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Saturday, October 27, 2007


Vilifying Islam

By Ida Audeh

23 October, 2007

"Islamofascism," an emotionally loaded but meaningless
term, has been used with numbing frequency by
politicians and commentators who are eager to take the
"war on terror" to one Muslim country after another.

Fascism, an authoritarian ideology that places nation
(and often race) above the individual, is
characterized by the presence of a dictatorial leader,
severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible
suppression of opposition. These criteria are not met
by any Islamist movement (or Arab government, for that
matter). Even al-Qaida doesn't resemble what we think
of as a fascist movement (e.g., Franco's Spain or
Mussolini's Italy); it lacks the nationalist and
racial dimension, and its targets are for the most
part the nationals of countries that are attacking
Arab or Muslim countries -- not quite the same thing
as forcibly suppressing (domestic) opposition.

In fact, referring to Islam as a single entity is
inaccurate. It is a religion believed in by hundreds
of millions of people around the planet, and it is
broad enough to encompass hundreds of currents and
points of view. A monolithic Islam or Muslim point of
view does not exist.

Not surprisingly, the most incessant warnings of
potential Islamofascists lurking around every corner
tend to come from neoconservatives who are staunch
supporters of Israel and who advocate wars against
Arab and Muslim countries in part to advance what they
refer to as Israel's security.

The list of proponents (by no means exhaustive)
includes David Horowitz, founder of Students for
Academic Freedom (a group that monitors the political
leanings of academics and claims that professors treat
conservative students unfairly) and editor of the
conservative pro-Israel Web site FrontPage Magazine;
neoconservative Frank Gaffney, founder and president
of the think tank Center for Security Policy; one-time
CIA Director James Woolsey, who is a member of the
Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP)
Board of Advisors and has called for the bombing of
Syria; defeated Senator Rick Santorum, who now as
program director of the Ethics and Public Policy
Center promotes the theme that America is slumbering
while "Islamic fascism" gathers steam; Eliot Cohen, a
neoconservative advisor to US Secretary of State
Condoleeza Rice who began advocating war against Iraq
soon after the 9-11 attacks despite the lack of a
connection between that country and the attack; and
columnist Clifford May, who warns of "jihadists" and
"Muslim supremacists" on the warpath.

Pro-Israel advocates lead the vilification campaign
against Islam and Arabs -- as a people, a
civilization, and a culture. They would have us
believe that Muslims around the world pose a threat to
the United States and that their ultimate goal is to
impose Islamic law on the western world -- a gutsy
line of attack to take at a time when Muslims are
being killed in record numbers in Afghanistan, Iraq,
Lebanon, and the occupied Palestinian territories.

And now these same feverish minds have formalized
their obsessions and taken them to college campuses
around the country. The vilification campaign, labeled
Islamofascism Awareness Week (22 -26 October) and
spearheaded by Horowitz, includes on its roster of
speakers well-known vilifiers of Arabs and Islam. In
addition to Horowitz and Santorum, there is Daniel
Pipes, founder of Campus Watch (another watchdog group
that has dossiers on faculty who are the least bit
critical of Israel and its policies) and a virulent
attacker not only of what he chooses to define as
"radical Islam" but also of American Muslims, whose
affluence, stature, and enfranchisement he views as
threatening. Pipes is leading the attack against an
Arabic language bilingual school in Brooklyn on the
grounds that teaching Arabic leads to teaching Islam
and pan-Arabism, which are dangerous to US students.
Another "expert" speaker is Robert Spencer, director
of Jihad Watch (a program of the David Horowitz
Freedom Center) and author of several Islam-bashing

The threat to the US does not come from Islam or from
Muslims but rather from increasingly criminal US
policies, advanced by the war hawks in government,
think tanks, and in the media. Our lawless, unprovoked
pummeling of Iraq appalls the world: 100,000 Iraqis
killed in the first Gulf war, 1 million through the
medieval-type sanctions that the US engineered, and
about 1,083,000 Iraqis since the 2003 invasion
( antiwar.com estimate). The same cheerleaders of the
Iraq war are urging a US attack on Iran (an item high
on Israel's agenda). A campaign has been underway to
demonize Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, and
sanctions are being threatened. The pattern is
sickeningly familiar.

When a religion is vilified, those who believe in it
can be disposed of without creating a domestic uproar.
That seems to be the real purpose for using the
Islamofascist label. We must reject the bogus excuses
given by the US government to wage perpetual war on
third-world nations for the sole purpose of securing
US and Israeli hegemony over the region.

Ida Audeh is a Palestinian who grew up in the West
Bank and now works as an editor in Boulder, CO. She
can be reached at idaaudeh@yahoo.com

1 comment:

  1. 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).

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always want to defend peace, justice, peoples' right to love each other and live with dignity,struggles against parochial visions and hatred;instinctively a defender of socialist and democratic values