Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Islamo-fascism?

Yes - this is the latest buzzword from the far right. October 22-26 was Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, and speeches were held at a number of colleges by the likes of David Horowitz and Ann Coulter. At my university, the College Republicans were handing out brochures on the topic. I have a few questions and comments about Islamo-fascism. Who came up with this word? I first heard it in Spring of 2006, on Oprah of all places. She had several Middle East speakers on the show and one of them used the word Islamo-fascism. According to the dictionary (dictionary.com in this case) fascism is: "a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism." Which is why you have people like Mussolini and Hitler as fascists. I'm really not sure how Horowitz et al have put Islam into the picture. I mean, if you want to talk about the ruler of a Muslim country suppressing criticism and opposition then you really have to look at our buddies the Saudis, or Musharraf in Pakistan, or even the Egyptian president Mubarak.

Apparently, though, what they mean by Islamo-fascism is simply Islamic extremism, also referred to as Islamist movements. So why do we need a new word? Personally, I would guess because "Islamo-fascism" has a good ring to it and everyone know that fascism is evil, right? And maybe if they use the word fascism with Islam, then those darn liberals won't be able to co-opt it and accuse Bush of being fascist. I fail to see, however, how Islamic extremists or terrorists who are not state-backed or part of a government could be called Islamo-fascist. Are they suggesting that Hamas is Islamo-fascist? But Hamas is not a single man being a dictator. And there are valid arguments for it not being a terrorist organization either. Perhaps the right-wingers need to study some history, or even open a dictionary, to see what fascism really means.

6 comments:

Muslims Against Sharia said...

Muslims Against Sharia congratulate David Horowitz FREEDOM CENTER and Mike Adams, Tammy Bruce, Phyllis Chesler, Ann Coulter, Nonie Darwish, Greg Davis, Stephen Gale, David Horowitz, Joe Kaufman, Michael Ledeen, Michael Medved, Alan Nathan, Cyrus Nowrasteh, Daphne Patai, Daniel Pipes, Dennis Prager, Luana Saghieh, Rick Santorum, Jonathan Schanzer, Christina Sommers, Robert Spencer, Brian Sussman, Ed Turzanski, Ibn Warraq and other speakers on the success of the Islamofascism Awareness Week.

Islamofascism (or Islamism) is the main threat facing modern civilization and ignorance about this threat is astounding. We hope that this event becomes regular and reaches every campus.

A great many Westerners do not see the clear distinction between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism). They need to understand that the difference between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism) is the same as the difference between Christianity and Christian Identity Movement (White Supremacy Movement).

Original post

Ali Gator said...

I agree that many westerners don't see the difference between Islam and Islamism, but I don't think we need a brand new word created by right-wing conservatives as a talking point.

Muslims Against Sharia said...

Ali,

I think you are wrong that we don't need this very descriptive and useful term. But that’s just my opinion. However, you are definitely wrong about the source of the term. “Islamofascism” was widely used by Algerian Muslims in the early 90s to describe Islamists who wee slaughtering moderate Muslims. Right-wing conservatives started using it a decade later.

Khalim

Ali Gator said...

That's interesting, about the origins of Islamo-fascism; I'd never heard that before. Most of the people I work with have only heard the term since the right-wing conservatives started using it.

Muslims Against Sharia said...

Michael Savage claimed that he came up with the term, but he is full of it. It seems that many people are more concerned with the source of the term / action than with term / action itself. Below is a comment that was posted on our blog.

Yesterday I was discussing Armenian genocide resolution with one of my friends and she thought it was a bad idea for a number of reasons. Bad timing, other genocides are not recognized, etc. Apparently this administration cannot do anything right; all it does is heavily contributes to global warming and pisses off the rest of the world by not considering world opinion. Right after the global warming argument, I informed my friend that this resolution is a Democratic initiative and the administration opposes it. Instantly, all her objections disappeared and she admitted that this resolution might not be such a bad idea after all. I was speechless.

Why does it matter whose idea it is if it is a good idea? Why do some of us more concern ourselves with source of the idea than the idea itself? When are we going to shed herd mentality and start thinking for ourselves, not what we are told?

Ali Gator said...

I have to partially agree with you there. Whether it's the right or wrong thing to do, it shouldn't matter who it was who proposed something. Unfortunately, the US has become so politicized that if the "other" party proposes something, then it must be because they're trying to trick you or have some kind of ulterior motive (which many times is true). I can only hope that in the future we can go back to right and wrong, instead of right and left.