Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

Islamists threaten terror attacks in Germany (For betraying ‘Granddad Hitler’ / Islamo-nazism)

April 23, 2009

Islamists threaten terror attacks in Germany (For betraying ‘Granddad Hitler’ / Islamo-nazism)
adnkronos ^ | 04,22,09

Terrorism: Islamists threaten terror attacks in Germany

Berlin, 22 April (AKI) – The Al-Qaeda linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan on Wednesday released a video threatening the “criminal” German government and citizens of the Jewish faith, according to German media.

In the video, the third released this year, shows a man identified as “Commander Mohammad”, who criticises the presence of German troops in Afghanistan.

The man accuses “the sons of Germany of being in the service of the Jews” unlike “Granddad Hitler”.

Investigators believe the video’s release may be linked to a major Islamist terrorism trial which opened on Wednesday at a high-security court in the northwestern German city of Duesseldorf .

In the trial, three Germans and one Turkish national are accused of planning a series of simultaneous bomb attacks against discos and pubs and the United States airbase in Ramstein and against Germany’s Federal Prosecutor’s Office.

Two of the German suspects are converts to Islam while the third is a German citizen of Turkish descent. They face charges of belonging to a terrorist organisation, plotting murder, and conspiracy to conduct a bomb attack.

The trial is expected to last one to two years. If the defendants are found guilty, they could face prison terms of up to 15 years.

Prosecutors claimed the men were planning to use about 10 times as much explosives as were used in the deadly July 2005 attacks on London transport that killed 56 people and injured thousands.

The plot was at an advanced stage and the attacks could have killed over 50 people, according to police.

Around 300 German federal agents were involved in monitoring the cell for several months, before police swooped in on the group in what was one of Germany’s biggest anti-terror operations to date.

Three of the defendants were arrested in the Germany’s western Sauerland region and the fourth was arrested in Turkey and extradited to Germany in November last year.

Prosecutors say the four men belong to a little-known group called the Islamic Jihad Union with roots in Uzbekistan and ties to Al-Qaeda.

http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Security/?id=3.0.3239023359


Chilling terror video released on internet

Islamist extremists threaten attacks on Germany

By Einar Koch

A chilling new terror video which warns of attack on Germany has been posted on the internet by Islamist extremists.

The video, created by the Islamic Movement Uzbekistan (IBU), has been released to mark the start of the trial of alleged terrorists in Düsseldorf.

In the short film, a man identified as ‘Commander Mohammad’ criticises Germans and Jews and slams the country’s “criminal government”.

He said: “Your grandfather Hitler killed the Jews, but today your sons are in the service of the Jews.”

Scenes from the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York also appear on the video.

The video – the third one this year to aim threats at Germany – comes from a group supposedly linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

Two weeks ago, an Uzbek website posted a video featuring Moroccan Islamist Albu Ibraheem, who is already well known to security services, which also contained images glorifying 9/11.

According to the security services, this video is a call to radical Islamists, mostly Turks, living in Germany.

There are concerns that an attack in Germany is being planned. State secretary August Hanning said: “We are making preparations.”

The terror trial, which starts today, is the biggest Germany has seen and will take place under strict security measures.

Four suspected terrorists from the Islamic Jihad Union are to appear before the court. They are accused of planning car bomb attacks in Germany’s largest cities.

The BFV security service is concerned about the increasing number of militant Islamists coming into Germany having attended training camps.

Related news
Terrorists have struck again in Pakistan, killing at least 20 in an attack on a police academy.
It was the second terrorist attack in Pakistan in a month – the Sri Lankan cricket team were targeted on March 3 when they left a stadium on the second day of a test match.
The ‘Bonn Bomber’ – Osama bin Laden’s German al-Qaeda terrorist – has threatened to launch bomb attacks in Germany.

http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/bild-english/world-news/2009/04/22/terror-video-on-internet/islamist-extremists-threaten-attacks-on-germany.html

Got Fitna?

April 1, 2008

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=7d9_1206624103 the FITNA film

YouTube – Part 1 : http://youtube.com/watch?v=5kcev1K-NOc
YouTube – Part 2: http://youtube.com/watch?v=TdLMFs4fv4E

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=25777Geert Wilders’ ‘Fitna’: Insightful and Inciteful – HUMAN EVENTS

http://bradthor.com/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=228 Brad Thor’s Forum

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/03/27/video-fitna/ Fitna update

http://pedestrianinfidel.blogspot.com/2008/03/how-to-download-fitna-verified.html How to download FITNA– VERIFIED

Technorati – ]

(Islamic Apartheid extremism made) “No-go” (areas for non-Muslims) Bishop defends comments

February 25, 2008

(Islamic Apartheid extremism made) “No-go” (areas for non-Muslims) Bishop defends comments

Feb. 2008

‘No-go’ Bishop defends comments

The Bishop of Rochester has received death threats

A Church of England bishop who claimed Islamic extremism has made some places no-go areas for non-Muslims insists he was right to speak out on the issue.

The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Dr Michael Nazir-Ali raised the issue last month in a Sunday Telegraph interview.

Now in a follow-up interview with the same newspaper, he accuses church leaders of not confronting the matter.

“The issue had to be raised. There are times when Christian leaders have to speak out. It’s my duty,” he says.

‘Spiritual leaders’

Since making the comments in January he has received threats against himself and his family. Dr Nazir-Ali and his family are now under police protection.

In his latest interview, he insists his remarks were “based on evidence” and have been “strengthened as a result of overwhelming correspondence”.

Do the British people really want to lose that rooting in the Christian faith that has given them everything they cherish?

Rt Rev Dr Michael Nazir-Ali

He argues that a “spiritual and moral vacuum” has occurred in Britain over the past half-century.

Unless Christianity fills that void, he adds, something else may take its place – “and that could be Islam”.

“Do the British people really want to lose that rooting in the Christian faith that has given them everything they cherish – art, literature, architecture, institutions, the monarchy, their value system, their laws?”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, subsequently faced intense criticism after he said that the adoption of sharia law in the UK was “unavoidable”.

But Dr Nazir-Ali tells the Sunday Telegraph that he strongly rejects this analysis.

“People of every faith should be free within the law to follow what their spiritual leaders direct them to, but that’s very different saying their structures should replace that of the English legal system because there would be conflicts,” he says.

He was born in Pakistan and has both a Christian and Muslim family background.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7261237.stm

Bishp Warns of ‘Islamic areas’ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7173599.stm

As Europe Yields To Islamofascism, Is U.S. On The Same Path?

February 20, 2008

As Europe Yields To Islamofascism, Is U.S. On The Same Path?
thebulletin ^ | February, 2008 | Herb Denenberg

Herb Denenberg: The Advocate As Europe Yields To Islamofascism, Is U.S. On The Same Path? By Herb Denenberg, The Bulletin 02/13/2008

The once mighty, the once invincible, the once courageous and brave-beyond-belief Britain is in the process of surrendering to Islamofascism without firing a shot. Here are the latest examples indicating how far along that process has gone:

British government ministers have declared that Islamic terrorism will no longer be so described. In the future, Muslim fanatics, murderers and suicide bombers will be referred to as pursuing “anti-Islamic activity.”

This new language, turning the truth on its head, was announced by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. She said that these Islamic murderers and terrorists were behaving contrary to their faith and are not acting in the name of Islam.

In her statement, she said, “As so many Muslims in the U.K. and across the world have pointed out, there is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorize, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief. Indeed, if anything these actions are anti-Islamic.”

Other phrases that are not be used by people at the top of the British government are “war on terror” and “Islamic extremism.” The director of public prosecution has also chimed in by saying that phrases that liken London to “a battlefield” will no longer be used. This perversion of language would even embarrass George Orwell.

The British government seems to be excusing and apologizing for those blowing up Britons in the name of Islam and Allah, and they are doing it without even being asked. One conservative member of parliament, Philip Davies, said that no Muslim constituent had ever complained to him about the term “Islamic extremism.”

Mr. Davies went on to explain, “Whenever anyone refers to Islamic terrorism, they are not saying all Muslims are terrorist. Everybody knows what people mean is terrorists doing it in the name of Islam, misguidedly. If the government spent less time worrying about this and more time worrying about things such as having effective border controls, we would be getting somewhere.”

Here is another step in the path of surrender to Islamofascism: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, recently called for the recognition of Islamic law in Britain. He said, “We have to think about the rule of law in a society of overlapping identities.” The Web site http://www.thisislondon.co.uk reported, “He declared that sharia and parliamentary law should be given equal legal status so the people could choose which governs their lives. This raised the prospect of Islamic courts in Britain with full legal powers to approve polygamous marriages, grant easy divorces for men and prevent finance firms from charging interest.”

His critics rightly said this is sleepwalking to segregation and encourages segregation rather than integration. The archbishop has a formula to assure not the unification of Britain – but its disintegration.

The archbishop said it would be possible to develop “a scheme in which individuals retain the liberty to choose the jurisdiction under which they will seek to resolve certain carefully specified matters so that power holders are forced to compete for the loyalty of their shared constituents. This may include aspects of marital law, the regulation of financial transactions and authorized structures of mediation and conflict resolution.”

One critic put it this way, speaking of the archbishop: “He’s one of the most influential Christian prelates in the world, and he is supposed to be standing up for Christianity. What he’s doing is abandoning his own religion. If people come to this country, they should be prepared to compromise their own traditions to fit in with the host country.” Another critic, an MP, said, “Freedom under the law allows respect for some religious practice. But let’s be absolutely clear: All British citizens must be subject to British laws developed through Parliament and the courts.”

These two developments suggest that Britain has lost confidence in its own laws, culture, values, history and traditions. And it suggests it lacks the confidence and strength to resist the coming onslaught of Islamofascism. Kenneth Clark, in his book Civilization, noted, “It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilization. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion just as effectively as by bombs.”

This calls to mind one of the great points made in the book America Alone by Mark Steyn, whose work also appears in The Bulletin. He tells the story of a British general in India, when it was still controlled by the British Empire. This general was confronted with suttee, the Indian custom of burning on a funeral pyre, by the widow of a man who had just died. He told the Indians, “You have your culture and we have ours. You can build your funeral pyre, but next to it we will build our gallows.” That kind of confidence in the British culture has been replaced by a kind of cowardice and lack of confidence, reflected in these case studies.

If you read America Alone, Londonistan by Melanie Phillips and While Europe Slept by Bruce Bawer, you’ll be convinced that Europe is lost to Islamofascism and that soon, in Mr. Steyn’s words, it will be “America alone” to defend freedom. These two case studies, described above, show how far the British have gone from the spirit and tradition of Winston Churchill to sniveling and surrendering cowards that have lost their center and their way.

One of the world’s most renowned and respected scholars of the Middle East and Islam agrees with this grim view. Prof. Bernard Lewis says that the Muslims “seem to be about to take over Europe.” He says that Islam is about to become the dominant force in Europe because the Europeans have abdicated the battle for cultural and religious control in the name of political correctness.

Mr. Lewis makes it clear that what is at stake is not just the form of prayer or whatnot. He is concerned about the growing Muslim power in Europe along with its rising support of extremist and terrorist movements within Islam. Mr. Lewis says that Europe has not fought the threat, and has just given up.

This development is of great concern not only because of the importance of Europe in the free world, but also because many believe the United States are on the same track toward Muslim domination, just at a less developed stage than Europe.

Ms. Phillips writes, “The [British] government had quite simply handed over policy on extremism to the extremists. This was no accident but a deliberate policy of riding the Islamic tiger. Asked why the government was using radicals in this way, [then British Home Secretary Charles] Clarke replied that it was to demonstrate to the Muslim community that democracy entailed engaging with a range of views rather than blowing up one’s opponents.

“Clarke appeared to think that he could use dialogue with the Islamists as a kind of role-play, which would have no effect on government policy but would show that talking was the ‘British way.’ This was hopelessly naïve. It took no account of the fact that it raised the profile of such radicals and gave them credibility and thus even more clout within their community. Above all it showed that, like so many others, Clarke did not grasp that religious ideology rather than bombs was the principal weapon in the war.”

Mr. Lewis explains how and why Europe is giving away its culture, religion and values. He says, “Europeans are losing their own loyalties and their own self-confidence. They have no respect for their own culture.” He says that Europeans have “surrendered” on every issue related to Islam in a mood of “self-abasement,” “political correctness” and “multiculturalism.” Some observers of the American scene say that is exactly what is in the process of killing us. Yes, America is also awash with deadly self-abasement (anti-Americanism), political correctness and multiculturalism.

The Cybercast News Service reports, “Members of Congress are seeking more information regarding the firing of a top terrorism expert at the Pentagon following reports that he was dismissed for being too critical of Islamic law. Earlier this month, the Pentagon Joint Staff told Stephen Coughlin, a specialist on Islamic law at the Pentagon, that his contract would not be renewed in March. The firing apparently resulted from pressure by pro-Muslim officials working in the Department of Defense, according to numerous news reports.” This story was broke by intelligence analyst Kenneth R. Timmerman, author of Shadow Warriors.

Emanuel Winston, a respected Middle East analyst, wrote that this is more than a bad personnel decision: “There is every indication that Islamists have deeply penetrated the organs of the U.S. government. An expert on Islam in the Pentagon [the aforementioned Coughlin] was recently fired due to pressure by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England. This dismissal was provoked by Hesham Islam, a personal aide to England. Heshem Islam was born and raised in Egypt. He is reported to be heavily involved with the Islamic Society of North American (ISNA), which has been named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a major terror funding case involving the Holy Land Foundation. Strange things are happening at the Pentagon and intel agencies but not so strange as what is called the Arabist U.S. State Department. Recently, according to John Bolton, former American ambassador to the U.N., the State Department sent several of its pro-Arab staff into the Pentagon and 16 American intel agencies to initiate their own policy.”

This whole problem and process has been aggravated by the incessant anti-American journalism of the mainstream media, and the virulent anti-American scholarship and pronouncements coming from so many of our colleges and universities. And this trend will be further aggravated if political power shifts leftward – to politicians and a Democratic Party that appear to lack the will to fight and win the war on terror and the war against Islamofascism. It is no exaggeration to say that the ongoing political campaign may well determine whether civilization as we know it will survive, and whether America – alone or not – can fight and win the war against Islamofascism that has been thrust upon it.

Those with questions about the direction of the Democratic Party and the left should look more closely at its driving force. David Horowitz, author and founder of the online newsmagazine FrontPageMag.com, has written many important books, but this may be his most important: Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left.

He writes, “This is a book about the political left in America, its problematic allegiances with Islamic radicals, its influence on the Democratic party, its opposition to the war In Iraq and its impact on the war on terror.” A more comprehensive and less diplomatic summary statement might go like this: The American left – including the driving force of the Democratic Party, most of the mainstream media and most of our major colleges and universities – have become irrationally critical of America, its military and its foreign policy. They have also made alliances with or lent support to our enemies and have damaged our ability to defend our shores against radical Islam and other sources of terrorism. They are one of the reasons we may, in Kenneth Clark’s words, lose the confidence it takes to maintain and defend our civilization.

Herb Denenberg, a former Pennsylvania insurance commissioner and professor at the Wharton School, is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and consumer advocate. He is also a member of the National?Academy of Arts and Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at advocate@thebulletin.us.

http://www.thebulletin.us/site/news.cfm?newsid=19290780&BRD=2737&PAG=461&dept_id=576392&rfi=6

6th day of Muslims “youths” violence in Denmark at ‘CARTOONS JIHAD’

February 18, 2008

6th day of Muslims “youths” violence in Denmark at ‘CARTOONS JIHAD’

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Groups of youths torched schools and cars in a sixth consecutive night of violence across Denmark, mostly in immigrant neighborhoods, police said Saturday. Forty-three people were arrested.

The spate of vandalism started last weekend and some believe it intensified with the reproduction of a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in Danish newspapers Wednesday.

The unrest spread across Denmark, with youths torching dozens of cars and buildings and lobbing rocks at police and firefighters in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Ringsted, Slagelse and other cities, officials said.

Danish youths riot for sixth night Sydney Morning Herald

http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/danish-youths-riot-for-sixth-night/2008/02/17/1203190629670.html

Denmark’s prime minister lashes out at wave of youth violence
http://www.pr-inside.com/denmark-s-prime-minister-lashes-out-r442358.htm

‘I don’t hate Muslims. I hate Islam,’ says Holland’s rising political star

February 18, 2008

‘I don’t hate Muslims. I hate Islam,’ says Holland’s rising political star

Geert Wilders, the popular MP whose film on Islam has fuelled the debate on race in Holland, wants an end to mosque building and Muslim immigration. Ian Traynor met him in The Hague

 

Dutch politician Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders, the right-wing Dutch politician. Photograph: Jerry Lampen/Reuters

A TV addict with bleached hair who adores Maggie Thatcher and prefers kebabs to hamburgers, Geert Wilders has got nothing against Muslims. He just hates Islam. Or so he says. ‘Islam is not a religion, it’s an ideology,’ says Wilders, a lanky Roman Catholic right-winger, ‘the ideology of a retarded culture.’

The Dutch politician, who sees himself as heir to a recent string of assassinated or hounded mavericks who have turned Holland upside down, has been doing a crash course in Koranic study. Likening the Islamic sacred text to Hitler’s Mein Kampf, he wants the ‘fascist Koran’ outlawed in Holland, the constitution rewritten to make that possible, all immigration from Muslim countries halted, Muslim immigrants paid to leave and all Muslim ‘criminals’ stripped of Dutch citizenship and deported ‘back where they came from’. But he has nothing against Muslims. ‘I have a problem with Islamic tradition, culture, ideology. Not with Muslim people.’

Wilders has been immersing himself in the suras and verse of seventh-century Arabia. The outcome of his scholarship, a short film, has Holland in a panic. He is just putting the finishing touches to the 10-minute film, he says, and talking to four TV channels about screening it.

‘It’s like a walk through the Koran,’ he explains in a sterile conference room in the Dutch parliament in The Hague, security chaps hovering outside. ‘My intention is to show the real face of Islam. I see it as a threat. I’m trying to use images to show that what’s written in the Koran is giving incentives to people all over the world. On a daily basis Moroccan youths are beating up homosexuals on the streets of Amsterdam.’

Wilders is lucid and shrewd and the provactive soundbites trip easily off his tongue. He was recently voted Holland’s most effective politician. If 18 months ago he sat alone in the second chamber or lower house in The Hague, his People’s Party now has nine of 150 seats and is running at about 15 per cent in the polls. His Islam-bashing seems to be paying off. And not only in Holland. All across Europe, the new breed of right-wing populists are trying to revive their political fortunes by appealing to anti-Muslim prejudice.

A few months ago the Swiss People’s Party of the pugnacious billionaire Christoph Blocher won a general election while simultaneously running a campaign to change the Swiss constitution to ban the building of minarets on mosques. Last month in Antwerp, far-right leaders from 15 European cities and from political parties in Belgium, Germany and Austria got together to launch a charter ‘against the Islamisation of western European cities’, reiterating the call for a mosque-building moratorium.

‘We already have more than 6,000 mosques in Europe, which are not only a place to worship but also a symbol of radicalisation, some financed by extreme groups in Saudi Arabia or Iran,’ argued Filip Dewinter, leader of Belgium’s Flemish separatist party, the Vlaams Belang, who organised the Antwerp get-together. ‘Its minarets are six floors high, higher than the floodlights of the Feyenoord soccer stadium,’ he said of a new mosque being built in Rotterdam. ‘These kinds of symbols have to stop.’

Where a few years ago the far right in Europe concentrated its fire on immigration, these days Islam is fast becoming the most popular target. It is a campaign that is having mixed results. In Switzerland, the Blocher party has been highly successful. In Holland, Wilders is thriving by constantly poking sticks in the eyes of the politically correct Dutch establishment. But when Susanne Winter ran for a seat on the local council in the Austrian city of Graz last month by branding the Prophet Muhammad a child molester, she lost her far-right Freedom Party votes.

For the mainstream centre-right in Europe, foreigner-bashing is also backfiring. Roland Koch, the German Christian Democrat once tipped as a future Chancellor, wrecked his chances a fortnight ago by forfeiting a 12-point lead in a state election after a campaign that denounced Muslim ritual slaughter practices and called for the deportation of young immigrant criminals.

Wilders echoes some of the arguments against multiculturalism that have convulsed Germany in recent years. Like many on the traditional German right, he wants the European Judaeo-Christian tradition to be formally recognised as the dominating culture, or Leitkultur. ‘There is no equality between our culture and the retarded Islamic culture. Look at their views on homosexuality or women,’ he says.

But if Wilders shares positions and aims with others on the far right in Europe, he is also a very specific Dutch phenomenon, viewing himself as a libertarian provocateur like the late Pim Fortuyn or Theo van Gogh, railing against ‘Islamisation’ as a threat to what used to be the easy-going Dutch model of tolerance.

‘My allies are not Le Pen or Haider,’ he emphasises. ‘We’ll never join up with the fascists and Mussolinis of Italy. I’m very afraid of being linked with the wrong rightist fascist groups.’ Dutch iconoclasm, Scandinavian insistence on free expression, the right to provoke are what drive him, he says.

He shrugs off anxieties that his film will trigger a fresh bout of violence of the kind that left Van Gogh stabbed to death on an Amsterdam street and his estranged colleague Ayaan Hirsi Ali in hiding, or the murderous furore over the Danish cartoons in 2005.

The Dutch government is planning emergency evacuation of its nationals and diplomats from the Middle East should the Wilders film be shown. It is alarmed about the impact on Dutch business. ‘Our Prime Minister is a big coward. The government is weak,’ says Wilders. ‘They hate my guts and I don’t like them either.’

And if people are murdered as a result of his film? ‘They say that if there’s bloodshed it would be the responsibility of this strange politician. It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. They’re creating an atmosphere. I’m not responsible for using democratic means and acting within the law. I don’t want Dutch people or Dutch interests to be hurt.’

But he does want to create a stir. ‘Islam is something we can’t afford any more in the Netherlands. I want the fascist Koran banned. We need to stop the Islamisation of the Netherlands. That means no more mosques, no more Islamic schools, no more imams… Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims.’

Free speech or hate speech? ‘I don’t create hate. I want to be honest. I don’t hate people. I don’t hate Muslims. I hate their book and their ideology.’

For more than three years, Wilders has been paying for his ‘honesty’ by living under permanent police guard as the internet bristles with threats on his life. He has lived in army barracks, in prisons, under guard at home. ‘There’s no freedom, no privacy. If I said I was not afraid, I would be lying.’

There is little doubt that if Wilders’s film exists – and it’s shrouded in secrecy – and is broadcast, it will be construed as blasphemy in large parts of the world and may spark a new bloody crisis in relations between the West and the Muslim world.

He does not seem to care. ‘People ask why don’t you moderate your voice and not make this movie. If I do that and not say what I think, then the extremists who threaten me would win.’

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/17/netherlands.islam

The ‘Islamo-Fascism’ Debate

February 10, 2008

Source: Aina…

As the David Horowitz Freedom Center unveils its Declaration Against Genocide in Washington on February 9, we are inviting campus groups of all types to join us in condemning the genocidal impulse within Islamo-Fascism.

This Symposium discussion of the term “Islamo-Fascism” takes on a new urgency in light of that Declaration and of the upcoming second Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, which will hit campuses nationwide the week of April 7.

The usefulness and accuracy of this term, and the general necessity of naming the enemy properly as a prerequisite for defeating it, became a subject of national debate during the first Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, and that debate is certain to continue this April. This Symposium is dedicated to many of the issues involved.

Our guests are:

Christopher Hitchens, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, the author of the new book god Is Not Great. How Religion Poisons Everything and the editor of the new anthology, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, the vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the author of My Year Inside Radical Islam , which documents his time working for the extremist Al Haramain Islamic Foundation.

Bruce Tefft, the Director of CRA’s Threat Assessment Center. He retired from the CIA as a case officer in 1995 after 21 years, 17 working in Stations abroad. He was a founding member of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center in 1985 and has been involved with terrorism issues since then. After his retirement, he continued studying Islamic terrorist techniques and training more than 16,000 first responders, law enforcement, military and intelligence officials in terrorism awareness and prevention. For a two year period following 9/11, he was the Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence advisor to the New York Police Department.

Khalim Massoud, president of Muslims Against Sharia, an Islamic reform movement.

Robert Spencer, a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of seven books, eight monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Religion of Peace?.

Donna Hughes, Professor and Carlson Endowed Chairperson of the University of Rhode Island Women’s Studies Program.

and

Thomas Haidon, the Chief Legal and Policy Advisor of the Free Muslim Coalition and a member of its Board of Advisors. A commentator on legal issues surrounding counter-terrorism measures and Islamic affairs, he currently serves as an advisor to the New Zealand government and has provided guidance to parliamentary committees on counter-terrorism issues. His works have been published in legal periodicals, newspapers and other media.

FP: Christopher Hitchens, Robert Spencer, Bruce Teft, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Donna Hughes and Thomas Haidon, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.

Christopher Hitchens, let’s begin with you.

Is the term “Islamo-Fascism” legitimate in terms of defining the enemy we face in the terror war?

Hitchens: The attempt by David Horowitz and his allies to launch “Islamofascism Awareness Week” on American campuses has been met with a variety of responses. One of these is a challenge to the validity of the term itself. It’s quite the done thing, in liberal academic circles, to sneer at any comparison between fascist and jihadist ideology.

People like Tony Judt write to me to say in effect that it’s ahistorical and simplistic to do so. And in some media circles another kind of reluctance applies: Alan Colmes thinks that one shouldn’t use the word “Islamic” even to designate jihad, because to do is to risk incriminating an entire religion. He and others don’t want to tag Islam even in its most extreme form with a word as hideous as fascism. Finally, I have seen and heard it argued that the term is unfair or prejudiced, because it isn’t applied to any other religion. This was most recently argued by Patrick J. Buchanan, who asked us how we would have felt if Franklin Roosevelt had described Mussolini, say, as “Christo-fascist”.

Buchanan in his own autobiography describes being raised in a home where the true heroes were Father Coughlin the Jew-baiting priest, General Franco the foe of the Reds and freemasons, and Joseph McCarthy the drink-sodden bigmouth and bigot. That’s why the term “Catholic fascist” or “clerical fascist” used to be so current on the left.

This was to recognize the undeniable fact that, from Spain to Croatia to Slovakia, there was a very direct link between fascism and the Roman Catholic Church. More recently, Yehoshua Leibowitz, editor of the Encyclopaedia Hebraica, coined the term “Judaeo-Nazi” to describe the messianic settlers who moved onto the occupied West Bank after 1967. So there need be no self-pity among Muslims about being “singled out” on this point.

The actual term “Islamofascism” was first used in 1990 in the London Independent by the Anglo-Irish writer Malise Ruthven, who was writing about the way in which traditional Arab dictatorships used religious appeals in order to stay in power. The expression has some respectable antecedents. In his book, The Politics of Social Change in the Middle East and North Africa, published by Princeton in 1965, the German scholar Manfred Halpern (himself a refugee from the Third Reich) employed the term “Islamic totalitarian” to characterize the mingled worship of a heroic past with the mobilization of “passion and violence”. Perhaps you suspect Halpern of undue sympathy with Judaism or Zionism? Very well, then, consider Professor Maxime Rodinson, one of the most intransigent critics of the state of Israel. In an exchange with Michel Foucault in the late 1970s, on the subject of the nascent Shi’a theocracy in Iran, Rodinson writing in Le Monde alluded to “a certain type of archaic fascism” taking the form of “an authoritarian and totalitarian state whose political police would brutally enforce the moral and social order.” I didn’t know about all of these for-runners when I employed the term “fascism with an Islamic face” to describe the assault on civil society on 11 September 2001, and to ridicule those who presented the attack as some kind of liberation theology in action. “Fascism with an Islamic face” is meant to summon a dual echo of both Alexander Dubcek and Susan Sontag (if I do say so myself), and in any case it can’t be used for everyday polemical purposes, so the question remains: does bin-Ladinism or Salafism or whatever we agree to call it have anything in common with fascism?

I think yes. The most obvious points of comparison would be these. Both movements are based on a cult of murderous violence that exalts death and destruction and despises the life of the mind (“Death to the intellect! Long live death!” as Franco’s accomplice General Mola so pithily phrased it in a debate with Miguel de Unamuno). 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 (interestingly, also, with its milder cousin, anti-Freemason paranoia). Both are inclined to leader-worship and to the exclusive stress on the power of one great book. Both have a strong commitment to sexual repression, especially to the repression of any sexual “deviance”, and to its counterparts: the subordination of the female and contempt for the feminine. Both despise art and literature as symptoms of degeneracy and decadence, and burn books and destroy museums and treasures.

Fascism (and Nazism) also attempted to counterfeit the then-success of the socialist movement by issuing pseudo-socialist and populist appeals. It has been very interesting to observe lately, especially in its most recent statement on the last anniversary of 11 September, the manner in which Al Quaeda has been striving to counterfeit and recycle the propaganda of the anti-globalist and “Green” movements.

There isn’t a perfect congruence. Historically, fascism laid great emphasis on glorifying the nation state and the corporate structure. There isn’t much of a corporate structure in the Muslim world, where the conditions often approximate more nearly to feudalism than capitalism, but bin-Laden’s own business conglomerate is, among other things, a rogue multi-national corporation with some links to finance-capital. As to the nation state, Al Quaida’s demand is that countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia be dissolved into one great revived Caliphate but doesn’t this have points of resemblance with the mad scheme of a “Greater Germany” or with Mussolini’s fantasy of a revived Roman empire?

Technically, no form of Islam preaches racial superiority or proposes a master-race. But in practice, Islamic fanatics operate a fascistic concept of the “pure” and the “exclusive” over the unclean and the kufar or profane. In the propaganda against Hinduism and India, for example, there can be seen something very like bigotry. In the attitude to Jews, it is clear that an inferior or unclean race is being talked about (which is why many Muslim extremists like the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem gravitated to Hitler’s side). In the attempted destruction of the Hazara people of Afghanistan, who are ethnically Persian as well as religiously Shi’ite, there was also a strong suggestion of “cleansing”. And of course bin-Laden has threatened force against UN peacekeepers who might dare interrupt the race-murder campaign against African Muslims that is being carried out by his pious Sudanese friends.

Essentially, though, the point of convergence occurs at the word “totalitarian”. Study any serious proclamation about shari’a and you will be struck by the way in which Islam proposes itself as a “total” solution, covering every area of life and effectively abolishing the distinction between the public and the private. All “faith” does this, in my opinion, just as all “faiths” do it, but one cannot fail to be struck by the confidence with which Islamism legislates for absolutism in every department of existence.

This makes it permissible, it seems to me, to mention the two phenomena in the same breath and to suggest that they constitute comparable threats to civilization and civilized values. There is one final point of comparison: one that is in some ways encouraging. Both of these totalitarian systems of thought evidently suffer from a death-wish. It is surely not an accident that 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 or any dilution of the joys of absolute doctrinal orthodoxy. Thus, while we have a duty to oppose and destroy these and any similar totalitarian movements, we can also be fairly sure that they will play an unconscious part in arranging for their own destruction, as well. Meanwhile, however our critics may wail about the way in which we generalize or deal in “stereotypes”, there is hardly one of them who has protested when the American flag is paraded bedecked with a swastika (a swastika!) or a cartoon of the President is carried across campus wearing a Hitler moustache. Who exactly is it who is looking for fascism in all the wrong places?

Gartenstein-Ross: Hitchens draws an excellent analogy between Fascist and jihadist ideology, and offers a competent rebuttal to various pundits’ objections to comparing the two. However, the question Jamie posed is not whether “Islamofascism” is an appropriate polemical term, or whether it is fair to compare militant Islam to Fascism. Rather, he queried whether the term is “legitimate in terms of defining the enemy we face in the terror war”; indeed, some commentators now use the term this way. My contention is that as a definitional term applied to the enemy, “Islamofascism” is too imprecise and in some ways counterproductive.

The first problem is that the term is overly broad. Hitchens actually does a good job of illustrating this problem in his opening remarks. In discussing the term’s history, Hitchens writes that Malise Ruthven first used it when “writing about the way in which traditional Arab dictatorships used religious appeals in order to stay in power.” Arab countries are, for the most part, no less fascistic today than they were in 1990, yet they are not “the enemy” in this war. Much of their heavy-handed police state tactics-for example, in Algeria and Egypt-are in fact aimed at the stateless Islamic militants against whom the present war is directed. (This statement is, of course, not meant as an endorsement of these states’ tactics.)

Taking a closer look at the Muslim world, the state of emergency that Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf declared in early November has much in common with Fascist governance-but it did not transform him from a bumbling and self-destructive ally into an enemy in the present global war. No Middle Eastern government had more in common with Fascist rule than Saddam Hussein’s Iraq: as former CIA director James Woolsey has said, the Ba’ath party was “modeled after the fascist regimes of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.” But regardless of what one thinks of the Iraq war (and I have made my views on the matter clear), we did not go to war-nor would we have-because of the similarities between Saddam’s rule and Fascism. Rather, the justification was rooted in U.S. national interests, such as intelligence estimates of Iraq’s development of weapons of mass destruction and concerns about possible cooperation with al-Qaeda.

Other groups and countries that possess critical differences may be too quickly lumped together under the “Islamofascist” umbrella. There is currently a lively debate among policymakers and analysts about how the U.S. should deal with the Muslim Brotherhood. While I do not endorse the argument advanced by Robert S. Leiken and Steven Brooke about “the moderate Muslim Brotherhood,” I think the debate is a legitimate one-and that treating al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in the same way because both are “Islamofascist” would run contrary to our strategic interests. In President Bush’s September 20, 2001 address to the joint session of Congress, he said that the U.S. would “starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another.” I think this is the right approach, and that the overbroad “Islamofascism” definition jeopardizes our ability to produce schisms between groups that in many ways are not alike.

Aside from this definitional problem, there are also tactical problems with using “Islamofascism.” The term is polemical in nature, as Hitchens readily admits when he says that he first used the phrase “fascism with an Islamic face” to “ridicule those who presented [9/11] as some kind of liberation theology in action.” His initial use of the phrase was both clever and effective. But clever polemical turns of phrase are best used sparingly. I would wager that even Hitchens cringes at how some lesser writers have used “Islamofascism.”

The use of a polemical turn of phrase to “defin[e] the enemy we face” can also limit the audience that one reaches. If I’m reading a work that employs the phraseology “Bushitler” or “Zionazi,” that’s usually a strong sign that reading further could only possibly lower my IQ. While “Islamofascism” is not as false as either of those polemical terms, people associate it with a certain political viewpoint about the war against radical Islam. If they do not agree with the viewpoint, the term causes many people to stop listening-and to disregard otherwise legitimate arguments.

Finally, use of the term “Islamofascism” makes it more difficult to work alongside moderate Muslims, who almost uniformly bristle at the phrase. It is true that a number of Muslim moderates have a wide variety of objections to terms analysts use to describe the enemy, and many of their terminological objections are in my view illegitimate. But they have some legitimate objections to the term “Islamofascism.” One legitimate objection, as detailed above, is the term’s overbreadth. Another legitimate objection is that the term will almost undoubtedly be applied against Islamic religious practice that is merely conservative and not violent. This can be seen in some of the similarities Hitchens fingers between radical Islam and Fascism, including “exclusive stress on the power of one great book,” “strong commitment to sexual repression, especially to the repression of any sexual `deviance,'” and “subordination of the female.” These descriptions can apply not just to militant practice of the faith, but also conservative manifestations.

Secularists tend to view all religious practice with suspicion, and overgeneralize on that basis. Note that Hitchens argues that there is a totalitarian tendency not just within extremist Islam, but rather that “all `faiths’ do it.” Or note Christiane Amanpour’s clumsy attempt to liken American evangelicals to the Taliban on CNN’s God’s Warriors. Moderate Muslims are rightly concerned that the “Islamofascist” label will be applied to legitimate theological practices.

In short, I have no problem with Hitchens’s initial description of bin Laden’s agenda as “fascism with an Islamic face,” and I think he proffers a strong defense of the analogy. But the term’s overbreadth obscures real distinctions that analysts need to make, and I believe there are also solid tactical reasons that those of us who care about defeating Islamic extremism should select a different label.

FP: So what is that different label going to be? We can’t just reject a term without offering a term that we think is better to describe our enemy.

Surely “Islamo-fascism” is a legitimate term. We can’t take the Islam out of the fascistic Muslims who are waging war on us, and we would be fooling ourselves if we try to sweep the word “Islam” under the rug. Moreover, it is a given that many Muslims are not fascistic — just as many Italians weren’t fascistic all because Italian fascists existed. And we can’t take the fascist out of the Muslim fascists either.

Khalim Massoud, as a reform-minded Muslim, what do you think of this term? Do you “bristle” at the term in the way that Gartenstein-Ross says that moderate Muslims “almost uniformly” do?

Massoud: I define fascism as a totalitarian political ideology with an element of superiority. German fascism’s criterion of superiority was race. Islamic fascism’s criterion of superiority is religion. Otherwise both ideologies are practically identical.

Mr. Gartenstein-Ross says “use of the term ‘Islamofascism’ makes it more difficult to work alongside moderate Muslims, who almost uniformly bristle at the phrase.” I couldn’t disagree more. As long as the user of the term makes a clear distinction between Islam and Islamofascism, moderate Muslims will not be offended by the term. And the ones who are offended are not moderate. In fact, moderate Muslims were the first to widely use this term to describe radicals in Algeria who murdered more than 100,000 of moderate Muslims.

I also disagree with Mr. Gartenstein-Ross’s contention that “treating al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in the same way because both are ‘Islamofascist’ would run contrary to our strategic interests.” The strategic goals of al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood are identical; they both desire Global Caliphate. They may employ different tactics, but their objective is the same. And they both are Islamofascist organizations. Tactically, they need to be treated differently, but strategically they must be treated the same; these groups must be eliminated.

Starving terrorists of funding and turning them against one another hasn’t really worked so far. How can we possibly starve terrorists of funding when we are pumping billions of Petro-Dollars into Persian Gulf regimes? As for turning terrorists against each other, it might be working to some degree in Israel (Fatah vs. Hamas). However, in Iraq, Sunni terrorists are murdering Shia civilians and vice versa, but they don’t seem to be going after each other.

Mr. Gartenstein-Ross says, “I think this is the right approach, and that the overbroad “Islamofascism” definition jeopardizes our ability to produce schisms between groups that in many ways are not alike.” I don’t think we can rely on these schisms, especially when history shows that supporting the lesser evil, i.e., Afghani mujahideen against the Soviets or Iraq against Iran, may backfire. I think the correct approach is not to focus on making different terrorist groups fight each other, but to empower moderate Muslims and have them fight the radicals.

Tefft: My view is a bit more simplistic, and at the same time an amalgam of the rest of the panel. Islam is indeed fascistic in that it is (like National Socialism, Communism and Fascism) both totalitarian and posits an absolute superiority of Muslims over non-Muslims. This is demonstrated in the Islamic system of dhimmitude and the second class citizenship of kuffars who, if not killed or converted, are forced to pay the ‘jizya’ – the infidel poll tax.

The problem with using the term Islamofascist though is that it implies there is a difference in Islam between fascist Muslims and non-fascist Muslims — and this is misleading and therefore a disservice to our war effort. As the later Suras of the Koran indicate, Islam is to dominate the world, jihad is an obligation if not a duty of all Muslims, and all non-Muslims are to be converted, enslaved or killed.

As you know, the later Suras abrogate any contradictory earlier ones of “peace, love, and tolerance”. Given that the first duty of every Muslim, as an article of faith, is to accept the Koran as the literal word of Allah, is it possible for so-called ‘moderate Muslims’ to pick and choose which part of the Koran they will adhere to? To reject parts of the Koran? My understanding is that if a Muslim rejects the Koran he is rejecting Islam and Allah and is an apostate.

I think the evidence is clear that, as the Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan said about “moderate” Islam, this past August, “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”

In further support of Erdogan, it is interesting that no Islamic religious authority has pronounced takfir on bin Laden or al-Qaeda declaring them apostates for their terrorism in the name of Islam. This is not from fear of retaliation by the terrorists, but recognition of the fact that bin Laden is not violating Islamic principles. He is practicing Islam as the Koran and the Hadiths dictate.

Insofar as Muslims murdering Muslims, this is human nature and fascist or not, Muslims are humans. They are divided into tribes, and groups, with leaders who have ego problems. Bin Laden and the Ayatollah Khomeini agreed to an alliance in 1995 that the Shia-Sunni conflict was inevitable and would continue but that both sides, as Muslims, must devote their efforts against the main enemy, the Great Satan. After the defeat of the United States and the West, then the Shia and Sunnis would sort out their differences. This agreement has largely held, in spite of the word not getting through to some of the lower level elements who insist on blowing up each other’s mosques in Iraq and Pakistan.

FP: With all due respect, Bruce Tefft, to suggest that there is no difference between fascist Muslims and non-fascist Muslims is completely erroneous. I don’t know if I am missing something, but I think there is indeed a difference between someone who is fascist and someone who isn’t fascist.

It is a given that Islam has an intrinsic problem and that it does serve as a foundation to terror. And it is crucial that people such as yourself have the courage to raise this and to drive the point home. But to suggest that all Muslims are the same, indistinguishable from one another, and all our enemies is absurd. There are organizations such as Muslims Against Sharia and the Muslim Canadian Congress that reject Sharia and reject jihad. There are Muslims, such as the two on our panel, Khalim Massoud and Thomas Haidon, who oppose extremism and are trying to bring Islam into the democratic and modern world. They are not replicas of Osama bin Laden, they do not share his agenda, and they are his enemy and our allies.

Does this mean that there is no problem in Islamic theology? No. Does it mean that Islamic moderates and reformers don’t face a huge challenge in their effort to change Islam, especially when it is true, as you point out Mr. Tefft, that Islam itself disallows any change to its own teachings (i.e. the Qur’an)? No. But this does not mean that there are not many Muslims who want to try to create their own new Islam and who want a relaxation of Islamic principles? Whether they can do this, and whether it is possible, is another matter, but to suggest that all Muslims are the same because there are huge obstacles to an Islamic reformation is based on fundamentally flawed assumptions.

And these kinds of arguments do deadly damage to our own cause since the Muslims who embrace Western civilization and seek to change Islam, whether this is possible or not, are our inspirational hope against radical Islam. They have weapons against the enemy that we do not have and we would be foolish to push them away and consider them our enemy, when they are not.

Thomas Haidon, go ahead.

Haidon: Accurate problem definition is a crucial component to addressing any policy question. The failure to accurately frame issues and problems almost ensures a misguided policy response to any issue. Ensuring that the terminology we use to describe a problem is accurate is crucial. There are real risks if we get it wrong or articulate the problem in a manner that is “under inclusive,” inclusive or “over inclusive” (as Mr Garenstein-Ross has observed). We have seen what happens, at a policy level, when an “under-inclusive” approach has been taken to addressing the Islamist problem. The US “war on terror” has consistently failed (other than in soundbites) to identify Islam’s role. This has lead to flawed policies which have forced “democracy” in the Arab world, which has led to the consequences in Egypt and the Occupied Territories and the resurgence of Ikwan and Hamas.

An over-inclusive approach to problem identification has just been demonstrated to us by Mr. Tefft. This approach not only marginalises the Islamists, but also moderate Muslims who are in a bitter fight for survival in the battle of ideas. Mr. Tefft’s approach is not one rooted in strategy. Moderate Muslims should be viewed by non-Muslims as partners in fighting Islamists. That being said, I can understand and sympathise with Mr. Tefft’s frustration. Moderate Muslims are not always easy to identify.

Overall, while I think there is some incongruence between fascism and the nature of the Islamist threat, at a high-level I think that Islamo-fascism is an appropriate descriptor of the problem. It is neither under-inclusive nor over-inclusive. The challenge we are confronted with is a political, confrontational and authoritarian interpretation of Islam. The writings of the 20th century Islamist revivalists (Hasan Al’Banna, Sayid Qut’b, Abi Al’a Al Mawdoudi, Sheikh Haj Amin Al Husseini) demonstrate approaches in common with fascism. When one reads the writings and teachings of these individuals, which are celebrated in the Muslim world, and which form the ideological basis of the full range of Islamist organisations and movements (from Ikwan to Hamas to Al’Qaeda), there is no mistake about the commonalities and shared characteristics with fascism of Giovanni Gentile or Carl Schmitt, particularly a disdain for democracy and fundamental human rights, in favour of the rights of the collective.

Islamo-fascism, as a term, is neither “under-inclusive” nor “over-inclusive”. It defines the enemy narrowly. It has the potential to isolate some moderate and traditional Muslims, not because of the accuracy of the term, but in its delivery. The methods and ways in which the term is delivered will have a bearing on how moderate and traditional Muslims will react. The term “Islamo-fascism” is now inextricably linked to the so called “right-wing” and those who have traditionally been critical and skeptical of Islam. This perception will continue to contribute to the lack of moderate Muslim “buy in”. In my view, the “right”, which is on the forefront of this fight, needs to develop a more strategic approach in engaging moderate and traditional Muslims. How to achieve this is another question, but one that is closely linked and requires examination. It should be a core assumption (not shared by Mr. Tefft), that moderate Muslims and peaceful traditional Muslims are partners in this process. As Mr. Massoud has indicated, they need to be empowered. The term “Islamo-fascism” has the capacity to be an empowering mechanism, if delivered effectively.

Spencer: Perhaps it would be helpful to step back for a moment and recall some of the features of the phenomenon we are trying to capture in a phrase. The 20th century Islamic revivalists to which Mr. Haidon refers wrote of the need for Muslims to make war against and ultimately replace any government not based on Islamic law with a Sharia regime. This is an explicitly and inherently religious imperative, as Maududi articulated when he said that non-Muslims have “absolutely no right to seize the reins of power in any part of God’s earth nor to direct the collective affairs of human beings according to their own misconceived doctrines.” If they do, “the believers would be under an obligation to do their utmost to dislodge them from political power and to make them live in subservience to the Islamic way of life.” The Islamic way of life – Sharia in its classic formulations by the schools of Islamic jurisprudence — is a total concept, encompassing every aspect of life, and subordinating every human endeavor to the Islamic cause.

Is this an Islamic imperative? Undeniably, to any rational observer — although this half of the “Islamo-Fascism” term is controverted even more heatedly than the other half. The Prime Minister of Great Britain has even forbidden his cabinet to use another compound, “Islamic terrorism,” or to suggest in any way that Islam has anything to do with the.the.the large thing that the world faces today. Yet proponents of this view are indeed, as Mr. Haidon said, revivalists: they are attempting to restore what they argue is the purity and fullness of Islam, and appeal to peaceful Muslims on that basis. Part of that fullness and purity is the proposition that there is no distinction between the sacred and the secular, and that Islamic law must be the law of the land.

Mr. Gartenstein-Ross, however, is quite right when he points out that the term “Islamo-Fascism” has been applied to governments that are not strict Sharia or Islamic revivalist regimes, but are rather dictatorships that – as Hitchens notes regarding Malise Ruthven’s original use of the word “Islamo-Fascism” – “used religious appeals in order to stay in power.” Gartenstein-Ross correctly notes that sometimes these regimes, such as in Algeria, Egypt, and now Musharraf’s Pakistan, cracked down violently on “stateless Islamic militants” who hold an ideology identical to that held by those who attacked us on 9/11. This does complicate somewhat the usefulness of the term. If the enemy is Islamo-Fascism, can the U.S. have Islamo-Fascist allies such as General Musharraf?

Ruthven’s usage is perfectly legitimate: after all, Saddam Hussein, to take the most notorious example, headed an Arab nationalist secular regime, but he never hesitated to use religious language – specifically, the language of jihad warfare – to shore up his base and try to compel Islamic hardliners in Iraq to fight to defend his regime. Nevertheless, Saddam did not institute Sharia and had no desire to do so; Musharraf, despite his own occasional use of Islamic rhetoric, is now actively engaged in combating those who want to make over Pakistan into a strict Sharia state.

The term “Islamo-Fascist” may not, therefore, apply to them or to others like them as well as it does to the likes of Osama bin Laden, Abu Bakar Bashir and others who have made it clear that they are fighting for Islam and Islamic law as they see them: Saddam, Musharraf, Mubarak and the secular rulers of Algeria may indeed be authoritarians – fascists – but there is nothing specifically Islamic about their fascism other than the fact that they themselves are Muslim rulers of majority-Muslim states. The state envisioned by Osama and his ilk, in contrast, is just as authoritarian, but it is so in a strictly Islamic context – which is why those in favor of such a state – authoritarian and Sharia-based — merit the “Islamo-Fascist” label.

I disagree with Mr. Gartenstein-Ross, however, and agree with Mr. Massoud, about the Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. Gartenstein-Ross contends that “treating al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in the same way because both are `Islamofascist’ would run contrary to our strategic interests,” but Mr. Massoud points out correctly that “the strategic goals of al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood are identical; they both desire Global Caliphate.” As the Muslim Brotherhood’s website itself says:

“We want a Muslim individual, a Muslim home, a Muslim people, a Muslim government and state that will lead the Islamic countries and bring into the fold the Muslim Diaspora and the lands robbed from Islam and will then bear the standard of jihad and the call [da’wah] to Allah. [Then the] world will happily accept the precepts of Islam….The problems of conquering the world will only end when the flag of Islam waves and jihad has been proclaimed..The goal is to establish one Islamic state of united Islamic countries, one nation under one leadership whose mission will be to reinforce adherence to the law of Allah…and the strengthening of the Islamic presence in the world arena….The goal…is the establishment of a world Islamic state.”

That statement is quintessentially both Islamic and, in its authoritarianism and orientation of every aspect of society to Islam, Fascist.

As for Mr. Gartenstein-Ross’ contention that “the use of a polemical turn of phrase to `defin[e] the enemy we face’ can also limit the audience that one reaches,” and that “the term causes many people to stop listening-and to disregard otherwise legitimate arguments,” I’m afraid that is inevitable no matter what term one uses. People make decisions about the veracity of an argument based on who is making it, or where it is published, or what set of catch phrases are being used. That is true across the political spectrum. Dispassionate seekers after truth are as thin on the ground now as they were in Diogenes’ day, and we should not let that fact deter us from using a term that may be accurate, useful and in many ways illuminating.

And in light of the fact that the term is in both of its component parts accurate, I do wonder why, as Mr. Gartenstein-Ross says, moderate Muslims “almost uniformly bristle” at the phrase “Islamo-Fascism.” As I found myself saying many times during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, “Islamo-Fascism” doesn’t imply that all Muslims are fascists any more than “white racism” implies that all whites are racist, or “Italian fascism” that all Italians are fascist. So much for the term’s “overbreadth.” And will it “undoubtedly be applied against Islamic religious practice that is merely conservative and not violent”? A further distinction needs to be made here: are those engaging in this conservative but not violent Islamic religious practice believers in the Islamic supremacist notion that underlies the Sharia imperative? In that case, ultimately it matters little that they are “not violent,” for they are pursuing through non-violent means the same goal that Osama and others are pursuing through violence. There are many non-violent Islamic supremacists even in America today, and we need to be aware of the congruence of their agenda with that of the violent jihadists.

When Mr. Tefft says that “the problem with using the term Islamofascist is that it implies there is a difference in Islam between fascist Muslims and non-fascist Muslims,” I think he is failing to draw the necessary distinction between Islam and Muslims. Religious traditions are large things, and while it is certainly true that all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach that Muslims must wage war against and subjugate non-Muslims under Sharia rule, it does not follow from that that all Muslims, or any given Muslim, knows of such teachings, takes them to heart, or acts upon them — or ever will.

In Islam as in all religious traditions there is a spectrum of belief, knowledge, fervor and emphasis. Islamic supremacism has not, unfortunately, been disavowed by any orthodox sect or school of Islam, but for a variety of historical and cultural reasons these teachings have not been emphasized for a considerable period in some areas of the Islamic world. Because of the deep traditional roots of these teachings, jihadist recruiters in person and via cassette tapes, DVD’s and the Internet are making inroads in these peaceful Muslim communities, and have seized the intellectual initiative in the Islamic world. Nonetheless, there is a large difference between fascist and non-fascist Muslims.

Unlike many analysts, I do not believe we can encourage those non-fascist Muslims by pretending that the Islamic texts do not say what they say, or that the jihadists have no case to make on Islamic grounds; rather, I believe that their case can only be combated by being confronted for what it is. There may be considerable numbers of Muslims who would sincerely renounce Islamic supremacism if given a chance to do so. But since the problem is not even being presented in those terms, non-Muslims are too often fooled by false moderates and pseudo-reformers.

And one quibble: Mr. Tefft says that “the later Suras of the Koran indicate” that “all non-Muslims are to be converted, enslaved or killed.” Actually, the choices for non-Muslims delineated by Muhammad and Islamic law are not conversion, slavery, or death, but conversion, subjugation, or death (cf. Qur’an 9:29, as well as the hadith recorded at Sahih Muslim 4294). Subjugation is not, strictly speaking, slavery, although the distinction between the two at various points in Islamic history was exceedingly fine. Non-Muslims had to accept a humiliating second-class status and held their lives and property always at the sufferance of their Muslim overlords, but they were not slaves outright.

Hughes: The comments and responses in this symposium are useful and enlightening. I think this is just what is needed to characterize and define what our moderator (Mr. Glazov) refers to as “our enemy.” Some may think that referring to Islamic militants as the enemy is too polarizing, but from my view, as a feminist concerned about the well being and rights of women and girls, they are indeed one of the most serious, global threats to women and girls.

As for the term “Islamo-Fascism,” it is a compound term comprised of two essential elements. First of all, it connects the growing threat to the religion that the militants choose to explain and justify their beliefs and actions. They have chosen this base for their ideology. They proclaim themselves to be God’s warriors and call their actions jihad. Their opponents did not project it on to them. It may challenge us to precisely name and identify who they are, but the Islamic radicals are not confused. I know liberal, moderate, and progressive Muslims who also are not confused, they have no trouble distinguishing between the Islamic fundamentalists and Muslims who have different interpretations of the religious texts, especially as they translate the texts into how they live their lives and define their politics.

The second part of the term “Islamo-Fascism” is also important. “Fascism” clearly indicates that this is a political movement. We can debate whether “fascism” is the correct name or not. Some say it isn’t because it differs in some ways from previous fascist movements and regimes. Well, nothing is ever exactly like anything else. I’ll let the historians and political scientists debate this one. If they come up with a better term, they can let us know. The point is we need a term that names this phenomenon as a political movement with common ideology, tactics, and way of ruling once control of territory is established.

A political label also helps us distinguish the political movement from conservative, traditional practices. This distinction is most apparent when we look at the lives of women. There are many families, communities and entire nations that are conservative and traditional, which often translates into suppression and strict control of women and girls. Females are oppressed by discriminatory attitudes and practices, often reinforced by violence (i.e. honor killings). Feminists say that sexism is political. A rallying cry of the second wave of the women’s movement (1960s) was “the personal is political.” While I agree that the status of women and girls is always political, influenced by culture, religion, and traditional practices, I want to distinguish between the small “p” politics of traditional practices, and the capital “P” politics of Islamo-Fascism.

The small “p” politics of sexism is systemic discrimination that exists all over the world; sometimes it is so severe that it reaches the level of oppression. Women’s liberation movements have addressed sexism throughout the world, some more successfully than others. In the ideology and practices of Islamo-Fascism, sexism is politicized. The suppression of women is incorporated in the capital “P” political movement.

As the influence of Islamo-Fascism grows and as Islamo-Fascists gain control of territory, women and girls and their rights become political targets. As I like to say “Terrorism begins at home.” The most severe oppression of women and girls we have ever seen took place under the Taliban in Afghanistan, where girls were banned from education and women were banned from working and consigned to house arrest. They could only emerge from their houses if they covered their bodies and identities with a burqa and were accompanied by a male member of their family.

Islamo-Fascism politicizes sexism, making the oppression of women and girls a political goal. Their success in controlling a population can be measured by the extent to which they have suppressed women and girls. It is their visible sign-to the communities they control and to the outside world-that they are in control. Just as anti-Semitism is a global prejudice, with consequences–sometimes severe consequences-to individuals, it is when anti-Semitism is incorporated into a political movement, as it was with Nazism, that it becomes more virulent and deadly. That is what Islamo-Fascism is doing with sexism. Because even the most misogynous Islamo-Fascist recognizes the biological indispensability of women, they don’t advocate genocide. Instead they practice slavery. Women and girls who violate their rules are viciously punished with whippings. In order to terrorize the rest of the population, a few women and girls are killed, often in brutal public executions, such as stoning to death.

To conclude, it is important to have accurate term or terms to describe the global threat we are facing. The “war on terror” as a label has failed us. My students have no idea what it means. It carries no information. It doesn’t identify the enemies the war is against or their ideas and goals. In fact, it’s a rather sad state of affairs that six years after 9-11 and nine years after the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania we are still trying to decide what to call the people and movement that have targeted us.

In the end, we may decide there are better terms to refer to this militant, deadly political movement, but Islamo-Fascism moves us in the right direction of identifying and characterizing it.

Hitchens: I feel very much vindicated by the comments of the learned members of this panel: whether our disagreements are concerned with principle or with emphasis they are nonetheless of the sort that enable one to learn. I think that the most thin-skinned objector to the coupling of the terms “Islamic” and “fascist” would have to agree that this symposium has enlarged and clarified the subject.

I myself am of the opinion that monotheistic religious belief, with its celebration of an absolutist and unchangeable deity, is in any case implicitly and explicitly totalitarian. But this does not mean that every Baptist in every epoch is always and everywhere the equivalent of today’s members of the deluded “Mahdi Army”, say.

Fascism is not something that can be a permanent part of the landscape. It is hysterical and spasmodic and relies on very strenuous forms of mobilisation. Even when victorious it probably cannot constitute, for very long, a regime. Its tendency to self-destruction is very marked, as I tried to point out. However, it is in some ways precisely this futility and degraded romanticism that make it so dangerous.

I tried to introduce a version of the term because, as Marx says at the opening of the Eighteenth Brumaire, a person trying to learn a new language will always have a tendency to translate it back into the tongue that he already knows. I knew that there would be those who compared the struggle against jihadism to the Cold War (and I argued with Jim Woolsey and others that this was no time to resurrect The Committee for the Free World: an opinion of mine that events have not forced me to reconsider.) The battle, it seemed and seems to me, was very much more like the earlier struggle against an essentially irrational movement. Stalin and Mao may have been deeply unstable people but they were somehow constrained by a wooden materialism: religious intoxication can have the effect of making half-way sane people act with wild disregard for their own self-interest, let alone the interests of others. Khalim Massoud has noticed this demented tendency in the case of the Algerian jihadists, who ended up excommunicating an entire North African population as infidel. Similar pathologies are observable among the sadistic maniacs of Al Qaeda in Mesopotomia.

Let us not forget that ultimate victory over fascism was made possible in large part because of that movement’s own tendency to act in mad ways. (Declaring war on three fronts at once, expelling all those who knew anything about nuclear physics, diverting rail-cars and troops and materiel for the purpose of eliminating civilians.) Thus, in pointing out the kinship between one kind of irrational fanaticism and another, I was also hoping to put a bit of heart and stomach into the argument, and suggest a thoughtful confidence in ultimate victory. This confidence is given a slight surge, in my own case at least, by observation of the criminally insane and self-defeating tactics that the fascists of Islam have been pursuing since the fall of 2001.

I should add the anti-fascists of Islam, who have born much of the heat and burden of the day, deserve a much more honorable title that that of “moderate”. Perhaps this condescending terminology could furnish the material for a subsequent FP round-table.

FP: And the round-table on this subject will begin immediately. Thank you for the excellent idea Mr. Hitchens.

Mr. Gartenstein-Ross, your turn my friend.

Gartenstein-Ross: At the outset, I’d like to agree with Hitchens’s remark that even “the most thin-skinned objector to the coupling of the terms `Islamic’ and `fascist’ would have to agree that this symposium has enlarged and clarified the subject.” In fact, I recently spoke with a “moderate” Muslim colleague (I put the term “moderate” in quotations not to suggest that my colleague is a closet extremist, but to signal my agreement with Hitchens’s statement of the term’s inadequacy) about Hitchens’s initial contribution to this symposium. On hearing that past usage of the terms “Catholic fascist,” “clerical fascist,” and “Judaeo-Nazi” mean that Islam is not being uniquely singled out, he commented, “As a Muslim, that makes me feel somewhat better about the term.”

That being said, I do not waver from my initial position in this debate: while the analogies between Islamic extremism and fascism are clear, and while Hitchens (and, perhaps, others?) has competently employed the polemical term to rebut those who would like to paint al-Qaeda as a kind of turbaned liberation theology, “Islamofascism” is not the term we should use to define the enemy. It seems that I am alone on the panel in taking that position: the only other contributor who opposes the use of this term is Tefft, who argues that it falsely “implies there is a difference in Islam between fascist Muslims and non-fascist Muslims.” That is, obviously, not my argument. Now, it’s always pleasant to be the lone dissenter in a debate-particularly in a debate like this, where I’m not forced to distance myself from the kind of hypersensitive “how could you even think of using that term?” arguments to which the other panelists alluded. But because I am a lone voice, you’ll have to indulge the length of this summary of the reasons that I encourage others to avoid “Islamofascism” as a definitional term.

The first argument I advanced against the term is its overbreadth. Arab countries, for example, are generally no less fascistic than they were in 1990 when Malise Ruthven applied the term to Arab dictatorships-yet they are not the enemy that we’re fighting. My argument on this point has not been refuted. Haidon argues that the term is “an appropriate descriptor of the problem” because such twentieth century revivalists as Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, and A.A. Maududi have approaches in common with fascism. (He also mentions Haj Amin al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem, who had more in common with fascism than just an approach.) I don’t disagree with the parallels that Haidon draws, but they are not responsive to my argument: while “Islamofascism” is a fair description of the jihadist ideologues whose views drive al-Qaeda and other militant Islamic movements, it also describes many other actors in the Middle East. The term has been applied to groups ranging from al-Qaeda and Hizballah to the PFLP, Iraqi Ba’ath party, and Syrian Alawite elite. “Islamofascism” largely appears to have become a stand-in for “Middle Eastern bad guys.”

Spencer agrees that there is a problem with overbreadth, but attempts to mitigate it by pointing out that although Pervez Musharraf, Saddam Hussein, and other leaders in the Muslim world to whom the term “Islamofascist” might apply employ religious rhetoric, they have not implemented sharia law. Therefore, Spencer states, the term might not “apply to them or to others like them as well as it does to the likes of Osama bin Laden, Abu Bakar Bashir and others who have made it clear that they are fighting for Islam and Islamic law as they see them.” His argument is true enough if one emphasizes the “Islamo” half of “Islamofascism.” But if one emphasizes the “fascism” half of the term, it fits Middle Eastern regimes better than it does al-Qaeda. I do not deny the authoritarian nature of today’s militant Islamic movement, nor its conception of religious supremacy-but some Middle Eastern regimes explicitly drew their organizing principles from twentieth century fascist movements. George Michael (no, not the Wham! singer) writes in his book The Enemy of My Enemy:

The German model of centralized government and corporatist nationalism remained attractive to many of the early pan-Arab nationalists in Egypt, some of whom sought the creation of an “Arab Reich” that would unite all Arabs into one nation. The early pan-Arab leaders searched for methods to mobilize their populations and build independent nations. They were influenced in large part by European fascists who viewed the state as an organic outgrowth of the nation. As they saw it, only a strong, authoritarian state could protect the nation. Hence, the German model of bureaucratic centralization and authoritarianism looked attractive to many Arabs who sought an alternative way to modernize their countries.

This approach was most influential in Egypt, where such former Nazis as Otto Skorzeny, Johann von Leers, Wilhelm Farmbacher, Oskar Munzel, and Wilhelm Voss were given positions in Gamal Abdel Nasser’s government. But former Nazi officials were granted sanctuary in other Middle Eastern states as well (notably Syria), and the fascist model was adopted elsewhere: recall that in my first contribution to this symposium, I quoted former CIA director James Woolsey’s statement that Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party was “modeled after the fascist regimes of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.” In contrast, if you look at the kind of rule that was set up under the Islamic Courts Union in Somalia, under al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in those parts of Iraq that came under its control, and more contemporaneously in northern Pakistan, these are not typical fascist states. Rather, their murderous political apparatus is somewhat unique. The same can be said of the long-term end-states laid out by both Indonesia’s Jemaah Islamiyah and also the international Hizb-ut-Tahrir movement. So if you give equal weight to both “Islamo” and also “fascist” in the term we are debating, overbreadth remains a problem.

My remarks about the Muslim Brotherhood have been somewhat misapprehended. Massoud decries the tactic of “supporting the lesser evil,” while Spencer quotes from the Brotherhood’s web site to show that the organization is “both Islamic and, in its authoritarianism and orientation of every aspect of society to Islam, Fascist.” I did not claim otherwise: in my first contribution, I said that both al-Qaeda and the Brotherhood should be considered “Islamofascist” if one employs that term. Massoud in fact makes my point for me by stating that, tactically, al-Qaeda and the Brotherhood “need to be treated differently.” One reason a definitional term like “Islamofascism” is not useful is that it may obscure the tactical need to deal differently with such groups. (Incidentally, I’m currently participating in a separate FPM symposium on the Brotherhood that further elucidates my views on the group.)

Massoud claims that turning terrorists against one another “hasn’t really worked so far.” Nothing could be further from the truth. A critical reason that the U.S. has made such gains in Iraq over the past year is our ability to engage locals through the Awakening movement, along with other institutions such as the Concerned Local Citizens. Our ability to “turn” former insurgents has been an important part of this. Turning former insurgents has reduced the pool of potential recruits for AQI, created a mechanism for allowing experienced Sunni fighters to provide security in their areas, established a security force with local knowledge of AQI (since many of these men were formerly aligned with or subordinate to AQI), and provided a reconciliation mechanism for incorporating large numbers of armed Sunnis into the security forces in their areas. It has also been an important part of convincing people to stop participating in the insurgency. I don’t think the U.S. has done a fantastic job of this beyond Iraq, but Iraq clearly shows that turning terrorists against one another can work.

My next argument was that, tactically, using a polemical term to define the enemy can limit the audience that one reaches. Spencer replies that “[d]ispassionate seekers after truth are as thin on the ground now as they were in Diogenes’ day”-and thus we shouldn’t worry about employing potentially alienating terminology. It is true that we live in an age where public commentary can be characterized by its cheapness, demagoguery, and overall cowardice. Yet I don’t think the situation is as bleak as portrayed by Spencer. If it were, why are any of us wasting our time engaging in public commentary about terrorism and religious extremism? None of the panelists has seriously disputed the fact that the term “Islamofascism” causes a portion of the one’s potential audience to simply tune out. Why use such a term when there are other options?

Finally, I argued that the term “Islamofascism” makes it more difficult to work with moderate Muslims. Certainly Massoud and Haidon provide examples of Islamic moderates who aren’t upset by usage of the term, but Massoud’s statement that “the ones who are offended are not moderate” is simply untrue. I personally know a number of moderate Muslims who take exception to that phraseology. It is true that some Muslim extremists masquerading as moderates have objected to the term, but it’s a category error to say that therefore any Muslim who objects to the term “Islamofascism” is not moderate.

I stated in my first contribution that some moderate Muslim objections to the term “Islamofascism”-and to other terminology used to describe militant Islam-are illegitimate. But are there legitimate objections? I think so. One legitimate objection is the term’s overbreadth, which I have already discussed at length. A second legitimate objection that I outlined in my initial response is the concern that the term will be employed against religious practice that is merely conservative and not violent. In response, Spencer asks whether “those engaging in this conservative but not violent Islamic religious practice” are “believers in the Islamic supremacist notion that underlies the Sharia imperative.” If they are, he argues that “it matters little that they are `not violent.'” While I do not want to excuse those who seek to impose brutal forms of sharia through non-violent means, I note that within virtually all religions there is a constant struggle to determine what the faith means, and how it intersects with society. Some Muslims, for example, define themselves as pro-sharia, but in fact mean that they incorporate sharia into their personal lives while favoring secularism in society. This approach appears contradictory at first, and only time will tell if it can gain traction. There are also some Muslims who define themselves as pro-sharia but interpret the sharia in such a way that it has little in common with the religious laws adopted by the Taliban, the Islamic Courts Union, or Saudi Arabia. I agree with Spencer that we do Muslim moderates no favors “by pretending that the Islamic texts do not say what they say,” but a distinction (albeit one that is not always crystal clear) exists between conservative and militant practices of Islam.

How do I define the enemy? Sadly, my own terminology isn’t all that exciting. I agree with Glazov that one cannot remove the word “Islam” from the equation because that is how bin Laden and others expressly frame their motivations. I tend to use the phrase “militant Islam” because we are contending with Islamic movements defined by their willingness to take up arms for their cause. I use the terms “radical Islam” and “extremist Islam” because Islamic terrorist movements are radical or extreme by any sane definition-and both terms signal that this is not.

http://www.aina.org/news/20080208141046.htm

Huckabee: We must defeat Islamofascism

February 6, 2008

Huckabee: We must defeat Islamofascism

Together, we must prevent nuclear proliferation and defeat Islamofascism. Together, we must be the people who confront and overcome evil.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1202064581092&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull 

Lebanon Convicts 2 (Muslims) In German Bomb Plot

January 13, 2008

Lebanon Convicts 2 (Muslims) In German Bomb Plot – washingtonpost.com

Lebanon Convicts 2 In German Bomb Plot. Students Targeted Commuter Trains. By Craig Whitlock. Washington Post Foreign Service Wednesday, December 19, 2007;
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/18/AR2007121801887.html  

Eurabia: Arabs Muslims threaten Belgium – Europe

January 8, 2008

Eurabia: Arabs Muslims threaten Belgium – Europe

 Bomb alerts disrupt train traffic throughout Belgium
PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung), Austria – Jan 4, 2008
AP BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) – Bomb alerts disrupted train traffic in four Belgian towns Friday. Several train stations were closed and searched, …
http://www.pr-inside.com/bomb-alerts-disrupt-train-traffic-throughout-r371839.htm
The Coming of Eurabia
International Analyst Network, NY – Jan 2, 2008
Not surprisingly these neighborhoods have become the most fertile recruitment grounds for those preaching the message of Islamic terrorism. …
http://www.analyst-network.com/article.php?art_id=1520