Islamic-fascism… Oh Brother!
September 3, 2006 § 31 Comments
This term Islamic-fascism although quaint, is not indicative of Islam. So the term Islamic-fascism should not be used in the way that President Bush has divisively used it. It is misleading and just adds fuel to the fire; vilifying the Muslim, implying that the U.S. and its “democracy” are the hero.
The claims of Islamic-fascism is a sly tool to get the Western minds wrapped around labels just as Technorati uses its tags. The more we talk about it, the bigger the tags become. Bigger and bigger the tags grow with the buzz of these labels. Until they can be conveniently placed into speaches and addressed by the President as a global front for a new war, as the press reported recently,
WASHINGTON (AFP) – U.S. President George W. Bush, trying a different approach to galvanizing support for the unpopular Iraq war, has framed it as the central front in a global war against “Islamic fascists”.
Now we have people all over the U.S. and Europe working “Islamic-fascists” into their daily remarks against Muslims. But who actually coined this phrase? Who was so influential that the President of the United States has revisited his claim of a “War on Terror” and substituted “Terror” with “Islamic-fascism”.
The term was actually utilized in journalism first and one of those who popularized this term was an American journalist named Stephen Schwartz. Schwartz a journalist, left-wing neoconservative of Jewish heritage converted to Islam, though introduced to Islam through Sufi schools of thought. Schwartz who is now known as Suleyman Ahmad is also the Executive Director for the Center for Islamic Pluralism. Schwartz, a “vehement” critic of Wahhabism and the House of Sa’ud, he wrote a book entitled, “The Two Faces of Islam” which openly criticizes Wahhabism and the “Saudi regime”.
Schwartz along with other journalists are said to have intended the term to refer to “Islamist extremists” and terrorist groups like “al-Qaeda”. Personally, knowing a little of Schwartz and his strong criticisms, I think he always meant the term to refer to the Sa’udis. This is best illustrated in the word fascism as it means the following according to the American Heritage Dictionary:
- often Fascism
- A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
- A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
- Oppressive, dictatorial control.
This does not exactly describe groups such as al-Qaeda, Hamas or Nasrullah’s Hizbullah. But it could be an argument against the House of Sa’ud. At any rate Schwartz, the Jewish, neoconservative and converted Sufi Muslim is partly responsible for the sloppy handling of a hyphenated Islam. I hate when Islam is hyphenated… its just a personal gripe that I have concerning the portrayal of Islam in the media, and a gripe that I take very seriously.
My question is if you are a Muslim, why drag Islam through the mud? The typical Westerner will not differentiate Wahhabi from Salafi, to them it is all Islam. I am afraid that this has contributed to greater harm than any good that will ever be produced from this kind of terminology. The same point could have been made utilizing the name of the group or its constituents as fascists instead using a hyphenated Islam. For instance, these journalists could have used “religious-fascism” because technically if they are fascists they are not practicing Islam.
Ultimately, the political position that journalists such as Schwartz have provided is a means to target Islam and lobby anyone with ears to label a “moderate-Muslim” a good Muslim and therefore following Islam (which is bollocks). On the other hand a non-moderate Muslim is supporting Islamic-fascism. If the President of the U.S. were to use the momentum created by this terminology, who is to say that he would not target varying madhahib next. He might claim that Wahhabis are the progenitors of Islamic-fascism, but thats a stretch.
The point that I am trying to make is that creating a negative buzz around Islam will not assist in catching terrorists. It will only cause people to fear Islam and in turn Muslims. This is exactly the case concerning an article about a recent YouGov poll featured on Wa Salaam. The poll concerns Briton’s overall thoughts of Islam and a large percentage concluded that “Islam threatens democracy”, this is revealed in my article entitled “Islam Threatens Democracy?” when I wrote,
In conclusion, it seems that when you have polls saying Briton’s fear Islam at such high rates, you know one thing for certain. The people are clueless and afraid, and those that could benefit from this know that anything which appears to be a sense of security and relief will more desirable than free Beyonce tickets. The Bush Administration and the media have been taking advantage of this fact since the “War on Terrorism” began. It kinda makes me wonder if the writers of the motion picture entitled, “V is for Vendetta” had a premonition or vision of what is to come.