Bush's language angers US Muslims

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by dogbone, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #1
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4785065.stm

    Now while I'll agree that Bush doesn't always come across as having a total grasp on the English language, I cannot see how his comments are anything less than a shameless beat up by so called American Muslim leaders.

    There is such a thing as an Islamic facist and looking at the dictionary definition it would seem to apply to the current Iranian Leadership. There are also fascists in every religion I'm sure and if it was relevent to refer to these people as well then there's also nothing wrong with that.

    Take this crazy excerpt from the article.

    It is Younis who is trying to portray these comments as a 'clash of civillisations'. How can he say it was wrong to link the action of violent Muslims to their religion when they do so themselves? Sure it is a perversion of the Islamic religion but if they themselves say their actions are religious based then who is to argue otherwise even if they misinterpret their own religion.

    No different to Christians who bomb abortion clinics. Their fanaticism is linked to their religion even though it is against their religious teachings.

    A lot but by no means all terrorism around the world has some form of Islam as it's supposed motivating factor. If this is what is in the news then why pretend it is not so.

    Why is pointing out the obvious fact that a lot of Islamic terrorism is linked to religion, is somehow a slur on all Muslims? I do not think that the inflammatory comments by Younis, help the cause of Moderate Islam.

    It is in Ahmed who is feeding the perception that the war on terror is a war on Islam. The war on terror is a war on Islamic terrorists, not Islam.
     
  2. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #2
    Juan Cole has some good points about the use of the term "Islamic fascism."
     
  3. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    Juan Cole's comments would appear to be mere pedantry. Sure Iraq was a type of a secular fascist dicatorship, and Iran pretty well fits the bill of a theorcratic fascism. So what.

    The point is that to refer to certain aims of Islamic leaders as being fascist in their fundamental nature, is not incorrect.

    My point is that the comments in the original article which purport to show evidence of a "clash of civillisations" are merely a rhetorical beat up. Fascism does not necessarily have to do with Musolini's italy any more than Apartheid must only be spoken of in terms of South Africa. English is renowned for it's fluidity and adaptability of meaning.

    To refer to some Islamic fundamentalism as fascist in nature is not really a big deal, and is certainly not a slur on Muslims.
     
  4. Sayhey macrumors 68000

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    #4
    It would be funny to see you accuse someone with expertise in Middle Eastern studies of "pedantry" if your own glaring examples of at it hadn't grown so wearisome.

    Of course fascism is not limited to Mussolini's Italy. Professor Cole gives examples of fascism and fascists in other nations and other times (Spain, Germany, South and Central America, etc.) He also talks of the Saddam Hussein regime as an example of fascism. Something that Saddam's opponents had come to call his regime as early as the '70s. His most important point is that Muslim fundamentalists are not fascist in that they do not fit within the nationalistic ideology that fascism represents. Theirs is a call for the rule of a conservative religious ideology, not the rule of an all-encompassing fealty to the nation-state. There are other characteristics of fascism that Professor Cole does not deal with, but this one is vital.

    The term "fascist" carries with it a tremendous emotional punch because of fascism's horrific history, and while it may make good propaganda sense to use it incorrectly to identify your enemies, it is nonetheless incorrect in this case. When trying to build a strategy that works against fundamentalism in the Islamic world, it is best to know your opponent in reality rather than to construct straw men to aid in propaganda.
     
  5. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #5
    I don't understand what the big deal is. Bush was just refering to the terrorists as being Islamic facists, not all Muslims. :confused:
     
  6. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #6
    it would be conducive for a civil discussion to not preface every second post with a personal attack. :)

    Being learned in a particular field does not automatically make one absolutely right, niether does it preclude a differing opinion.

    The term "fascist" carries with it a tremendous emotional punch...


    It can do, but it need not. The dictionary excerpt above does not. Cole's pedantry in differentiating *any* concomitance of the word 'Islam' with 'fascism', is a similar type of pedantry that asserts there is no such thing as anti-Semitism because Arabs are in fact Semites as well as Jews.

    Bush is not saying that *all* fundamentalist Islam is fascist, but some certainly is take Iran for example, is it not an ultra conservative intolerant authoritarian regime. While Iran is not perhaps classically 'fascist' in the pure sense of the word it is also not very wide of the mark.

    I'm just saying that it is more right than wrong. And it is certainly not about a "clash of civilisations" which is much more wrong than right.
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #7
    bush and his speechwriter knows the term doesn't apply, they're using it for political gain. the same way that kim jong il is always called "evil" and g hw bush purposefully mispronounced saddam's name.
     
  8. KingYaba macrumors 68040

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    #8
    Since when has bush's language never angered someone?
     
  9. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #9
    I can't help noticing the outrage beaten up by these remarks of Bush by "bristling" Muslims. I also note the worldwide outrage by Muslims over at the recent "Muhammed cartoons".

    But I do not notice any voiced outrage at the carnage in Iraq and desecration of holy sites, which is Muslim against Muslim. Why can't we have some public statements about this? by Muslim Public Affairs Councils.

    It just seems to me that these 'councils' get too het up about the wrong things.
     
  10. Sayhey macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Because it is wrong, MACDRIVE. It is easy to call your opponents every name in the book, but if you are the President of the United States you have the responsibility to lead and lead in a way that shows a course that has a chance to win. Calling muslim fundamentalists "fascists" not only is offensive to muslims that know better and should be allies, but it has the added "benefit" of confusing the tactics necessary to defeat the real enemy. The real enemy, in this case, isn't fascist nation-states or fascist political movements, but rather religious movements that appeal to powerful religious traditions and feelings, made stronger by ignorant Western slurs to Islam. Want to win the battle against fundamentalism? Then start by isolating them, not ourselves through foolish rhetoric designed for our own domestic consumption.
     
  11. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    @Sayhey
    But that is the whole point he wasn't talking about muslims he was referring to proponents of terrorism. This over sensitivity to having a terrorist who happens to be the same religion as onself, a fascist, is nonsense. Why do muslim associations keep making this erroneous point. The same thing happened after the london bombings. The British Council of Muslims object to the term Islamic terrorists. But that is what they were. It is absurd in the extreme, of these associations to suggest that the average person is not intelligent enough to differentiate the meaning.
     
  12. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #12
    Just to make the Islamic Councils' untennable position crystal clear...

    Bush referred to 'Islamic fascists.'

    Now if he had said 'Islamic terrorists', that of course would have been ok.

    So what's the difference. If the term 'Islamic fascists' is a slur on muslims then is not 'Islamic terrorists' a slur for the same reasons? You see how absurd it is to beat this up.

    Can not the words 'terrorist' or 'fascist' be qualified? And even if a particular terrorist is not in fact a fascist, what then, can he sue? Can not the Yorkshire Ripper be refered to as a British psychopath...
     
  13. BoyBach macrumors 68040

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    #13

    Can you please explain this statement for me, thanks?


    It was George W. Bush who said his "War on Terror" is a war for the freedom of the "civilsed world" in 2003 and many times since. Regardless, saying that we are the "civilised world" is surely meant as inflammatory towards the rest of the world?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3088936.stm



    It isn't difficult for the Muslim world to think otherwise whilst the innocent people killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Lebanon are broadcast around the world? Surely we're giving these terrorists and extremists the perfect boost to their recruitment drive of 'converting' otherwise normal people of "decency and freedom and progress."? (Bush's words again)
     
  14. solvs macrumors 603

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    #14
    People throw around fascism these days the same way they used to communism. Even though those who do so obviously don't actually understand what the terms really mean. But like "evil", they certainly sound good when referring to your enemies to get your own people stirred up.

    It's not about being offensive or insensitive, it's about characterizing them incorrectly.
     
  15. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #15
    @welshandrew

    I'm not sure what you are getting at by juxtaposing bush talking about an attack on the civillised world and my comment saying that it was Ahmed feeding the perception that it was a war on Islam not a war on Islamic terrorists.
     
  16. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    My point is it doesn't really matter if there is a technical problem with the absolute correct usage, because Bush is referring to terrorists not Islam we all understand what is meant if we refer to, for example a fascist theocracy like Iran. Whether it is an absolutely correct technical term for the Iranian brand of theocracy doesn't really matter. The more colloquial meaning of fascist is enough. The Iranian Mullahs are jailing gays, murdering women for having an extra marital relationship and imprisoning and brutally opressing their political rivals. "Fascist" is good enough. We don't need a doctoral thesis to explain that it is not technically correct. It is colloquially correct.
     
  17. BoyBach macrumors 68040

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    #17

    I'm simply implying that it doesn't take a great leap of faith to get from the one to the other. (No pun intended)

    Also, can you explain your "There are also fascists in every religion I'm sure..." comment for me please? I find it a geniunely interesting idea. Thanks!
     
  18. Queso macrumors G4

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    #18
    Am I the only one finding it funny that Bush of all people is calling his enemies fascists?

     
  19. skunk macrumors G4

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    #19
    No.
     
  20. zimv20 macrumors 601

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    #20
    i'd say that people throw around terrorist these days like we used to throw around communist. but that got me thinking -- perhaps the administration realizes that the word terrorist has lost its impact, so they set about finding a way to restore it. hence, islamic fascist.
     
  21. BoyBach macrumors 68040

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    #21

    Maybe Bush and his people didn't read Aesop's Fables when they were younger?
     
  22. Sayhey macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Your point might make some sense if you were talking about the fellas sitting around the bar and shooting s**t, and it even might pass as an unimportant point in a thread on another topic in these forums, but for the President of the United States to use it actually has consequences in how other's perceive us and how we frame and implement policy. The seemingly minor imprecision of language can mean the difference between success and failure of policy - and that can mean lives.

    One could just mark this up as another of George's "Bushisms" but it has a design in its use. The design is for the domestic political market. It is part and parcel of the campaign this fall to cast the Democrats as "Defeatocrats" by framing the debate in terms of the fight against fascism analogy. In RoveWorld, George is Churchill and the Democrats are cast as Chamberlain. This is not an accidental slip of the tongue. It is purposeful use of false propaganda points to defeat a political opponent.
     
  23. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

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    #23
    In other words just more lies and spin from the administration of spin.
     
  24. zimv20 macrumors 601

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    #24
    bush seems to be getting more generic in his tirades, not less:
    must be election season.
     
  25. BoyBach macrumors 68040

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    #25

    "Sophisticated" and "changing their tactics." It's a shame we can't say the about our 'leaders of the free world'. <sigh>
     

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