Why “Islamo-Fascism”?

By Robert Spencer and David Horowitz 

When President Bush used the term “Islamo-Fascism” to describe the jihadists who have attacked us, many complained that it reflected prejudice against Muslims. The Council on American Islamic Relations, a “civil rights” organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, protested that the term “feeds the perception that the war on terror is actually a war on Islam.” In fact, the opposite is the truth. As the Algerian sociologist Marieme Helie Lucas explains, the term “Islamo-Fascism” was “initially coined by Algerian people struggling for democracy, against armed fundamentalist forces decimating people in our country, then later operating in Europe, where a number of us had taken refuge.” In other words, the term “Islamo-Fascism” originates with moderate Muslims under attack from Muslim radicals, who murdered more than 150,000 Muslims whom they regarded as infidels in Algeria in the 1990s.

Helie Lucas is the founder of the group Women Living Under Muslim Laws, which resists the oppression of women by these fanatics. The term Islamo-Fascism, as she explains, refers to “political forces working under the cover of religion in order to gain political power and to impose a theocracy (‘The Law’ -- singular -- of God, unchangeable, ahistorical, interpreted by self appointed old men) over democracy (i.e. the laws -- plural -- voted by the people and changeable by the will of the people).”

The term “Islamo-Fascism” does not refer to a generalized “war on Islam,” but to a defensive war against the attacks of radicals who have murdered hundreds of thousands of moderate Muslims, Jews, Christians, gays, women and infidels since the first radical Islamic state was formed in Iran in 1979, and the modern global jihad was launched in earnest.

Moderate Muslims who hold to Islam as a religion but reject its political ambitions are happy to live in pluralistic societies that separate religion from the state. Moderate Muslims are willing to live with non-Muslims as equals. It is these Muslims who are the victims of the Islamo-Fascists and the natural allies of the West, which is also the target of the jihad.

The jihadists, who are waging this war, are exponents of political – rather than religious – Islam. They are indeed fascists, sharing crucial ideological convictions with historical fascist movements.

The founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, was an open admirer of Adolf Hitler, as was the principal theorist of the modern jihad, Sayyid Qutb. During World War II, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, cousin of Yasir Arafat and spiritual godfather of Palestinian nationalism, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, was openly pro-Nazi. In May 1941, he issued a fatwa calling upon the Germans to bomb Tel Aviv, and in November 1941 traveled to Berlin and met with Hitler. Then he went to the Balkans, where he spearheaded the creation of Muslim units of the Waffen SS.

The Islamic jihad launched by the Muslim Brotherhood, and carried on by offshoots such as al-Qaeda and Hamas, is a totalitarian movement seeking the control of every aspect of human life through the powers of the state. The jihadists want to bring all social and family life under the sway of Islamic law, through the creation of a global Islamic empire, with a caliphate in Baghdad. Like the Nazis before them, they believe in the inherent superiority of one group of human beings over all the rest, whom they regard as “infidels” and “unbelievers.” These infidels, according to the passages of the Qur’an that they invoke, are the “vilest of creatures” (Qur’an 98:6).

The term “Islamo-fascism” describes the agendas of the jihadists with perfect accuracy. It supports moderate Muslims who are seeking to defend themselves and distinguish their religious faith from the totalitarian faith of the jihad.

No one who wants to see moderate Muslims succeed in their efforts to resist the oppressive doctrines of the Islamo-fascists should oppose the use of this term. Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is an effort to educate the general public about the enemy we face and, in the process, to give moderate Muslims support in their struggle.

unique visitors since January 31, 2007