OPINION & EDITOR’S COMMENT: In defense of hate

Defending Islamofascism

The attempt by David Horowitz and his allies to launch “Islamofascism Awareness Week” on American campuses has been met with a variety of responses. One of these is a challenge to the validity of the term itself. It’s quite the done thing, in liberal academic circles, to sneer at any comparison between fascist and jihadist ideology. People like Tony Judt write to me to say, in effect, that it’s ahistorical and simplistic to do so. And in some media circles, another kind of reluctance applies: Alan Colmes thinks that one shouldn’t use the word Islamic even to designate jihad, because to do so is to risk incriminating an entire religion. He and others don’t want to tag Islam even in its most extreme form with a word as hideous as fascism. Finally, I have seen and heard it argued that the term is unfair or prejudiced because it isn’t applied to any other religion. [complete article]

Editor’s Comment — The word “Islamofascism,” is not a conceptual tool of discrimination. It does not circumscribe a phenomenon and thereby shine light upon and bring clarity to our understanding of the world. Hitchens implicity admits as much by focusing all his attention on what he sees as the suitability of the second half of the formulation — fascism — and nothing on how “Islamo” fits. Google, on the other hand, makes it perfectly clear how the prefix “Islamo” fits — almost exclusively as a lead in to fascism/ist. By this self-fulfilling coupling, the term Islamofascism displays itself as a purely political tool used to twist perceptions and bolster support for reckless policies.

When Hitchens speaks up in defense of the word Islamofascism, he should recognize that the use of this term has nothing to do with semantics and everything to do with the promotion of fear and hatred.

During my current trip to the UK, I met a young family from Syria. After their recent arrival and within a few hours of entering the country, a British child exclaimed in their direction, “I hate terrorists.” The object of this child’s hatred was the meekest looking couple cradling a bonneted six-month old baby. They had rudely been informed what it means to be visibly Muslim in a nation that has loudly and repeatedly been warned about the Islamofascist threat. Christopher Hitchens, Tony Blair, David Horowitz, Norman Podhoretz, and George Bush — these are among the prominent voices that have been watering the seeds of fear, suspicion and hatred inside those who see, in the Muslims they encounter, the face of terrorism.

“Islamofascism” is Islamophobia. It is the anti-Semiticism of our era.

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3 thoughts on “OPINION & EDITOR’S COMMENT: In defense of hate

  1. Muslims Against Sharia

    Muslims Against Sharia congratulate David Horowitz FREEDOM CENTER and Mike Adams, Tammy Bruce, Phyllis Chesler, Ann Coulter, Nonie Darwish, Greg Davis, Stephen Gale, David Horowitz, Joe Kaufman, Michael Ledeen, Michael Medved, Alan Nathan, Cyrus Nowrasteh, Daphne Patai, Daniel Pipes, Dennis Prager, Luana Saghieh, Rick Santorum, Jonathan Schanzer, Christina Sommers, Robert Spencer, Brian Sussman, Ed Turzanski, Ibn Warraq and other speakers on the success of the Islamofascism Awareness Week.

    Islamofascism (or Islamism) is the main threat facing modern civilization and ignorance about this threat is astounding. We hope that this event becomes regular and reaches every campus.

    A great many Westerners do not see the clear distinction between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism). They need to understand that the difference between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism) is the same as the difference between Christianity and Christian Identity Movement (White Supremacy Movement).

    Original post

  2. Tim G

    I thought your “editor’s comment” was spot on, and I even went so far as to quote part of it at the Hitchens Watch blogspot.

    Since then somebody has been, in my view, badly mis-interpreting your sentence “Google, on the other hand, makes it perfectly clear how the prefix “Islamo” fits — almost exclusively as a lead in to fascism/ist” on the comments thread for that entry.

    In response to his misinterpretation, I wrote: ” I would assume the author meant, if I may paraphrase: “how (in a Google search) “Islamo” is by far the most common prefix we find for the word “fascism/ist”. ”

    He countered with “No….the word ‘islamo’ does in fact not ‘almost exclusively’ appear before ‘fascist’ or ‘fascism’ in a google search of those terms.”

    And later: “Well, tim/greywolf, I think we will have to disgree on this one, as I think you are very much mistaken on this. I think it is very very clear that the article implies that the (half a) word ‘islamo’ is almost exclusively found next to ‘fascism’ or ‘fascist’.”

    I came back with: “As the paragraph makes clear, the writer is focusing on “fascism” and discussing how “Islamo” is almost the only word that is used generally these days as a prefix for that formulation.

    To see this more clearly, we can rewrite the phrase more awkwardly as follows: “as a lead in to ‘fascism’, Google, on the other hand, makes it perfectly clear how the prefix “Islamo” fits almost exclusively.”

    The writer is not implying that “Islamo” is not used widely as a prefix for other formulations.”

    Anyway, you can have hours of fun exploring syntax. But what I was wondering was whether you could clear up the matter by re-stating the point you were trying to make in a form less open to misinterpretation by excessively pedantic trolls.

    It would be great if you could either do that on this site, or better still, post a comment on our blog.

    All the best!

  3. Alma Jurgensen

    David Horowitz’s “Islamofascist Week” fizzled I understand. When Horowitz tried speaking he was shouted down.

    For once I agree with this practice. David Horowitz, a very, very angry man as well as a Hater of the First Degree, had to leave the podium with a guard.

    A fitting ending for this troublemaker.

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