In response to David Tucker let me first thank him for pointing to the ways in which what I said could be misunderstood and for posing these questions for our further consideration.
Question 1: Is Wahabbism the same thing as Islamo-fascism? I am no expert on the tenets of the Wahabbist version of Islam but, from what I understand of it, it may be possible to be Wahabbist and not also be an Islamo-fascist. So the answer is "no." The one does not necessarily embrace the other.
Question 2: What do you mean by Islamo-fascism? I mean it literally. I mean fascism that finds its inspiration in and believes itself justified because of the teachings it finds in the Koran. Is every Islamic person an Islamo-fascist? Of course not. It isn’t even true that every fascist who happens to be a Muslim is necessarily an Islamo-fascist. The fascism has to find its roots (or rather claim to find its roots)--rightly or wrongly--in the Koran and the teachings of its "scholars."
Question 3: Why is it wrong for someone to refuse medical services for religious reasons, even if doing so threatens their life? I actually did not say that--so I’m not sure how to respond to the question. I don’t think it is wrong--at least not in a legal sense. It can and often is my opinion that such refusals are foolish--but I would not impose that view on someone who disagreed with me. I probably wouldn’t even tell them my opinion unless I knew them well because I would think it rude to intrude. I don’t even think it is wrong (in a legal sense) to refuse medical treatment on the grounds that you just don’t prefer to do it. You may be foolish, but I don’t think you can be compelled to be smart in this instance. But what I do object to is a culture that seeks to suppress information that a grown woman can use to make her own choices about her own health care. I object to it here--where we have those who suppress information that suggests childbirth and nursing are important to a woman’s health because it’s not PC to say it and it might offend women who choose not to do these things--and I object to it in Saudi Arabia--where women are afraid of the social backlash that comes to them if they see a male doctor or have a mastectomy. I also have to say that I find it preposterous that any serious so-called "religious" person would rather see his wife or mother or daughter die than permit her to disrobe in front of a male doctor who might help her to prevent that. And it is despicable for a man to abandon a woman who must chose to have a mastectomy if she intends to keep living. If a woman is so foolish (or fearful) that she will not heed good sense when presented with all the (truthful) information, I suppose I have nothing to say to her about that in any legal sense. I would not force her to get a mammogram or have a mastectomy. But I see nothing wrong with telling her that she really ought to do otherwise. She may take it or leave it--as many (very free) women in our country do too.
You did not ask about, but I think you implied that you wondered why I suggested that it was "Islamo-fascism" at work in this case. I think it is fascist to actively suppress the truth in order to manipulate or limit people’s choices. I think it is fascist to take away a person’s liberty in this way. So that explains the fascist part. The "Islamo" part comes from the reasons why those who suppressed information or punished women with cancer did what they did. It comes from their ideas about gender inspired by their extreme version of Islam.
But I should be clear that there was no suggestion that the government of Saudi Arabia was itself responsible for this suppression or bad behavior. On the contrary, the story suggested that things were improving, women were speaking out and educating each other and, after all, Laura Bush was there to promote breast cancer awareness. She would not have been invited if they were all complicit with this kind of thing. She would not have been invited if they were all "Islamo-fascists."
wow Julie...That is a real State Department Answer!
Is Wahabbism the same thing as Islamo-fascism? Yes both have extreme negative connotations and both reffer to ultra-conservative versions of Islam. Wahabbism provides the broadest justification for Jihad of all muslim sects. By the way...I know I dilute whatever argument I could make by puggling a movie but the Kingdom(2007) is a great film..on many different levels.
Julie says: "She would not have been invited if they were all complicit with this kind of thing. She would not have been invited if they were all "Islamo-fascists." please...the government of Saudi Arabia is pro-US...If Saudi Arabia was governed by Wahabbism rest assured that Laura Bush never could have entered.
"What do you mean by Islamo-fascism?" Absolutely nothing if you make it an academic question where Hamas, Al-Queda, and Wahhabism may not necessarily fit the bill.
"Why is it wrong for someone to refuse medical services for religious reasons, even if doing so threatens their life?" Well why is Islamo-fascism wrong? Why was it wrong for a Wahhabists interpretation of female modesty to overrule the needs of partially clothed women escaping a burning building in Saudi Arabia? Ultimately it is wrong because the religious reasons order priorities in the wrong way...which is exactly what is at stake when wahhabi man tells the woman that to disrobe in front of a male doctor is worse than the cure is worthwhile.
In the United States where compulsion to hold religious views and opinions is tertiary or non-existent there is much less risk that priorities would be distorted. In the United States it is less wrong for people to refuse medical treatment for religious reasons..and Julie's answer to this question makes more sense.
Wahhabism is the threat, Wahhabism is the incarnation of Islamo-Fascism. Check out this article
Let me quote from the article I link to..."It is not the habit of Muslims to offer flowers to the sick in hospital. This is a custom imported from the land of the infidels by those whose faith is weak. Therefore it is not permitted to deal with flowers in this way, neither to sell, to buy nor to offer them as gifts,"
This is a Wahhabi fatwa, basically what Wahhabi's do is look to ensure that no western manners mores or habits infiltrate muslim thinking. Wahhabi's are intensely conservative in that they are constantly vigilant to ensure that nothing western ever comes to count as an argument, a manner, a more, or a way of life for muslims. Wahhabi's look first to the Koran to establish an ontological structure from which every aspect of life is henceforth judged...Nothing is a question of judgement or a question of information...this is a western notion, a wahhabi would laugh at you. Everything is weighed against the Ontological heirarchy established by the Koran. Breast cancer is bad, but in the time of the prophet a woman did not speak of such things. It is a vile western habit of mind that could ever justify a mother or daughter disrobbing in front of a male doctor, no matter what the ends. A wahhabi is a rabid non-consequentialist. A wahhabi sees you as a "living constitutionalist" who seeks to subvert the true Ontological structure of the Koran.
A wahhabi looks at the west, and he sees the Lockeian Darwinian mind, he sees only consequentialism, and he sees the house of Saud living a corrupted fallen life. He looks towards Dubai and he sees Las Vegas come to the muslim world eiffel tower duplica and all. Silently he prays that Allah bring down sulfur and brimstone, he knows that he will not allow his wife to look back, his familly will not be like Lot. He has trully hidden the scriptures and sacred texts in his heart that he may not sin against Allah. His feelings, his thoughts, his ambitions are justified in the Koran, no part of his life has an outside source that may corrupt him, and he stands eternally vigilant against the flowers, mammograms, mastectomy, movies, oil revenue, roads, cars bridges, clothing, thoughts, feelings, sentiments and justifications of the great satanic west.
If Islamo-Fascism makes any sense it makes sense only in refference to Wahhabism. Fascism derived from a sense shared among a certain group of people that they were loosing that which distinguished them from the rest of the world. It has precursors in the KKK and the Black Hundreds in Russia. Hitler's campaign against the jews was not accidental. The Jews and their modes of thinking, their usery and evil money lending capitalistic ways, were what was holding back authentic yeoman farmer Germaness. While Fascism was concerned with Being German...returning the german caucasian to his rightfull place in the heirachy of races and avenging the setbacks of the first world war...Wahhabism is concerned about being Muslim, in particular being Sunni Muslim. To the Wahhabi being muslim is to be seperated from the world, it is to partake in a distinct social ordering of priorities in strict accordance to the onotological standards of the Koran. The Wahhabi wants to bring a Holocaust to the house of Saud and foreigners that reside in the land of the two Holy Mosques: Mecca and Medina. It wants to purify on the basis of a Muslim Zeigeist as much as fascist germany wanted the purification on the basis of a racial/cultural/Ontological Zeitgeist. Wahhabi's understand themselves as the Dasein of Sunni Islam. Wahhabi's think perhaps not incorectly that should they fail the possibility for the Dasein of Islam, the possibility of a distinctly Islamic Zeitgiest will be forever rendered impossible by the forces of modernity.
Islamo-fascism has always been a made up boogey word used to stir up images of goose-stepping SS troops. It is intellectually silly.
Fascism refers to a specific political system. Nationalism, government-private state capitalism, autocratic, etc. Islamo-whatever is not fascistic on multiple levels. Is Islam state-capitalistic? Theoretically, Islam is not nationalistic. It is universalist. (In reality all the sects are slaughtering each other, the Kurds want their own homeland, etc. but that is evidence of their failure to live up to their universalistic ideal.)
Perhaps Islamo-totalitarianism might be appropriate, but that wouldn't be nearly as useful in stirring up the passions of the uninformed.
Islamo-fascism is an ignorant word and should not be used by well informed people.
I agree with Red. The term "fascist" has historically been used as a slur, particularly by communists, against anyone to the right of them. Conservatives shouldn't be bandying it about now.
If you don't like the term blame Stephen Schwartz and the Weekly Standard
But for me it is really a question of how radical one is about topologies in the first place. It is the thinking...that something like flowers are western. It is the attempt to control all aspects of life for the purpose of bringing about a Muslim Zeitgeist. No element of life is beyond a fatwa. It is the rigid ontological structuring of Dasein according to Dar al-islam and Dar al-harb. That which is distinctively ours vs. the other. In the case of fascism: That which is distinctively and essentially german vs. the jew, the pole, the gypsie, the bourgeois. In the case of Wahhabism: That which is authentically muslim vs. the jew, the american, the house of saud, capitalism, the west.
Really I was getting on Julie for not identifying why someone would consider the death of a loved one as preferable to disrobing in front of a male doctor. It has to do with the essence of that which is seen as muslim "dar-al Islam" juxtaposed with the modern medicine of "dar-al harb." Calling this fascism if it leads to the wrong conclusion or outright dismissal is too easy...the question is ultimately one of topology itself or which distinctions are relevant to a religion/culture/people/Zeitgeist as a defining aspect of religion/culture/people/Zeitgeist.
It is the rigid ontological structuring of Dasein according to Dar al-islam and Dar al-harb.
What do you mean by Dasein here, John? Something strictly Heideggerean?
Well Paul to be honest I don't really know much about Dasein or Heidegger...I read Being in Time and didn't understand one word or follow a single argument in any direction that made sense. I just figured that when trying to make a link with fascism it was best to use german words like Zeitgeist and Dasein.
But even if I am uncertain as to the extent of my correspondence with the meaning of Heidegger, what I am not uncertain of is the distinct difference between the Wahhabi mind and the Western mind. Essentially for the Wahhabi submission to Allah is not something one can do part-time. In the United States people go to church on sunday and then go watch football. For the Wahhabi one would have to ask if football is muslim mind. All aspects of life are political and all aspects of life are religious. No action is justified by any other argument than that it conforms to submission to Allah. In the west sometimes we have no clue why something counts or shouldn't count as an argument, we are quite free in our judgements and conclusions. Wahhabi's call any move towards this "western reasonableness" polytheism, which is a charge they level against all moderate muslim groups, for the Wahhabi making an argument is as simple as asking if the thing in question belongs to Dar-al Islam or Dar-al harb.
So Paul, I would say that by Dasein in that sentence I mean existence/being in the world/mood/mind/spirit/will/body...all must submit to dar al Islam as final score keeper.