Students at most universities are almost brainwashed into being leftist -- and the way they are taught to disagree with their political opponents is by using ad hominem attacks. Conservatives are described over and over as mean-spirited, war-loving, greedy, bigoted, racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic, sexist, intolerant and oblivious to human suffering.As leading news organizations in the U.S. criticize the use of the term "Islamofascism" it becomes clearer to anyone with a brain that the word precisely describes the threat of these religious fanatics.
Such ad hominem labels are the left's primary rhetorical weapons. So when leftist students are actually confronted with even one articulate conservative, many enter a world of cognitive dissonance. That is one reason why universities rarely invite conservatives to speak: they might change some students' minds.
Regarding the term "Islamo-Fascism," most students heard the arguments I presented for the legitimacy of the term for the first time in their lives. Very briefly summarized, these arguments were:
First, the term is not anti-Muslim. One may object to the term on factual grounds, i.e., one may claim that there are no fascistic behaviors among people acting in the name of Islam -- but such a claim is a denial of the obvious.
So once one acknowledges the obvious, that there is fascistic behavior among a core of Muslims -- specifically, a cult of violence and the wanton use of physical force to impose an ideology on others -- the term "Islamo-Fascism" is entirely appropriate.
Second, the question then arises as to whether that term is anti-Muslim in that it besmirches the name of Islam and attempts to describe all Muslims as fascist. This objection, too, has a clear response.
The term no more implies all Muslims or Islam is fascistic than the term "German fascism" implied all Germans were fascists or "Italian fascism" or "Japanese fascism" implied that all Italians or all Japanese were fascists....
Third, given the horrors being perpetrated by some Muslims in the name of Islam -- from the genocide currently being practiced by the Islamic Republic of Sudan, to the mass murders of innocents in Iraq, Israel, America, Britain, Bali, Thailand, the Philippines and elsewhere -- what term is more accurate than "Islamo-Fascism"? "Islamic totalitarianism"? "Jihadists"? "Bad Muslims"?
The left's organized crusade against Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was simply the latest shame in the long and shameful history of the left's inability to confront those engaged in great evil -- like the left's ferocious opposition during the Cold War to labeling communism as "totalitarian" or "evil" and its nearly universal condemnation of President Ronald Reagan's description of the Soviet Union as an "evil empire."
The term has angered many in the Muslim world, who see it as branding their entire religion -- and everyone who practices it -- as fascists.
"I think it's despicable," Middle East expert Juan Cole said. "Linking Islam… with a pejorative term such as fascism is extremely unfair. In fact, it is a form of racism."
Racist is, of course, a non-pejoritive term used to describe anyone who happens to disagree with Professor Cole and his ilk.
I suggest my readers check the definition of 'racism'; but last time I looked, a religion was not synonymous with a race. Further, not connecting Islam with the likes of Bin Laden, Zawahiri, Ahmadinejad--and the Mullahs, and all the other jihadist thugs out there is a form of idiocy--not to mention it would probably offend their delicate sensibilities (and Cole wouldn't want to do that!). They see themselves and their millions of followers as the true believers of the religion.
Not linking the political aspirations of these Islamic fanatics to fascism is clearly a form of psychological denial.
Which brings me back to some fundamental questions that must be answered if Western Civilization is to prevail over the Islamic barbarians at the gate.
The questions are:
For all these questions, there is one unifying answer: Postmodernism.
Reality, truth, reason, consistency, integrity and almost all the values of the Enlightenment that I discussed in this post have been abandoned--cheaply surrendered--by the intellectual elites of Western Civilization. (also discussed here , here and here for the interested)
Victor Davis Hanson once made this observation aabout the Europeans:
Europe boldly produces films about assassinating an American president, and routinely disparages the Church that gave the world the Sermon of the Mount, but it simply won’t stand up for an artist, a well-meaning Pope, or a ranting filmmaker when the mob closes in. The Europe that believes in everything turns out to believe in nothing.
And his comments are descriptive of the political left, as well. They believe in nothing.
In fact, they have finally reached the natural endpoint of the postmodern intellectual journey they began early in the last century, and arrived at the core nihilism that animates their entire belief system.
Once reason has been rejected reason and reality set aside as a basis for human actions, all that is left are the intense feelings that are the twinkling stars of the postmodern emotional universe.
Is it any wonder that the same people who aggressively champion gay rights one minute, will--when it is expedient--"throw gay men under the bus to score political points"?
Why should we expect the left to behave reasonably? Reason plays no part in their ideology or thought, such as it is. Forgetting about the many Democrats who are as corrupt as any Republican they happen to be demonizing at the moment ( excellently documented by SC&A, by the way) is not simply a benign lapse on the part of the left; it is a perfectly acceptable tactic in a conflict where the only goal is power at any price. Truth be damned.
Or just consider this popular smear tactic at Think
Only people without a lick of insight, self-awareness, honesty, or even a rudimentary sense of humor could ignore the rampant Bush=Hitler meme that dominates their side of the political spectrum and put forth a criticism of Podhoretz in such a self-righteous and ridiculous post.
The breathtaking hypocrisy simply boggles the mind; but it is all part and parcel of the postmodern rhetoric of the leftist nothings.
Postmodernism is nothing more than intellectual nihilism dressed up in academic robes. If someone ever wrote a history of psychological denial, the philosophy of postmodernism, which burst on the human scene about half a century ago, would undoubtedly have a special place.
The use of postmodern rhetoric is usually a desperate attempt on the part of the person in denial when he recognizes that logic, reason, and reality actually argue against his beliefs or purposes. This strategy can often take the form of redefining or distorting language and ideas so that they conform to ones pre-existing attitudes and emotions.
EXAMPLE: "Everything is relative anyway."
EXAMPLE: "Objective truth does not exist"
EXAMPLE: "Truth is relative and my feelings are just as important as your facts."
EXAMPLE: "My reality is just as significant as yours"
EXAMPLE: "Reality is an illusion."
In the end, they all serve to facilitate today's left in their unwillingness to confront the evil that threatens civilization in the world today. They would like you to believe that the only evil confronting the world is George Bush and have no problem equating George Bush and conservatives with fascism. But connecting Islam with fascism? That's really, really offensive. And mean. And racist.
It is, however, somewhat more in touch with reality than they would like to believe (psychological displacement is a form of denial, don't forget)
As Praeger points out, "It is not those who use the term "Islamo-Fascism" who are sullying the name of Islam; it is the Islamo-Fascists."