Friday, September 01, 2006

Words Mean Things

I agree with this woman, but for a slightly different reason.
ROSEMONT, Ill. - The newly elected head of the largest Muslim group in North America called
President Bush's recasting of the war on terror as a "war against Islamic fascism" inaccurate and not helpful to people of her faith.

Ingrid Mattson, the first woman president of the Islamic Society of North America, said Friday that labeling terrorism as "Islamic" only adds to a misunderstanding of the religion.

Mattson acknowledged that terrorist groups "do misuse and use Islamic concepts and terms to justify their violence."

"But I think that when we then bestow that term upon them we only make the situation worse and somehow give validity to their claims which we need to deny and reject," she said at the opening of the group's 43rd annual convention.
There's not even anything specifically Islamic about so-called Islamic fascism (and if you need this explained, I'll direct you to al-Muhajabah because I lack the patience and time). It's insulting to "normal" Muslims and makes "us" sound like we lack credibility.

But what really gets me about the term is al-Qaida fascist? How can a stateless organization be fascist? Isn't it by definition impossible for a stateless organization to be fascist? And if we're talking about states that sponsor terrorism such as Iran, aren't they a theocracy? We already have a word for theocracy. It's theocracy.

I think the real reason the term "Islamic fascist" (or the Newspeak-sounding "Islamofascist") find resonance amongst the Bush administration and its followers is because if they can't use "communists" as their catch-all for evil because they'd sound like dinosaurs, and if they said they were afraid of a theocracy they'd really turn off their fundie base.

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