ISLAMO FACISM VERY JARRING!
The word is included in the New Oxford American Dictionary, defining it
as "a controversial term equating some modern Islamic movements with the
European fascist movements of the early twentieth century" GERMANY ferinstance.
Although Islamofascism is usually a reference to Islamism or radical
Islamism, rather than Islam in general, comparisons have been made
between fascism and Islam, as far back as 1937, when the German Catholic
emigré Edgar Alexander compared Nazism with "Mohammedanism",
and again, in 1939, when psychologist Carl Jung said about
Adolf Hitler, "he is like Mohammed. The emotion in Germany is Islamic,
warlike and Islamic. They are all drunk with a wild god."
According to Roger Scruton, the term was introduced by the French
historian Maxime Rodinson to describe the Iranian Revolution of 1978.
Scruton claims that Rodinson "was a Marxist, who described as 'fascist'
any movement of which he disapproved", but credits him with inventing a
"convenient way of announcing that you are not against Islam but only
against its perversion by the terrorists."
In 1990 Malise Ruthven wrote:
"Nevertheless there is what might be called a political problem
affecting the Muslim world. In contrast to the heirs of some other
non-Western traditions, including Hinduism, Shintoism and Buddhism,
Islamic societies seem to have found it particularly hard to
institutionalise divergences politically: authoritarian government, not
to say Islamo-fascism, is the rule rather than the exception from
Morocco to Pakistan."
Albert Scardino attributes the term to an article by Muslim scholar
Khalid Duran in the Washington Times, where he used it to describe the
push by some Islamist clerics to "impose religious orthodoxy on the
state and the citizenry"
The related term, Islamic fascism, was adopted by journalists including
Stephen Schwartz and Christopher Hitchens, who intended it to
refer to Islamist extremists, including terrorist groups such as al
Qaeda, although he more often tends to use the phrases "theocratic
fascism" or "fascism with an Islamic face" (a play on Susan Sontag's
phrase "fascism with a human face", referring to the declaration of
martial law in Poland in 1981). The terms Islamic fascism and Muslim
fascism are used by the French philosopher Michel Onfray, an outspoken
atheist and antireligionist, who notes in his Atheist Manifesto that
Ruhollah Khomeini's Islamic Revolution "gave birth to an authentic
Some commentators[attribution needed] including Paul Berman and
Christopher Hitchens, believe there are similarities between historical
fascism and Islamofascism:
* rage against historical humiliation;
* inspiration from what is believed to be an earlier golden age (one or
more of the first few Caliphates in the case of Islamism)
* a desire to restore the perceived glory of this age — or "a fanatical
determination to get on top of history after being underfoot for so many
generations" — with an all-encompassing (totalitarian) social,
political, economic system
* belief that malicious, predatory alien forces (Jews in the case of
Nazi Fascists or Islamofascists) are conspiring against and within the
nation/community, and that violence is necessary to defeat and expel
* exaltation of death and destruction along with a contempt for "art and
literature as symptoms of degeneracy and decadence", and strong
commitment to sexual repression and subordination of women.
* offensive military, (or at least armed) campaign to reestablish the
power and allegedly rightful international domination of the
Examples of use in public discourse
The following are examples of use of the term:
* "In the wake of July's London transport bombings by home-grown British
Islamists, the dangers of mistaking one type of Muslim community for
another have become obvious. Prime Minister Tony Blair's government has
gone from ignoring Islamofascists in its midst — if not actually
accommodating their efforts to proselytize and recruit in Britain — to
cracking down forcefully on their activities and presence in the United
Kingdom." — Frank J. Gaffney
* "What we have to understand is ... this is not really a war against
terrorism, this is not really a war against al Qaeda, this is a war
against movements and ideologies that are jihadist, that are
Islamofascists, that aim to destroy the Western world." — Clifford May
* "Islamic terrorist attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set
of beliefs and goals that are evil, but not insane. Some call this evil
Islamic radicalism; others, militant Jihadism; still others,
Islamo-fascism. Whatever it's called, this ideology is very different
from the religion of Islam. This form of radicalism exploits Islam to
serve a violent, political vision: the establishment, by terrorism and
subversion and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all
political and religious freedom." — George W. Bush
American author and Nixon speechwriter William Safire writes,
"Islamofascism may have legs: the compound defines those terrorists who
profess a religious mission while embracing totalitarian methods and
helps separate them from devout Muslims who want no part of terrorist
In his book Terror and Liberalism, New York University journalism
Professor Paul Berman "carefully teased out the intellectual origins of
Islamic fundamentalism, looking primarily at Sayyid Qutb, the
intellectual godfather of al-Qaeda. It was not hard to find the links:
Qutb was explicitly and openly influenced by European fascism. Nor was
this a merely intellectual influence: when his ideas eventually became a
state ideology—in Taliban Afghanistan—it looked hideously familiar to
historians of fascism, with its fanatical Jew-hatred, homophobia,
misogyny, the banning of all dissent (and even of music), and the
suppression of all liberal freedoms. Jihadists even inherited the most
eccentric lacunae of fascist conspiracy-thought: on March 9, 2004, a
meeting of Freemasons in an Istanbul restaurant was blown up by Islamist
Matthias Küntzel is a Hamburg-based political scientist and a research
associate at the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of
Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In his book Jihad
and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11, he traces the
impact of European fascism on the Arab and Islamic world, drawing
parallels between ancient prejudice and modern radicalism. In an
essay excerpted from his book, he writes,
"Despite common misconceptions, Islamism was born not during the 1960s
but during the 1930s. Its rise was inspired not by the failure of
Nasserism but by the rise of Nazism, and prior to 1951 all its campaigns
were directed not against colonialism but against the Jews...Not to
confront the ideological roots of Islamism--notably its well-documented
connection to Nazi Jew-hatred--stymies any Western push for political,
economic, and cultural modernization in the Muslim world. Yet only such
modernization can split the majority of Muslims, who would benefit from
social progress, from the Islamists, who are willing to die to prevent
it. Without challenging the ideological roots of Islamism, it is
impossible to confront the Muslim world with the real choices before it:
Will it choose life and hope, or does it prefer the cult of death? Will
it stand up for individual and social self-determination, or will it
finally submit to the mullahs' program of Jew-hatred and jihad?" 
Norman Podhoretz, who received the Guardian of Zion Award from Bar-Ilan
University, argues in his book World War IV: The Long Struggle Against
Islamofascism that the current struggle is an ideological conflict
against a totalitaritan idea.
Critics have argued that grouping many different political ideologies,
terrorist and insurgent groups, governments, and religious sects into
one single idea of "Islamofascism" may lead to an oversimplification of
the phenomenon of terrorism. Cultural historian Richard Webster says
"The idea that there is some kind of autonomous "Islamofascism" that can
be crushed, or that the west may defend itself against the terrorists
who threaten it by cultivating that eagerness to kill militant Muslims
which Christopher Hitchens urges upon us, is a dangerous delusion. The
symptoms that have led some to apply the label of "Islamofascism" are
not reasons to forget root causes. They are reasons for us to examine
even more carefully what those root causes actually are."
He adds "'Saddam, Arafat and the Saudis hate the Jews and want to see
them destroyed' . . . or so says the right-wing writer Andrew Sullivan.
And he has a point. Does the western left really grasp the extent of
anti-Semitism in the Middle East? But does the right grasp the role of
Europeans in creating such hatred?"
The use of the term "Islamofascist" by proponents of the War on Terror
has prompted critics such as Joseph Sobran and Richard Allan Greene to
argue that the term is a typical example of wartime propaganda.
Newspaper columnist Joseph Sobran has said
Islamofascism is nothing but an empty propaganda term. And wartime
propaganda is usually, if not always, crafted to produce hysteria, the
destruction of any sense of proportion. Such words, undefined and
unmeasured, are used by people more interested in making us lose our
heads than in keeping their own."
In the aftermath of the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, George Bush
described the fight against terrorists as a battle against "Islamic
fascists... [who] will use any means to destroy those of us who love
freedom". The Council on American-Islamic Relations wrote to him to
complain, saying that the use of the term "feeds the perception that the
war on terror is actually a war on Islam".
Security expert Daniel Benjamin of the Center for Strategic and
International Studies claims the term was meaningless. "There is no
sense in which jihadists embrace fascist ideology as it was developed by
Mussolini or anyone else who was associated with the term," he said
American journalist Eric Margolis agreed: "There is nothing in any part
of the Muslim World that resembles the corporate fascist states of
western history. In fact, clan and tribal-based traditional Islamic
society, with its fragmented power structures, local loyalties, and
consensus decision-making, is about as far as possible from western
industrial state fascism. The Muslim World is replete with brutal
dictatorships, feudal monarchies, and corrupt military-run states, but
none of these regimes, however deplorable, fits the standard definition
of fascism. Most, in fact, are America’s allies."
The head of the Islamic Society of North America, Ingrid Mattson, said
that recasting the war on terrorism as "a war against Islamic fascism"
by U.S. President George W. Bush and other Republicans was inaccurate
and added to a misunderstanding of the religion. Mattson did
acknowledge, however, that terrorist groups "do misuse and use Islamic
concepts and terms to justify their violence."
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman remarked that
"...there isn’t actually any such thing as Islamofascism — it’s not an
ideology; it’s a figment of the neocon imagination. The term came into
vogue only because it was a way for Iraq hawks to gloss over the awkward
transition from pursuing Osama bin Laden, who attacked America, to
Saddam Hussein, who didn’t."
Conservative British historian Niall Ferguson states that:
…what we see at the moment is an attempt to interpret our present
predicament in a rather caricatured World War II idiom. I mean,
“Islamofascism” illustrates the point well, because it’s a completely
misleading concept. In fact, there’s virtually no overlap between the
ideology of al Qaeda and fascism. It’s just a way of making us feel that
we’re the “greatest generation” fighting another World War, like the war
our fathers and grandfathers fought. You’re translating a crisis
symbolized by 9/11 into a sort of pseudo World War II. So, 9/11 becomes
Pearl Harbor and then you go after the bad guys who are the fascists,
and if you don’t support us, then you must be an appeaser.
In 2007, conservative academic David Horowitz launched a series of
lectures and protests on college campuses under the title of
"Islamofascism Awareness Week" which at least 40 campuses moved to
distance themselves from. In response to the lectures and protests,
The Muslim Student Group at Penn State University said it feared "that
this Islamophobic program will have hazardous consequences on the Penn
Norman Finkelstein considers the term to be meaningless, arguing that it
is 'a throwback to when juvenile leftists, myself among them, labeled
everyone we disagreed with a 'fascist pig'.
The left-wing National Security Network argues in a report that the term
dangerously obscures important distinctions and differences between
groups of Islamic extremists. The report also asserts that the term
"creates the perception that the United States is fighting a religious
war against Islam, thus alienating moderate voices in the region who
would be willing to work with America towards common goals." The report
argues that "dividing these groups and dealing with them separately is a
far better policy than lumping them together.
 Inbetween: Support of similarity
Author Malise Ruthven opposes redefining Islamism as `Islamofascism`,
but also finds the resemblances between the two ideologies "compelling,"
both embracing spirituality and rejecting reason. He compares Islamism
first to Marxism but then comments:
... the fascist parallels go deeper than the Marxist ones. In his
explicit hostility to reason (alluded to in the reference to Ahmad ibn
Hanbal's struggle against the Mu'tazilite doctrine of the `created`
Quran) it is not Marx, grandchild of the Enlightenment, but Nietzsche,
an anti-rationalist like the anti-Mu'tazilite al-Ash'ari, whom `Azzam
echoes. The attachment to the lost lands of Palestine, Bukhara and Spain
(unlike a rational and humane concern for Palestinian rights) is, like
Mussolini's evocations of Ancient Rome, nostalgic in its irredentism,
its `obliteration of history from politics` The invocation of religion
is consistent with the way fascism and Nazism used mythical modes of
thought to mobilize unconscious or psychic forces in the pursuit of
power, a task made easier in a population sanctified by a millennium of
Islamic religious programming.
Georges Sorel, sometimes seen as the intellectual father of fascism, declared that `use must be made of a
body of images which, by intuition alone, and before any considered
analyses are made, is capable of evoking as an undivided whole the mass
of sentiments which corresponds to the different manifestations of the
war undertaken by Socialism.` Mussolini, to whom Sorel in his later
years lent his support, saw fascism as `a religious conception in which
man is seen in his immanent relationship with a superior law and with an
objective Will that transcends the particular individual and raise him
to conscious membership of a spiritual society`.In the same line
of thinking Alfred Rosenberg, the Nazi ideologue, stressed the
other-worldly, spiritual aspect of Hitler's racial theories: `The life
of a race does not represent a logically-developed philosophy nor even
the unfolding of a pattern according to natural law, but rather the
development of a mystical synthesis, an activity of soul, which cannot
be explained rationally.See also
* Islamic fundamentalism
* Neo-fascism and religion
* Islamist terrorism
* Clerical fascism
* Haghani Circle
* Islamic State
* Fascist (epithet)
* Dave Emory
1. ^ The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition, Erin McKean (Editor), 2096 pages, May 2005, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-517077-6
2. ^ Religious Fundamentalism and Political Extremism (2003-03-04). Retrieved on 2007-02-27. Citing The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 10 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970), p.281
3. ^ Scruton, Roger. "'Islamofascism' - Beware of a religion without irony.", OpinionJournal.com, August 20, 2006.
4. ^ "Construing Islam as a language", by Malise Ruthven, The Independent, September 8, 1990
5. ^ Scardino, Albert. 1-0 in the propaganda war. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2006-04-19.
6. ^ a b c Schwartz, Stephen. What Is 'Islamofascism'?. TCS Daily. Retrieved on 2006-09-14.
7. ^ a b c d Hitchens, Christopher: Defending Islamofascism: It's a valid term. Here's why, Slate, 2007-10-22
8. ^ William Safire (2006). "Islamofascism Anyone?" International Herald Tribune, Opinion-Editorial. Retrieved August 28, 2007
9. ^ Michel Onfray: Atheist manifesto. The case against Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Carlton, Vic. 2007, pp. 206-213.
10. ^ Berman, Paul (2003). Terror and Liberalism. W W Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-05775-5.
11. ^ a b Wright, Lawrence, Looming Tower, Knopf 2006, p.306
12. ^ Manfred Halpern, Politics of Social Change in the Middle East and North Africa. Princeton University Press, 1963 quoted in 
13. ^ Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.. "Don’t go there, Mrs. Hughes", Jewish World Review, August 30, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
14. ^ Clifford May (October 12, 2004). News from CNN with Wolf Blitzer. CNN News Transcript. Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
15. ^ President Discusses War on Terror at National Endowment for Democracy. Retrieved on 2006-04-19.
16. ^ William Safire: Islamofascism, The New York Times, October 1, 2006
17. ^ Dissent Magazine
18. ^ SPME: SPME Board Member Matthias Kuentzel Wins London Book Award
19. ^ PREVIEW: Jew-Hatred and Jihad
20. ^ Richard Webster. Israel, Palestine and the tiger of terrorism: anti-semitism and history. New Statesman. Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
21. ^ Sobran, Joe. Words in Wartime. Retrieved on 2006-04-18.
22. ^ Rall, Ted. Bush’s war on history and to…toma…tomatotarianism. Retrieved on 2007-07-28.
23. ^ a b Richard Allen Greene. "Bush's language angers US Muslims", 12 August 2006. Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
24. ^ Eric Margolis (August 2006). The Big Lie About 'Islamic Fascism'. Retrieved on 2007-07-28.
25. ^ U.S. Muslim group's head says Bush's term 'Islamic fascism' adds to misunderstanding of Islam. The Associated Press (September 1, 2006). Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
26. ^ Paul Krugman. Fearing Fear Itself. New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-10-29.
27. ^ Niall Ferguson Interview: Conversations with History). Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley (2006). Retrieved on 2007-10-12.
28. ^ U. disavows ties to Horowitz's program
29. ^ Muslim Student Association's Response to Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week (IFAW)
30. ^ Wajahat Ali, 'An Interview with Norman Finkelstein'
31. ^ Report: 'Islamofascism' blinds U.S.
32. ^ ([sources: Benito Mussolini, `The Doctrine of Fascism` (1932), in Adrian Lyttleton, Italian Fascisms: From Pareto to Gentile, (London 1973)]
33. ^ A Fury For God, Malise Ruthven, Granta, 2002, p.207-8
 External links
* Walter Laqueur. The Origins of Fascism: Islamic Fascism, Islamophobia, Antisemitism, Oxford University Press blog.
 Further reading
* Ignatius, David. "Toward a Definition of 'Islamic Fascism'", Daily Star (Lebanon), August 19, 2006
* Marty, Martin. "Irony and Islamofascism", Christian Post, August 21, 2006.
* Nunberg, Geoffrey. '"Islamo-Creeps' Would Be More Accurate", L.A. Times, August 17, 2006
* Nyquist, J.R. "Islam and Fascism".
* Podhoretz, Norman. World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism. New York: Doubleday, 2007.
* Pollitt, Katha. "Wrong War, Wrong Word", The Nation, August 24, 2006.
* Scardino, Albert. "1-0 in the propaganda war", The Guardian, February 4, 2005.
* Sullivan, Andrew. 'Interview' (satire) from INDC Journal
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