The Big Lie About `Islamic Fascism’

President George W. Bush made a point using the term `Islamofacists’ when he spoke of Hezbullah and Hamas – both, by the way, democratically elected parties. A Canadian government minister from the Conservative Party compared Lebanon’s Hezbullah to Nazi Germany. The term `Islamofascist’ is utterly without meaning, but packed with emotional explosives. It is a propaganda creation by the worthy Dr. Goebbles, and the latest expression of the big lie technique being used by neocons in Washington’s propaganda war against its enemies in the Muslim World. This ugly term was coined – as was the other hugely successful propaganda term, `terrorism’ – to dehumanize and demonize opponents and deny them any rational political motivation, hence removing any need to deal with their grievances and demands. As the brilliant humanist Sir Peter Ustinov so succinctly put it, `Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.’
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TERRORISM: WAR OF THE POOR ::: WAR THE TERRORISM OF THE RICH

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by Eric S. Margolis

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[Note for WoP readers:Eric Margolis is a noted American columnist and writer. He is contributing editor at the Toronto Sun chain of newspapers, writing mainly on the Middle East, South Asia and Islam, and appears frequently on Canadian television broadcasts, as well as on CNN. Though his views on capitalistic democracy are well known, like so many other independent minds in the US, he does not condone what neocons are doing especially in the Muslim world.

Eric has authored a well researched book on War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Tibet (ISBN 0-415-93062-6) Routledge 1999/2003 and is recipient of the South Asian Journalism Award.

In his following article, Eric exposes the hollowness of neocons’ policies under Bush administration. He advocates a policy which should generate more understanding between Muslims and the West. Both can co exist, he says and contribute together for betterment of humanity at large. Nayyar]

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The latest big lie unveiled by Washington’s neoconservatives are the poisonous terms, `Islamo-Fascists’ and `Islamic Fascists. They are the new, hot buzzwords among America’s far right and Christian fundamentalists.

President George W. Bush made a point using the term `Islamofacists’ when he spoke of Hezbullah and Hamas – both, by the way, democratically elected parties. A Canadian government minister from the Conservative Party compared Lebanon’s Hezbullah to Nazi Germany. The term `Islamofascist’ is utterly without meaning, but packed with emotional explosives. It is a propaganda creation worthy Dr. Goebbles, and the latest expression of the big lie technique being used by neocons in Washington’s propaganda war against its enemies in the Muslim World. This ugly term was coined – as was the other hugely successful propaganda term, `terrorism’ – to dehumanize and demonize opponents and deny them any rational political motivation, hence removing any need to deal with their grievances and demands.

As the brilliant humanist Sir Peter Ustinov so succinctly put it, `Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.’

Both the terms `terrorism’ and `fascist’ have been so abused and over used that they have lost any original meaning. The best modern definition I’ve read of fascism comes in former Colombia University Professor Robert Paxton’s superb 2004 book, `The Anatomy of Fascism.’ Paxton defines fascism’s essence, which he aptly terms its `emotional lava’ as: 1. a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach of traditional solutions; 2. belief that one’s group is the victim, justifying any action without legal or moral limits; 3. need for authority by a natural leader above the law, relying on the superiority of his instincts; 4. right of the chosen people to dominate others without legal or moral restraint; 5. fear of foreign `contamination.’

Fascism demands a succession of wars, foreign conquests, and national threats to keep the nation in a state of fear, anxiety and patriotic hypertension. Those who disagree are branded ideological traitors. All successful fascist regimes, Paxton points out, allied themselves to traditional conservative parties, and to the military-industrial complex.

Highly conservative and militaristic regimes are not necessarily fascist, says Paxton. True fascism requires relentless aggression abroad and a semi-religious adoration of the regime at home. None of the many Muslim groups opposing US-British control of the Mideast fit Paxton’s definitive analysis. The only truly fascist group ever to emerge in the Mideast was Lebanon’s Maronite Christian Phalange Party in the 1930’s which, ironically, became an ally of Israel’s rightwing in the 1980’s.

It is grotesque watching the Bush Administration maintains the ludicrous pretense they are re-fighting World War II. The only similarity between that era and today is the cultivation of fear, war fever and racist-religious hate by US neoconservatives and America’s religious far right, which is now boiling with hatred for anything Muslim. Under the guise of fighting a `third world war’ against `Islamic fascism,’ America’s far right is infecting its own nation with the harbingers of WWII totalitarianism.

In the western world, hatred of Muslims has become a key ideological hallmark of rightwing parties. We see this overtly in the United States, France, Italy, Holland, Denmark, Poland, and, most lately, Canada, and more subtly expressed in Britain and Belgium. The huge uproar over blatantly anti-Muslim cartoons published in Denmark laid bare the seething Islamophobia spreading through western society.

There is nothing in any part of the Muslim World that resembles the corporate fascist states of western history. In fact, clan and tribal-based traditional Islamic society, with its fragmented power structures, local loyalties, and consensus decision-making, is about as far as possible from western industrial state fascism.

The Muslim World is replete with brutal dictatorships, feudal monarchies, and corrupt military-run states, but none of these regimes, however deplorable, fits the standard definition of fascism. Most, in fact, are America’s allies. Nor do underground Islamic militant groups (`terrorists’ in western terminology). They are either focused on liberating land from foreign occupation, overthrowing `un-Islamic’ regimes, driving western influence from their region, or imposing theocracy based on early Islamic democracy.

Claims by fevered neoconservatives that Muslim radicals plan to somehow impose a worldwide Islamic caliphate are lurid fantasies worthy of Dr. Fu Manchu and yet another example of the big lie technique that worked so well over Iraq.

As Prof. Andrew Bosworth notes in an incisive essay on so-called Islamic fascism, `Islamic fundamentalism is a transnational movement inherently opposed to the pseudo-nationalism necessary for fascism.’ However, there are plenty of modern far rightists with neo-fascist tendencies. But to find them, you have to go to North America and Europe. They advocate `preemptive attacks against all potential enemies,’ grabbing other nation’s resources, overthrowing uncooperative governments, military dominance of the world, hatred of Semites (Muslims in this case), adherence to biblical prophecies, hatred of all who fail to agree, intensified police controls, and curtailment of `liberal’ political rights.

They revel in flag-waving, patriotic melodrama, demonstrations of military power, and use the mantle of patriotism to feather the nests of the military-industrial complex, colluding legislators and lobbyists. They urge war to the death, fought, of course, by other people’s children. They have turned important sectors of the media into propaganda organs and brought the Pentagon largely under their control.

And now they are furiously whipping up war fever against Iran as a last desperate effort to keep themselves in power after the debacles they created in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Lebanon.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] This cup of tea was served by: Wonders of Pakistan […]

  2. Your site is a great read, very interesting.

    I’m amazed how many people I encounter online that hold the view that Islam is a “religion of hate”, sadly this extremist viewpoint seems to be often associated with some followers of other religions. It’s sad and worrying the way things seem to be heading and very disturbing how politicians and elements of the media worldwide are demonising certain groups of people, seemingly intent on making the sheeple think in terms of “us and them”.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time in a couple of Muslim countries and can honestly say that the people were amongst the friendliest and most welcoming I have ever met. Celebrating the anniversary of their independence from my ancestors with a great group of people in Malaysia is a memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life!

    I’d love to visit Pakistan sometime, it looks like a beautiful country. I hope the people of Pakistan get the leadership they want and need, acting in the Pakistani people’s interests, rather than the interests of the powerful and influential regimes elsewhere.

    Peace.

    Si

  3. Hi Si,

    Thanks for appreciating our efforts. Am glad you like the site. Its also heartening to learn that people like you understand our view point. This is all what we are striving for.

    I am further pleased to learn also of good time you had in Malaysia. Am pretty sure when you come to Pakistan, you will likewise find very friendly people with an ambience of wholeheartedness – a picture much different what one sees on the western media.

    Should you need any further info or guidance on Wonders of Pakistan, we would be most pleased to render that.

    Dr. Nayyar Hashmey
    Editor

    P.S.

    And my thanks also for your good wishes for a dynamic leadership in Pakistan which we believe can emrge from a true democratic process we are striving for.

  4. Iran is the next target since she is directly helping Hezbollah against Israel. In fact Neocons are fully determined to eliminate all those who want to eliminate Israel from the map of the world. This thinking is very well consistent with the Indian thinking which shows our determination not to allow a further division of our country. The forces who intend to divide us by snatching Kashmir from us with the help of terrorism can never be equated with freedom fighters and deserve to be treated just as China treated them in Xinjiang.

    • Dr. Tewari, You speak the same language which our zealots use against India. Such rhetoric is utterly non productive because neither can the extremists get what they want in India or in Pakistan, nor can you get what you want on basis of an emotional rhetoric. Kashmir is the basic problem which relates to right of a peoples’ self determination. Previously Pakistan used to fight their case but now they themselves are fighting for their ultimate future. I personally neither am for the earlier approach nor am for the approach our current govt. has adopted. I believe both of us need to sit around a negotiating table, sort this issue out this way or that way but keeping in view the basic right of Kashmiris. If they want to remain part of India, who are you and me to oppose their verdict and till how long can we. But if they do choose something different, again this should be acceded to because bayonets cannot keep people under control for long.

      India sticking to its view point and Pakistan to its own has brought the subcontinent to an environment of perpetual warfare.
      Another dimension of this warlike atmosphere and division of people on the line of control has taken further undesirable forms, which neither can Pakistan nor India afford. So let the sense prevail and both of our countries sit together and come to some understanding.

      My next post is an article which not only touches this and the other thorny issues between India and Pakistan, but suggests also the ways and means by which the two countries can move from conflict to cooperation. Let this be a road map to India Pakistan understanding.

      May Allah be with all of us that instead of this verbal warfare on the net as well as on the actual battle field comes to an end once and for all.

  5. Amen.


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