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Call A Spade A Spade

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

Submitted by John R (United States), Aug 14, 2006 at 23:30

(1) This is hardly the first time Bush has used the term Islamic fascist (or Islamofascist); it has become a part of his routine vocabulary since his path-breaking speech on this subject in October 2005, a speech that, oddly, was dismissed by the mainstream media as a retread, while this glancing reference is treated as major news. (Newsweek calls it a "rhetorical bomb.") Go figure.

I'd say it's progress that Bush has recognized more specifically who the enemy is. That Religion of Peace reference was political, wishful thinking to calm our nation in the height of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, of peppering his statements in calling for patience and tolerance.

He also tries to make it clear that the label does not apply to all or most Muslims, but to the tiny factions," such as Al-Qaeda.

The fact is, politics and fear of unjust condemnation aside, Islam is fascist, Muslims believe in fascims. To use your own word, they believe in radicalism. I mean I am using your word radicalism. Islam is radical. Let us not fool ourselves and be elliptical for fear of unjust condemnation.. Let's call spade a spade. You know it, Bush knows it, most people political figures knows it, we know it, Islam is radical, fascist. I think the reason political figures and writers hesitate to call a spade a spade because they, like Bush and you, fear a flood of condemnation and labeling as extremist, and as such fear that their credibility, like Bush's and yours, gets into question. Come on everbody knows it already. Calling it as such is not an impulse too. Islam is radical. It is fascist.

(6) I applaud the increasing willingness to focus on some form of Islam as the enemy but find the word fascist misleading in this context. Few historic or philosophic connections exist between fascism and radical Islam. Fascism glorifies the state, emphasizes racial "purity," promotes social Darwinism, denigrates reason, exalts the will, and rejects organized religion – all outlooks anathema to Islamists.

Really? It is not so clear. I hope you explain this further. Why is it an anathema to Islamists? What are the indications that make it anathema to Islamists?

(7) Nonetheless, some voices gamely argue for the accuracy of "Islamic fascists." After himself using the term on television, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff justified it by noting that bin Laden has

talked about restoring the Caliphate, the empire that existed in the southern Mediterranean centuries ago. That is nothing—it‘s deranged, but essentially it is a vision of a totalitarian empire with him leading under some kind of perverted conception of religion. That comes very close to satisfying my definition of fascism. It might not be classic fascism that you had with Mussolini or Hitler, but it is a totalitarian intolerance—imperialism that has a vision that is totally at odds with Western society and our freedoms and rule of law.

I agree.

The Washington Times also endorsed the term in an editorial titled "It's Fascism."

Fascism is a chauvinistic political philosophy that exalts a group over the individual—usually a race or nation, but in this case the adherents of a religion. Fascism also espouses centralized autocratic rule by that group in suppression of others. It usually advocates severe economic and social regimentation and the total or near-total subordination of the individual to the political leadership. This accurately describes the philosophies of Hitler, Mussolini, the leaders of Imperial Japan and other fascistic regimes through history. It also describes Thursday's terrorists. It very accurately describes the philosophy of al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and many other stripes of Islamism around the world.

Truth is fascims is what Muslims believe, not just the violent Muslims..

(8) The use of Islamic fascists should be seen as part of a decades-long search for the right term to name a form of Islam that is recognizably political, extreme, and often violent. I have already confessed in that I am on my fifth term (having previously used neo-orthodox, fundamentalist, and militant, and now using radical and Islamist). While Islamic fascists beats terrorists, let's hope that a better consensus term soon emerges. My vote is for Islamists.

I would go with Islamists I think. It is similar to saying Nazis. Both followers exalt the extreme, the fascist, the radicalism. It's emblematic of their values. The same with Klansmen. These groups hatch violence. However, not all Nazis and Klansmen are violent so are Islamists. There are the believers and there are the violent ones, like Islamists racking up their violent achievements for centuries, driven by their beliefs. Islamists is even worst than the KKK in terms of violence. Am I right in bringing up the KKK or it's inappropriate to bring that up? It just seems to me that both advocate purity of race, discrimination, sequestered groups, utter disregard of those who are different.

When I get ample freetime, I would explain further. But it looks like we are getting to the crescendo in the political and philosophical battle politicians and writers face in coming up with the most appropriate term. I'd say Islamist for now.

John R.


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