69 million page views

Islamism, fascism and marxism

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

Submitted by Concerned European (Lithuania), Aug 16, 2006 at 04:02

[Fascism glorifies the state, emphasizes racial “purity,” promotes social Darwinism, denigrates reason, exalts the will, and rejects organized religion – all outlooks anathema to Islamists.]

I beg to disagree with the above. Islamists glorify state - either Islamic respublic or caliphate or some other sort of it, the certainly are not rationalists, their doctrine is based on conformity to the perceived "will of God" which is in principle inscrutable and obtainable only through revelation. Reason is used merely for extracting the rules from sources, not for critical evaluation of the rules themselves. And it is fairly obvious that Islam(and consequently Islamism), not differently from other "religions of the book", is based first of all on will - both on God will which has to be obeyed and implemented and on human will which shall be directed towards the implementation of the Divine will. Of course, the emphasis on the will is present in Marxism as well - "stal'naya volya"(the will of steel) was a commonplace expression during the Soviet years. Marxism affects itself as rational pretending to be the heir and crown of the rationalist tradition strating with Heraclitus and Plato, there was much less of it in practice, but at least lip service to the principles of rationalism was paid by the regime. At least formally and in principle, Marxism was considered to be a developing doctrine, adapted to the current needs of "working class" and "world proletraian movement", rather than a revelation "given for all times".

Rejection of the organized religion, or rather a secularist attitude towards it was characteristic of Mussolinian fascism and of Nazism, yet oficial endorsement of religion(shintoism or catholicism) was an essential constitutive feature of Japanese and Spanish fascism. Nazis also made some experiments with so-called German Christianity, Antroposophy and Old German paganism, but finally opted for secularism.

It is undeniable that Islamism has many features common with Marxism-Leninism. As one who lived under Marxist rule I can only confirm that. The most characteristic feature rapproaching Islamism with Marxism and different from fasccism/nazism is its internationalism, lack of national, ethnic or racial limitations. Islamism has strong emphasis on social justice, but so has both Marxism and fascism. Yet Islamism, differently from Marxism and similarly to Nazism/fascism does not plan to abolish private property. Also while Marxism is forward looking - it sees its fullfilment in the future, while both Nazism and Islamism sees are retrospective utopias which find ideal in the past - in some ideal racially-pure peasant Germanic society based on Blut und Boden(blood and soil) and in the ideal Medinan community respectively.

Having all that in mind I think that Islamism is better term in principle as it clearly distinguished from other kinds of totalitarianism, however Islamic fascism, in my opinion is sufficiently exact term as well and maybe it is better understandable to the broad Western public while Islamism can be easily confused to Islam.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)