Re: [OPE-L] Islamic Fascism?

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Mon Nov 20 2006 - 08:46:20 EST

Re: [OPE-L] Islamic Fascism?>>> So the article does not sufficiently distinguish between political movements like fascism and Pinochet's regime in Chile, which accommodated Chile's inclusion in the US sphere of influence rather than attempting to carve out an independent and competing domain. <<<

Hi Ian, 

I agree that even if one accepts (as I do)  Hossain-zadeh's claim that "Islamic 
fundamentalist" groups can not be considered to be fascist, the issue remains 
in terms of how best to comprehend them.

Since you raise the issue of Pinochet's regime, let me note some essential 

1.  the Pinochet regime was a military dictatorship which overthrew a 
democratically elected government.

2.  The coup in Chile was paid for and planned by the largest imperialist

In these regards, the Islamic movements in the Middle East and 
elsewhere today are essentially different.  Indeed, one of the hallmarks 
of these movements is _opposition_ to US policy.  This is not to
say that there haven't been Chile-like coups in the Muslim world
previously: e.g. the 1953 coup against Mohammad Mossadegh which
brought to power Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (the Shah of Iran) was
eerily similar.

The problem with classifying these social movements is that they
are often very different in different social formations and hence defy
generalizations.  For instance, the government of Mahmoud 
Ahmadinejad today is significantly different from that of the late 
Ayatollah Khomeini.  The Ahmadinejad government in Iran is not 
the same as the  former  Talliban government in Afghanistan.  
Hamas also is a better understood in terms of the history of 
struggles in Palestine than by simply identifying it as a Islamic 
fundamentalist movement.  Indeed, Hamas is an example of a 
movement which, as it became popular, altered its original
aim and orientation.  Hezbollah in Lebanon shares some religious and
ideological perspectives advanced by Khoumeni, but its
significance and current meaning in Lebanon can not be 
grasped by merely noting those similarities.  In other words, I
think the very expression "Islamic fundamentalist groups"
is misleading in that it fails to recognize the very significant
diversity in political orientation of these social  movements.

Note that I am not claiming that any of the above are 
progressive social movements, but I do think they often have
contradictory features.  I certainly am not part of the 
cheering squad for Ahmadinejad led by, amongst others,
Yoshie Furuhashi.  Furuhashi has analogized Ahmadinejad
to Chavez in Venezuela -- a comparison that I find 
bizarre (almost as bizarre as her claim that progressives 
should give up on organizing against the US war on Iraq).

In solidarity, Jerry

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