Naming It– Prager on islamo-fascism

The recent Islamo-fascism awareness week at colleges has prompted some attention and criticism of the term.
Dennis Prager weighs in on this in an excellent column:

Excerpts:

The Left and the Term “Islamo-Fascism”
By Dennis Prager
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Last week, at universities around America, the conservative activist David Horowitz organized “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” …

Various Muslim student groups condemned these awareness weeks and the term itself, charging that both are no more than expressions of anti-Muslim bigotry, i.e., “Islamophobia.” Nevertheless, Muslim student groups decided not to actively disrupt the week. Therefore most of the opposition to Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week events came from leftist student groups.

…First, the term is not anti-Muslim. One may object to the term on factual grounds, i.e., one may claim that there are no fascistic behaviors among people acting in the name of Islam — but such a claim is a denial of the obvious.So once one acknowledges the obvious, that there is fascistic behavior among a core of Muslims — specifically, a cult of violence and the wanton use of physical force to impose an ideology on others — the term “Islamo-Fascism” is entirely appropriate.

Second, the question then arises as to whether that term is anti-Muslim in that it besmirches the name of Islam and attempts to describe all Muslims as fascist. This objection, too, has a clear response.

The term no more implies all Muslims or Islam is fascistic than the term “German fascism” implied all Germans were fascists or “Italian fascism” or “Japanese fascism” implied that all Italians or all Japanese were fascists. Indeed, even religious groups have been labeled as fascist. During World War II, for example, Croatian Catholic fascists were called Catholic Fascists, and no one argued that the term was invalid because it purportedly labeled all Catholics or Catholicism fascist. When the left uses the term “American imperialism,” are they implying that all Americans are imperialists? Then why does Islamo-Fascism label all Muslims?

Third, given the horrors being perpetrated by some Muslims in the name of Islam — from the genocide currently being practiced by the Islamic Republic of Sudan, to the mass murders of innocents in Iraq, Israel, America, Britain, Bali, Thailand, the Philippines and elsewhere — what term is more accurate than “Islamo-Fascism”? “Islamic totalitarianism”? “Jihadists”? “Bad Muslims”?

The left’s organized crusade against Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was simply the latest shame in the long and shameful history of the left’s inability to confront those engaged in great evil — like the left’s ferocious opposition during the Cold War to labeling communism as “totalitarian” or “evil” and its nearly universal condemnation of President Ronald Reagan’s description of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.”

That Muslim student groups and other Muslim organizations joined with the left in the ad hominem condemnation of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was most unfortunate. Many Muslims know well that there is indeed such a thing as Islamo-Fascism, and they should be the first to join in fighting it. It is not those who use the term “Islamo-Fascism” who are sullying the name of Islam; it is the Islamo-Fascists.

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