As far as I’m concerned religions are institutions in which people combine to express their overlapping personal, and often mystical, convictions. There’s more to it than that. Religion can fill gaps where families and other social institutions used to be. Places of worship can be places where new immigrants find support and people who share their experiences.
I’ve been following the campaign against Israel for long enough to know how powerfully the juxtaposition of certain words can create very bad impressions. So David Horowitz’s approaching Islamofascism Awareness Week, ominously described as the ‘biggest conservative campus protest ever’ and publicised as part of the ‘Terrorism Awareness Project’ is going to have to work harder than hard to keep the right side of Islamophobia and to shake off the nasty, ignorant Islamophobes it will attract. Unsurprisingly there’s alarm at the prospect
“…this could be an American krystalnacht for Muslims.”
An early response to the event from Tabsir blogger Gabriele Marranci who challenges the propagandist application of the term ‘fascist’ to Muslim supremacists and observes that the David Horowitz Freedom Centre and supporters:
“sometimes, are too reminiscent of that pre-Fascism Mussolinian rhetoric of ‘Civilization’, ‘Intellectual enemies’, autarkism, real Truths, essentialisation, and populist slogan-based rhetoric”.
(Tu quoque, dhummie.)
And here on Pixelisation quoting Niall Ferguson:
[W]hat we see at the moment is an attempt to interpret our present predicament in a rather caricatured World War II idiom. I mean, “Islamofascism” illustrates the point well, because it’s a completely misleading concept. In fact, there’s virtually no overlap between the ideology of al Qaeda and fascism. It’s just a way of making us feel that we’re the “greatest generation” fighting another World War, like the war our fathers and grandfathers fought. You’re translating a crisis symbolized by 9/11 into a sort of pseudo World War II. So, 9/11 becomes Pearl Harbor and then you go after the bad guys who are the fascists, and if you don’t support us, then you must be an appeaser.