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When is a terrorist not an Islamic terrorist

Reader comment on item: "At War with Islamic Fascists"

Submitted by Lloyd Klein (Canada), Aug 14, 2006 at 22:03

When I first heard the term Islamofascist, I was immediately uncomfortable with it, and with the implication that it is clearly intended as an insult, not just to the terrorists, but to all Muslims. Nor am I comfortable with the term “Islamist”; which at first blush simply means one who lives according to the philosophy of Mohamed. It is evident that no term that sheds a negative connotation on their religion will be acceptable to the majority of Muslims. In fact, I am very surprised that the Muslim Public Affairs Council would suggest as an alternative “Radical Muslim Fascists.”

Although I am pleased to consider the use of such a descriptive term simply because it is provided by Muslims; and we will need the help of Muslim moderates to overcome the terrorists. I look forward to hearing what other Muslims will have to say about the MPAC’s suggestion.

Europeans did not refer to the Nazis as Christian Nazis, or even Protestant Nazis, or Lutheran Nazi’s; nor did they refer to the Fascists as Catholic Fascist or Roman Catholic Fascists. There were references to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, indicating that political parties with those philosophies now ruled in those countries. I think it’s safe to conclude that the religious affiliations of Fascists and Nazis were not part of their name because they made no claims about their philosophies being based on the teachings of Christ. However, even if they had insisted on such a religious connection, the rest of Christian Europe would not have used one of the above designations. I think we ought to grant the Muslims a similar consideration. However there is a difficulty, which is that the terrorists do claim to base their philosophy on the teachings of the prophet Mohamed. Thus a term including Muslim, Mohamed or Islam seems inevitable, however I believe it is not inevitable. We can choose a term associated with the terrorist philosophy which does not contain the name of a religion and thus may be acceptable to Muslims.

I can think of one such term, namely: Caliphatists. This certainly doesn’t roll off the tongue, but then neither does “Radical Muslim Fascists”. Perhaps as a concession to those who are “pronunciation challenged”, as well as to distinguish this terror group from those who would aspire to the Muslim Caliphate by other than terrorist means, we might prefer the simpler to say: “Caliphatic Terrorists.” To the best of my knowledge the term caliphate has only ever been associated with Muslim Apartheid rule and thus will not be confused with any other form of imperialism.


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