Monday, August 21, 2006

Fascism and Islam

I wrote on this subject a couple of weeks ago, based on a conversation I had at Democratic Underground. If you will recall, I saw some parallels between Fascism and Islamic Fascism, particularly in their ideological frameworks, and he was denying such links.

Well today we have an article by Chuck Colson arguing that there are strong links between Islamic Fundamentalism and Fascism. And just to be contrary I'm gong to go ahead and say that Colson overstates the case, particularly when he talks about their goals.
Nor can radical Islam's imperial ambitions be denied. Iran, al-Qaeda, and even Hamas talk about an Islamic empire stretching from India to the Iberian peninsula. What Morris says about aspiring to "re-create a mythical past" is evident in bin Laden's continuing references to the "tragedy of Andalusia" and Hamas's demands for the return of Seville. The Iranians take it a step further and see themselves as ushering in a messianic age.
A few problems here.

One problem with Colson is that he sees no need to distinguish between al-Qaeda, a terrorist franchise which clearly has world wide goal, Hamas and Hezbollah, local resistance/terrorist movements, and Iran and Syria, which are nation states. While there exist commonalities between them, there are also vast differences. One of the more intellectually dishonest aspects of Republican "tough-mindedness" on Islamic Terrorism is the consistent need to conflate all objectionable Islamic movements. They really aren't all the same thing.

While we are on the subject, don't American Dominionists also believe that they are ushering in a messianic age?

One other similarity between Radical Islam and Fascism; both are born out of frustration and rage. Germany and Italy felt humiliated after World War I and Versailles. Although defeated, these resentments and anger festered until something even worse grew. I wonder if there is a lesson there.

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