Koran Kountry theme park opens in Kentucky

| 33 Comments

Read alla bout it! Radical Muslim organization Answers in Koran opens theme park in Kentucky. In rare display of ecumenism, governor promises additional theme parks dedicated to Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, and Scientology:

Gov. Beshear [says] that even though he might not agree with the religious message of the park, the economic benefits of Koran Kountry make it worthy of his administration’s support.

“I wasn’t elected to debate religion,” Beshear said. “I was elected to create jobs.”

Thanks again to Dan Phelps for the link.

Yes, it is a joke.

33 Comments

That it’s a joke is no reason to avoid publicly asking any politician who defends the Ark Park if he/she would defend an Islamic creationism equivalent. Especially if they are OK with the ID scam, whose unnamed designer, for all we know, encourages flying planes into buildings.

Frank J said: …the ID scam, whose unnamed designer, for all we know, encourages flying planes into buildings.

“Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.” - Victor Stenger on Richard Dawkins’ website

I wonder who the Koran Kountry mascot will be

Sinjari said:

I wonder who the Koran Kountry mascot will be

The mascot for the Kentucky Koran Kountry theme park? That’s easy, the Komodo Dragon. Their motto will be - “Come visit the KKK”.

The governor wasn’t elected to debate racism, he was elected so he could give tax breaks to religious cults in order to could get reelected.

If this were on the level, and religious-based theme parks could get public economic development funding on a religiously-neutral basis, using criteria that would apply to non-religious-based applicants – say, the Bourbon Museum (if there isn’t one already) – then more power to all concerned.

CJ - one ‘religiously neutral basis’ that I’d like to see used is that you actually have to build and operate the park before we (the public) start giving you tax breaks.

AIG has raised about $5million of the $150mil they claimed they were going to raise. AFAIK they have not even broken ground. So, any special tax breaks they are currently receiving from the state are, in acutality, going to helping them raise money and operate AIG, not operate a Kentucky theme park. Oh, and they got publicly-funded Highway To Nowhere. Yay.

Sinjari said:

I wonder who the Koran Kountry mascot will be

Wouldn’t the very concept of a mascot for an Islamic themepark be so blasphemous so as to warrant immediate execution without access to a trial? At least, according to some Muslim fundamentalists, that is.

apokryltaros said:

Sinjari said:

I wonder who the Koran Kountry mascot will be

Wouldn’t the very concept of a mascot for an Islamic themepark be so blasphemous so as to warrant immediate execution without access to a trial? At least, according to some Muslim fundamentalists, that is.

Maybe if the mascot was Muhammad

Sinjari said:

Maybe if the mascot was Muhammad

AFAIK that would be instant death. One MAY NOT depict Muhammad!

Just Bob said:

Sinjari said:

Maybe if the mascot was Muhammad

AFAIK that would be instant death. One MAY NOT depict Muhammad!

Muhammad insisted that he never be depicted for fear of himself, or worse yet, his own image being turned into an object of worship, thus distracting the true believers from God.

I’ve discussed this with some friends of mine, and we’ve come to the conclusion that the barbaric eagerness of many Fundamentalist Muslims to vandalize and victimize anyone and anything they fear will disturb their delicate sensibilities and their (lack of an) image of Muhammad is, in a perverted, ironic sort of way, a form of idolatry.

apokryltaros said:

Just Bob said:

Sinjari said:

Maybe if the mascot was Muhammad

AFAIK that would be instant death. One MAY NOT depict Muhammad!

Muhammad insisted that he never be depicted for fear of himself, or worse yet, his own image being turned into an object of worship, thus distracting the true believers from God.

I’ve discussed this with some friends of mine, and we’ve come to the conclusion that the barbaric eagerness of many Fundamentalist Muslims to vandalize and victimize anyone and anything they fear will disturb their delicate sensibilities and their (lack of an) image of Muhammad is, in a perverted, ironic sort of way, a form of idolatry.

Allahu Akbar! In the name of GOD, the most merciful.….. posting an image of the Prophet is a sin pardonable by death to the transgressor. (That is if you are either a Salafist Sunni Muslim or a zealous Shi’ite Muslim.)

John said:

apokryltaros said:

Just Bob said:

Sinjari said:

Maybe if the mascot was Muhammad

AFAIK that would be instant death. One MAY NOT depict Muhammad!

Muhammad insisted that he never be depicted for fear of himself, or worse yet, his own image being turned into an object of worship, thus distracting the true believers from God.

I’ve discussed this with some friends of mine, and we’ve come to the conclusion that the barbaric eagerness of many Fundamentalist Muslims to vandalize and victimize anyone and anything they fear will disturb their delicate sensibilities and their (lack of an) image of Muhammad is, in a perverted, ironic sort of way, a form of idolatry.

Allahu Akbar! In the name of GOD, the most merciful.….. posting an image of the Prophet is a sin pardonable by death to the transgressor. (That is if you are either a Salafist Sunni Muslim or a zealous Shi’ite Muslim.)

My friend told me about a biographical movie about Muhammad, where they had the actor portraying Muhammad always face away.

I’ve also seen pictures from a Turkish illumination that depicted the exploits of Muhammad, and showed his face. I guess the artists and the commissioners assumed that anyone who was going to look at that illumination would be grown up enough to know that the pictures in it were not intended as objects of worship.

My friend told me about a biographical movie about Muhammad, where they had the actor portraying Muhammad always face away.

I’ve seen The Message, a biographical film about Mohammed starring Anthony Quinn and Irene Pappas, where Mohammed is invisible and silent: people talk to empty space and respond to a non-existent voice, just like all Believers do when they pray or prey/preach.

Gary Larson published a cartoon depicting Mohammed in his Far Side comic strip and AFAIK nobody ever issued a fatwa against him. I have a jpg of the cartoon, and I can describe it for scholarly purposes here under the Fair Use clause of the Copyright Act.

Mohammed is sitting in his home reading a book. Outside the house, an enormous mountain has sidled up to the front door of the house and is ringing the doorbell: “Ding dong!” Mohammed has looked up from his book at the front door. The caption states: “Again the doorbell chimed. With his wife out of town, and not expecting any visitors, Mohammed began to grow uneasy.” The cartoon is an obvious reference to the story of Mohammed moving a mountain, or the mountain coming to Mohammed.

The depiction of Mohammed looks like a typical Far Side depiction of a prophet: robe, beard, etc. You can see his face, but it’s pretty small. I always thought The Far Side was pretty funny, but it’s a stretch to think that somebody would actually worship this cartoon.

Hm, that didn’t work (oddly, I did preview), so I’ll try again.

The Far Side depiction of “Mohammed.” You have to scroll down from the picture of geese.

Not a hundred percent sure if the adage refers to “The Mohammed,” and haven’t troubled to find out.

Glen Davidson

Oh, the link itself has comments that suggest that the adage isn’t directly pointing to the prophet. Harry Bergeron comments:

The idiom: If the mountain will not come to Mohammad, Mohammad will go to the mountain to express ‘If one cannot get one’s own way, one must adjust to the inevitable, was penned by Francis Bacon.

It has no direct relationship to the Muslim religion other than the source of Bacon’s inspiration was contained in the wisdom in a Muslim legend.

To attempt to place Larson’s cartoon in the same category as the offensive drawing shows that you suffer not only from a lack of understanding of issues but a lack of historical knowledge as well.

Another excerpt from Bergeron:

It simply is connected to a well known idiom penned by Fancis Bacon, nothing more, nothing less.

The use of the name Mohammed,was simply to clarify/establish the intended context as it related to the adage.

Many people in the middle east are named Mohammed, and the Muslims don’t have a problem understanding that those people aren’t the Prophet Mohammed, and I don’t think they’re any smarter than you are.

At worst it seems that Larson’s depiction could depict the prophet, or just anybody in the mideast whose name happens to be “Mohammed.”

Glen Davidson

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Oh, the link itself has comments that suggest that the adage isn’t directly pointing to the prophet. Harry Bergeron comments:

The idiom: If the mountain will not come to Mohammad, Mohammad will go to the mountain to express ‘If one cannot get one’s own way, one must adjust to the inevitable, was penned by Francis Bacon.

It has no direct relationship to the Muslim religion other than the source of Bacon’s inspiration was contained in the wisdom in a Muslim legend.

To attempt to place Larson’s cartoon in the same category as the offensive drawing shows that you suffer not only from a lack of understanding of issues but a lack of historical knowledge as well.

Another excerpt from Bergeron:

It simply is connected to a well known idiom penned by Fancis Bacon, nothing more, nothing less.

The use of the name Mohammed,was simply to clarify/establish the intended context as it related to the adage.

Many people in the middle east are named Mohammed, and the Muslims don’t have a problem understanding that those people aren’t the Prophet Mohammed, and I don’t think they’re any smarter than you are.

At worst it seems that Larson’s depiction could depict the prophet, or just anybody in the mideast whose name happens to be “Mohammed.”

Glen Davidson

This story suggests the perpetrator’s intent does not come into it.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7112929.stm

There is a difference between what liberal and conservative Muslims do, say and believe, just as there is between what liberal and conservative Christians do, say and believe. I think the spread is actually wider, in fact, with the conservative Muslim spectrum going well beyond any but the most severely deranged outliers on the Christian right.

But the Christian right, although a hideous threat to democracy, tolerance, peace and the rule of law in the democracies, does not actually run or constitute a government that I know of, the Vatican possibly excepted. Across the Islamic world, extreme Islamists up to and including outright jihadis do run and constitute governments. The government of (northern) Sudan is one, but there are a number of others, Iran being the most powerful and prominent. And the Islamic Brotherhood is poised to take control of Egypt. That’s a worry.

Dave Luckett said:

There is a difference between what liberal and conservative Muslims do, say and believe, just as there is between what liberal and conservative Christians do, say and believe. I think the spread is actually wider, in fact, with the conservative Muslim spectrum going well beyond any but the most severely deranged outliers on the Christian right.

But the Christian right, although a hideous threat to democracy, tolerance, peace and the rule of law in the democracies, does not actually run or constitute a government that I know of, the Vatican possibly excepted. Across the Islamic world, extreme Islamists up to and including outright jihadis do run and constitute governments. The government of (northern) Sudan is one, but there are a number of others, Iran being the most powerful and prominent. And the Islamic Brotherhood is poised to take control of Egypt. That’s a worry.

The Christian right has extremely strong control over one of the two major political parties in the United States, the nation with the highest GDP, by far the largest military, largest nuclear arsenal, and highest per capita consumption of fossil fuel in the world, among other things.

During the most recent federal election year, 2010, they gained control of major branches of the federal government and many state governments. A slew of anti-contraception and anti-evolution bills was one immediate result.

Antonin Scalia, who argued in Edwards v. Aguillard that outright teaching of creationism as “science” in public schools, with no “ID” sugar coating, should be allowed, now controls a bloc of 4 and three quarters supreme court justices, and gets his way except on the occasions when Kennedy petulantly demonstrates “independence”, which are increasingly fewer and further between.

Unlike many Muslim radicals (although some also share this feature), the Christian right is strongly connected to billionaire after billionaire, many of whom, such as the Koch brothers, seem to obsessively spend their time using their unimaginably enormous fortunes to push harsh, dystopian political policy. Most of these policies won’t even affect the multi-millionaires/billionaires who push them, except in whatever way seeing things get worse for others does. Howard Ahmanson doesn’t have children and could send them to any private school in the world, or create his own private school for them, if he did. Yet he gives millions to the Discovery Institute, the primary goal of which is to harm science teaching in public schools.

The old “they’re not as bad as those cartoonishly unsophisticated Muslim extremists in some poor country” argument most certainly does not work for me.

harold said:

Dave Luckett said:

There is a difference between what liberal and conservative Muslims do, say and believe, just as there is between what liberal and conservative Christians do, say and believe. I think the spread is actually wider, in fact, with the conservative Muslim spectrum going well beyond any but the most severely deranged outliers on the Christian right.

But the Christian right, although a hideous threat to democracy, tolerance, peace and the rule of law in the democracies, does not actually run or constitute a government that I know of, the Vatican possibly excepted. Across the Islamic world, extreme Islamists up to and including outright jihadis do run and constitute governments. The government of (northern) Sudan is one, but there are a number of others, Iran being the most powerful and prominent. And the Islamic Brotherhood is poised to take control of Egypt. That’s a worry.

The Christian right has extremely strong control over one of the two major political parties in the United States, the nation with the highest GDP, by far the largest military, largest nuclear arsenal, and highest per capita consumption of fossil fuel in the world, among other things.

During the most recent federal election year, 2010, they gained control of major branches of the federal government and many state governments. A slew of anti-contraception and anti-evolution bills was one immediate result.

Antonin Scalia, who argued in Edwards v. Aguillard that outright teaching of creationism as “science” in public schools, with no “ID” sugar coating, should be allowed, now controls a bloc of 4 and three quarters supreme court justices, and gets his way except on the occasions when Kennedy petulantly demonstrates “independence”, which are increasingly fewer and further between.

Unlike many Muslim radicals (although some also share this feature), the Christian right is strongly connected to billionaire after billionaire, many of whom, such as the Koch brothers, seem to obsessively spend their time using their unimaginably enormous fortunes to push harsh, dystopian political policy. Most of these policies won’t even affect the multi-millionaires/billionaires who push them, except in whatever way seeing things get worse for others does. Howard Ahmanson doesn’t have children and could send them to any private school in the world, or create his own private school for them, if he did. Yet he gives millions to the Discovery Institute, the primary goal of which is to harm science teaching in public schools.

The old “they’re not as bad as those cartoonishly unsophisticated Muslim extremists in some poor country” argument most certainly does not work for me.

I have to disagree respectively with you, harold. The amount of influence that the “Christian” Right has pales in comparison to what you see in Islamist regimes in Sunni Muslim countries, and one Shi’ite one (Islamic Republic of Iran). I agree with Dave that the prospect of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Egypt is something not to take lightly, especially when it was founded in 1928 as an Islamic Fascist movement dedicated to world domination by Islam. (I also concur with David’s other points.)

John said:

harold said:

Dave Luckett said:

There is a difference between what liberal and conservative Muslims do, say and believe, just as there is between what liberal and conservative Christians do, say and believe. I think the spread is actually wider, in fact, with the conservative Muslim spectrum going well beyond any but the most severely deranged outliers on the Christian right.

But the Christian right, although a hideous threat to democracy, tolerance, peace and the rule of law in the democracies, does not actually run or constitute a government that I know of, the Vatican possibly excepted. Across the Islamic world, extreme Islamists up to and including outright jihadis do run and constitute governments. The government of (northern) Sudan is one, but there are a number of others, Iran being the most powerful and prominent. And the Islamic Brotherhood is poised to take control of Egypt. That’s a worry.

The Christian right has extremely strong control over one of the two major political parties in the United States, the nation with the highest GDP, by far the largest military, largest nuclear arsenal, and highest per capita consumption of fossil fuel in the world, among other things.

During the most recent federal election year, 2010, they gained control of major branches of the federal government and many state governments. A slew of anti-contraception and anti-evolution bills was one immediate result.

Antonin Scalia, who argued in Edwards v. Aguillard that outright teaching of creationism as “science” in public schools, with no “ID” sugar coating, should be allowed, now controls a bloc of 4 and three quarters supreme court justices, and gets his way except on the occasions when Kennedy petulantly demonstrates “independence”, which are increasingly fewer and further between.

Unlike many Muslim radicals (although some also share this feature), the Christian right is strongly connected to billionaire after billionaire, many of whom, such as the Koch brothers, seem to obsessively spend their time using their unimaginably enormous fortunes to push harsh, dystopian political policy. Most of these policies won’t even affect the multi-millionaires/billionaires who push them, except in whatever way seeing things get worse for others does. Howard Ahmanson doesn’t have children and could send them to any private school in the world, or create his own private school for them, if he did. Yet he gives millions to the Discovery Institute, the primary goal of which is to harm science teaching in public schools.

The old “they’re not as bad as those cartoonishly unsophisticated Muslim extremists in some poor country” argument most certainly does not work for me.

I have to disagree respectively with you, harold. The amount of influence that the “Christian” Right has pales in comparison to what you see in Islamist regimes in Sunni Muslim countries, and one Shi’ite one (Islamic Republic of Iran). I agree with Dave that the prospect of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Egypt is something not to take lightly, especially when it was founded in 1928 as an Islamic Fascist movement dedicated to world domination by Islam. (I also concur with David’s other points.)

I realize we won’t agree, but I do want to emphasize that I’m not discounting the seriousness of fundamentalist Islam.

Rather, I’m suggesting that others here sometimes tend to underestimate the seriousness of Christian fundamentalism.

IOW, if there are two bad things under discussion, don’t underestimate either of the because of the presence of the other one?

harold said: I realize we won’t agree, but I do want to emphasize that I’m not discounting the seriousness of fundamentalist Islam.

Rather, I’m suggesting that others here sometimes tend to underestimate the seriousness of Christian fundamentalism.

I hope you are not discounting not fundamentalist Islam, but rather Islamofascism, especially when the Muslim Brotherhood was founded according to Fascist principles expressed by others, including the Italian Fascist Party led by Mussolini. As I am sure you are well aware, I am not discounting the threat posed by Christian fundamentalism, but Dave Luckett’s points are quite sound and should be considered seriously.

I am, myself, wary of tags like ‘Islamofascism’, because they conflate ideas that might have similar outcomes in some ways but derive from very different motivations. Yes, I understand that a difference that makes no difference is no difference. Nevertheless, conflating them thus can cause serious misconceptions about what they are likely to do.

Ultimately, pragmatic considerations are of no concern to fundamentalists. A fascist will ask whether a foreign adventure is pragmatically sustainable; what practical political outcomes will ensue; what would be the actual response of other powers. These questions do not detain the fundamentalist. For the Islamic fundamentalist, in considering how to behave towards infidels and their governments, the only question is: what is enjoined on the Faithful by the Holy Word of God as enunciated through His Prophet?

There is only one answer to that question: what is enjoined is the conversion of all peoples and the conquest of all lands by the Faith, specifically, if necessary, by “the sword” - that is, by force of arms - and the destruction of all governments, powers and regimes whatsoever that are not of the Faithful, for the Faithful, by the Faithful, ruled by the word of God.

What is the difference between this and the Christian dominionist? In a word, means. Christian dominionists are dangerous, too, and some are very rich; but unlike Islamic fundamentalists, they do not actually constitute governments or entities capable of acting like governments, and their acts of violence are treatable as crimes, not as acts of war. Real dominionists are also in a tiny minority in the West. Very few Americans actually desire to repeal the Constitution, and nearly all have a profound and well-merited respect for the rights and freedoms it confers.

Certainly, that might change. It’s worth worrying about. But not as much as Islamic fundamentalism, because that has actual national power to deploy. And that, to my mind, is a quantum leap higher in worry potential.

Dave Luckett said:

I am, myself, wary of tags like ‘Islamofascism’, because they conflate ideas that might have similar outcomes in some ways but derive from very different motivations. Yes, I understand that a difference that makes no difference is no difference. Nevertheless, conflating them thus can cause serious misconceptions about what they are likely to do.

Ultimately, pragmatic considerations are of no concern to fundamentalists. A fascist will ask whether a foreign adventure is pragmatically sustainable; what practical political outcomes will ensue; what would be the actual response of other powers. These questions do not detain the fundamentalist. For the Islamic fundamentalist, in considering how to behave towards infidels and their governments, the only question is: what is enjoined on the Faithful by the Holy Word of God as enunciated through His Prophet?

There is only one answer to that question: what is enjoined is the conversion of all peoples and the conquest of all lands by the Faith, specifically, if necessary, by “the sword” - that is, by force of arms - and the destruction of all governments, powers and regimes whatsoever that are not of the Faithful, for the Faithful, by the Faithful, ruled by the word of God.

What is the difference between this and the Christian dominionist? In a word, means. Christian dominionists are dangerous, too, and some are very rich; but unlike Islamic fundamentalists, they do not actually constitute governments or entities capable of acting like governments, and their acts of violence are treatable as crimes, not as acts of war. Real dominionists are also in a tiny minority in the West. Very few Americans actually desire to repeal the Constitution, and nearly all have a profound and well-merited respect for the rights and freedoms it confers.

Certainly, that might change. It’s worth worrying about. But not as much as Islamic fundamentalism, because that has actual national power to deploy. And that, to my mind, is a quantum leap higher in worry potential.

While I am largely in agreement with your observations, Dave, you are assuming that a Fascist can act rationally, when history has demonstrated otherwise (e. g. Hitler). I would also suggest that you shouldn’t write off the word “Islamofascism”, especially when it applies to the Muslim Brotherhood’s political origins and political philosophy.

Hitler was not a fascist. The term “fascist” was actually used as a prejorative in nazi Germany, implying that the person so called had mistaken national characteristics for racial ones, and was not imbued with the volkisch spirit. Specifically, fascism implied attachment to the nation, without necessarily requiring that it first be purged of non-Aryan elements, starting with the Jews, and then become a racially-selected pan-national polity ruling over non-aryan subject peoples. Nazis, and Hitler most of all, were visionaries, and their vision was of a world remade in their model, not simply of German power reborn.

Mussolini, the actual model for fascism, was an extreme adventurist, true, but in all his adventures - Ethiopia, Albania, North Africa, and above all his entry into WW2 - he had persuaded himself that his actions were to the material advantage of Italy, not undertaken out of some spiritual or quasi-religious ideology. In each case he was an opportunist who was, he thought, taking advantage of the weakness or defeat of a rival. His object was to secure an Italian empire, specifically Libyan oil, (which was then known but not yet exploited), to control the Mediterranean (“Mare Nostrum”) and thus to advance Italy to the status of a great power. He advised against attacking Russia; he was privately appalled when Hitler declared war on the United States when it wasn’t required by treaty, but by that time he was bound to Germany hand and foot, as had become clear after June, 1940. A fascist would have said that by making that mistake he had offended against fascist doctrine, by in effect subjecting his nation to another.

Of course he was completely wrong and his calculations false, but they were still calculations of national advantage, not actions impelled by mystical - almost supernatural, almost religious - racist dogmas.

Other fascists - Franco in Spain, Salazar in Portugal, others in France, Hungary, Serbia, Yugoslavia and elsewhere - were not given to the same miscalculations. Some of them were dragged into WW2, true, but reluctantly. Spain and Portugal stayed out, and those regimes survived long into the modern world. But although the utterly pragmatic calculations of those dictators were more accurate, they were no less fascists than Mussolini.

Islamic fundamentalism of the jihadi stripe has more in common with nazism than fascism, but with one important difference, and that is that it defines itself in religious, not racial terms. The object of the nazis was to create a pan-national aryan polity that would rule non-aryan subject peoples and the world in general; that of the jihadis is to create a pan-national theocracy that would rule the infidels and the world in general. They are certain that this is the will of God, not an expression of human will or means, and hence are even less concerned with material considerations than Hitler was.

This is both good and bad. Hitler would do whatever he might think would advance his vision, and he was not much constrained by pragmatism, but he was bound to rely on conventional means, for he regarded those means as sovereign. It was the martial qualities of the Aryan race, if properly inspired and directed, that would remake the world. Will was essential; but this will would be expressed by military means.

The jihadi, on the other hand, knows that God is with him. He is not bound by the material or the military; those are not where the means lie. Rather, they lie in the direct personal involvement of God Almighty. What is required, then, is not to deploy material means, but to create the conditions for divine intervention - to prove one’s self worthy through acts of faith, including martyrdom.

This accounts for the element of the spectacular in Islamic terrorist attacks. It accounts for the fact that they have, and in a rational world can only have, transient and relatively small actual effects, however grievous their casualty count. The jihadis are simply not interested in conventional military means or even political power in conventional terms. They are trying to inspire God and their fellows. This means that they can be expected to act differently from fascists and even from nazis. To call them by terms derived from those ideologies, therefore, is potentially misleading, and can cause serious errors in dealing with them.

While the above comments are interesting, back to the original topic, and a recent development:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout[…]0347907.html

Title: The Creation Museum evolves: Hoping to add a life-size ark project, the museum hits fundraising trouble

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

Dave Luckett said:

Hitler was not a fascist. The term “fascist” was actually used as a prejorative in nazi Germany, implying that the person so called had mistaken national characteristics for racial ones, and was not imbued with the volkisch spirit. Specifically, fascism implied attachment to the nation, without necessarily requiring that it first be purged of non-Aryan elements, starting with the Jews, and then become a racially-selected pan-national polity ruling over non-aryan subject peoples. Nazis, and Hitler most of all, were visionaries, and their vision was of a world remade in their model, not simply of German power reborn.

Mussolini, the actual model for fascism, was an extreme adventurist, true, but in all his adventures - Ethiopia, Albania, North Africa, and above all his entry into WW2 - he had persuaded himself that his actions were to the material advantage of Italy, not undertaken out of some spiritual or quasi-religious ideology. In each case he was an opportunist who was, he thought, taking advantage of the weakness or defeat of a rival. His object was to secure an Italian empire, specifically Libyan oil, (which was then known but not yet exploited), to control the Mediterranean (“Mare Nostrum”) and thus to advance Italy to the status of a great power. He advised against attacking Russia; he was privately appalled when Hitler declared war on the United States when it wasn’t required by treaty, but by that time he was bound to Germany hand and foot, as had become clear after June, 1940. A fascist would have said that by making that mistake he had offended against fascist doctrine, by in effect subjecting his nation to another.

Of course he was completely wrong and his calculations false, but they were still calculations of national advantage, not actions impelled by mystical - almost supernatural, almost religious - racist dogmas.

Other fascists - Franco in Spain, Salazar in Portugal, others in France, Hungary, Serbia, Yugoslavia and elsewhere - were not given to the same miscalculations. Some of them were dragged into WW2, true, but reluctantly. Spain and Portugal stayed out, and those regimes survived long into the modern world. But although the utterly pragmatic calculations of those dictators were more accurate, they were no less fascists than Mussolini.

Islamic fundamentalism of the jihadi stripe has more in common with nazism than fascism, but with one important difference, and that is that it defines itself in religious, not racial terms. The object of the nazis was to create a pan-national aryan polity that would rule non-aryan subject peoples and the world in general; that of the jihadis is to create a pan-national theocracy that would rule the infidels and the world in general. They are certain that this is the will of God, not an expression of human will or means, and hence are even less concerned with material considerations than Hitler was.

This is both good and bad. Hitler would do whatever he might think would advance his vision, and he was not much constrained by pragmatism, but he was bound to rely on conventional means, for he regarded those means as sovereign. It was the martial qualities of the Aryan race, if properly inspired and directed, that would remake the world. Will was essential; but this will would be expressed by military means.

The jihadi, on the other hand, knows that God is with him. He is not bound by the material or the military; those are not where the means lie. Rather, they lie in the direct personal involvement of God Almighty. What is required, then, is not to deploy material means, but to create the conditions for divine intervention - to prove one’s self worthy through acts of faith, including martyrdom.

This accounts for the element of the spectacular in Islamic terrorist attacks. It accounts for the fact that they have, and in a rational world can only have, transient and relatively small actual effects, however grievous their casualty count. The jihadis are simply not interested in conventional military means or even political power in conventional terms. They are trying to inspire God and their fellows. This means that they can be expected to act differently from fascists and even from nazis. To call them by terms derived from those ideologies, therefore, is potentially misleading, and can cause serious errors in dealing with them.

This is a mild version of historical revisionism, Dave, which ignores the history between Hitler and Mussolini insofar as Hitler had acknowledged Mussolini as a mentor and Italian Fascism as a source of Nazi ideology. You’ve also ignored that aside from Ba’athism, the Muslim Brotherhood arose as an independent Fascist movement in the Middle East, and acknowledged its Fascist origins when it was founded in 1928. Since it is viewed as the “mother” to other entities like Al Qaeda, then those “offspring” should be viewed as Islamofascism.

Nazism took nothing from the fascists except a sense of theatre, no matter what pleasantries Hitler may have uttered when he felt it expedient. But that’s not important now.

Neither the Ba’athist Party nor the Muslim Brotherhood are Islamic terrorist organisations, nor did they give rise to Al Qaeda, except by reaction against them. The Ba’athists are indeed fascists, pretty much, and as fascists are avowedly secular, which is why fundamentalist Islamists don’t like them, and form their main opposition, domestically. The Muslim Brotherhood is very actively engaged in opposing the Ba’athists of the Assad regime in Syria at this moment.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt specifically abjured violence before 1970, and have stuck by that, so far. Elsewhere, offshoots of the Brotherhood have been given to violent rhetoric, but the organisation everywhere is officially committed to non-violent and democratic reform domestically. Yes, they want a pan-Islamic theocracy, and they would probably re-ignite war with Israel, which is why I called them “a worry”, but they’re not Al Qaeda.

The real jihadis are neither Ba’athists nor MBs. They are not fascists or nazis, either, and it’s stupid to imply that they are. They are religious fanatics - so are the MBs. But unlike the MBs, the various Islamic terrorist groups within and outside the Al Qaeda umbrella are committed to violence and terrorism against the west and Israel as Plan A. Probably Plans B through X as well. Now, you can say that this is only a difference over the tactics to be employed for the nonce. Maybe so. But it’s an important difference.

So is the difference between calculated violence, a la fascism, and calculated violence, a la Al Qaeda. Mussolini invaded Ethiopia and Albania because he wanted an Italian empire. Al Qaeda blew up the Twin Towers because they thought it would please God (and because it would make a satisfying explosion and kill a lot of people and spread fear and all that).

These radically different notivations predict radically different behaviours. It is so important a difference that calling the one by derivation from the other is disastrously misleading. Any acceptance of such a false conflation must necessarily lead to policy disasters; but above all it should be rejected simply because it’s false.

Dave Luckett said: Neither the Ba’athist Party nor the Muslim Brotherhood are Islamic terrorist organisations, nor did they give rise to Al Qaeda, except by reaction against them. The Ba’athists are indeed fascists, pretty much, and as fascists are avowedly secular, which is why fundamentalist Islamists don’t like them, and form their main opposition, domestically. The Muslim Brotherhood is very actively engaged in opposing the Ba’athists of the Assad regime in Syria at this moment.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt specifically abjured violence before 1970, and have stuck by that, so far. Elsewhere, offshoots of the Brotherhood have been given to violent rhetoric, but the organisation everywhere is officially committed to non-violent and democratic reform domestically. Yes, they want a pan-Islamic theocracy, and they would probably re-ignite war with Israel, which is why I called them “a worry”, but they’re not Al Qaeda.

The real jihadis are neither Ba’athists nor MBs. They are not fascists or nazis, either, and it’s stupid to imply that they are. They are religious fanatics - so are the MBs. But unlike the MBs, the various Islamic terrorist groups within and outside the Al Qaeda umbrella are committed to violence and terrorism against the west and Israel as Plan A. Probably Plans B through X as well. Now, you can say that this is only a difference over the tactics to be employed for the nonce. Maybe so. But it’s an important difference.

So is the difference between calculated violence, a la fascism, and calculated violence, a la Al Qaeda. Mussolini invaded Ethiopia and Albania because he wanted an Italian empire. Al Qaeda blew up the Twin Towers because they thought it would please God (and because it would make a satisfying explosion and kill a lot of people and spread fear and all that).

These radically different notivations predict radically different behaviours. It is so important a difference that calling the one by derivation from the other is disastrously misleading. Any acceptance of such a false conflation must necessarily lead to policy disasters; but above all it should be rejected simply because it’s false.

Dave, I didn’t say that the Muslim Brotherhood or the Ba’athists are terrorist organizations. What I did say is that the Muslim Brotherhood’s rhetoric and ideology has inspired Islamofascist terrorists like Al Qaeda and others. (And not even is the Muslim Brotherhood “peaceful”; it supported the assassination of President Sadat as a suitable “response” toward his successful negotiation of a peace treaty with Israel and because he was continuing Nassar’s policy of persecuting Muslim Brotherhood members.

Now you’ve shifted ground.

You said:

Since it (the Muslim Brotherhood) is viewed as the “mother” to other entities like Al Qaeda, then those “offspring” should be viewed as Islamofascism.

That is, you were not arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Ba’athists are terrorist organisations, but you were arguing that they are both fascist organisations and that entities like Al Qaeda are, too, because they descend from one or both of them.

I say that all three of your assumptions are incorrect. The Muslim Brotherhood is not a fascist organisation now, whatever it might have been in 1928. It is, in fact, fighting the Syrian Ba’athists, who actually are fascists, or close to it. It was not the “mother” to entities like Al Qaeda - on the contrary, Osama bin Laden disagreed strongly and publically with its stance on not attacking the west. And Al Qaeda and its fellow jihadi entities are not fascist, either.

The Muslim Brotherhood certainly disapproved of Sadat’s policy of recognition of Israel and peace, but their opposition was restricted to rhetoric. They were not involved in his assassination, which was carried out by a cabal of military officers associated with Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Group), which is a terrorist organisation, guilty of mass murders including the Luxor massacre of 1997, but which has been specifically disowned by the Muslim Brotherhood.

They are religious fanatics and totalitarians, sure. But calling them fascists is a sure source of confusion and certain to mislead, however satisfying it is, and whatever its insult value.

Dave Luckett said:

Now you’ve shifted ground.

You said:

Since it (the Muslim Brotherhood) is viewed as the “mother” to other entities like Al Qaeda, then those “offspring” should be viewed as Islamofascism.

That is, you were not arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Ba’athists are terrorist organisations, but you were arguing that they are both fascist organisations and that entities like Al Qaeda are, too, because they descend from one or both of them.

I say that all three of your assumptions are incorrect. The Muslim Brotherhood is not a fascist organisation now, whatever it might have been in 1928. It is, in fact, fighting the Syrian Ba’athists, who actually are fascists, or close to it. It was not the “mother” to entities like Al Qaeda - on the contrary, Osama bin Laden disagreed strongly and publically with its stance on not attacking the west. And Al Qaeda and its fellow jihadi entities are not fascist, either.

The Muslim Brotherhood certainly disapproved of Sadat’s policy of recognition of Israel and peace, but their opposition was restricted to rhetoric. They were not involved in his assassination, which was carried out by a cabal of military officers associated with Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Group), which is a terrorist organisation, guilty of mass murders including the Luxor massacre of 1997, but which has been specifically disowned by the Muslim Brotherhood.

They are religious fanatics and totalitarians, sure. But calling them fascists is a sure source of confusion and certain to mislead, however satisfying it is, and whatever its insult value.

No, I haven’t shifted ground, Dave. If I did, I would have said from the onset that both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Ba’athist Party are terrorist organizations. Instead, what I have said is that virtually every Islamic terrorist organization (like Al Qaeda) can trace its philosophical and other intellectual roots to the Muslim Brotherhood. I am not claiming that mine is an original observation; what I have been stating is what I have read by Muslim apostates familiar with the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamic terrorist offshoots and religious studies scholars.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on June 23, 2012 1:22 PM.

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