by Doctor Bulldog:
There certainly has been a plethora of articles coming out about Mittler R’omni’s VP pick, Paul Ryan. However, I have yet to find one which addresses Congressman Ryan’s views on Islam.
Since I am very much interested in how he views Islam, I spent some time digging around and have settled upon an item he wrote back in 2006 concerning the phrase “Islamic Fascism.”
The article gives one of the most comprehensive overviews of his mindset concerning Islam.
Although he, like Bush, Jr., is fatuously under the mistaken assumption that Islam has been hijacked by Islamic radicals, he certainly won’t be supporting the current regime’s politically correct blackout concerning the use of any terms which might describe the enemy as being Islamic:
Defining the Threat We Face by Congressman Paul Ryan – via RyanForCongress
A debate has been raging about what to call our enemy – the terrorists and radical Muslim leaders who have committed themselves to bringing death and destruction to America, Israel, and allied democracies. President Bush has used the term “Islamic fascists” to describe the threat we face, while Senator Feingold argues that phrase is offensive and misleading. While I respect Russ and consider him a friend, I strongly disagree with his premise.
Words matter, especially when defining the multifaceted enemy that extends beyond national boundaries and operates as a network of jihadists waging war on the West. If we can’t even define what we are fighting against, how are we ever going to win? For this reason, we must strive to use the most accurate term – not necessarily the most politically correct one.
“Islamic fascism” expresses the essence of the violent, extremist, religion-driven movement that confronts us. Both words apply, but they must be used together in order to convey the proper meaning and make the crucial distinction between peaceful Muslims and the murderous extremists of al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and similar groups that distort Islam and seek to dominate or destroy those who disagree with them.
Although the term “fascist” has often been misused, carelessly or consciously, the traditional understanding of fascism as exemplified by Mussolini’s Italy, Nazi Germany, and Franco’s Spain is a governing philosophy that is totalitarian, imperialistic, and militaristic. Fascism rejects the governing system and modern society, is hierarchical, and pursues the subordination of the individual. It’s also fueled by racism, anti-Semitism, and resentment kindled by defeats or perceived loss of power.
Stephen Morris, a fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, has written that fascism “refers to a revolutionary political mass movement or regime that aims to achieve national greatness by radically transforming political and social life with totalitarian rule and by a policy of imperial expansion. Fascist ideology is reactionary in that it aspires to re-create a mythical past.”
Those who lived in Afghanistan under the Taliban and those who experienced pre- and post-revolutionary Iran can testify to the radical transformation that occurs under such regimes, as well as the loss of personal freedom.
Although it is admittedly not a perfect comparison with past fascist regimes, today we can see in al Qaeda’s brutal actions and revealing statements the militancy; disregard for individual life, liberty, and established law; and appeal for the restoration of lost greatness that are characteristic of fascism. A statement by al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on the war in Lebanon, posted this summer on a jihadist website, notes that: “The war with Israel is not about a treaty, a cease-fire agreement, Sykes-Picot borders, national zeal, or disputed borders. It is rather a jihad for the sake of God until the religion of God is established. It is a jihad for the liberation of Palestine, all Palestine, as well as every land that was a home for Islam, from Andalusia to Iraq. The whole world is an open field for us.”
In this declaration and others by radical Muslim groups we can see that we are dealing with a strain of fascism based on an explicitly religious ideology. This sets it apart from what we have observed in the past, where fascist regimes were rooted in nationalism rather than religion.
Whereas the old fascism glorified the state above all and directed its imperial drive toward increasing the state’s domain, the new variation seeks to confront and dominate those who don’t believe in its warped interpretation of Islam. In contrast to what we perceive as traditional fascist movements, its adherents work to establish an Islamic caliphate, rather than a primarily secular empire. This is why the modifier “Islamic” is necessary if we wish to be accurate.
“Islamic fascism” underscores that the militants’ ideology is explicitly religious, but it does not encompass most Muslims and should not be viewed as an indictment of their religion. Just as the term “Christian socialist” does not suggest that a majority of Christians embrace left-wing economic positions, the expression “Islamic fascist” doesn’t imply that most Muslims condone the extremist agenda of al Qaeda, Iranian President Ahmadinejad, or other reactionaries. In fact, the twisted portrayal of Islam that these radicals communicate to the world constitutes the true insult to faithful Muslims who respect life and cherish peace.
Despite this, a legitimate debate may occur over whether this particular nomenclature is good strategy. Some argue that the label could intensify misunderstanding of our goals in the Islamic world or estrange moderates. Some prefer Islamofascism or jihadist fascism. Nevertheless, this is a point of disagreement over the tactical value of the term, not a question of its accuracy or aptness.
I believe that failure to properly identify the enemy and grasp the magnitude of the threat posed by Islamic fascists will hinder our ability to defend ourselves. It will also hurt the cause of moderate Islamic nations striving for greater openness and democratization, including the emerging representative government in Iraq. These are militant Islam’s other targets, and we must make clear that we stand together with their peaceful citizens in defense of freedom – including the freedom to worship as a Sunni, Shi’a, Jew or Christian.