Have any Muslims written an analysis of the term “Islamofascism” so much in vogue after 9/11? The term originated primarily with the rightwing & is now used extensively by Islamophobic demagogues to describe everything from ISIS political formations to any guerrilla formation comprised of Muslims. But it’s acquired a certain cachet & is now used widely, including by liberals & radicals. The middle-class basis of fascist groups & that of guerrilla groups is the same & they share a common distrust of the working class. But there the political similarities end. No one would have referred to the guerrilla groups proliferating throughout Latin America in the 1960s & 1970s nor to the Irish IRA as fascist even though their political methods were criticized, even excoriated. Certainly no one would have identified guerrillaism as Christian or Catholic in character even though as a strategy it was prevalent in majority Catholic countries.

The term Islamofascism is deeply problematic & more suggestive of Islamophobic prejudice than it is political analysis of a complex & troubling phenomenon. My own opinion is that it should not be used even in regard to ISIS. As detestable & reactionary as that formation is, it does not further understanding to associate it with Islam & ratchet up the scare-mongering in place of an in-depth analysis of what political ideas & forces ISIS represents. The US & its allies use scare-mongering about ISIS to justify military intervention in Iraq, Syria, & increasingly elsewhere. But such formations would not exist in the first place were it not for US-European colonialism & collaboration with repressive regimes.