I’ve written before about the dilemma of choosing a term to describe our enemies in this war.
Islamofascists? No, not exact enough; and misleading, hearkening back to our World War II enemies who had different political ideologies and methods. Islamic fundamentalists? Incorrect as well; not all Islamic fundamentalists have adopted violence as a way of life. “Jihadis” is too inclusive and not specific enough.
Austin Bay has called attention to a recent article appearing in the London Times, written by Michael Gove. Well worth reading, it is a good summary of the aims and ideology of the enemy, as well as offering the useful and descriptive term “Islamist totalitarians” to refer to the movement.
The piece is an excerpt from Gove’s recently published book, Celsius 7/7. The thrust of Gove’s article is that the enemy we face is, first and foremost, our old nemesis: totalitarianism. The jihadis are at war not only with the West, but with most of their co-religionists, whose version of Islam they consider fatally compromised and in need of revision, violent if necessary (and they deem violence to be necessary).
“Islamist totalitarianism” may indeed be the very best name of all for those who adhere to this vision, since it places the movement firmly in the twentieth/twenty-first century context in which it belongs, which is one of world dominance through force, and the negation of human freedom. That is why all totalitarian movements are, in their dark hearts, a reaction to and a profound rejection of the Enlightenment. Islamist totalitariansim is no exeption to this rule.
As Gove writes:
Islamism is a twentieth-century phenomenon. Like its sibling ideologies, fascism and communism, it offers followers a form of redemption through violence. Like fascism, Islamism envisages the creation of a purified realm purged of toxic outside influences and internal corruption. Like communism, Islamism is not ethnically exclusive, it seeks to enlist new converts through proselytisation, political education and military advances. Like both, it reserves a special hatred for the West, for political freedom the separation of the public and private realms, dissent, sexual tolerance and a belief in the sanctity of individual life. And like both it finds a dark and furious energy in hatred towards the Jewish people.
Politically correct thinking dictates that we respect all religions. When Islamist totalitarianism is described as the enemy, many have a kneejerk response that such thinking as anti-Moslem or racist in some way. But it is not. Make no mistake about it. The war the Islamist totalitarians have decreed is every bit as much against the everyday, garden-variety Moslem as it is against all the rest of us.