September 17, 2005

Why I Don’t Write “Islamofascist”

Hatched by Dafydd

First, why is this even important? Because language frames thought. I won't go as far as George Orwell in the "Newspeak" chapter of Nineteen Eighty-Four; I don't believe that absent a word for a concept, the concept itself becomes literally unthinkable. But I do believe language structures thought, changing how we think about an idea.

So creating a new word for Islamic terrorism changes how we perceive it, which affects how we fight it. This is especially true when the new word is actually a contraction of two other words, Islamic and fascism, into Islamofascism. The shortening restricts the ability to think critically about the alleged connection, short-circuiting rational thought and heading straight for the emotional centers.

Or as Orwell put it, "Comintern is a word that can be uttered almost without taking thought, whereas Communist International is a phrase over which one is obliged to linger at least momentarily."

The point here is twofold: first, somewhat trivially, the Islamists who commit acts of terror are not typically Fascists, or even lower-case-f "fascists." The Muslim Brotherhood allied with Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, but that was primarily because Hitler was such a strident Jew hater.

Most of the militant Islamist groups around today simply have no economic ideas, plans, or principles. Yet the distinguishing characteristic of fascism -- what differentiates it from garden-variety socialism, racism, and antisemitism -- is intensely economic: fascism is totalitarianism that operates through corporatism. As my pal and co-writer Brad Linaweaver explains it:

The Communists gathered up all the corporate heads and took them out to be shot; the fascists gathered up all the corporate heads and took them out to lunch -- where they were told to obey orders or be shot.

Precisely none of the Islamic countries or terrorist organizations who want to destroy us is a corporatist state; none is fascist.

The word "Islamofascist" is just an example of using Nazi or fascist as an all-purpose intensifier to mean anything bad. It cheapens the historicity of the real fascists. What's next, discussing the Communofascism of North Korea?

But the more important point is that the word "fascism" has a magical power: it overwhelms every other word you connect it to. In the real world, "Islamofascism" transsubstantiates into (islamo)-FASCISM! Kaboom!

The danger we face is Islamism and the willingness to murder hundreds of thousands in the name of jihad. What matters is the religion itself and the militancy by which it's spread -- not some putative connection to Mussolini or Hitler. To understand the jihadi, we need to confront the true source of the danger: the death cult that animates the slayer-of-thousands.

What we don't need is to hide it behind the big, black shadow of a different boogieman, and one that -- unlike Islamism -- doesn't even exist in any signficance anymore. Rather than intensifying our perception of what actually assails us, tacking that silly predicate on the end actually diminishes the intensity, fuzzing up the picture. If we lose focus and forget the real danger, as 9/11 recedes into the past, we will be tempted to just shrug it off and go back to the Clintonian "situation normal, all f---ed up" response.

And a word like Islamofascist pushes us in just that direction. In fact, it sounds exactly like something the Comintern might come up with to attack pro-democracy Moslems, like the brothers who run Iraq the Model.

The proper word that truly describes the enemy to his poisoned core is militant Islamist; and that is the word I will use.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 17, 2005, at the time of 12:06 AM

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Many of you will recognize the name Dafydd ab Hugh from smart comments around the blogosphere. He's also been a co-guest-blogger with me at Patterico's Pontifications, and he has also guest-blogged at Captain's Quarters, and he gets mentioned at Powerl... [Read More]

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I have long objected to the term "Islamofascist," and even moreso to Michael Medved's new atrocity, "Islamo-Nazi"; but it's not because I'm afraid to hurt the feelings of some poor Moslem somewhere. My objections are: The term diminishes the true... [Read More]

Tracked on August 15, 2006 10:07 PM


The following hissed in response by: Dan S

I prefer your choice of descriptor also. When I hear some of the talk radio hosts use "Islamofacist" I cringe; it's clearly an emotional sally and not a reasoned attempt to define the enemy. The former have a place in demagoguery, but not in reasoned discourse.

"Feminazi" at first was amusing, because it was meant to be. Then it mutated into something ugly. "Radical feminist" or "militant feminist" are likewise more accurate. But the demagogues, radio or otherwise, need their emotional hooks, and they will continue to come up with them.

Keep acting as a counterbalance for the more thoughtful.

(Is "petrofacist" next, for certain Latin American "elected" officials?)

The above hissed in response by: Dan S [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 7:09 AM

The following hissed in response by: pbswatcher

The phrase "militant islamist" immediately raises the question of how to define a "non-militant islamist." Mark Steyn captured the problem "For example, according to a recent poll, over 60 percent of British Muslims want to live under sharia in the United Kingdom. That’s a “moderate” Westernized Muslim: He wants stoning for adultery to be introduced in Liverpool, but he’s a “moderate” because it’s not such a priority that he’s prepared to fly a plane into a skyscraper." Lawrence Auster points out that we are as yet unwilling to turn Steyn's observation into policy.

The above hissed in response by: pbswatcher [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 7:21 AM

The following hissed in response by: ShrinkWrapped

Congratulations on your blog; I have enjoyed your work at Captain Ed's and expect to derive even more thought provoking analysis here in the future.
That being said, I have some concerns about militant Islamist as a replacement for Islamofascist. As a Psychoanalyst, I agree that words matter crucially. The problem for me is two fold. First, as pbswatcher points out, differentiating a militant Islamist from the vast majority of Muslims who support them to varying degrees is an undertaking likely to fail. While it may be true that we are in the early stages of a clash of civilizations, it is in every civilized person's interest to do whatever we can to avoid that clash becoming overt and universal. As long as we are able to frame the war as being between the Democratic West and those who actively are trying to kill us and recreate the Caliphate, we have a chance to keep those who merely passively support the Islamists from taking a more active role.
Secondly, while you are technically correct that fascism refers to an economic system, I think that that has become a bit of an archaic usage, replaced by a more general sense of fascism=right wing totalitarianism. RWT may not be terribly meaningful, technically, in this context but it is easily understandable to mean those who want to institute a dictatorship of them over us (with the them and us being relatively easily identified.)
In the interest of avoiding making the war explicitly "America against Islam", I believe Islamic fascism works better as a construction. In the streets of Iraq, they know a dictatorship when they see it. They can easily see that we are not interested in installing an infidel, Crusader dictatorship; as well, they are able to easily contrast this with al Qaeda, who have installed dictatorial systems wherever they have held sway in Iraq. The distinction is crucial, lends itself to the idea of fascism as a synonym for totalitarianism, and preserves, to my mind, the distinction we need between the masses of Islam and the violent totalitarians of militant Islamism.

The above hissed in response by: ShrinkWrapped [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 8:18 AM

The following hissed in response by: ddh

Davydd makes good points about "islamofascism" being a poor description of the ideology of jihadists and a neologism that obscures thought. "Islamofascism" describes better the alliance in Iraq between the jihadists and the Baathists, whose ideology truly is fascist. Of course, that alliance is one of convenience, rivaling the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in cynicism, and the adherents have nothing more in common than their enemy--us. Even in the Iraqi context, the term would probably do more mischief than it's worth.

The above hissed in response by: ddh [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 8:20 AM

The following hissed in response by: reliapundit - the astute blogger


congratz on the site!

you wrote:

"totalitarianism that operates through corporatism" -

this is nonsense.

fascism was a term coined by benito (as in juarez - the socialist!) mussolini - the son of the founder of the italian socialist party. benito was invoking the facsi - a roman statist symbol; it's a bundle of straws (EXACTLY like the one on the back of the FDR dime -- PS: NO coincidence there!). one straw is EASY to break, but a FASCI of straws is IMPOSSIBLE to break.

IOW: the individual is NOTHING ; the state is everything.

mussolini was a statist who argued that everything has to be subjugated to the state. that's what fascism meant.

the corporatism angle is a line of total BS invented by marxist socialists to disatance themselves from other statists (like mussolini and hitler).

they wanted to portray their marxist socialism/statism as "for all people/all proletarians" and to portray hitler's and mussolini's as for the rich corporations.

this is historically false.

both hitler and mussolini were socialists. nazism was opposed to marxism but not opposed to socialism - after all nazi stands for national SOCIALIST workers party! whereas marx and lenin and stalin belived that socialism was international and based solely on class, hitler and mussolini) based their socialism on racism and nationalism.

the "militant islamicists" are not dangerous ONLY because they use violence and terror; they are dangerous because they advocate a totalitarian state. a totalitarian state run by an elite - mullahs or clerics instead of a politburo, an ayatollah instead of a fuehrer.

baathism is nothing more than overtly socialist and arab nationalist jihadism. a party overtly founded on the principles of hitler - as was the muslim brotherhood.

hitler, stalin and mussolini were all socialists and all fascists and all statists.

look at it this way: the poltical spectrum we were all raised on is TOTALLY FALSE.

this is the one which places communism on the extreme left and fascism on the extreme right (as if they were OPPOSITES). in this scheme democracies are in the middle - with states like the usa right-of-center and states like denmark left-of-center.

but in this traditional scheme there is no LOGICAL place for anarchism. it belongs not in either the middle or at either extreme.

this proves that this scheme is illogical and false.

an accurate scheme places all statist ideologies on the extreme left, and anarchism on the extreme right, and democracies in the middle.

marxism and hitlerism and stalinism and mussolini-ism and trotskyite-ism and maoism and chavezism and mugabe-ism and castro-ism are merely variants of leftism/statism, because all require the individual to be subjugated to the state - a state ruled by the edicts of an elite, and elite of experts in the creed upon which the state is founded.

so does binladenism/qutbism/salafism/jihadism.

jihadism IS islamofasicsm or it is nothing. "militant islam" IS fascist if it is anything.

if you insist on pushing the "corporatist" angle, then merely see that the rulers of the sect the "militant islmamicists" seek to put in charge of the re-established caliphate would be the "board of directors" of the corporation which owns and operates all the activites of the state and the economy.

this is essentially really no different than nazism or stalinism EXCEPT that it used the koran instead of mein kampf or das kapital.

and if you should ever have the time to read mussolini or hitler (mein kampf, for instance) - you will see what they proposed was in fact a form of socialism.

so islamofascist is accurate. as would be islamostatist.

[by the way, in nazi germany all industries were set up into monopolies controlled by the state/nazi party. state run/state operated monopolies. nazis ruled the state, and totally ordered around the corporations; corporations did not run the nazi party or the state.]

all the best!

The above hissed in response by: reliapundit - the astute blogger [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 8:21 AM

The following hissed in response by: RiverRat

Militant is far too generous; equivalent to militant feminists? Methinks not.

How about Barbaric Islamists? Islamic Barbarians?

Another of (I think) my creation for the MSM is 3-H Media. The 3-H is for hubristic howling hyenas; seems appropriate given their propensity to feast even on the weakest of their own.

The above hissed in response by: RiverRat [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 8:30 AM

The following hissed in response by: TRSeeker

Howdy Dafydd,
Congratulations and kudos on the site.

I agree, and attempt to make the subtle point often. It moves the focus from the origin point of the problem. Murderous thugs wanting to establish a 7th century totalitarian theocracy is the problem - radical Islamism - just as Nazis goals of world, Aryan domination was the problem in WWII.

Islamist thugs have little interest in gathering the likes of Krupp, Junkers, Roehling, Messerschmidt, and Volkswagenwerk, et al into a totalitarian socialist/capitalist entity. (So integrated were these entities with the Nazi government, they were even directly charged with the task of reconsituting the Nazis post WWII.)

I think folks get a visceral satisfaction out of shouting fascist, just as our friends on the far left enjoy projecting "Nazi" onto its opponents.

Unfortunately, it takes our "eye off the ball".

The above hissed in response by: TRSeeker [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 8:48 AM

The following hissed in response by: Pete

Bravo. Yes, words frame thoughts. And he who frames the debate almost always wins it.

Words can be used for effect, and/or to convey meaning. For clear thinking, we need to scutinize the way words are used, keeping in mind the different purposes.

The progressive left is masterful at using words for effect and using words to frame thoughts. They hijack words conveying traditional values and redefine them to connote their own values, often antithetical to the originals... "diversity", "tolerance". Too often they do it unchallenged. It puts us at a needless disadvantage in the national debate on almost every issue.

Careless use of words leads to muddled thinking. Tolerance of it leaves us vulnerable to the tricksters.

The above hissed in response by: Pete [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 9:25 AM

The following hissed in response by: Clint

It may be that "Islamofascism" is slightly imprecise -- and that "Islamototalitarian" would be more precise. But the former simply sounds better. And I really can't imagine that anyone is confused into thinking that we mean to assert something corporatist by it. Words are shorthand for ideas -- they are not the ideas themselves. (If they were, we'd have to break down "fascist" and you'd have to try to explain the relation between the fasces ancient Roman lictors carried and corporatist political structures...)

"Militant Islamist" is far, far less clear.

"Militant" has come to mean simply having strong beliefs and acting on them -- for example, a militant vegetarian would be someone who marches in protests, not someone who blows up a meat-packing plant.

When you call Bin Laden a "militant Islamist" it sounds like you mean that most Islamic people are lukewarm in their beliefs -- and the terrorists who want to reestablish the Caliphate are merely those who take those beliefs seriously and act on them. This is exactly the assertion of those who say this is in fact a war against all Islam.

I know that's not what you mean, but squeezing the entire difference between terrorists fighting to establish the world-wide Caliphate and a typical muslim into the two letter difference between "Islamic" and "Islamist" can only lead to exactly that confusion. And we can't afford that.


The "ball" we need to focus on is exactly as you describe -- "murderous thugs wanting to establish a 7th century totalitarian theocracy."

But for most people, the term "Islamofascist" encapsulates that idea. "Militant Islamist" does not. If you want to argue that we should use "Islamotheocratist" or "Islamototalitarian" -- I'd agree these are more precise, but they are also more cumbersome.

The above hissed in response by: Clint [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 9:27 AM

The following hissed in response by: TRSeeker


Islamofascist does roll off the tongue. Perhaps we are in need of a phrase that captures the public notice. About 15 years ago I penned a little article entitled "The Next Great War - The West's Coming Battle with Radical Islam and It's Eighty Million Propogandized Youth"

That did not roll off the tongue!

The above hissed in response by: TRSeeker [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 9:43 AM

The following hissed in response by: Gandalin

Unfortunately you and your pal Linaweaver don't seem to understand what the Italian fascists meant by "corpoiratist" or just what the "corporate" bodies under Italian fascism were.

Here's from the wikipedia:

***Historically, corporatism or corporativism (Italian corporativismo) is a political system in which legislative power is given to corporations that represent economic, industrial and professional groups. Unlike pluralism, in which many groups must compete for control of the state, in corporatism, certain unelected bodies take a critical role in the decision-making process. This original meaning was not connected with the specific notion of a business corporation, being a rather more general reference to any incorporated body. The word "corporatism" is derived from the Latin word for body, corpus.***

Or, in this example quoted by the Oxford English Dictionary:

***1938 Downside Rev. LVI. 382 Corporativism means a vocational organization, the grouping of individuals according to the function which they exercise in society.***

The "corporations" were labor unions and professional associations. Much like the "syndicates" of "syndicalism."

In other words, the fascist dystopia was the dream-State of the group-identity ideologues who now dominate the Democratic party: a socialist State in which power is held by the unelected, un-accountable leaders of special-interest groups like labor unions, racial affinity conclaves, and the like.

Now that the fraudulent and fantastic foolishness of Marxism, Leninism, and Maoism has been finally discredited by the open historical record of their abject failures, the nihilistic, anti-democratic left is casting about for a new ideology upon which to base its dreams of violence and tyranny.

Ilyich Ramirez Sanchez, the "Jackal," has written from his prison cell that the proper ideology for the new left is Islamism, and that its proper leader is Bin Laden.

So perhaps Islamofascism is not such a bad name, after all.

The above hissed in response by: Gandalin [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 10:11 AM

The following hissed in response by: reliapundit - the astute blogger

right on gandalin!

the idea that fascism was pro-corporation as in business is due to a misinterpetation and the conflation - that's why the otherwise brilliant daffyd is all wrong on his anti-islamofascist stance.

binladen is really and simply and actually a typoe of fascist - one who seeks to put all state power into an non-popularly elected elitist clerical corporation.

a nation in which the government governs by by edict, and the governors are unelected religous elitists.

hence: ISLAMOFASCISM is apt.

pete wrote:

"Careless use of words leads to muddled thinking"


and the careless use of words in this case is by the ususally right-on daffyd who misuses the word corporatism and then uses that misinterpretation to misconstrue fascism and then islamofascism.

the muddled thinking in this case is by folks who think binladen is not a fascist.

(and muddled thinking is also exhibited by people who arge that fascism was the opposite of communism! the war between stalin and hitler was internecine - a war between statists/socialists - like stalin's war with trotsky, only much MUCH bloodier!)

The above hissed in response by: reliapundit - the astute blogger [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 10:33 AM

The following hissed in response by: max

Isn't it interesting that this difficulty in precisely naming a movement, that is so explicit in its goals, derives from the obfuscation of such terms by historical movements with similar methods? Fascism never died, it simply divorced populism, returned to its maiden name, and went back to college.

The above hissed in response by: max [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 11:00 AM

The following hissed in response by: HelenW

Ddd writes: The proper word that truly describes the enemy to his poisoned core is militant Islamist; and that is the word I will use.

Your analysis of "Islamofascism" is very useful. However, the phrase "militant Islamist" can be deconstructed exactly the same way. You are using language to frame, or limit, the human element of societal devolution. This is not useful, because most of our enemies are not militant. I offer the examples of CAIR, al Jazeera, and even al Reuters.

I use the more inclusive, "Jihadist." This is a term properly applied to anyone who acts against the infidel, either by sword or pen.

The above hissed in response by: HelenW [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 12:51 PM

The following hissed in response by: justamomof4

Thanks for hissing in? Maybe I should change my nic to better suit this site!

What a great topic to start off this blog with! I'm out of my league and have nothing to offer. As one who did not appreciate social studies way back when, the wonderfully informative comments are akin to handy cliff notes.

Always enjoyed reading Daffyd at Captains Quarters . ..Big Lizards is now bookmarked for daily perusal!

The above hissed in response by: justamomof4 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 1:51 PM

The following hissed in response by: beebop

I agree with the reliapundit. Fascism is the correct definition for a nationalist/collectivist totalitarian caliphinate ruled by an infallable demigod fuerer/caliph. In the case of the Baathists under Saddam and Assad the link is even more direct -- these parties got their start under the brief Petain French colaborationist experiment in the levant.

The above hissed in response by: beebop [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 2:09 PM

The following hissed in response by: pbswatcher

ShrinkWrapped says "As long as we are able to frame the war as being between the Democratic West and those who actively are trying to kill us and recreate the Caliphate, we have a chance to keep those who merely passively support the Islamists from taking a more active role." Why should we think OUR framing of the debate has any effect on, or is even noticed by, either the Islamofascist/militants or their silent sympathizers? We have been at such great pains not to imply a connection to the bulk of Islam that we can't even agree on a name for people who want to saw our heads off. Yet the tacit support continues. Suppose we destroy all the fascist/militants and 60% still want to vote for sharia and an end to democracy? Then what?

The above hissed in response by: pbswatcher [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 3:37 PM

The following hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi

Oh! Do i have a voice now?
This is what i wanted to say!

The above hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 4:52 PM

The following hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi

This is what i said: i disagree. ;-)
Anyhow, in his thoughtful and well reasoned post, Dafydd writes that he won't use the term Islamofacist, for some good reasons. But Militant Islamist is also wrong. The correct term is Islamic Fundamentalist. That is what THEY say they are, and we should listen. The Wahhabists and Salafists (Bin Laden is one) seek a return to the Golden Age of Islam (ie, when the Prophet walked the earth), the expansion of the Caliphate, and the imposition of a 14th century code of behavior.
Sure, the Sunnis and Baathists might be facists and statists, but they cloak their ambitions in the religious party line, because it plays much better to the amaanu, the people of the book. This is why it is difficult to get the non-head-chopping, non-plane-crashing-into-buildings muslims to condemn these "holy" men and their aspiriations.
You may think it unimportant what we call them, but how can we hope to fight them if we don't understand their true motivation? At the very least, we should listen to what they are saying.

The above hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 5:48 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terry Gain

This blog is off to a great start. ShrinkWrapped sets the tone by congratulating Dafydd on the launch of this site and then clearly and concisely explains why he disagrees with today's post.

I'm not an historian or linguist but I prefer the reasoning of ShrinkWrapped and the analysis of reliapundit to those searching for linguistic purity.

It is difficult to win a war without clearly defining the enemy. I take it that President Bush has been warned off the use of the term Islamofascist for fear of being accused of waging war on Islam. It is however the right term as it is properly emotive and describes who the enemy is as well as its methods and its core philosophy.

The term Militant Islamist is much too mild and fails to convey the enemy's structure and seriousness of purpose- and the resultant horror that awaits us if this threat is not taken seriously.

"Islamic Terrorist" is better but it concentates too much on method rather than the structure and core beliefs of the enemy.

"Jihadist" is too vague and personal and does not
convey the reality that we are dealing with an enemy that does have a corporate structure.

"Fundamentaist" is misleading as the term is often used to describe people who do not use or advocate the use of violence to achieve their goals.

Words do matter. They are vehicles of communication. This is why I describe the Iraq war as a war of liberation and those opposed to it as being opposed to the liberation of the Iraqis.

Islamofascist is not too strong a term to describe those who wish to re-establish the Caliphate and are willing to kill the innocent en masse in their attempt to defeat the establishment of democracy and the rule of law in Iraq.

The above hissed in response by: Terry Gain [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 7:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

The problem with catch phrases is that more attention is put on it sounding good, than accuracy.

Still I think even Islamists, takes the focus too narrow. To my mind the two Memes in conflict are on one side those who believe that Liberty, Freedom and Responsibility derive from the Individual and those who believe that Society should be ordered and controlled from the Top down to prevent the lumpin masses bless their pointy headed little hearts from trying to maked decisions above their stations and making mistakes,

Instead Society must be run by an elite oligarchy for the benefit of all. Odd that oligarchy always includes them at the top?

From this view point the Islamists and the Socialist Far Left differ only in WHO shall be at the top. As far as the Order of an Ideal Society, they seem to be identical.

So we are at War, one portion of the enemy uses bombs, bullets and REALLY would like to have the biggest and best bombs (nuclear) while another portion of our true enemy utilizes propaganda, agit-prop and what I like to think of as

Diplomacy as War by Other Means

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 8:57 PM

The following hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi

Terry, sho, there can be fundamentalists that do not endorse violence, but are there any peaceful Islamic fundamantalists? My point is, we need to hear what they are saying, in the know thy enemy sense. They are what they are, fundamantalists, not facists. If we can't even describe them accurately with their own words, how can we hope to defeat them?

The above hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 11:14 PM

The following hissed in response by: AST

I've thought about this a lot too, although I don't take it as seriously as you do. After reading a number of books about Islam I had a sense that traditional Islam is not about politics and power, but about living devoutly. Terrorism and violence aimed as seizing power over others are not a legitimate interpretation of Islam. Therefore I think the best term is Apostate Muslims. They use Islam as a tool of demagogy, and tell impressionable youth the lie that by blowing yourself up along with murdering others, you become a martyr. No sensible Muslim accepts that. Those Muslims who seek peace by living peacefully deserve to be rid of these vermin who use their religion to dupe young people into deadend lives.

The above hissed in response by: AST [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 12:12 AM

The following hissed in response by: cdquarles

re: anarchism,

Does anyone think that you have maximum liberty in an anarchic state? I don't. I am a libertarian, and I am the extreme right wing :). A libertarian desires the least possible government compatible with the maximum possible liberty.

This libertarian believes this is only possible where the government is formed using Judeo-Christian values at its base; and the citizens understand why that is so, even if they do not believe in those values.

The above hissed in response by: cdquarles [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 12:47 PM

The following hissed in response by: Gandalin

Interesting discussion.

I don't think that the correct term is "Islamic fundamentalist" by any stretch of the imagination.

First of all, "fundamentalist" is a word which once had a good, solid meaning; it referred to a particular school of Protestant Christian scriptural interpretation. The term "fundamentalist" has since become a journalist's synonym for "extremist." So we have already gone from a clear, precise meaning to a muddy, port-manteau word that obscures rather than illuminates.

Moreover, it is simply not correct that "Islamic Fundamentalist" is what THEY say they are.

The Salafis and Wahhabis call themselves "Muslims," just plain "Muslims." They deny the existence of any Islamic sects or subdivisions, and maintain that one is either a "Muslim," i.e. one of them, or an "infidel." Period.

It is obvious that unlike the majority of his historical predecessors in opposing the Jihad, President Bush is not going to declare a war on "Muslims."

So we are left with a search for a term that identifies those within the Muslim world who have chosen to use violence and terror in order to impose their vision of a Caliphate on all the earth, and which will also serve if it can to separate them from the vast majority (we hope) of their coreligionists who, although perhaps desirous of the Caliphate in an abstract, dreamy way, do not plan to bring it about by waging war against the West and the rest of the modern world.

Thus, Islamofascist, Islamic Extremist, Islamic Fundamentalist, Salafi, Wahhabi.

The term Salafi is probably a good one within the Ummah, since I think most Muslims understand what it means, and find Salafis unacceptable, but to use it exclusively would ignore the Shi'ite terrorists who currently rule Iran.

The above hissed in response by: Gandalin [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 2:38 PM

The following hissed in response by: Van Helsing

You convinced me — I'm done using the word Islamofascist. When you think about it, the word is a cowardly euphemism. What people actually mean is Islamic, but it's politically incorrect to criticize Islam, so we pretend we're criticizing some bastard offspring of Islam and fascism.

The above hissed in response by: Van Helsing [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 3:42 PM

The following hissed in response by: Milhouse

I thought corporatism meant viewing the entire nation as one body, with each part doing its bit, and the head naturally controlling all the other parts.

The above hissed in response by: Milhouse [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 6:24 PM

The following hissed in response by: BigLeeH

Hello Dayfdd, I like your blog so far. Keep up the good work.

I am to be numbered among those who rather like the term islamofascist. I have always thought that Brad overstates his case in using a narrow economic definition of Fascism. But even if you accept Brad's definition I think it still applies.

First let me be clear that I don't particularly think that radical Islamists are all, or even mostly, fascists. Neither do I think that all Austrians are Hungarian but that doesn't dissuade me from using the term Austro-Hungarian to describe the dual kingdom or the alliance.

If you look at our enemies in the Islamic world, including their financial backers, it becomes clear, at least to me, that some of the players are Islamists, some are Fascists and some are both. The parallels between the Baath party, in Syria and pre-war Iraq, and the Nazi party in Germany are not just compelling -- they are exact.

Consider the economy of Saudi Arabia; you will find large numbers of private businesses and great private wealth, but you will also find that the common thread that runs through all successful business in Saudi Arabia is good relations with the House of Saud, or at least some faction of it.

Pretty much ALL of the regimes in the mid east can be described as fascist, however you want to define the word. And it is those fascist regimes that bankroll the Islamist actions. The nature of asymmetrical warfare requires that any participant with infrastructure on their side maintain deniability so the Islamists make all the public appearances but the money has to come from somewhere.

And, since you are quoting Brad to support your thesis, I will quote him to support mine. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq Brad was responding to critics of the war who called Bush a "cowboy". Brad said, "Fine. OK. Then we have an American Cowboy duking it out with an Arab Nazi; who are you going to root for?"

The above hissed in response by: BigLeeH [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2005 9:53 AM

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