Thursday, August 31, 2006

War of the Words 

0 (research/resource)

Via Public Eye.org:
Islamophobia & Arabophobia,
Clerical Fascism,
Theocratic Islamic Fundamentalism,
Apocalyptic Demonization

Since the attacks of 9/11, writers and commentators have had problems in finding accurate language to describe complicated and unfamiliar phenomena while remaining sensitive to issues of prejudice. Terms such as Islamist, radical Islamic fundamentalist, and clerical fascist entered public discussion. We hope this article will help sort out some of the confusing and problematic terminology that abounds.


Even in progressive publications, the terms theocratic fascism or clerical fascism were used not only to describe the Taliban and the al Qaeda networks, but also the government of Saudi Arabia and even all militant fundamentalist Muslims. This is an overly broad usage.

Fascism is an especially virulent form of extreme right populism. Fascism glorifies national, racial, or cultural unity and collective rebirth while seeking to purge imagined enemies. It attacks both revolutionary movements and liberal pluralism in favor of militarized, totalitarian mass politics. Fascism first crystallized in Europe in response to the Bolshevik Revolution and the devastation of World War I, and then spread to other parts of the world. Between the two world wars, there were three forms of fascism: Italian economic corporatism; German racial nationalist Nazism; and clerical fascist movements such as the Romanian Iron Guard and the Croatian Ustashi. Since WWII, neofascists have reinterpreted fascist ideology and strategy in various ways to fit new circumstances.

4 To read in full - see: Terms & Concepts: Use with Caution, by Chip Berlet.


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