Much has been written and said over the last few days after President Bush’s comments about the terrorist arrests in England and here the other day. Bush said that it was part of the “war with Islamic fascists” and a lot of people thought that was an inaccurate and insensitive thing to say. I don’t often defend Bush, but I will here. He’s absolutely right. The ideology of the people we are in a war against certainly can be fairly described as fascist, and it is undeniably Islamic. They seek nothing less than total submission to the most barbaric interpretations of the Quran and the sharia.
If you want to see the sort of world they seek, look no further than Afghanistan under the Taliban. It is almost impossible to exaggerate the barbarism of their rule. Women were to be covered from head to toe and were beaten in the streets if so much as an ankle fell into the sight of a man. They were forbidden to leave the house unless accompanied by a male relative, and it was against the law to teach a woman to read. Music was banned, as was all non-Islamic literature. Anyone even suspected of being gay was put to death by the most brutal means imaginable. All freedom of religion, speech and thought were destroyed. It’s hard to imagine a more vile dystopia than this.
The argument from mainstream Islamic groups is that this phrase impugns all of Islam and all Muslims, but I just don’t think that’s a credible position. Indeed, the very fact that the phrase includes the word “fascists” obviously distinguishes the group being referred to from non-fascists. He didn’t say “a war against Islam” or “against Muslims”, but against Islamic fascists, by grammatical definition a subset of the larger group. Just as we can talk about Christian reconstructionists without referring to all Christians, we can obviously refer to Islamic fascists without referring to all Muslims.
However, let me note one bit of irony here. The Washington Times has an editorial in which they also defend Bush in this regard. The fact that a newspaper owned by the Rev. Moon – undeniably a religious fascist in addition to being the leader of the world’s most powerful cult – would accuse another group of being fascist almost redefines the word ‘hypocrisy’.