It is becoming fashionable for elected officials in the Anglo-American world, notably in the United States and the United Kingdom, to employ abusive language involving Islam. Phrases such as "Islamic terrorism," "totalitarian Islam," "crimes of Islam," and "Islamic fascism" are freely used, with sadist disrespect, to condemn real and imagined terrorists who practice the faith of Islam. For years, and long before the 9/11 attacks, neo-conservative scholarship has been determined to popularize the concept of the essentialist terrorist [PDF] who purportedly draws his deepest inspiration from the puritanical beliefs of Islam and equipped with cruelty, commits violence against innocent Jews and Christians. According to this, occupations, invasions, territorial thefts, assassinations, house demolitions, human rights violations, and other such grievances have nothing to do with Islamic resistance. Islamic terrorism, according to neo-conservative scholarship, stems from the Sharia, from passages of the Quran, and from a puritanical mindset that manufactures pretexts to maim and kill. These killers, it is further contended, wish to impose Islamic law over the entire world.
Gradually but successfully, the propagandized essentialist terrorist and the attendant abusive language against Islam have entered political rhetoric. Presidents, prime ministers, congressmen, senators, and other officials are now freely using abusive language to malign Islam, not through uncaught moments of Freudian slips but as a policy of expressive audacity.
Commenting on the alleged plan of British nationals of Pakistani descent to blow up US-bound planes over the Atlantic, President Bush said: "This is a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists." Senator Rick Santorum distinguishes between terrorism and Islamic fascism, arguing that terrorism is a tactic but what the West is fighting is "Islamic fascism" which is "truly evil" and which is "as big a threat today as Nazism and communism."
This new trend to openly curse Islam echoes the words of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said: "We should not be apologetic or defensive in defining the problems of terrorism."
One wonders why elected officials in supposedly democratic nations, which tout the principles of equal respect and dignity for all, use abusive language to wound the sentiments of more than a billion people across the world. Several explanations come to mind.
First, the abusive language may be described as an effect of an over-generalization. Suppose that Muslim militants indeed wish to impose Islam on the Anglo-American world, a supposition that even the militants would ridicule as blatant propaganda to infuriate domestic audiences. Though mounted on a questionable supposition, the label is accurate to the extent that the use of violence to forcibly modify the values of a foreign nation is indeed fascism - a definition that, ironically, would also paint President Bush as an American fascist for his forcible democratization of Afghanistan and Iraq. Even if President Bush were declared a fascist, it would be wrong to describe his foreign policy as American fascism because that is tantamount to over- as well as mis-generalization.
Islamic fascism as a descriptive label also fails to capture the limited meaning of describing militants who are supposedly fascists. The label comes across as a prescriptive indictment, suggesting that Islam is intolerant, violent, and aggressively self-righteous in imposing its values on non-Islamic cultures. If Anglo-American politicians are using the label in this broad sense, and thus accusing Islam and not merely the militants, they should say so. If they are using the label in a limited sense and do not wish to antagonize the entire Muslim world or malign the faith of Islam, they must abandon the label. The label of Islamic fascism even in a limited sense is not an intelligent use of the language, for it is susceptible to multiple interpretations. Its use in the broad sense is highly provocative and counterproductive to the war on terrorism. It foolishly alienates all Muslims.
Second, there might be a democratic argument for politicians using abusive language involving Islam. But no American politician would describe pedophilia scandals in some Catholic churches as Catholic pedophilia. Such an over-generalization would be politically unwise because no prudent politician would want to lose Catholic money and votes. Likewise, no politician would use abusive language against Jews or Judaism for fear of alienating that community, not to mention the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which keeps a close tab on what American politicians are saying and doing. Because American Muslims do not have loads of money, lobbying clout, or votes, however, they constitute a minority that can be easily sacrificed and trashed. If this is the reason behind abusive rhetoric against Islam, however, it reveals a sad truth about democracy in general and American democracy in particular which has had a tainted record when it comes to the abusive treatment of minorities including native Indians, Blacks, and others.
Third, there seems to exist an unexamined assumption in American political circles that Islam is a foreign religion, an outsider, the other. Politicians who use abusive language against Islam do not see Islam as part of American multi-religious fabric. Despite their enchantment with secularism, they still see this nation as Christian, perhaps Judeo-Christian, ignoring the fact that millions of Muslims, immigrants and native born, now live in all states of the United States. Hundreds of mosques in America, though under surveillance, furnish indelible signs that Islam has arrived in this country, not to forcibly convert anyone but to enrich American culture, diversity, history, architecture, sciences, and, yes, laws. Let American politicians greet Islam and Muslims with Assalaam ulaikum (peace be upon you) if for no other reason than to remind them that their religion is one of peace and not of violence.
Ali Khan is a professor at Washburn University School of Law in Kansas. His publications are available here.
The same applies to jewish terrorists killing innocent Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. If there are fascists in the world today its you American and Israel thugs and gangsters who are it. Deal with it.
If not "Islamic fascists" what do you suggest we call these people?. We never see "peace" marches in middle eastern countries, only western flag and effigy burning, by crowds calling for death and destruction being led by some "Islamic religious leader",or another, who becomes a hero to the Muslim people, and the more atrocities done by his bidding the more "loved" he becomes.
About your third point---Islam is (again) the newest religion on the block but does not find happiness being recognized and co-existing alongside people of other religions, but seems to have a need to separate its self for the others and strive not for equality but supremacy over them.
As for your last statement---we would love to greet you with "Assalaam ulaikum " but since you are not allowed to greet us with these words of peace, we would hate to confuse you as to how to answer. us.http://www.islamictimes.co.uk/content/view/158/25/
Show us the "PEACE" that is Islam, and then our attitudes, our perceptions, our words will change , instead of complaining accept responsability for the actions of your muslim brothers, make it "fashionable" to speak out against the wrongs commited in the name of YOUR religion and OUR GOD.....
That is something that Muslims should address.
This is nothing new. The HOLY QURAN advises us to bear insults with patience and let ALLAH (SWT) deal with the evil doers.
If you think for one moment that words and articles can destroy Islam, after all it has withstood for 1400 plus years, then your faith is badly in need of shoring up.
Read Sura 33, verses 56-58 and you'll get the answer right away.
EIGHT Popes spoke against it:
Pope Leo XIII, Humanum Genus, 1884, 2
"At this period, however, the partisans of evil seem to be combining together, and to be struggling with united vehemence, led on or assisted by that strongly organized and widespread association called the Freemasons. No longer making any secret of their purposes, they are now boldly rising up against God Himself".
It is NIHILISM. It is REVERSED MORALITY. It is the OPPOSITE of Christianity, but also the opposite of Islam, of the Hindu beliefs, of the Buddhists and so on.
We all agree - even Atheists and Agnostics - that the destruction of the world would be EVIL. The Masonic "creed" is the reverse. To them, the destruction of the world would be BEAUTIFUL. They BRAINWASH (dirty the brain - get it?) each other to believe it.
So there is a DELIBERATE policy of causing total CHAOS in society. The Masonic Major government DELIBERATELY spread "Mad Cow Disease" amongst its own people - 250,000 cows died of it every year. Then Major tried to FORCE Europe to accept poisoned beef. Tony Blair has been bullied into crime, and is now a puppet. In America, "Dubya" Bush was tricked into joining the "Skull and Bones" branch at Yale, and then given degrees for NOT studying. He became a dimwitted, frightened, obedient PUPPET.
So the Muslims are the NEW JEWS. Where Hitler, with his "Holy Lance" copy of Freemasonry badmouthed the Jews, so the British and American Masons are badmouthing the Muslims. In Iraq, they set Sunnis against Shia - where a dispute PREVIOUSLY never existed.
DIVIDE AND RULE.
Comments by some of the readers show not only their love for Islam but also concern for it! It is a shame that it has all come to this. The Bushs' and Blairs' acting as mouth pieces of Israel are indeed responsible for this catastophic situation.
But fret not brothers and sisters. Time is on our side!
As a Muslim I have no hatred for anyone.
Peace is my faith.
The larger problems lies with the kings of our certain countries including the Abdullah's the Karzais' and Musharafs'. They need to learn to say "No".
My wish to all Muslims and non-Muslims is "Peace".
British Muslim community was a victim of Paki-bashing in all walks of life for the lasr fity years and British establishment did nothing to redurec the suffering. Now it is victim of terrorism by the British establishment.
And improving a abusive language against islam is now how also from the author mentionitet a practice that must not egsist enimore