Fascism Is The Right Word

CNN has a piece on President Bush and other Administration officials finally catching on to the term “Islamic fascism”. While CNN generally takes a negative stance on the use of that word, it is an accurate description of the enemy we fight.

Al-Qaeda belongs to an ideology that divides the world into Dar al-Harb (The House of War) and Dar al-Islam (The House of Islam). It holds that all those who do not follow their strict interpretation of Islam are practicing jahiliyya(paganism). They are either Salafists — believers that Islam must return to the austerity of the first Imams of the Muslim faith, or radical Shi’ites whose millennialist theories envision a great battle between the Muslim world and those who do not submit to the will of Allah.

The believe in one master group of people, the systematic oppression, the intolerance of dissent, and the reaching for an idealized past — all of those things are part of what it means to be a fascist. The term “Islamic fascist” is a perfectly accurate way of describing the enemy we fight. It’s what we should have called them in the first place. The war we fight isn’t against the tactic of terrorism, it is against a particular set of groups and nations with particular aims that are rooted in an Islamic world view.

The late Steven Vincent made it quite clear in one of his last interviews, a statement that is as accurate and as important as anything written about this war:

Words matter. Words convey moral clarity. Without moral clarity, we will not succeed in Iraq. That is why the terms the press uses to cover this conflict are so vital. For example, take the word “guerillas.” As you noted, mainstream media sources like the New York Times often use the terms “insurgents” or “guerillas” to describe the Sunni Triangle gunmen, as if these murderous thugs represented a traditional national liberation movement. But when the Times reports on similar groups of masked reactionary killers operating in Latin American countries, they utilize the phrase “paramilitary death squads.” Same murderers, different designations. Yet of the two, “insurgents”—and especially “guerillas”—has a claim on our sympathies that “paramilitaries” lacks. This is not semantics: imagine if the media routinely called the Sunni Triangle gunmen “right wing paramilitary death squads.” Not only would the description be more accurate, but it would offer the American public a clear idea of the enemy in Iraq. And that, in turn, would bolster public attitudes toward the war.

Via The Corner comes an interesting excerpt from an interview of a French documentary filmmaker who spend time interviewing the families of suicide bombers. His observed:

Q – How can we put an end to the madness of suicide bombings and terrorism in general?

A – Stop being politically correct and stop believing that this culture is a victim of ours. Radical Islamism today is nothing but a new form of Naziism. Nobody was trying to justify or excuse Hitler in the 1930s. We had to defeat him in order to make peace one day with the German people.

He is right. The evils of Islamic fascism are no less evil than those of the Third Reich — and sooner or later their capacity will grow to the point where they pose a similar threat. (Indeed, it could be argues that their lack of moral constraint makes them an even greater threat than the Third Reich was. Hitler never attacked the continental United States directly.) If we cannot even name this grave enemy, how can we possibly effectively combat it?

One thought on “Fascism Is The Right Word

  1. I think comparisons of these Islamic facists with Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union of Stalin are equally valid.

    The in-fighting between the different Islamic sects is a political struggle to see which of them can run the whole ‘Islamic show’ until the Mahdi makes an appearance.

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