Author Topic: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism  (Read 5209 times)

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_JS

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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2006, 10:25:42 AM »
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That such usage also causes extreme embarrassment to both the Islamists themselves and their leftist “anti-fascist” appeasers in the West is just too bad.

"Appeasers" is a clear reference to Conservative Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of trying to contain Adolf Hitler by allowing him to take the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia. This sentence itself does two things, it places leftists on the side of Islamists (interestingly not calling them Islamofascists here) and it makes a World War II like hyperbole.

Chamberlain is one of those special people who is maligned by revisionist would-be historians, but was well-respected in his times. The truth was that Britain nor France could have ever saved the Sudetenland (anymore than they were able to save Poland). Many on today's right (and even left wing) like to think that pacifism was somehow involved in appeasement, it was not. There were many variables involved, including massive British debt, diplomatic strategies to keep Hitler as an anti-Communist, etc that were considered beforehand.

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First, the general idea of “fascism” — the creation of a centralized authoritarian state to enforce blanket obedience to a reactionary, all-encompassing ideology — fits well the aims of contemporary Islamism that openly demands implementation of sharia law and the return to a Pan-Islamic and theocratic caliphate.

Though fascism is not a democratic political philosophy, that does not make it the only non-democratic political ideology. You like calling a duck a duck? Call this what it is: theocracy. Is that not what these individuals really want?  The Caliphates, after the initial four, were basically royal dynasties which is far removed from fascist ideology. They were also rather unsuccesful and never ruled a united ummah.

By the way, sharia law (since we are getting our terms straight) does not refer to a single set of laws. It can mean many different things to different Muslims and shouldn't be given such a nasty connotation. It isn't much different than Halakha amongst the Jews. There is flexibility within sharia. Also keep in mind that like Judaism, Islam is a religion of law. It is not like Christianity. The law is extremely important and governs day-to-day activities and practices.

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In addition, Islamists, as is true of all fascists, privilege their own particular creed of true believers by harkening back to a lost, pristine past, in which the devout were once uncorrupted by modernism.

That's generally a trait of the right-wing, which was all fascism really was. It was an alliance of major right wing groups in Europe behind a political philosophy. Look at those who harken back to the education of the three R's. Those who believe that the United States was a better nation in the 1950's when chewing gum was the "only" major problem in school. Those who believe that when prayer was in schools, the pledge was recited every morning, and gays were shut up in the closet, and women had more rigidly defined roles was the better time in American life. That isn't a fascist trait, that is a conservative trait (I mean conservative in the traditional sense). The fascists were simply more outlandish with it. It makes sense that the Islamists use it as well, but it has little to do with Fascism.

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Because fascism is born out of insecurity and the sense of failure, hatred for Jews is de rigueur.

False. Mussolini was a zionist at one point. He also had Jews in high positions. This is theNational Review's attempt to force a square peg into a smaller round hole and make this about Israel and America. The Nazis used the Jews as a scapegoat because anti-semitism was extremely popular. If the Jews hadn't been there then it would have been somone else (and was - look at the Roma). It isn't about Jews specifically. Look at the Croatian death camps. They gassed and murdered primarily Serbians. It is about a minority that people can agree to hate.

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To read al Qaeda’s texts is to reenter the world of Mein Kampf

One ought to read Mein Kampf and some of Hitler's speeches. If you really believe in the spirit of "Never Again!" then I highly suggest it. You might be amazed the way in which Hitler is able to talk with the middle classes. It might change your perspective.

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Fascism is not quite the narcotic of the hopeless, but rather the opiate of the recently failed now on the supposed rebound who welcome the cheap fix of blaming others and bragging about their own iron will.

What? No offense, but I'm not even sure this deserves a decent response. Fascism is a nationalist political philosophy that denies class struggle and directly appeals to populism. The above is subjective and unsubstantiated. Also, past sentences discussed Imperial Japan and I want to point out that Japan was never a Fascist state.

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Japanese militarism’s racist creed, fanaticism, and sense of historical destiny were a motley synthesis of Bushido, Zen and Shinto Buddhism, emperor worship, and past samurai legends.

See above. Japan was a military dictatorship, and very few historians of which I am aware consider it a Fascist state. Very bizarre line of thought by the author to include them. From a journalist's perspective I can understand that they are trying to once again make this a comparison of World War II, but if that is the goal why not make the editorial strictly about that? Why make it about Fascism? Very odd.

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Just as there weren’t more than a dozen vocal critics of Hitler after the Wehrmacht finished off France in six weeks in June of 1940

There were of course many more than that, but many of them were Communists and sent into exile or the first concentration camps.

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Yet if he can claim that his martyrs forced the United States out of Afghanistan and Iraq, toppled a petrol sheikdom or two, and acquired its wealth and influence — or if he got his hands on nuclear weapons and lorded it over appeasing Westerners — then he too, like the Fuhrer in the 1930s, will become untouchable. The same is true of Iran’s president Ahmadinejad.

Extreme hypotheticals. If bin Laden was elected leader of Iraq, what then? If he cut off his beard invested all his assets in Microsoft and became chairman...

We have to deal with reasonable scenarios, not play speculative hypotheticals. Besides, none of those situations would place bin Laden beyond being a thug criminal. He'd still never be what Hitler was. Remember that Hitler in the 1930's had the respect and admiration of many leaders in the west. He was not abjectly despised or a wanted criminal throughout the world.

As for Iran's president, well, I heard the same hyperbole about Saddam. Every tinpot dictator is the "new Hitler." The truth is that none of them are. I know enough about history that I'm fairly certain I don't need the National Review to point out the "new Hitler" to me if one ever does exist.

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Fifth, fascism springs from untruth and embraces lying. Hitler had contempt for those who believed him after Czechoslovakia. He broke every agreement from Munich to the Soviet non-aggression pact. So did the Japanese, who were sending their fleet to Pearl Harbor even as they talked of a new diplomatic breakthrough.

Fascism no more embraces lying than any other political philosophy. Both Stalin and Hitler knew that neither could be trusted. The non-aggression pact was going to be broken, Hitler was just more prepared to deliver a near knockout than Stalin was to defend against it. Stalin was far too busy purging most of his competent officer corps. In other words, it was signed with the intention of it never lasting. Japan was not a fascist state, but also had little choice in the matter. It was a surprise attack sure, but so what if they lied?

So lying is one of the criteria? Are they serious? Does that make Henry Kissenger and Richard Nixon Fascists and by extension the United States? No offense again Sirs, but that is a rather bizarre assertion. Diplomacy is an arena where the truth gets displaced, especially if one follows realpolitik. I know that the Republicans have moved on to a more supposedly idealistic foreign policy, but you cannot say "war is hell, isn't it" out of one corner of your mouth and then whinge when someone lies in a war setting out of the other corner. It is logically inconsistent.

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They are fascists of an Islamic sort, pure and simple.

They aren't even close to fascists and this was perhaps one of the most ill-defined and poorly written definitions of Fascism I have ever read.

Honestly, there were people who were proud to call themselves "Fascists" who wrote books and essays on the philosophy. Why not read some of that and compare the two? This is just not a very quality academic comparison. This is justifying after the fact. For example, it centers around World War II, but compares the Islamists ( a decent enough descriptor) to pre-war fascism. Yet, it never discusses the rise of Italian Fascism. Doesn't it seem odd not to compare apples to apples? It certainly does to me. It mentions Mein Kampf but quotes no passages. It makes numerous assertions of fascist qualities, but provides scant examples. When it does provide examples, I've shown how they have erred.

Hopefully I've presented a good argument.




 

 

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Plane

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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2006, 11:40:43 AM »
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Appeal to a Frustrated Middle Class: OK, I see how this applied to the political philosophy of Fascism. This is a good point really. Hitler was an expert with this, and this is one reason Fascism found popularity in areas were Communism did not. How does radical Islam appeal to a frustrated middle class?


  This may be the least simular of the potential simularitys , Islamofascism has a greater appeal to the poor and poorly educated the middle class being relitively small in comparison to the western countrys it is less important to appeal to it.

    There is some element of appeal tho , and it is by means of contributions from welthy and middle class Muslims that Al Quieda gets the majority of its funding , with criminal enterprises accounting for the remainder.

Plane

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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2006, 12:07:57 PM »
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Hopefully I've presented a good argument.
 

Oh yes, you are doing quite well inspite of being wrong.


Ur- fascism would seem to be a widening of the root definition of Fascism so that groups with simularity but without common history or total simularity can be described as Fascist because of a short list of commonalitys .

Mr Echo has given us a list of what he considered to be the objectionable features of facism and it doesn't include much of what Mousoulini defined Fascism as,it doesn't include the political philosophy much , it is rather a listing of the effects and causes that exist in human nature that allowed the specific historical Fascist and the general ur-fascist to grow .

In Italy the Fascists grew on a nourishment of nostalga for former greatness and in Germany they were sure that everything ought to be done the German way in Japan they didn't consider themselves Fascists , more like monarcist empire builders , but they were still compatible enough with Fascists to exchange information , and inspireation.

It would be rediculous to call Joseph Stalin a Fascist , vet he had enough in common with them to assist in the building of their Armed forces , even in the USA there were people who were not Fascist really but who were ready to do business with them.

Islamo fascists  are very arguably not genuine fascists because their aims of domination do not spring from the fascist movement , but can they qualify as Ur - fascists anyhow?  They are overcomeing an inferiority that they feel by asserting the superiority of their way and their will , they are attempting to build an order for the whole world that they will assert by force , and they are not even limiting their hoped for Reich to a thousand years once the World is enveloped it shall be permanant as this is odviously Gods will.

Perhaps the most important simularity is within us rather than them?

Only a few Americans ever coould have defined Fascism with certainty abnd accuracy , to most of us the term was not a precice descriptor of political philosophy , but was the appelation of a type of threat , if the Islamo fascists are the same type of threat why not recall the term from the last time we were simularly threatened? 

Plane

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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2006, 12:21:36 PM »
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"Islamofascism" as a term of art, which is specially edited to apply to . . . you guessed it!  to the current anti-Zionist, anti-American Islamic fundamentalist guerrilla movements originally sponsored by Americans and Saudis to fight the Russians in Afghanistan.



"The current anti-Zionist, anti-American Islamic fundamentalist guerrilla Movements formerly sponsored by the Americans and Saudis to fight the Russians in Afganistan" has the advantages of specificity and  accuracy.


    But in a world in which air time is a valuable comoddity, it has the killing disadvantage of length.This term for them will never catch on.

      Have you a short name that could be comfortably applied?

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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2006, 12:51:39 PM »
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even in the USA there were people who were not Fascist really but who were ready to do business with them

Henry Ford being a prime example. Ford was a true hero of Hitler's to the extent that Hitler kept a picture of Ford on his desk. Ford admired the ability of corporatism to work in Fascist states such as Italy and Germany. Yet, it has nothing to do with what you dub "Islamo-Fascism."

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Islamo fascists  are very arguably not genuine fascists because their aims of domination do not spring from the fascist movement , but can they qualify as Ur - fascists anyhow?

Not really. Their philosophy doesn't spring from a fascist movement as you indicate. Let's repeat that: Islamists' philosophy does not spring from Fascism. They meet very few of the Ur-Fascist characteristics, certainly no more than those on the American right wing. So why label them fascists?

Why not characterize them as theocrats, since they clearly wish to instill their version of God's law onto the world? Theocracy is much closer to their stated goals than fascism. I'd say that Islamic Fundamentalist Theocrats is far closer to their actual belief system than fascism, which is more reminiscent of the Baathist Party, a group these Islamists attacked.

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to most of us the term was not a precice descriptor of political philosophy , but was the appelation of a type of threat

That doesn't make the misuse of the term acceptable. It is newspeak, plain and simple. DId you notice that in Eco's list?

You said that I was "wrong." Point out where what I have said is incorrect.
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Plane

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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2006, 01:17:13 PM »
Theocrat?
Islamotheocrat ,

Hmmmm......


I like that, perhaps you are not wrong.


An appellation is a necessity , accuracy of hermeneutics is desireable but is not necessary , once a stinking nickname sticks it becomes a name.


Perhaps it is not too late to offer a more precisely correct name , to those who need to name the thing.


Better hurry tho , "Islamo fascist " has a lot of appeal and is gaining currency .


Did you know that the Jerusalem Artichoke has nothing to do with Jerusalem or artichokes at all but we still do call it that , what is in a name ? Would not a rose by any other name smell as sweet?
« Last Edit: September 28, 2006, 01:20:51 PM by Plane »

_JS

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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2006, 01:20:23 PM »
A name itself is nothing but an abstract notion in the human mind for the existence of something in the outside world. It is a convenience.

On the other hand, we know from history that it can be much more when it is used to frame a debate. In this case that is exactly what the term "Islamofascism" is intended to do. It is newspeak, pure and simple.
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   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Plane

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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2006, 01:30:44 PM »
It is a new word , but why do you label it newspeak?


Is it an Orwellian opposite of a true label like " Mini Truth" for ministry of propaganda?


Is it misleading?


One might be leas to beleave that Al Quida is bent on world domination just as the Facisists of old were , but is this a false leading or a true one?

Is pointing out the diffrences between the theocrats of Al Quieda and the corpoiritists of Natzi Germany nit picking ?When the objectionable commonality is a goal of violent takeover of large parts of the world?



If calling them Theo crats pleases you better ,I suggest you dash off a pithy justifacation to Bill O'Reilley or a provocative one to Rush Limbaugh and don't waste any time , a better name needs to be offered where it will be often heard early enough to take its place in the lexicon.


Perhaps you could get Alan Combs to mention this?


sirs

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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2006, 01:32:22 PM »
I'd like to add the word "newspeak" to that list of overused & misused words thread
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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2006, 01:47:25 PM »
Now, I replied in a fairly lengthy mannerto the op-ed piece. I think we can have a better discussion than this.

I come here instead of writing letters to the likes of Limbaugh, O'Reilley, etc, because I have some respect for the intelligence of the people on this forum. Hannity, Combes, et al are about as intellectually stimulating as those shows about obese people losing weight.
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sirs

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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2006, 02:28:39 PM »
Currently Js, I don't have the time to respond in any detail to your opinion on the op-ed.  However, my reference to "newspeak" being overused/misused remains valid.  I will endeavor to respond in greater detail to your commentary sometime this evening
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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2006, 02:46:57 PM »
Being "overused" is a subjective opinion. That's up to you.

Misused is not. George Orwell provides an ample description of what newspeak is in essays that are usually attached in someway to 1984. In one of those essays Orwell gives a set of rules to writers, among them is:

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Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

Islamofascism clearly qualifies as a jargon word when the everyday English word (and older equivalent) would be: Islamist or Radical Islam.

I could go into more depth, but clearly newspeak, as I've used it here is not misused.
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

sirs

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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2006, 03:12:45 PM »
Being "overused" is a subjective opinion. That's up to you.  Misused is not.

That would be your subjective opinion, I'm afraid Js, and appears to be clearly being misused in the effort to cast the term Islamofascism aside, and not even dwell on it.

Islamofascism clearly qualifies as a jargon word when the everyday English word (and older equivalent) would be: Islamist or Radical Islam

Still waiting then for the "everyday English equivalent", since the current term of Islamofascism is still the most appropriate, vs the much more vague "militant islam"
« Last Edit: September 28, 2006, 03:20:05 PM by sirs »
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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2006, 04:17:37 PM »
Not deal with it?

I wrote quite an extensive post on it, thank you. When I see a quality comparison of fascism and the Islamists then I'll be impressed.
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   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

sirs

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Re: Dealing with some of those terms: Islamofascism
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2006, 04:35:48 PM »
Not deal with it?  I wrote quite an extensive post on it, thank you

True, that was a tad unfair, in that you did spend some quality time providing us your opinion as to why the term Islamofascism is supposedly inappropriate.  My apologies

When I see a quality comparison of fascism and the Islamists then I'll be impressed.

Been there done that, by both myself and Plane.  I think you what you're looking for is a substantive rebuttal, to your rebuttals, since the posts extensively articulating the accuracy of the term has been made.
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle