Recently we have seen the frequent use of the term "Islamist" in CBC reports, whether talking about events in Mali, the Middle East and elsewhere. This term "Islamist" has become widely-used in Western media, and although seldom defined, it appears to refer to what would be more fairly termed "fundamentalist Islam" or "political Islam". Adding "ism" to the name of a religion implies it sums up the teaching of that religion, like in the case of Buddhism or Taoism. But given its use with a political dimension in the case of Islam, it seem to also suggest notions of "fascism" and "extremism".
The proper name for Islam is Islam, and its members are normally called, Muslim. The creation of this new term, Islamism, to describe fundamentalist, political Islam, is partly a convenient shorthand, but it is also an expression of BIAS. There are fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Jews, both with a political dimension and a predeliction for violence ,but no one in the Western media would dare to call them "Christianists" or "Jewists".
I suppose it is too much to ask, but it would be the decent thing to do if CBC stopped using this biased term for Muslims.
Prime Minister Harper took this biased use of terminology one step further in an interview given on the National, by coining an even more fascist-sounding term, Islamicists. It is reported on in the attached:
Harper's claim of this Islamicist threat is fully in keeping in some of his other ridiculous, bigoted statements on Muslims, but what is most interesting is CBC willingness to report it without even attempting to point out how ludicrous it is.
I was incensed by it at the time, as were thousands of other Canadians, and I wrote the following few paragraphs:
Islamicism versus Jewicism
In his interview with Peter Mansbridge aired on "The National" on September 8, 2011 Prime Minister Stephen Harper asserted that the greatest national security threat to Canada was "Islamicism". He also warned that we have "homegrown Islamicism" proliferating in Canada. Being unfamiliar with the term "Islamicism", in a panic, I rushed to my dictionary and found that the word does not exist. Stephen Harper had coined it. My panicked imagination ran wild as I began to wonder what Islamicists might look like. I took some comfort in the thought that Islami-cysts are probably less dangerous that Islami-tumors, but since the dictionary could not offer one, I put together my own definition.
Because Harper described the Taliban as "Islamic fascists" in the same interview, I was able to infer the following as likely elements of what Harper meant by his invented term:
Islamicism, like fascism, is an extremist ideology of identity. It should not be confused with the religion of Islam; not even fundamentalist Islam. Islamicists are people who so strongly identify with the community to which they belong (in this case the community of people who profess the religion of Islam), that they put the interests of that community above all else. Its extremist ideology is manifested in the following elements:
a) the belief that they are members of a surrounded, beleaguered community with powerful forces ranked against them and out to destroy them, and that every good member of the community must dedicate him/herself to its defence;
b) the belief that loyalty to the interests of the community trumps everything else (like the Nazi slogan "Deutschland ubber alles"). It must trump honesty, integrity, humanity, decency, moderation, justice, and even the fundamental principles of the religion which binds the community;
c) the belief that the threat to the community is so great that the use of violence is both justified and inevitable, and if necessary, this violence can be directed against innocents.
One must agree with Stephen Harper that there are some Islamicists in the world and maybe even a few in Canada, but it is a bit of stretch to claim these people are the greatest security threat to Canada. There are too many other threats that deserve to share the spotlight to focus exclusively on "Islamicism".
How about Jewicism?
With a bow to Harper's genius in the coining of an appropriate word to describe a form of extreme tribalism bordering on fascism, I would like to coin another in the same vein; Jewicism. Much like Islamicism, Jewicism is an extremist ideology. It should not be confused with Judaism, not even Orthodox or fundamental Judaism. As an ideology it shares the same fundamental principles as Islamicism;
a) the belief that the community is under attack everywhere and every member must act in its defence;
b) the belief that loyalty to the Jewish community trumps all other principles, including the morality of the Jewish religion;
c) the belief that violence in the defence of the community, even if directed at innocents, is justified and inevitable.
Bearing this definition in mind, it might be useful to determine if there are any "homegrown Jewicists" in Canada, and whether they might also be a threat to the welfare of Canadians. The answer to that question is not hard to find. Many of the highest profile Jewish people in Canada can be described as Jewicists. They are well-represented in the media, in academia, and in politics. Of course not all Jewish people are Jewicists, just as all Muslims are not Islamicists. The Jewicists can be most readily identified by their unqualified support for the State of Israel, and in keeping with the definition above, they usually display the following characteristics;
a) a belief that the Jewish people are surrounded by enemies; that another Holocaust can happen any time, and that it is the obligation of every Jewish person to defend Jewish institutions, especially the State of Israel;
b) the willingness to abandon, in the defence of Israel, every principle which they usually hold dear, including the morality of the Jewish religion. It is actually a fascinating phenomenon to observe, but many Jewicists have extremely fine moral values, except where Israel is concerned.
c) the willingness to endorse, and even encourage and finance, all the abuses committed by the State of Israel, including the mass murder of civilians and children, and its violent aggressiveness towards all its neighbours.
Greater Threat: Islamicism or Jewicism?
As might be expected Jewicists in Canada who are in positions of power frequently abuse that power if it serves the interests of their community and Israel. Jewicists in the Canadian media abandon journalistic integrity in order to misinform the Canadian public on the sad realties of the Middle East. Wealthy Jewicists use campaign donations to exploit the weaknesses in Canadian democracy, and pressure the Canadian Government to act in ways that benefit Israel, but may harm Canada. And Jewicist Canadian politicians participate in such anti-democracy activities as creating the Ottawa Protocol to Combat Anti-Semitism which was designed to silence Canadians who have non-Jewicist views on the policies of Israel. All of these "homegrown Jewisicists" are pursuing their extremist ideology at the expense of their fellow Canadians, and doing considerable harm to Canada.
On the other hand, one would be hard pressed to find many Islamicists in positions of power in Canada, and there are virtually no cases of Canadian Islamicists doing harm to Canadians within Canada. So the question arises, "Why does Stephen Harper point the finger only at Islamicists?"
Could the answer perhaps be;
a) considering his constant fear-mongering against Muslims;
b) the lack of balance and integrity in his Middle East policy; and
c) his eagerness to send Canadian soldiers to do violence against Muslims in their own countries,
that the Canadian Prime Minister is a Christianicist?