It’s The Left And The Islamo-Fascists, Not the Term ‘Islamofascism’ – That’s Soiling The Name Of Islam
Topics: Understanding Islam
Islamofascism Week is over, but not the controversy.
However, unless one has maintained a 24-hour existence in a remote cave somewhere in the hinderlands of some remote jungle, how can any rational human being deny the role Islam plays in 21st century terrorism? What is it about the Left that brings them to defend radical Islam and refuse to admit that it is indeed extreme fascism with an extreme propensity for terrorism and intolerance? What is it about the term “Islamofascism” that brings the Left to refuse to acknowledge it as representative of militant Islam? Is it the case, as Jamie Kirchick’s suspects (hat tip JPost.com), “that the Left’s aversion to the use of ‘Islamofascism’ has much to do with the simple fact that Islam is a non-Western religion, supposedly comprised of the wretched of the earth, and thus, a different standard must apply to its most fanatical adherents, whose real motivation must, at ‘root’ be a legitimate anti-imperialist impulse”?
Or is the Left simply off the reservation of reality – as usual?
As Petra Marquardt-Bigman points out at JPost.com, in the war of words, the front lines are drawn clearly enough: employing the term Islamofascism is just a “conservative smear tactic”, and as Jeff Jacoby once documented, for the truly dedicated practitioners of political correctness, no verbal contortion is too grotesque to avoid having “Islam” or “Muslim” appear anywhere near the word “terrorism”:
… it is by no means true that the resemblance between the fascist and totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century and Islamist extremism has been acknowledged only by conservative or right-wing writers. Indeed, several writers with impeccable leftist credentials have published books on the subject, most prominent among them perhaps Paul Berman’s Terror and Liberalism (2003). But as some of Berman’s critics have demonstrated, substance counts little in the sound and fury of political debate, and anybody who argues that Islamism has fascist or totalitarian traits will have to resign himself to be denounced as a neo-con Bush supporter, no matter how strongly he has stated different positions.In the current controversy about Islamofascism, Christopher Hitchens has once again explained why this term is an entirely valid one to describe contemporary jihadist ideology. Focusing on the often expressed criticism that any comparison between jihadism and fascism is ahistorical, Hitchens lists several striking similarities: “Both movements are based on a cult of murderous violence that exalts death and destruction and despises the life of the mind. […] Both are hostile to modernity (except when it comes to the pursuit of weapons), and both are bitterly nostalgic for past empires and lost glories. Both are obsessed with real and imagined ‘humiliations’ and thirsty for revenge. Both are chronically infected with the toxin of anti-Jewish paranoia”. Moreover, Hitchens notes that calls to re-establish the caliphate are reminiscent of Hitler’s ambitions for a German “Reich” or Mussolini’s fantasies about reviving the Roman empire.
Hitchens concludes his list of comparisons arguing that it is “in some ways encouraging” that both fascism and jihadism have some sort of self-destructive “death wish” since “both of them stress suicidal tactics and sacrificial ends, just as both of them would obviously rather see the destruction of their own societies than any compromise with infidels”.
Indeed, this easily brings to mind the often fondly repeated assertion of Hamas politicians that they are “not seekers of office, but seekers of martyrdom”. But if history is any guide, the self-destruction of such movements tends to entail so much destruction for everybody else that there is hardly anything “encouraging” about it.
Like I’ve said, what is it about about the term Islamofascism that fails to describe radical Islamism?As Denis Prager notes in his piece today, Muslim student groups and other Muslim organizations joining with the left in the ad hominem condemnation of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was most unfortunate. Many Muslims know well that there is indeed such a thing as Islamo-Fascism, and they should be the first to join in fighting it. It is not those who use the term “Islamo-Fascism” who are sullying the name of Islam; it is the Islamo-Fascists.
And it is the Left that is helping the Islamofascists do the sullying ….
Related reading: If Not Islamofascism, What Name to Give?
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