I guess GWB used the words “Islamic fascism” in a speech recently, and now his critics are in a huff because they’ve never heard of this concept, or something like that. Now then, I myself have wrangled over the term “Islamofascism” before; I think it is phony and has nothing to do with terrorists. However, it was apparently first used by a leftist critic of conservative Moslems back in the 1970s, and considering GWB’s embrace of Islam in the past, I think he was using it in the same sense: to distinguish “good Islam” from “bad Islam.” As a politician, this has always been GWB’s objective when discussing Islam.
If you study any of the [lowercase!] “fascist” movements of the twentieth century, it is clear that they were romantic movements designed to install modern-day monarchs. Certain modern societies demand someone who embodies in his person all the national will, populist sentiment, rigid law enforcement, social hierarchy, and cultural mythos that would characterize the ideal monarchy. The key concept in a monarchy/dictatorship is the leader’s action as efficient expression of will, supposedly that of the people. Not coincidentally, this definition neatly encompasses guys like Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot as well as the usual suspects, Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco.
The tribal personality cult of a ruthlessly efficient pragmatist is incompatible with a powerful, yet decentralized clergy and a desire for a transnational empire, which characterizes modern Islam. Religion is, by definition, not efficient. That’s why existing religious institutions can be used to justify a leader’s power, but when it’s time to implement The Program, they have to be shoved out of the way.
Likewise, a rigid, ethnically distinct religion is incompatible with globetrotting secret bands of sophisticated guerrillas. The people nowadays deserving the label of “global terrorists” are nothing more than opportunistic psychopaths. Fortunately for them, they have fertile ground among Moslems, because the governments of Moslem nations have almost always oppressed the general population, and Islam itself tacitly condones the vicious treatment of apostates and unbelievers. Unfortunately for them, their objectives are too idealistic and indistinct to bear any fruit except at a local level, where they may be responsible for perpetuating small-scale chaos and destabilizing weak governments.
If they would merge with organized crime groups or try political manipulation like the Hashishim, now that might have more significant consequences.