism--National Socialism--took on the obsession of its leader, it approached the medieval, religious madness of Islam.
Use it in good health, but think of the difference between the Japanese kamikaze pilot and Islam's suicide bombers. The former blew himself up, but his death had a military objective-disabling a US Navy ship. The Islamic suicide bombers does what he or she does simply to rip apart human flesh, especially Jewish flesh. Their work approaches the genocidal duties of camp commandants and guards. They are closer to the pure nihilism of Nazism than the idelogy of anti-modern, anti-democratic facscism.
I'd call it Islamonazism. But this may be of interest only to lovers of history.

 
At 9:46 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Jen said...

I am so glad I found this blog - Neo, you are my political soulmate. Not only are you brilliant, but are blessed with a brilliant comments section.

I found the comparison of Al-Qaeda with Imperialist Japan particularly elucidating, however, I think most of that is not readily apparent in the term "Islamist". The mere fact that liberals are not complaining about the term "Islamist" shows that it really isn't the connection to Islam that bothers the left. They object to the word fascism, and I agree with Always on Watch as to why.

But that is precisely why we ought to use it. It conveys a meaning that words like "shintoism" or "Wahhabsm" or "hirabist" just dont. It evokes the kind of horror that these terrorists ought to evoke. You may be able to find a term that is more technically accurate, but not one that is clearer.

 
At 11:02 PM, November 15, 2005, Blogger TmjUtah said...

If a billion adherents of the RoP feel slighted by the use of the term "Islamofascist", then they should do a couple of things: dig up a Martin Luther toot suite to reform their religion into a system capable of coexisting with western civilization and then shoot their own damned dog.

If ten percent of Muslims are some stripe of Wahabbist -

Fanatic, nihilistic, chauvinist, luddite, and homocidal

- then what does our future hold if the other ninety percent stand aloof from those who wantonly murder based on the literal interpetation of their holy writ?

Islamofascist fits to a T. It's my preferred term for the threat.

 
At 11:10 PM, November 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neo-neocon, the problem with the term is precisely that you need to qualify it when you use it, as your example demonstrates.

 
At 12:09 AM, November 16, 2005, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

Anon. Then perhaps we need an original combination of letters for a new name. Not a combination of existing words.
Then we could explain it once, and there'd be no room for quibbling when it hit too close to home.
Suggestions?

 
At 12:36 AM, November 16, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

It's a common tactic when arguing from the weak position. It's a form of ad-hominem attacks. It's not so much that you are wrong, it's how you are saying it.

This does two things. First it makes the person seem sympathetic - if you just phrased it right then they would be won over, as such thier disgreement with you is much stronger. It's not reactionalism - they could be won over (reality is not that way though).

Secondly it is an easy way to deflect the argument. It takes an easy target (language can always be questioned) instead of something that they can not refute.

There is no way that the anti-war types are going to be persuasive by stating thier beliefes straight up - they know too many find it obviously wrong. But by refusing to allow you to define what we are attacking (all the while implying if you ould just get it right) they effectivly make it so that you have no target - the same thing just in a way that they get the moral high ground.

Some do this type of thing conciously, others just hear it enough that they also do so, even to the point of thinking it is a valid argument. That thier oppenent (us) many times allow the argument to be framed in that respect reinforces that. When this type of complaints come about in a real debate the best thing is to explain yourself as Neo did and turn the tables and ask them to explain what we should be fighting and the term they would like to use (note that this question presupposes that we should be fighting - which dovetailes nicely into thier tactic of pretending to be reasonable and have fighting as an option). There are entire books out there on this type of thing - it's amusing to see the logical fallacies the left has been using for so much of thier anti-war literature.

Just like the "anti-bush" crowd discussed a few posts down this isn't something that is really a belief but a reaction to something passed off as a beliefe. Best is to make sure it is obvious the person has no solution, that thiers is unworkable, or is the same as yours. Bush did a fine job of this with Kerry during the debates. Say what you believe then get the crazies to admit it. After that all thier complaints fall on deaf ears.

 
At 3:47 AM, November 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If any of you are interested in a sick story of Islamic Sexual terror, check out "The Currency Lad." He wrote a couple paragraphs about a a muslim gang raping and degrading women in AUSTRAIA.

 
At 6:19 AM, November 16, 2005, Blogger wildiris said...

Here is another way to look at the term islamofacism.

Some background.
At the time of the historical Jesus, the Jewish people were looking for a Messiah who would be both a political and/or military leader as well as a religious and spiritual leader. To counter these expectations, Jesus on many occasions made it clear to his followers that his was a “kingdom of heaven, not of earth”. As a result, contained in the very beginnings of Christianity is a prototype notion of the “separation of church and state”.

Contrast the history of the Christian religion with that of Islam’s. Islam from its very beginnings was a religion of the political and secular. Islam contains nothing in its beginnings equivalent to the kind of “separation of church and state” that you find in Christianity.

It is interesting to note that along with Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism also share this property of separability of “church” and state. So it is no coincidence that the most successful democracies in the eastern world occur in countries like Japan and India, while the least successful democracies in the western world occur in countries whose cultural heritage goes back to pre-reformation Catholicism or to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The punch line.
It is worth noting that there is another religion that also shares Islam’s inability to separate the political/secular from the spiritual/philosophical and its name is Marxism. And it is this inability to “separate” that leads to the inevitable comparison of Islam to Fascism.

 
At 6:34 AM, November 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to point out that aside from the desire to see Isreal and all it's citiens wiped off the face of the earth, another motivation these Islamo-Fascists have is to eliminate/Prevent Degeneracy which they perceive as originating in the West (particularly the U.S.A.) from polluting thier society. The degeneracy I refer to comes primarily from Hollywood,Mass Media(the incessant violence and sexual deviance/promiscuity) and Liberal "Mores"(Homosexual marriage,Abortion on Demand,the "Moral relativism" which is one of the Hallmarks of contemporary Liberalism)Drugs,broken families, fatherless children,etc. I believe that they are correct in this perception of the present state of our society. This along with the appeasers,the Islamo-Fascist apologists among us, make them believe we are weak-willed and the time is right for them to strike, to mold the world in thier image. As we are all aware They have begun and they will fail as long as we keep a united front against them. We must never compromise with these people. Chamberlain thought he could with Mr. Hitler and we know where that went. We must not allow history to repeat itself.I hope your listening Mr.Moore,Kennedy,et.al.

 
At 8:19 AM, November 16, 2005, Blogger felix said...

Islamofascist
Radical Islam
Islamist

The fact that GW Bush and Tony Blair, during the summer in his "the rules of the game have changed" speech, have started using this language is a very positive development.

Like those of you above, I have spoken to a number of friends who just don't like the idea of tying all the terrorist acts worldwide to a part of a religion (Islam). They understand that these acts are being done in the name of Islam, but they see the radical islamists as a tiny minority who don't speak for the religion. We have to gradually chip away at this multi-cultural mindset to the extent that it appeases Radical Islam.

 
At 11:40 AM, November 16, 2005, Anonymous Karl Gallagher said...

I had a similar exchange with a liberal recently, and explained that I prefer "Islamofascist" to make clear that I'm referring to the guys who want to establish a new Caliphate and put everyone under sharia law. The other terms available all have problems. "Militant" sounds like someone defending his home who happens to be Muslim. "Islamist" or "Jihadi" could refer to all Muslims. And "Wahabi" or "Salafist" mean nothing to most Americans. So I'm sticking with Islamofascist.

 
At 11:47 AM, November 16, 2005, Blogger David said...

Aldous Huxley usefully distinguished between Marxist and Fascist styles of dictatorship:

"In the field of politics the equivalent of a theorem is a perfectly disciplined army; of a sonnet or picture, a police state under a dictatorship. The Marxist calls himself scientific and to this claim the Fascist adds another: he is the poet--the scientific poet--of a new mythology...the dream of Order begets tyranny, the dream of Beauty, monsters and violence."

Clearly, the Jihadists fall closer to the Fascist than the Marxist end of this spectrum. And, interestingly, so do most of today's Western "progressives."

 
At 2:49 PM, November 16, 2005, Anonymous bob said...

I still find the use of facist too manipulative in its connotation. Reminds me of "feminazi" for feminist. It's just too much spin. For now I'll stick with Islamic extremist.

 
At 3:34 PM, November 16, 2005, Anonymous james said...

"Feminazi" is tongue in cheek and I doubt anyone at all takes it literally at least i've never known it to be the case. So it seems far more manipulative to equate the two. Care to explain your conclusion?

 
At 8:01 PM, November 16, 2005, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

@strcpy - well put on how to turn the tables, not just artificially but with genuine requests for clarity. Now if I can only remember it when needed...

Michael B, the deconstructionist (or perhaps merely postmodern) code you use has no actual meaning. In a specific in-group, the words ring bells that are similar to meaning, but are in fact it's avoidance.

Annoy mouse - the Methodist minister who is so certain in his identification of Christian fascism (I thought it was the conservatives who engaged in black-white thinking. Huh.) should carefully reread the Second Commandment. Taking the Lord's name in vain is not, as popularly supposed, about swearing, but about claiming to speak for God.

 
At 8:46 PM, November 16, 2005, Blogger Tom Grey said...

I like Islamofascist for its accuracy -- despite not really wanting to offend the billion Muslims. Yet they are unable to stop the "small minority" from murdering, like the 500 Buddist teachers murdered in Thailand over the last few years; like the Christians being beheaded in Indonesia; like the Hindus being murdered in India -- *I* am offended that the majority of Muslims aren't stopping the "small minority."


In WW II, independent Slovakia was a German ally, ruled by Jozef Tiso -- a nationalist Catholic priest.
"clerical fascism" is the term the commies use to descredit Christianity.

Tiso critics deny him credit for many good things done for the Slovak nation (people of Slovak nationality, not Hungarian, Roma, German, or Jew -- who might be citizens), yet blame him for accepting the voluntary and forced transport of 90 000 Jews out of Slovakia to Nazi German camps. He was hung by the Czechs for treason -- while he was president, Slovakia had no death penalty. I think brief history has been too harsh on him. He wasn't very fascist. He WAS anti-semitic (prolly not more than H. Ford or C. Lindbergh).


With Bush using "Islamofascism" the press might well start using it -- and the anti-war folk will have to come up with another term as well as explain what Bush means.

 
At 11:11 PM, November 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's nothing semantically wrong with the term, though that's not the whole story, is it?

 
At 11:57 PM, November 16, 2005, Blogger USMale said...

This word game drives me crazy. It is just a way in which Westerners inscribe their own dhimmitude in the very term they use to describe the people who want to erase them. They are all afraid to say "Muslim terrorism" or even, for God's sake, "Jihad". The huge silent enabling mass of Muslims just sit there on their asses and look offended and the Western toads run around looking for non-offensive terms. Offend them! Cause they sure as hell have no scruples about offending you. If they prevail, as they very well mayh in Europe, being offended will be the least of your worries. Drives me effing crazy.

 
At 12:16 AM, November 17, 2005, Blogger Knemon said...

"Fascism: Past, Present, Future."
Walter Laqueur, Oxford University Press, 1996.
ISBN: 019511793

The "Future" part is mostly about Russian and German skins/neo-Nazis, but it does include a discussion of Islamist parties/governments. Down side: the discussion is brief, and 9 years out of date.

(And of course, there's always Paul Berman's "Terror and Liberalism." I've seen some reviewers try to refute Berman's argument, but none convincingly).

The difference between the current Bad Guys and classic fascism: Al-Q., etc., are "stateless." The closest historical parallel is freelance "pan-Slavic" terrorism, the Balkans, circa 1900-1914. And we all know what that led to.

 
At 4:45 AM, November 17, 2005, Blogger blert said...

Knemon said...

The difference between the current Bad Guys and classic fascism: Al-Q., etc., are "stateless." The closest historical parallel is freelance "pan-Slavic" terrorism, the Balkans, circa 1900-1914. And we all know what that led to.

I can’t let you have that. I don’t consider Iran and Saudi Arabia to be non-state actors. I do consider them to be core Islamist actors and supporters.

The reason for the current style of diplomacy and warfare is that the USA is too powerful to be named as the enemy, too powerful to be directly challenged in any way.

This is why these two enemies along with China kiss our hand in public even as they rail against our signature protectees: Israel and Taiwan.

China has already let slip that Taiwan is a smoke screen: she needs a rationale to build a blue water navy to challenge us. And of course China sees Islamism as the perfect stalking horse. Hence Khan manages to get his hands on nuclear blueprints via Korea – still in Chinese! Korea obviously, just a sock puppet for China.

Iran is using al Qaeda as a tool right along with a host of Shiite fronts. These purportedly independent outfits are slotted right in to Iran’s order of battle. They don’t fund them they run them, to the best of their ability. All talk of Israel is a dodge. Iran means America. When Iran’s president spoke about wiping Israel off the map his podium displayed a staggering graphic: two ‘balls’ dropping through an hour glass into ‘past history’. Significantly, America’s ball was already at the bottom as the Israeli ball fell to meet it.

The Saudis are the absolute prime mover behind all Wahhabist Islamists. The Golden Chain drips with their petrodollars. They remain only so co-operative as they must with official America. Their ‘inability’ to choke off Islamists venturing up to Iraq in out of their totalitarian state: it’s no accident.

So…our war is not with AQ et. al. it is with these Islamist governments who have learned from the Japanese and the Germans that you don’t ever dare to openly come out against America.

Similarly, France and America are in a commercial and diplomatic war. Both countries are targeting each others favorite exports through one mechanism or another. French exports to America in their most profitable lines have crashed. French owned American companies which previously received plenty of US government contracts have seen them go to their all American rivals. In return France has unleashed the full weight of her spy services to gain commercial advantage. The US is responding in kind. That is what the UN takeover of the internet is all about. It’s a French initiative designed to jamb our NSA which rules the internet from within the Commerce Department. The French have spilled the beans to everyone that counts.

The commercial damage done to France is so severe that it must be considered a factor in the recent Car-B-Que campaign. A zero growth economy has left Chirac & Co boxed in. The Euro is about to break down under the pressure.

For God’s sake stop thinking about Israel or Taiwan as primary targets. They will be dealt with only after the main player is taken out. With America gone they are nothing. If they are attacked and destroyed, America will liquidate the aggressors. That’s Islamist logic.

The Islamists figure on civil disorder based on Islamic conversion of jailbirds, especially Blacks. Such converts are to be the expendable Janissaries in a nuclear sabotage campaign. With any luck, any police action to target them will trigger a full scale race war. And so, with America tearing herself apart in the midst of super nuclear catastrophe the Islamists have their desired outcome.

 
At 5:31 AM, November 17, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

"@strcpy - well put on how to turn the tables, not just artificially but with genuine requests for clarity. Now if I can only remember it when needed..."

Haha, it's not hard. Just be honest - never be tactically in league with an idea you should not. If you are pro-war do not pretend that you are not and vice-versa.

Second just think for a moment about what thier rhetoric means. Too often people try and partially embrace the opposition to seem more tolerant when in fact they are not.

Do not let the oppenent set the terms of the debate. Allowing the debate to move to irrelevant issues means the oppenent has already won the war, even if they loose the current battle.

And, lastly, one of the best things it learn logical fallacies. They are *great* examples of this type of thing. Be sure to try and find varied sources of them, most sites explain only those of the oppsition. Not only does it give you the ability to counter thier arguments it makes you a better debater (and don't fall into the trap that logical fallicies are wrong, they are just not proof - threat them as such). It's *really* amusing to see them after you learn to identify them, though for most people pointing them out makes you unpopular.

Regardless of your point of view I think this is good advice. The only time it is not is when what you are saying is radical enough that you need to pretend to think something different. If this is the case you *really* need ot rethink your views.

 
At 6:17 AM, November 17, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gave up on "Islamofascism" as a term when conservative bloviators picked it up, but I never really liked it, for its artificiality and frankly for its clumsiness. Instead I recommend talking about Sayid Qutb, the godfather of Al Qaeda. Here's a nice respectably liberal summary of Qutb's rap from the New Yorker. He decided America was the enemy for its irreligosity and its sexuality-- after visiting GREELEY COLORADO IN THE 40s. Qutb makes Jerry Falwell seem like the pastor of the Berkeley Multicultural Unitarian church:

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/020916fa_fact2b

Qutb was impressed by the number of churches in America—there were more than twenty in Greeley alone—and yet the Americans he met seemed completely uninterested in spiritual matters. He was appalled to witness a dance in a church recreation hall, during which the minister, setting the mood for the couples, dimmed the lights and played "Baby, It's Cold Outside." "It is difficult to differentiate between a church and any other place that is set up for entertainment, or what they call in their language, 'fun,' " he wrote. The American was primitive in his art as well. "Jazz is his preferred music, and it is created by Negroes to satisfy their love of noise and to whet their sexual desires," he concluded... Qutb returned to Egypt a radically changed man. In what he saw as the spiritual wasteland of America, he re-created himself as a militant Muslim, and he came back to Egypt with the vision of an Islam that would throw off the vulgar influences of the West. Islamic society had to be purified, and the only mechanism powerful enough to cleanse it was the ancient and bloody instrument of jihad.

 
At 6:50 AM, November 17, 2005, Anonymous Danny said...

Guys, let's be honest, don't label - or libel - your enemies. Terrorists are as far from fascism as possible, they are anti-state. Islamic concept of ummah, self-governed communities, is not fascist, either. They are evil in other respects, but leavce this one.

Danny
www.SamsonBlinded.org

 
At 10:08 AM, November 17, 2005, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

Danny. Our enemies use terrorism as a tactic.
Our enemies are the Islamofascists who propose killing, by terrorism and other means, until they achieve a world-wide caliphate under Shari'a.
In addition, they will use pandering politicians, excessive political correctness, and multiculturalism against us until, in addition to suffering terrorist killings, we defeat ourselves.

 
At 11:27 AM, November 17, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Assistant,

With the 'logofascist' term I wasn't attempting anything too fancy in the pomo or deconstructionist vein, was being more directly descriptive, with some rhetorical license as well.

Other,

Posted this just a few months ago here, but Matthias Kuntzel's english language translations of the direct historical links between the Third Reich's anti-Semitic propaganda the same in the Middle East today can be found in the following links:

European Roots of Antisemitism in Current Islamic Thinking

And a couple of more lengthy articles on the subject:

Islamic Antisemitism And Its Nazi Roots

National Socialism and Anti-Semitism in the Arab World

 
At 9:26 PM, November 17, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Apparently a new site, not quite a blog: Tom Gross Mideast Media Analysis. A substantial site which witnesses to some of the ramifications resulting from the historical lineage noted immediately above, in the Matthias Kuntzel links. It does a clear-headed, very thoughtful job of analyzing distortionist MSM reports on Israel's situation as well.

E.g., this photo essay. h/t IRIS blog

 
At 10:47 PM, November 17, 2005, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

I will retract a solid portion of my criticsm, but even on rereading, still find your meaning elusive.

The latter posts I understood.

 
At 6:49 PM, November 19, 2005, Anonymous Babajobu said...

Was linked to your post via a Wikipedia talk page. I went through a similar political metamorphisis in a similar environment.

Keep up the good work.

 

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