Naming names

Last week, President Bush finally said the words that many of his supporters in the War On Terror have been waiting years for him — he named the enemy, calling it “Islamic fascism.” This wasn’t quite as strong a term as many of us had hoped he’d use, but it was a damned good step in the right direction.

And naturally, this has a lot of Islamist apologists all bent out of shape.

Those people are betraying not only their own agenda, but their ignorance of the English language.

In the phrase “Islamic fascism,” “Islamic” is being used as an adjective. It is a modifier, describing a particular form of fascism, which is the key word.

Let’s take a look at the dictionary definition of “fascism:”

1. often Fascism a. 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. b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government. 2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

Then compare that with the stated goal of the terrorists: the overthrow of existing governments and the creation of an Islamic caliphate, with religious leaders serving as absolute rulers and their faith the final arbiter of all matters — civil, political, legal, criminal, economic, everything.

To me, that’s a fair approximation of fascism, colored with the veneer of Islam.

President Bush seems to be saying that the enemy are not motivated by Islam alone, but by fascism, with their Islamic faith providing the general form and structure for their particular strain of that hideous political virus.

My own perception of Islam is that it does not necessarily lead to a fascist mentality, but it certainly seems far more amenable to such perversion than most any other faith today.

Bush did NOT insult Islam directly. (That’s something I’ve done myself, on numerous occasions, and don’t particularly feel like apologizing for or retracting.) And those who argue that he did are simply showing that they believe that “Islamic fascism” is a fair and true and accurate representation of Islam, and their outrage is understandable.

One would expect those adherents to Islam — especially those to go to such lengths to defend it — would be considered the “experts” on it. If they are saying that “Islamic fascism” describes enough Muslims to be an insult to that many, then perhaps I should reconsider.

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  1. Herman August 13, 2006
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