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:
- Culture, Religion, Apocalypse, and Middle East Foreign Policy
By Chip Berlet and Nikhil Aziz
- Matthew Rothschild, “Bush’s Messiah Complex,” The Progressive, February 2003, pp. 8-10, online at online at www.progressive.org/feb03/comm0203.html;
- Andrew Austin, “Faith Matters: George Bush and Providence,” online essay,http://www.publiceye.org/apocalyptic/bush-2003/austin-providence.html (November 22, 2003);
- Bill Berkowitz, “Bush’s Faith-Filled Life,” online column, Working for Change , November 5,www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemID=15937 (November 22, 2003).
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
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: