Archive for the ‘non-Muslims’ Category

Textbook Terrorism: Islamofascism

July 27, 2008

Textbook Terrorism:

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

Posted 7/24/2008

Islamofascism: A new study confirms our “ally” Saudi Arabia is still poisoning young Muslim minds with anti-Western textbooks. So? Its hate-filled graduates are enrolling at our colleges.

…despite promised reforms, the kingdom still teaches students to “hate the infidels.” The texts assert that it’s “permissible” for a Muslim to kill an “apostate,” an “adulterer,” a “homosexual,” as well as non-Muslims practicing “polytheism,” or Christianity. The violent ideology is introduced in a religion textbook in the first grade and reinforced and developed in following years of the public education system, culminating in the 12th grade…including to 19 academies founded by the Saudi ministry and chaired by local Saudi ambassadors in or near major foreign cities. Quotes from the latest textbooks Riyadh is propagating include:

• “The Jews and Christians are enemies of the believers.”

• “Only through force and victory over the enemies is there security and repose.

• ”The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus.” The Saudi ministry has not removed these messages from its school texts…

(Excerpt) Read more at http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=301792048827503

Koranic verses on the duty to kill

July 15, 2008

Koranic verses on the duty to kill

We’ve learned a lot since Antony Thomas’s drama-documentary Death of a Princess set Saudi Arabian blood boiling in 1980, but the director’s latest television film The Qur’an (for Channel 4) will certainly cause anger among many Muslims when it is screened on Monday.

Only a fool supposes that what you see on television is what you get. The scene that amused me was shot at the lovely, ancient convent of Saydnaya in Syria. Over a background of chanting, the narrator says in a hushed tone…

The film The Qur’an asks a serious question, though, which is: if Muslims believe that the Koran is the timeless and unchanging word of God, how come Muslims behave in such diverse ways?

We see Sufi men and women sitting together for prayer, others whirling in dance; Shia formally beating themselves and seeking the intercessory prayers of the eighth Imam, Ali Reza; a German scholar calling for a “new interpretation and reading of the Koran”; a poor little girl being genitally mutilated; Israelis being blown up. There’s something here to offend everyone.

 

After an hour or so, the viewer might wonder whether the film’s title should have been Muslims rather than The Qur’an. Yet the role of the Koran may be a matter of life and death to non-Muslim Westerners.

…Yet trouble, from the point of view of the West, comes precisely when violent sectarian Islamists set themselves up without expertise as interpreters of Koranic verses. This one (9:5), has proved particularly dangerous: “Kill the polytheists wherever you find them, and take them and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush.”

To Islamist extremists, Christians, because they associate creatures (such as Jesus) with God, count as polytheists.

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk

Radical Islam’s plan for world domination

June 24, 2008

Radical Islam’s plan for world domination 

BY ED VITAGLIANO – AFA Journal, April 2008

 

  In January 2002, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped by Muslim radicals in Pakistan. Radical Islam PlanA few days later, the 38-year-old journalist was beheaded.
  In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece in January 2008, Judea Pearl, a UCLA computer science professor and the father of Daniel, noted the implacable nature of such Muslim radicals. Pearl said, “The shocking element in Danny’s murder was that he was killed, not for what he wrote or planned to write, but for what he represented – America, modernity, openness, pluralism, curiosity, dialogue, fairness, objectivity, freedom of inquiry, truth and respect for all people.”
  Across the globe Islam appears to be mutating into a more virulent and aggressive strain, confronting the West with a radical ideology that is demanding submission to Allah – or else.

 

Dominance in stages
  Historian Daniel Pipes, an author, columnist and founder of the Middle East Forum (
www.meforum.org), believes that the radical Islam facing the West today arose in the last century.
  “In the course of the 20th century, a new form of Islam arose, one that now had great appeal and power,” he said. “Militant Islam (or Islamism – same thing) goes back to Egypt in the 1920s, when an organization called the Muslim Brethren [or Brotherhood] first emerged, though there are other strains as well, including an Iranian one, largely formulated by Ayatollah Khomeini, and a Saudi one, to which the Taliban in Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden both belong.”
  According to Clifford D. May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism, “The Islamists stress that Islam ‘was once a winner’s religion.’” It began small and became a world power in less than 400 years. But for the last several hundred years, Muslim nations have been dominated by Western powers.
  “What went wrong? To Islamists, it is an article of faith … that Muslims lost ground because they strayed from the road of righteousness, the path trod by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions,” May said. “They allowed themselves to be seduced and corrupted by the West and its vices – materialism, individualism, and lasciviousness among them.”
  The only way to return Islam to world dominance is, well, for Islam to dominate the world again. According to Samir Khalil Samir, a Jesuit professor of Oriental studies at the University of Saint Joseph in Beirut, Lebanon, the Islamist plan involves three phases, which are all intended to work concurrently.
  The first stage is to reform Muslim countries which have compromised with the West, to “turn Muslim countries into Islamic states governed by sharia [Islamic] law.”
  Next, Samir said, is the intention to “Islamize Christians living in Muslim countries. This is happening wherever there are radical Muslims, in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq. … We saw this happen in Iraq in the past year, where some neighborhoods in Baghdad have become micro-caliphates in which Christians are told to convert to Islam or pay the Jizya (protection money), and accept second-class status.”
  Finally comes “the conversion of Europe. … This is carried out first and foremost by working with young, European-born Muslims through imams teaching radical ideologies in mosques, prisons, bookstores.” Such teachings go hand-in-hand with strident critiques of decadent Western culture.

 

The Islamist ‘strong narrative’
  This explanation of Islam’s troubles and the plan for its return to past glory is, according to May, the “strong narrative” that attracts new recruits to the cause. It is similar, he believes, to the “narrative” used by Adolph Hitler to gain support from the German people for his own goals. Just as Hitler blamed the Jews and others for the problems of the nation, so Islamists blame Jews and corrupt Western ideals for the problems of the Ummah, the worldwide Muslim community.
  Part of the appeal of this movement for Muslims is that Islamofascists declare themselves to be the true heirs of the message of the Prophet Muhammad.
  “Today jihadists are making recruits among peaceful Muslims worldwide by appealing to the teachings of the Quran and Muhammad, and on that basis portraying themselves as the exponents of ‘pure Islam,’” said Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch and author of Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t. “They claim they have rediscovered, as a popular jihadist pamphlet termed it, ‘the forgotten obligation’ of jihad.”
  Jihad is an Arabic word meaning “struggle,” and can refer to either the internal struggle against unrighteousness or the external struggle against unbelievers – including “holy war.”
  British jihadist Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Masri, currently in prison, summarized the goal of this holy war: “Allah is the only one that must be worshipped on Earth, and the only way to guarantee this is to control all the land masses, air, and sea and give Islam the proper channel to be heard by the people.”
  Spencer said the West had better take note of what is happening throughout the Muslim world. “We fool ourselves when we imagine that the problem is a localized ‘Islamic fundamentalism,’ a ‘hijacking’ of an originally peaceful religion, such that the great majority of its adherents not only do not participate in religiously sanctioned violence, but also actively disapprove of it on grounds derived from the religion itself. In reality, active jihadists, while a minority among Muslims, base their actions in Islamic theology and are in the ascendancy throughout the Islamic world.”

 

Can the West defend itself?
  Many in the West have misunderstood Islamist anger, believing that older theories about social unrest – often involving root causes such as poverty or alienation – hold the key to peace with Muslim radicals.
  “From the ayatollahs to the freelance jihadists, there are, in the end, no ‘root causes’ – or not ones that can be negotiated by troop withdrawals from Iraq or the flag-raising ceremony for a Palestinian state,” said Mark Steyn in his book, America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It.
  Time and again, radical Muslims make it clear that this holy war is not an attempt to correct social inequalities. For example, after jihadists blew up a French oil tanker off Yemen in 2002, Steyn insisted that France should have been the last nation to get hit, seeing as that country had pretty much opposed all aspects of the War on Terror.
  But that wasn’t really the point. A spokesman for the Islamic Army of Aden said, “We would have preferred to hit a U.S. frigate, but no problem because they are all infidels.”
  “No problem. They are all infidels,” Steyn repeated. “When people make certain statements and their acts conform to those statements I tend to take them at their word. As Hussein Massawi, former leader of Hezbollah, neatly put it, ‘We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you.’”
  The stakes are that high, said Steyn: “It is absurd: how can the most advanced society in human history fall to a bunch of ignorant death cultists? Well, who do you think advanced societies do fall to? Something worse, something barbarous, something that’s prepared to fight when you’re not.”

 

 


Video resources to learn more about radical Islam

 

Farewell Israel
  Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and the Revolt of Islam – A fascinating and frightening look at the history, ideology and goals of Islam, Farewell Israel provides a fast-paced overview of the religion itself, its origin and explosion out of Arabia in A.D. 632 to conquer much of the known world in its first 1,000 years of existence.
  Perhaps most controversial is the documentary’s assertion that the West, including Israel, has often failed to understand the true nature of Islam. According to the film, the challenge facing the West is not merely a radical form of Islam but the religion itself. Simply put, what the U.S. and other democracies are facing is a revival of true Islam, which had receded during the ascension of Western economic and military power during the last three centuries.
  Filled with informative, state-of-the-art computer graphics and rare video footage, this two-and-a-half-hour film is a top-rate primer about Islam that is sure to be engaging for small gatherings, church groups and older schoolchildren.
  For ordering information, visit
 www.farewellisrael.com.

 

Islam In America

  Islam in America – This DVD, produced by Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino Hills, California, is taken from a speech given at the church by Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese immigrant who is now a U.S. citizen. Gabriel was forced to leave with her parents after militant Muslim fundamentalists occupied parts of the country during the Lebanese Civil War.
Gabriel’s impassioned speech is riveting and powerful, as she uses her own experiences to warn the West – and especially America – that Islamofascists will not stop until all nations submit to Islamic law.
The DVD provides a harrowing view of Muslim fundamentalism and a stark contrast between it and the very different worldview which underlies Western culture, including the nation of Israel.
Gabriel, who has spoken on this topic on CNN and Fox as well as in numerous public venues, founded Act for America (
www.actforamerica.org) as a vehicle for promoting the truth concerning Islamic fundamentalism. She has also written a book, Because They Hate, detailing her life’s story and her warning to the West.

  The DVD can be ordered directly from the church’s Web site, www.calvarycch.org, or by phone at 909-393-7100.
Reviews by Ed Vitagliano

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Journal/stories.aspx?id=73891  

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 – ]

Let’s worry about Islamofascism

April 1, 2008
Let’s worry about Islamofascism
The resolution adopted by Muslim theologians representing the various schools of Islam at the All-India Anti-terrorism Conference organised by Darul Uloom, Deoband, ‘denouncing’ terrorism but condoning radical Islam’s ghastly excesses, apart from remaining silent on Islamist terrorism in India which continues to extract a terrible price, is of a piece with the Observatory Report on Islamophobia released by the Organisation of Islamic Conference at its recent meeting in Dakar, Senegal. Both documents seek to justify manufactured Muslim rage and lay the blame for the resultant death and destruction at the doors of everybody else but Muslims.
It is ironical that Darul Uloom, Deoband, should have taken it upon itself to preach to others the virtues of tolerance – Deobandis are known for neither tolerating others or their faith nor allowing Muslims the freedom to subscribe to modernism and its attendant values. Indeed, Deobandi madarsas at home and abroad, especially in Pakistan, are known to breed Islamofascists whose dark thoughts and darker deeds generate Islamophobia against which the OIC has demanded an international law. Of course, Islamofascism must remain unrestrained and Islamofascists must be allowed the right to practice their ideology of hate. To contest this would amount to Islamophobia, and Islamophobes, as we have now been told, have no right to exist. So, like the proverbial lamb, we should meekly surrender to our slaughter. The least we can do is believe the bogus declaration issued by mullahs who gathered at Darul Uloom, Deoband.
Here’s a confession: There was a time of innocence when I believed in the thesis that there is more than one Islam. There were those with whom you could swap ideas, share jokes and even the cup that cheers. A decade later, during which time I spent three years in Cairo and travelled more than once into the heart of Islam – well, almost, since non-Muslims are not allowed beyond Jeddah, the gateway to Mecca and Medina – I stand converted to the view that any talk of there being a moderate Islam or Islam as a religion of peace merely because of the salutation sa’laam is so much bunkum.
In any event, the ummah sees Islam as a religion that demands absolute submission, which is not really the same as a religion that is predicated on peace and equality. And although the Quran does not stress on compulsion, it does not overflow with kindness towards those who do not submit to god’s will either. The best they can hope for is to be protected by a treaty (dhimmah), which in this day and age would mean unlimited appeasement, and the privileges of the dhimmi are purchased by paying jiziya apart from humiliating conditions of subservience, for instance communal budgeting and a ‘Muslim first’ policy, as is being done in our country.
The manufactured rage over Pope Benedictine’s comments at a German university about how the Sword of Islam cleared the way for Islam’s march beyond Arabia – he was quoting from an obscure Byzantine text – revived memories of the late Aurobindo Ghosh (he spent his last years waging an intellectual battle against Islamofascism from his perch in Texas) and his painstaking research to prove that Islam and peace never co-existed; that the sword of Islam is as much a reality today as it was in the distant past. In a sense, he was right, as much as the Byzantine text the Pope quoted is correct in pitilessly stating a fact that we tend to overlook in our zeal to draw distinctions between moderate and fanatical Islam to cover up for the crimes of the latter more than anything else.
Indeed, India’s history records this fact in the most lurid colours. The mass slaughter of Hindu men and enslavement of Hindu women and children, the destruction of Hindu antiquities and temples (of which the best examples are Somnath, Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura), the brutal efforts to efface Hindu tradition and the rapacious means adopted to expand the frontiers of Islamic rule – Jadunath Sarkar and RC Majumdar have chronicled how Muslim invaders, and later those who sat on the masnad of Delhi, were relentlessly engaged in waging jihad against Hindus – are too well-known to require elaboration.
The bloodletting in Jammu & Kashmir, the ethnic cleansing of the Valley to lay the foundation of Nizam-e-Mustafa, the bombings in Mumbai and elsewhere, the persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh and Malaysia by preachers of fanatical Islam who have now come to dominate the centrestage of politics in those countries and the pathetic, craven approach of accommodation and concession adopted by the political class of India which was, and continues to be, reluctant to confront the truth, should fashion any honest critique of Islamism and highlight its fascist character. This is not about indulging in Islamophobia, which so agitates the OIC and its cheerleaders, but about coming to grips with the true dimensions of Islamofascism, which should be of over-riding concern for those who believe in freedom and cherish the values of modernism that collectively form the foundation of free and plural societies.
Yes, there will be strident criticism and staunch opposition to any attempt to expose Islamofascism for what it is. And the most strident criticism and the staunchest opposition will not come from the OIC and the mullahs of Darul Uloom, Deoband, but from those who wilfully ignore facts to foist fiction which encourages bigoted hate mongers to typecast those who are appalled by Islamofascism as Islamophobes. The protest will primarily come from two quarters:
  • The Lib-Left intelligentsia, which continues to labour under the self-perpetuating myth that all of Islam is a religion of peace and only an insignificant, fringe minority is to be blamed for distorting the great faith that was born in the sterile sands of Arabia; and,
  • The so-called moderate Muslims who till now have skilfully used doublespeak to position themselves as representatives of the ummah, more so in liberal democracies. Their status is now seriously threatened by those who have no hesitation in acknowledging the true nature of Islam both as a faith and a weapon of subjugation.
    • Those who believe in liberty and freedom of thought need not fear either. Being charged with Islamophobia is a small price to pay for securing our future.

      http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnist1.asp?main_variable=Columnist&file_name=kanchan%2Fkanchan166.txt&writer=kanchan

      [Islamic treason, hatred, danger] Study: 3 in 4 U.S. mosques preach anti-West extremism

      February 25, 2008

      [Islamic treason, hatred, danger] Study: 3 in 4 U.S. mosques preach anti-West extremism

      HOMELAND INSECURITY

      Study: 3 in 4 U.S. mosques preach anti-West extremismSecret survey exposes widespread radicalism


      Posted: February 23, 2008
      9:51 pm Eastern© 2008 WorldNetDaily

      An undercover survey of more than 100 mosques and Islamic schools in America has exposed widespread radicalism, including the alarming finding that 3 in 4 Islamic centers are hotbeds of anti-Western extremism, WND has learned.The Mapping Sharia in America Project, sponsored by the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, has trained former counterintelligence and counterterrorism agents from the FBI, CIA and U.S. military, who are skilled in Arabic and Urdu, to conduct undercover reconnaissance at some 2,300 mosques and Islamic centers and schools across the country.”So far of 100 mapped, 75 should be on a watchlist,” an official familiar with the project said.Many of the Islamic centers are operating under the auspices of the Saudi Arabian government and U.S. front groups for the radical Muslim Brotherhood based in Egypt.Frank Gaffney, a former Pentagon official who runs the Center for Security Policy, says the results of the survey have not yet been published. But he confirmed that “the vast majority” are inciting insurrection and jihad through sermons by Saudi-trained imams and anti-Western literature, videos and textbooks.

      Read more at: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=57141

      (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

      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

      The ‘Islamo-Fascism’ Debate

      February 8, 2008

      The ‘Islamo-Fascism’ Debate
      ——————————————————————————–
      Posted GMT 2-8-2008 20:10:46


      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