You Say Tomato

Bob wrote a post last week, wondering if the term “Islamofascist” is really correct when applied to our current enemy.

The most topical objection is when Bob correctly points out that the main problem with using this term to indicate radical Islam is due to the fact that religion is subordinated to the state in Fascist regimes. This is exactly the opposite condition when talking about Islamofascists.

This doesn’t hold much water with me. While the above was true 70 years ago, the term has since evolved to include any repressive regime with strong central control that brutally oppresses dissent. This certainly describes our enemies to a “T”.

There are other objections as well. Bob remarks that Fascist states are traditionally centered on strong national pride, and it’s not unusual for an element of racism to be present. (“We are the master race!” sort of thing.) Considering the extreme reaction that radical Islam has towards any other religion, even other Islamic sects, I would have to say that it sure looks the same to me. Any differences are cosmetic at best.

So is the label correct? Are our enemies truly Fascists?

I’d have to say that it’s close enough for government work.

Black Adder for the Defense

While being subjected to a series of Mr Beans on transatlantic flights has not been, well, my cup of tea, I’ll admit that Rowan Atkinson can be funny. And, besides, isn’t that the whole point of most British humor (a good lot of humor) – to make fun of the very things we respect and value highly. The nanny state is reaching new heights of silliness as well as control. See this and this. Both via Butterflies and Wheels.

Making a List

Many media outlets here in the West are careful about labelling terrorist organizations by their actual name. Instead they’re called “insurgents” or “resistance groups”. This can be very frustrating for those of us interested in seeing international terrorist groups eradicated. Not only do these groups play on the prejudices of their supporters, claiming divine inspiration, but it can also appear that news organizations are actually aiding and abetting.

This isn’t necessarily true. Terrorists can be pretty scary guys, particularly to reporters that not only are unarmed but also willfully seek out terrorists in order to get a compelling story. The danger is increased by an order of magnitude when dealing with religious fanatics who are convinced that God told them to slaughter everyone who isn’t a member of their religion. Simply put, newshounds have no defense except to seem to be sympathetic and hope that these scumbags don’t just kill them out of hand.

Still, in their efforts to keep from enraging the terrorists, news organizations have presented a very distorted view of the situation over the past 4 decades. This is particularly true when one considers the way they’ve pussyfooted around the fact that the majority of murderous terrorist organizations are Islamic. The arguement seems to be that it would be insensitive, bigoted and unfair to point out the religious motivation behind the majority of terrorists. Besides, there are hundreds of millions of Muslims who don’t run around trying to kill innocent people. It’s important to keep from painting with too wide a brush.

This is true, but it’s also important to know your enemy. If there’s just a small percentage of Muslims who engage in terrorists acts then it’s important to find out what makes them different from the mainstream. And if it turns out that some Islamic cultures produce the majority of terrorists then it’s important to know that as well. This isn’t going to happen unless people take a cold, hard, realistic look at terrorism, as well as the conditions that produce them.

A new post at takes the first step. (No permalinks, so please scroll down to the post dated October 26, 2004.) Please note that this list is of major acts performed by Islamic terrorists. Thos actions which were taken by non-Islamic movements, such as Communist insurgents, aren’t listed. Still, I think that the number of violent acts and the number of victims are very telling. SP makes the point that the number of victims claimed by every other non-Muslim terrorist act combined doesn’t equal the dead people that the Islamic terrorists have piled up. These guys are the champs at killing innocents

SP also says that Islamic news organizations have just started (in the past 2 months) to examine the fact that the majority of terrorists in the world are Islamic. If this erodes the wide base of support that these murderers enjoy in the Muslim world then it will actually do some good. But, for some reason, I’m not holding my breath.

“Mobile” vs. “Immobile” Civilizations

That’s how Reuven Brenner, in this recent column, characterizes the struggle between the democratic West and Islamic fundamentalism. Brenner’s argument is interesting.

It is easy to criticize both grandiose thesis and narrow ones. To come up with a different way of perceiving the events and offer solutions is a bit harder. Yet this brief does just that. It shows that today’s conflict between Islamic groups and the West, as well as within Islamic societies, can be viewed as one between “mobile” and “immobile” civilizations, whose members can be found in every society. What distinguishes the US is that it has far more people sharing the outlook of a “mobile civilization” than any other country. And what characterizes many Islamic countries is that they have a large number of people sharing the values of an “immobile” civilization. “Relativist” orthodoxy notwithstanding, one point I make is that although one can understand the values and ideals of “immobile societies”, as fitting certain situations, there cannot be a compromise between these two civilizations. Today’s circumstances – demographic in particular – require moves toward “mobility”.

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