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“Islamofascism”. Remarks on a Current Ideologeme

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image of Die Welt des Islams

The term “Islamofascism” for quite some time has had currency in polemical, but also in sober political discourses. However, it is clear that Islamic fundamentalism has very little, if anything, in common, in either origin or in form, with the historical phenomenon of fascism. If fascism is understood as what developed in certain historical constellations in Italy, Spain, and Hungary or as a specific exceptional form in German National Socialism, then it is something quite different from the movements of radicalized Islam. Islam, as a religion, is driven by different factors and follows goals very different from those of political fascism. One has to rigorously empty the political-scientifically established term “fascism” of content if one wants to make out superficial similarities. This must not be misunderstood: of course there is a modern (sometimes fanaticized) Arab nationalism; but as such it is not a substrate of Islam and thus does not substantially derive religiously from Islam. The Nazi (racial-biological) concept of the “national comrade” (Volksgenosse) has connotations different from those of membership in the Islamic Umma, which neither has anything do with an ideology of “blood” or race nor is determined by territorial presence, but rather includes Muslims living in the Diaspora—and in this respect is much more closely related to the Jewish-religious concepts of nation, people, and Diaspora than to the categories of the fascism that genuinely arose from Western modernism. It can therefore be assumed that the use of the term “Islamofascism” has little to do with an interest in analytical knowledge, but all the more with ideological polemics and political indoctrination.


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