Islam and Fascism

Are there Echoes of Fascism
in Certain Militant Islamic Groups?


There are at least three sets of arguments coming from different sectors:

  • Serious scholars and intellectuals debating the issue
  • Political Activists using the claim as a propaganda tool
  • Religious bigots using the claim to demonize Islam

Religious bigots using the claim to demonize Islam

This usually involves a portion of conservative Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists in the United States who promote Christian Zionism in a way that stereotypes Muslims.

Paul Boyer, “John Darby Meets Saddam Hussein: Foreign Policy and Bible Prophecy,” Chronicle of Higher Education , supplement, February 14, 2003, pp. B 10-B11.

For background on Bush, Bible prophecy, and apocalyptic rhetoric, see:

Political Activists using the claim as a propaganda tool

President Bush, Christopher Hitchens, the neoconservatives, and the folks at National Review find themselves as strange bedfellows here.

Serious scholars and intellectuals debating the issue

Walter Laqueur was a among the first serious scholars of fascism to make this argument in a book discussing fascism.

Laqueur, Walter. 1996. Fascism: Past, Present, Future. New York: Oxford: Oxford University Press. See pp. 174-178.

This and other matters are discussed by Terms and Concepts: Use with Caution, including sections on Islamophobia & Arabophobia, Terrorism, Fundamentalism, Neofascism, Clerical Fascism, Theocratic Islamic Fundamentalism, and Apocalyptic Demonization. These thoughts were expanded in:

Chip Berlet. (2005). “When Alienation Turns Right: Populist Conspiracism, the Apocalyptic Style, and Neofascist Movements.” In Lauren Langman & Devorah Kalekin Fishman, (eds.), Trauma, Promise, and the Millennium: The Evolution of Alienation. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

_______. (2004) Christian Identity: The Apocalyptic Style, Political Religion, Palingenesis and Neo-Fascism. Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, Vol. 5, No. 3, (Winter), special issue on Fascism as a Totalitarian Movement.

_______. (2003). “Terminology: Use with Caution.” Fascism. Vol. 5, Critical Concepts in Political Science, Roger Griffin and Matthew Feldman, eds. New York, NY: Routledge.

Related offsite links

Wikipedia Entries:

Pages on Wikipedia can change in a flash, and there were a flurry of highly biased edits to some of these pages following a speech by President Bush in August of 2006 where he linked Islam and fascism. The following links are to specific versions of entries that have been reviewed for content:

Neofascism and Religion (see section on Islam)

“Islamofascism:” the term



Left debates that offer complicated theoretical discussions of militant Islamic groups and neofascism:

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