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Do You Have a Problem With The Term "Islamic Fascism?"

 
 
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 12:06 pm
I'm fascinated with the dispute that has arisen around this term; in part because I cannot imagine a substantive position that opposes its use.

The argument that the religion of Islam is not fascist doesn't hold water; not because it is, but because people who use the term (in the main) are not suggesting it is.

Similarly, there is not much weight at all to the argument that not all muslims are Islamic Fascists, because - "No Kidding." All Germans, Italians, and Japanese were not fascists during the period leading up to and involving the second world war, but I doubt anyone would put up much of a fight against the notion that Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo, along with their cronies and goon squads were, in fact, fascists.


Perhaps the argument is not one related to accuracy but to sensitivity: If muslims are offended by use of the term, irrespective of its accuracy it should not be used.

It may even be that it's not really in major dispute at all and that numerous conservative pundits want to inflate the extent of the argument so they can take a swing at a 35mph fastball and knock it out of the park.

Assuming there are individuals who believe the term should not be used, I would be grateful if they would explain their reasoning.

What follows is what I consider to be a pretty good argument why the term is valid.

Quote:


Because Walter likes links to the original source:

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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 727 • Replies: 14
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Merry Andrew
 
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Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 02:24 pm
I just have a problem with Finn d'Abuzz, that's all.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 03:17 pm
My problem with it is the same I have with "stay the course" or "you're with us or against us." Simple-minded claptrap, most likely from Karl Rove or his ilk, for those who like simplistic answers.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 04:15 pm
How about "religious zealots."
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 05:30 pm
Merry Andrew wrote:
I just have a problem with Finn d'Abuzz, that's all.


Really Merry? And what is that?
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Finn dAbuzz
 
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Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 05:32 pm
DrewDad wrote:
How about "religious zealots."


I think that term is, in some ways, apt, but it doesn't address the clearly political desires of these individuals.
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parados
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 05:38 pm
Why not call them Islamic Republicans? or Islamic Christians? It would make about as much sense.

They certainly aren't fascists in the real meaning of the word.

The only reason to use "fascist" is to somehow tie them into something they aren't that is considered "bad".
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old europe
 
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Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 05:40 pm
Well.... it's a stupid term. "Fascism" has a certain meaning. It's not just a derogatory term.

See, if somebody doesn't agree with the Bush administration, and labels them "Neocon Communists", that would be just as stupid, because the term "communists" stands for a certain idea that is completely absent in the Bush admin. Sure, there are some elements both have in common: Bush likes his picture taken in front of a lot of soldiers, and communist dictators did, too. But in reality, Bush has nothing whatsoever in common with communist potentates.

Same with fascism: it represents a certain idea that simply doesn't exist in Islamist extremism.

Using a term like "Islamic Fascism" is just dumbing down the population.
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parados
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 05:42 pm
Quote:


The same could be said of the Bush administration for that matter. (or Clinton or anyone that someone disagrees with.)
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 05:47 pm
parados wrote:
Quote:


The same could be said of the Bush administration for that matter. (or Clinton or anyone that someone disagrees with.)


That's exactly the point. It's taking one isolated characteristic that is also present in fascism, and because of the presence of this characteristic attaches the label "fascism" to something completely different.

Using this logic, there would be no difference between fascism, communism, Nazism, religious extremism, etc. etc. etc.

Stupid.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 08:45 pm
I don't know about that Communism analogy. They're now calling Republican-voting states red states. That floored me when I first saw it.
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old europe
 
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Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 08:12 am
<grins>
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
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Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 08:27 am
I'm all for anything that keeps the great unwashed masses on the edge of anarchy. It's like watching monkey's at the zoo.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 08:29 am
Bi-Polar Bear wrote:
I'm all for anything that keeps the great unwashed masses on the edge of anarchy. It's like watching monkey's at the zoo.

Surely even Republicans have indoor plumbing and take the occasional bath....

Although I wouldn't want to meet Ticomaya after a soccer match....
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 08:41 am
I think it is a part of a deliberate propaganda effort. At the time of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Arabs were a laughing stock, the butts of jokes. The 1973 war, though, didn't leave anybody laughing. The 1990-91 Gulf War showed Arabs as villains, and potentially dangerous, but we had Arab allies in that war.

But after September 11th, the virulent anti-Arab rhetoric was immediately loud and hysterical. It quickly spread to a general anti-Muslim hysteria, because not all conservatives are idiots, and some of them actually know that not all Muslims are Arabs. In Los Angeles, a day or two after the attacks, a shop-owner was killed who was Indian, and who wasn't a Muslim, but just happened to wear a turban.

But there is a problem for the propagandists in simply describing the terrorists who happen to be Muslims as "religious extremists," or "religious fanatics." The problem is that everyone immediately recognizes that extremists and fanatics are only ever a small proportion of the population, and you don't get the really good hate mileage out of such a term.

"Islamo-fascist," however, gives that hate mileage which is missing in terms dependent upon "extremist" or "fanatic." In the era of the Second World War, all "Japs" were suspect, and just about anybody (such as Chinese-Americans or Korean-Americans) who even looked like them. All Germans in Germany and all Italians in Italy were seen as nazis and fascists--no attempt was made to determine if there were any resistance to the regimes in power, no efffort made to distinguish party members and the general run of the population.

Trotting out and dusting off the term fascist allows one to drop a blanket condemnation on all Muslims, while being prepared to polish up one's halo and assert that one only means the extremists. The propaganda is maturing, too. It attempts now to claim that all Islamo-fascists (read, all Muslims) want to establish a new caliphate, based on the rantings of some on the lunatic fringe of the greater Muslim community. Of course, on the lunatic fringe of the greater Christian community there are whack jobs who want to see world war three in Israel, to bring on Armageddon and the second coming of Christ. (Can you imagine living for more than two thousand years, and only having two orgasms ? ! ? ! ?)

In fact, as is always the case in human affairs, the motivations of those who are labelled Islamo-fascists are many and varied in origin. Muslims in the Philippines who are branded terrorists are largely in the Moro community, and they fought the Spaniard, and fought the Americans when we invaded in 1898, and now fight the central government of the Philippines. They don't want to live in a country dominated by Catholics, or to live in a country in which they are ethnic second-class citizens. The Chechens and Ingush have never, in two centuries, accepted Russian hegemony, and they continue to fight the Russians to this day--Putin calls them international terrorists so he can get a pass on close scrutiny of his methods. The conflict between Muslims and Hindus in India is much older than that nation itself, and in fact has its roots in the Muslim invasion many centuries ago. Indians, Pakistanis and Muslims in India continue to squabble over Kashmir, which was given to India in 1947, on the dubious proposition that it was a unitary province, and most of the population (just barely) was Hindu.

Even al Qaeda did not originally have any program of world domination, and referring to the loony rhetoric of bin Laden is misleading. Initially, bin Laden was supported in Afghanistan by the United States, and considered Americans his friends. He only turned against us when American troops remained in Saudi Arabia after the end of the 1990-91 Gulf War. We have finally withdrawn our troops from Saudi Arabia (about 15 years too late), which doesn't do us much good in particular, but makes it easier for the Saudi government to deal with home-grown fundamentalists.

The Muslims in the Berber population of North Africa largely have beefs with their former European colonial masters. Lybia finally knuckled under, and was let back into the "good guys" club because Got-Daffy has run a secular state since he took power in 1969, and there simply is no radical fundamentalist movement in a nation which has long enjoyed, for as much as they could afford, western prosperity. (Now allowed to freely sell petroleum again, the Lybians can afford a good deal of prosperity. Got-Dabby has enough sense to assure that the army at least enjoys that prosperity.) Algeria's fundamentalists won an election, which was mostly a reaction against the dominant francophone community more than an expression of wide-spread participation in fundamentalist ideology, which is why the military junta which put the democratically elected fundamentalist regime out of business has faced little concerted opposition. In Morocco, the only grudges remain against the Spanish, as was shown in the Madrid bombings. Like most accusations of international terrorism, which implies that there is some overarching controlling mechanism, the Madrid bombings as al Qaeda plot are a red herring. Most terrorist attacks are cheap and locally organized. Just because some Moroccans in Spain or some Moros in the Philippines call themselves al Qaeda is no good reason to assume that there is any such wide spread al Qaeda control, or that there is any commonality of objectives.

Islamo-fascist is a red herring term, but it is also a very clever and successful hate propaganda ploy, which allows the conservative ranter to tar all Muslims with the same brush, and to dismiss them all as inhuman devils, fit only to be exterminated.

Good work, rightwingnuts.
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