Pollitt on “Islamofascism”

As far as I’m concerned, Katha Pollitt is the best columnist in the United States. This would be true even if she weren’t an outspoken critic of religion.

In the most recent Nation, Pollitt writes on “David Horowitz, Feminist?”. It’s on how US right-wingers exploit the position of Muslim women, in the context of the generally fake notion of “Islamofascism.”

I especially like her comments on Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

…Take, for example, the only Muslim woman who is, so far as I know, associated with Islamofascism Awareness Week–Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the world-famous Somali-born Dutch Muslim feminist, former parliamentarian, author of The Caged Virgin and Infidel and now American Enterprise Institute fellow. Hirsi Ali gets bad press on the left–The Nation has published two long, negative pieces about her: an indignant review of The Caged Virgin by the very good fiction writer Laila Lalami, who accused her of promoting patronizing views of Muslim women as passive and helpless, and a snide piece by Deborah Scroggins portraying her as a grandstanding diva who only made life more difficult for Muslim women in the Netherlands. This is a woman who has been the target of multiple death threats from Muslim fanatics like the one who murdered her colleague, filmmaker Theo van Gogh; who is frankly secular, in fact an atheist; who was herself genitally mutilated at the age of 5, and as a legislator did, in fact, seek to cut through the “benign neglect” of Dutch Muslim women’s rights that prevailed in multicultural Holland. I’m as dismayed as anyone by Hirsi Ali’s rightward trajectory, but I admire her all the same. Maybe we leftists and feminists need to think a bit more self-critically about how the AEI–to say nothing of the clownish Horowitz–managed to win over this bold and complex crusader for women’s rights.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01742603212829734147 Muslims Against Sharia

    Muslims Against Sharia congratulate David Horowitz FREEDOM CENTER and Mike Adams, Tammy Bruce, Phyllis Chesler, Ann Coulter, Nonie Darwish, Greg Davis, Stephen Gale, David Horowitz, Joe Kaufman, Michael Ledeen, Michael Medved, Alan Nathan, Cyrus Nowrasteh, Daphne Patai, Daniel Pipes, Dennis Prager, Luana Saghieh, Rick Santorum, Jonathan Schanzer, Christina Sommers, Robert Spencer, Brian Sussman, Ed Turzanski, Ibn Warraq and other speakers on the success of the Islamofascism Awareness Week.

    Islamofascism (or Islamism) is the main threat facing modern civilization and ignorance about this threat is astounding. We hope that this event becomes regular and reaches every campus.

    A great many Westerners do not see the clear distinction between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism). They need to understand that the difference between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism) is the same as the difference between Christianity and Christian Identity Movement (White Supremacy Movement).

    Original post

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10099905896896905176 GOP Mammal

    The term Islamofascism is a descriptive term of the enemy. Yes, we know that technically they are not fascist. Although some of the similarities are there, like the belief in conspiracies against them, and scapegoating of certain groups to blame on their woes. It is not propaganda, the left seems to sympathize with anyone against the west and this is troubling. Islamic radicalism is the biggest threat to western civilization today, I wish more on the left could understand this. I am simply stunned by the fact that this attitude on the left even extends to atheists on the left, they should understand the irrationality of religion more then anyone, but they like others on the left are more interested in hating Bush or anyone else who wants to fight back against radical Islam.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01742603212829734147 Muslims Against Sharia

    GOP Mammal,

    “Yes, we know that technically they are not fascist.”

    You couldn’t be more wrong.
    Fascism: an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers individual and other societal interests subordinate to the interests of the state. Islamofascism IS fascism with Islamic basis.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10099905896896905176 GOP Mammal

    These people believe in their interpretation of Islam more than a state. I am open to the possibility that i’m wrong on this.
    I have no problem with the use of the term at all, as long as it is not used to attack all Muslims. I am Atheist, and am opposed to all religion,(though, of course, I support the right of freedom of religion) but I think Atheists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Moderate Muslims need to stand together against Islamofascists who consider all of us godless infedels to be conquered or killed.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01742603212829734147 Muslims Against Sharia

    “I have no problem with the use of the term at all, as long as it is not used to attack all Muslims.”

    On the contrary. This term is used to differentiate Muslims from Islamists (Islamofascists).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17047791198702983998 bpabbott

    GOP Mammal wrote: “These people believe in their interpretation of Islam more than a state.”

    hmmm, if I understand the context correctly, they desire the state to be subjugated, or at least to yield, to their religious authorities … is that the same thing?

    I think there needs to be a new term for this … perhaps “theocratic fascism” (Somalia)… or in the case of nations such as Denmark, “grassroots theocratic fascism”?

    I see the manner by which western desires for fair treatment and tolerance are manipulated by those follow such an agenda to be equivalent to the wedge strategy … a significant component of which is to pander to tolerance of opinion and fair play, with the intent of gaining special privilege.

    If a secular or a Xian organization were to subject individuals to such action, they would not be tolerated.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10099905896896905176 GOP Mammal

    I am not saying it should be tolerated, in fact it should not. I think we must fight back against these people and have no problem with the term Islamofascism. According to a book on politics I have, the 5 main components of fascism are:

    1.Extreme Nationalism

    2. An assertion of national decline

    3. National decline is often linked to the diminution of the racial purity of the nation

    4. National decline is laid at the door of a conspiracy

    5. capitalism and liberal democracy are seen as devices designed to fragmaent the nation and subordinate it further in the world order.

    I think nationalism is a must for true fascism. The charge by some that the term Islamofascism itself is “Islamophobic” is nonsense, of course.
    I use the term Islamofascism myself because it is descriptive of the enemy. If you were to substitute nationalism for religious domination and the racial aspects for hatred against unbelievers, it would fit.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01742603212829734147 Muslims Against Sharia

    “I think nationalism is a must for true fascism”

    Not really. Islamofascism transcends the national boundaries.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10099905896896905176 GOP Mammal

    If anything the Islamofascists are worse than actual fascists, as horrible as they are. By the way Muslims against sharia, thank you for speaking out. The side of freedom and civilization needs more muslims like yourself to take an active stance against these barbarians who want to destroy us.


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