"The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom," Bush said....
The Islamabad-based newspaper "Ausaf" writes today that the words are an "insult to the religion" of Islam".
Since GWB was specifically referring to the London bomb-plotters and their ilk, what he said could surely be an insult to Islam only if the whole of Islam had similar attitudes to the bomb-plotters. The Islamic critique of GWB is therefore rather revealing in what it says about Islam.
Keith Burgess Jackson has argued that GWB's use of the term "Fascist" was incorrect, on the ground that there are some important differences between the Islamists and the prewar Fascists. There were however also large differences between the various groups of prewar Fascists. Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, for instance, initially used to expel from his party anyone who made antisemitic utterances!
The word "Fascist" was coined by Benito Mussolini and he derived it from the "fasci" in his early movement. In Italian, "fasci" is an ordinary word for "bands", in the original sense -- i.e. some things or some people bound together in some way. So Mussolini's original "fasci" were small bands of (generally thuggish) socialist activists bound together by a common aim and cause.
And Mussolini got the idea that having everyone marching together in lockstep was the ideal from German philosopher GFW Hegel, who was also the inspiration of Karl Marx. Mussolini was himself an important Marxist theoretician in his day.
So the Islamic aim of having everybody bowing down together to Mohammed and Islamic law is in fact much the same idea as that put forward by Mussolini and Hegel. Only the details differ. GWB was using the term reasonably.
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