Prompted by a new piece by Eboo Patel who tends to make mostly correct statements in ridiculously short postings in his portion of the great Washington Post On Faith blog (a treasure trove)on Islamofascism awareness week, this. First the quick definition of the wiki entry
Islamofascism is a controversial neologism suggesting an association of the ideological or operational characteristics of certain modern Islamist movements with European fascist movements of the early 20th century, neofascist movements, or totalitarianism.
The word is included in the New Oxford American Dictionary, defining it as “a controversial term equating some modern Islamic movements with the European fascist movements of the early twentieth century”. Critics of the term argue that associating the religion of Islam with fascism is offensive and inaccurate.
Second the relevant portion of Patels text
What would you think if I told you every high school kid in baggy pants was a drug dealer?
Or every woman wearing lipstick was a prostitute?
How about that every black man on the street was getting ready to rob you?
Or every Italian guy was a mobster?
Then you should be equally offended by IslamoFascism Awareness Week because it employs the same twisted logic as the revolting statements above and its objective is equally ugly: every time you see a Muslim, the organizers of IslamoFascism Awareness Week want you to think “terrorist”.
One of the founding fathers of my country, Thomas Jefferson, had enough respect for Islam and Muslims that he owned a copy of the Qur’an. Another one of my founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, declared that the pulpit of a hall he helped build in Philadelphia would be open to a Muslim preacher.
The America that I love faces real threats from terrorists. Too many of those terrorists call themselves Muslims. Victory requires that we focus like a laser beam on these enemies.
Third, here’s a link to a good article against Islamofascism Awareness Week.
Finally, as the warped idea of Islamofascism seems to take hold mostly in the poor minds of those who think that nowadays it’s valid to equate Islam with Islamism I recommend READING. Books would help but they are often difficult to come by in dumbland, so the Internet can be of help as well. Daniel Pipes in particular, who has defended highly questionable ideas such as racial profiling, offers nice bits of counterargument against embracing the benighted idea of islam=islamism.
For instance here
“Moderate Unicorns,” huffed a reader, responding to my recent plea that Western states bolster moderate Muslims. Dismissing their existence as a myth, he notes that non-Muslims “are still waiting for moderates to stand and deliver, identifying and removing extremist thugs from their mosques and their communities.”
It’s a valid skepticism and a reasonable demand. Recent events in Pakistan and Turkey, however, prove that moderate Muslims are no myth.
In Pakistan, an estimated 100,000 people demonstrated on April 15 in Karachi, the country’s largest city, to protest the plans of a powerful mosque in Islamabad, the Lal Masjid, to establish a parallel court system based on Islamic law, the Shari‘a. “No to extremism,” roared the crowd. “We will strongly resist religious terrorism and religious extremism,” exhorted Altaf Hussain, leader of the Mutahida Qaumi Movement, at the rally.
Also, for those who can read french, it’s an option to consider Mohamed Sifaoui, writer, journalist, muslim and declared secularist who writes books against forms of radical Islam, who fought for Charlie Hebdo’s right to print the damn caricatures (I still think printing them in Germany was unconstitutional but well, trust German courts to uphold the flag of whiteness, er, free speech), but who’s a rather stupid man, well that doesn’t change much, does it.
Today, in a lucid review of The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism by Norman Podhoretz, Kakutani (whom I tend to criticise from time to time) wrote something which, as does Mr. Podhoretz’ book, relates to this posting’s topic
For that matter, Mr. Podhoretz lumps together Muslims opposed to the United States, a “two-headed beast” of “Islamofascism,” whose objective he says is “to murder as many of us as possible” and destroy “the freedoms we cherish and for which America stands.” Such characterizations not only try to draw parallels between radical Muslims and the Nazis, but also gloss over the many schisms and conflicts within Islam that have pitted Shiites against Sunnis, Iranians against Iraqis, religious fundamentalists against more secular Baathists.