by Dr. Steve Carol ©
What is of greater concern is that a presidential contender seems not to understand the definition of fascism and its modern variant, Islamofascism (or Islamic fascism). This is not a recent term. It was introduced by French writer Maxine Rodinson to describe the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79.
A quick review of ideology is in order. Different ideologies should be part of any history and government class in the United States. No other type of ideology, (democracy, communism, or despotism) matches what our enemy stands for as does the ideology of fascism. Islamofascism is the Islamic jihadist ideology grafted onto the totalitarian dictatorial system of fascism where the goals of Islam are more important than that of the individual. It seeks to re-create a mythical past, glorification of war, violence, intimidation, belligerency, superiority over non-believers, anti-Semitism and anti-liberalism are all components of this ideology. An examination of events before and after 9/11 show that the definition is both sound and accurate. The pairing of the two words “Islamic” and “fascism” conveys a precise message: the old fascism is back, but driven by a radical fundamentalist creed of Islam. Who are the Islamofascists? They are the practitioners of militant Islam. Militant Islam contains elements of terrorism, religious fundamentalism, and the exploitation of social and economic injustice. It has ideological fervor, it has global reach, it is ambitious and it has staying power. They seek to re-create the Caliphate that once existed from southern France, to the gates of Vienna, to the plains of India, the steppes of Russia and western China – and then once regaining that, beyond. Islamofascism is now a global threat because certain Arab and Muslim governments have chosen to export it.
Senator Feingold claims the term does not make any sense. Yes, that applies, but not to the term “Islamofascism” but rather to the term he prefers: “terror.” We are not in a war against terror any more than the U.S. was in a war against trenches in World War I, a war against blitzkrieg and kamikaze in World War II and a war against blockade during the Cold War. Trench warfare, blitzkrieg, kamikaze, blockade and terror are all tactics employed in a war. Wars have identifiable enemies and ideologies. Fascism (and its German variant Nazism) during World War II and communism during the Cold War. The hostile ideology that currently seeks to destroy the American way of life, our free and democratic system and values is Islamofascism.
President Bush, has finally used the term “Islamic fascism” to describe the enemy ideology, albeit once. The PC crowd as well as apologists for the Islamofascists, have sought to prevent the use of that term. Continued use of the term “war on terror” clouds the issue, confuses many, and seriously divides our nation. While Americans – Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives – continue to argue about whether or not we should or shouldn’t use the term “Islamofascism” and continue to deal with our Islamofascist enemies with one hand tied behind our back under “Marquis of Queensbury” rules – our enemies sharpen their figurative and literal swords and plan new acts of terror against us. “[Islamic fascism] doesn’t make sense” intones Senator Feingold. On the contrary, both by definition and deed it makes absolute sense. Rather than take the Senator’s suggestion not to use the term, Americans all, should increase their usage of it. As the Chinese general and author, Sun Tzu, advised over 2000 years ago: “Know thy enemy.”
Dr. Steven Carol
Prof. of History (retired)
Middle East Consultant – Salem Radio Network News
Official historian on The Middle East Radio Forum www.middleeastradioforum.org