Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Social Liberal Origin of "Islamofascism"

Pat Morrison writes in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs:
"[John C.] Hagee [founder and pastor of the 18,000-member non-denominational evangelical Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas] coined the term 'Islamofascist' at CUFI's [Christians United for Israel's] founding conference, [the Rev. Donald] Wagner noted, 'and within a week [President] Bush was using it, then [former Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld'" ("The Dangerous Potent Elixir of Christian Zionism," April 2007)
But Hagee didn't coin the term "Islamofascist." Stefan Durand traces the term back to historian Malise Ruthven's 1990 article in The Independent, and so does William Safire. (CUFI wasn't founded until February 2006.) In the article Ruthven put it this way:
Nevertheless there is what might be called a political problem affecting the Muslim world. In contrast to the heirs of some other non-Western traditions, including Hinduism, Shintoism and Buddhism, Islamic societies seem to have found it particularly hard to institutionalise divergences politically: authoritarian government, not to say Islamo-fascism, is the rule rather than the exception from Morocco to Pakistan.
Whether or not they think it's a good idea to resort to the term "Islamofascism," I bet that a majority of social liberals in the North take the same view of Islam that Ruthven spells out above. It is common among them to see Islam as more inimical to pluralism in particular or modernity in general, and more conducive to authoritarian government, than other religions, much the same way that they thought, and probably still think, that communism was more conducive to authoritarian government than other political ideologies. On that ideological premise of Islam as totalitarianism, social liberals do not differ from Christian Zionists, who merely put an apocalyptic Christian spin on it. As socialists and communists of the North have largely become social liberals, I expect an increasing number of them to follow this premise to its logical conclusion. There is thus no significant ideological brake inside the North on the so-called War on Terror.


Archives — Novembre 2006
Un cadre idéologique pour la « troisième guerre mondiale »
Fascisme, islam et grossiers amalgames
par Stefan Durand

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

La paternité du néologisme « islamo-fascisme » a été revendiquée dans l'hebdomadaire néoconservateur The Weekly Standard par le journaliste Stephen Schwartz (1), qui collabore par ailleurs à un site Internet très controversé, FrontPage magazine, de David Horowitz.

Toutefois, n'ayant utilisé le terme pour la première fois qu'en 2001, ce n'est donc pas Schwartz qui a inventé l'expression, mais l'historien Malise Ruthven en 1990, dans le quotidien britannique The Independent (2).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(1) Cf. son article du 17 août 2006, « What is "islamofascism" ? ».

(2) 8 septembre 1990 : « L'autoritarisme gouvernemental, pour ne pas dire l'islamo-fascisme, est la règle plutôt que l'exception du Maroc au Pakistan. »

Language: Islamofascism, anyone?
William Safire The New York Times
Published: October 1, 2006

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The first use I can find is in The Independent of Sept. 8, 1990: "Authoritarian government, not to say 'Islamo-fascism,'" wrote Malise Ruthven, "is the rule rather than the exception from Morocco to Pakistan."

No comments: