Face facts: the Islamicists are fascists and they want to kill us

December 31, 2009 at 12:51 am (Islam, islamism, Jim D, Middle East)

Before I go any further I must make one thing plain. It shouldn’t be necessary, but I’m afraid it is, given the political illiteracy now prevalent on much of the so-called “left” and the dishonesty prevalent on the Islamist religious right: Islamism (or Islamicism) is not the same as Islam …or being a Muslim, OK? Got that? Islamism is a political ideology – you’re allowed to criticise ideologies, OK? Islamism isn’t the same as being a Muslim, just like being a “patriotic” citizen of the UK doesn’t make you a member of the BNP or a supporter of the English National Movement, or whatever that lot of hooligans are called.

One of the greatest successes of the religious lobby (spearheaded by militant Islamicists, then backed up by opportunist Christians, including the official C of E), has been to get  religion the same protection in law that race is given. It’s a nonsense, but it’s now enshrined in law in Great Britain.

Anyway, my point is this: Islamicism (not Islam) is plainly a real threat to ordinary working class people of all races in Britain today; it’s also plainly a form of fascism.

A commentator on another site recently described me as a “supporter of the war on ‘terror'”. Now, I’m not entirely sure what he meant by that description: after all, I marched against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and I belong to an organisation (the AWL) that calls for the withdrawal of troops from both countries. 

I suspect that what’s meant by this person is that I and my comrades believe that there is such a thing as Islamicist terrorism (without  the scare-quotes round ‘terror’), that it’s a form of fascism, and that it must be fought –  even if the US and UK governments and military aren’t the best people to do that.

For some time, bien pensant  liberal/”left” opinion has been that there is no (or, at least, no significant) Islamicist terrorist threat: it’s all been got up by western politicians for their own nefarious purposes.  The award-winning British film-maker Adam Curtis, in his series ‘The Power of Nightmares” appeared to argue that position, as did the dishonest,  smug,   US film-maker Michael Moore, when he urged people to chant:

There is no terrorist threat.
You need to calm down, relax, listen very carefully, and repeat after me:
There is no terrorist threat.
There is no terrorist threat!
There… is… no… terrorist… threat!”

Those who don’t simply deny the reality of Islamicist terrorism, tend to then go on to sort-of-justify it on grounds of third -worldist economics…the problem with that semi-justification is that like Bin Laden and (now) Abdulmuttalab… most of these Islamicist terrorists are rich boys.

Well, I just hope that in the light of rich boy Farouk Abdulmuttalab’s nearly-successful Islamicist mass-murder of 278 passengers on the descent into Detroit,  not to mention those on the ground who would have been killed, the Graun‘s message will get through:

This latest rich-boy terrorist – echoes of Bin Laden – had been known to the authorities for two years. He is said to have been on a list of more than half a million people with links to radical Islamist terror groups. Yet none of these authorities had much clue how close Abdulmutallab’s links now were, let alone what he could come within seconds of accomplishing. With hindsight, the watchers were not sharp enough. Their databases were not good enough. This surveillance regime must be improved, where practicable and proportionate. But this is not the first time that a bomber has emerged out of left-field. The same thing happened in the 7/7 attacks in London, in the botched car bombings of 2007, and on 9/11 itself. The latest plot confirms there are more people out there trying to terrorise westerners than the strongest state in a free society can ever entirely predict or control.

“When he was overpowered, Abdulmutallab was said by witnesses to be “screaming about Afghanistan“. Yet it would be a too convenient simplification to see this attack as some sort of act of revenge for that war. Abdulmutallab’s life history, as it is now emerging, seems to be much more driven by exposure to manichean radical Islamism in Nigeria, Britain and, in particular, Yemen. The explosive chemicals and the syringe which he used on NW253 were sewn into his underclothing in Yemen. The methods used in Friday’s attempted attack have echoes of a failed Yemeni-based suicide attack on Prince Muhammad, the head of Saudi counterterrorism operations, in August. The Christmas airliner bomb plot did not take place because of western policy in Afghanistan. The west could withdraw tomorrow from Afghanistan and the continuing danger from jihadist terrorists would still be as great as it is today.”

Whilst it’s good to have the Graun recognise the threat of Islamicism, we do have to note that the self-same publication gives a column to a piece of scum (Seumas Milne) who wanks over Islamist “success”, and even gloats that 9/11  (when, let us remember,  thousands of working class Americans died) was a “success”:


…an object lesson in “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” determining a political stance, from a public-school-educated posh-boy who has the nerve to sneer at heroic Iranian protesters as “gilded youth”…”


  1. Jeremy Stangrroom said,

    “you’re allowed to criticise ideologies”

    It’s also just fine to criticise religion; and – in certain circumstances, and with a multitude of caveats – religious believers.

  2. Jenny said,

    Jim, damn it, you’re getting too worked up, Take a deep breath.

  3. Jim Denham said,

    Jenny: what am I getting “too worked up about”? Working class people being threatened with death by a bunch of fascists?

  4. Jenny said,

    you don’t think that security’s improved since Bush’s stupidity in not noticing the warnings of a terrorist attack? I think in spite of fucking gitmo and such, airport security’s tight enough worldwide that attacks are less likely to happen.

  5. shug said,

    Arent most religions in intent based on fear and cohersion, being if you are not one of us you are damed for eternity.

  6. maxdunbar said,

    Jeremy has a very good point.

    Plus, I think the whole narrative of Al-Qaeda as a fighter for the poor and oppressed has pretty much bit the dust with this Christmas Day attack by a UCL student and banker’s son. But you never know.

  7. Sarah B said,

    That Seumus Milne article was grim even by his standards – good to see his critics getting strongly ‘recommended’ in the comments.

  8. Voltaire's Priest said,

    I know it’s a bit of a hoary old point which we’ve kicked around before, Jim, but what do you mean by “Islamicist”? The term “Islamist” or “Islamicist” could broadly be used to cover a wide breadth of organisations and bodies, from the AK government in Turkey, through the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, to Al-Qaeda.

    Now, whilst I’d fully agree that Al-Qaeda is a highly dangerous, destructive and theocratic organisation, a danger to working class people etc, I don’t think that such a statement would apply to, for instance, the AK Parti. I don’t agree with Erdogan’s party, I don’t think its ideas are in any way progressive, and I find the way in which it helps religion transgress the boundary with politics very wrong. But it clearly isn’t the same thing as Al-Qaeda, even tangentially.

  9. badnewswade said,

    So basically a rich person just tried to bomb the poorest city in North America… and these bastards all think it’s fucking great. Typical.

    The thing about terrorism and security methods, however, is that no defence is perfect. Our main defence in fact seems to be a combination of a vigilant public and incompetent terrorists. They can dismantle the watch lists tommorrow, the would be bomber was on at least one of them and it made no difference at all. We shouldn’t sacrifice any of our freedoms to these scum. It only encourages them.

  10. Andrew Coates said,

    Jim’s point is right.

    Islamicists are scum. There is no real discussion on this. Volty’s argument is mere quibbling: I suggest he follow a bit what happened in Algeria.

    The traitors of the left who wish to pacify them are enemies of socialism.

  11. FlyingRodent said,

    Uh, the thesis of The Power of Nightmares was that Al Qaeda is a political ideology with a small number of adherents, not a collossal secret army of killer ninjas with James Bond mountain bases filled with tanks. As we’ve seen, this is true, and not contentious at all.

    Further, Curtis was saying that lots of politicos deliberately pretended that Al Qaeda was, in fact, a collossal secret army of killer ninjas with James Bond mountain bases etc. so that they could frighten the public into supporting all kinds of deranged military enterprises and civil liberties clampdowns. This is also 100% correct.

    And when Michael Moore was telling people that there is no terrorist threat, he meant “There is no terrorist threat to you personally.” You are going to go to work today and we can say with 99.999999999% certainty that you will not be killed by terrorists. Again, this is absolutely true.

    Islamist terrorism verifiably exists and its adherents clearly would like to kill large numbers of us. OTOH, they are observably small in number and also, thankfully, fairly useless at it. While we should be alert, we shouldn’t be panicked.

    What Curtis and Moore and, by extension, most of the left wing commentators I’ve read in the last decade have been saying is that yes, there are murderous terrorists out there, but we should keep this in proportion, i.e. not instantly shit our dockers and allow ourselves to be gulled into acquiescing in counterproductive or obviously crazy actions.

    Most of the right wing commentators I’ve seen have been saying the opposite, i.e. that we should instantly shit our dockers and follow insane action (x).

    Which strikes you as the more prudent action, do you think?

  12. Rosie said,


    “. The Washington consensus is gone and the post-Soviet new world order is mercifully no more. Who predicted that at the millennium”

    That’s what Shameless really regrets – the hamstringing of Soviet power. If he’d been writing 30 years or so ago it would have been to rejoice in Soviet domination of eastern Europe as at least providing a rival for the USA, though he would have put it in fancier language and maybe, just maybe, made a tiny complaint about the lack of civil rights in the other empire.

    Has anyone ever done a tabulation of Shameless’s predictions and found any that have come true? Because he is the master of wishful thinking. “I’ve got a wonderful feeling, Everything’s going my way,” should be his theme song.

  13. entdinglichung said,

    not every piece of shit is brown but every piece of shit is definetely shit!

  14. maxdunbar said,

    Flying Rodent

    Yes Curtis was more sophisticated than people think, and provided a good introduction to Islamist thought. I also feel Moore has been a little hard done by. At least Moore seemed to recognise that terror wasn’t driven by the poor and oppressed. ‘Why lock up all the Muslims? We might as well lock up all the billionaires!’

  15. maxdunbar said,

    I’ve had a look at that Milne article.

    Does anyone else get the feeling that he is falling out of love with Islamic fundamentalism?

    After all it’s getting harder and harder to pretend that Islamists are freedom fighters and last year’s defeats for Islamist parties in Mid-East elections plus events in Iran must have shaken Milne’s allegiance a little. As he says: ‘terrorism in its proper sense isn’t just morally indefensible – it also doesn’t work.’

    Now it seems Milne is transferring his loyalties to the China regime:

    ‘Both failures have accelerated the rise of China, the third vital change of the past 10 years, which has not only taken hundreds of millions out of poverty as the economic gap with the US has halved (China has in fact overtaken the US in domestic capital generation), but also begun to create a new centre of power in a multipolar world that should expand the freedom of manoeuvre for smaller states. Its blithe disregard for free market orthodoxy has only added to its success in riding out the west’s slump. So perhaps it’s no surprise that western politicians are increasingly anxious to blame China for their own failures, in everything from trade imbalances to the fiasco of the Copenhagen climate change negotiations.’

    On CiF in 2010 we should expect to see less of the frothing Islamists and more bigging up of the Glorious People’s Republic. Martin Jacques has been on this for years.

    Perhaps Andy Newman could have a column on CiF.

  16. Rosie said,

    Max – you may be right. China is the new USSR and Shameless will be its apologist. I’ll make a prediction of my own. Like any other country in the throes of economic development China will chase resources in undeveloped countries eg in Africa and will have few scruples how it gets access to them – backing dictators with arms etc. In fact it will be as imperialist as any other thrusting state (think Britain in the nineteenth century). However wanton its disregard for the well-being of the people & environment of both its own state and of other states that it has a foothold in, Shameless will back it with the occasional slight cavil and a good deal of whataboutery & the sub-text of “at least China is pissing off the USA”.

  17. maxdunbar said,

    Will Rosie and I be right in 2010? Stay tuned.

  18. Rosie said,

    Well, Jim D.’s most recent prediction has been confounded:-

    “Blogging here is likely to be a bit thin on the ground (unlike the snow) for a few days, but we’ll be back to the fray in the New Year.”


    He’s been breathing heavily on his crystal ball again.

  19. johng said,

    Andrew Coates what happened in Algeria is that there was a military coup against a democratic election result, and as a result the most extreme of the Islamists were able to build in the absence of a government with any democratic legitimacy. The country then sank into vicious internicine violence. Its why Voltaire’s point is hardly quibbling. Its fundemental. And as for Jim. If he thinks there needs to be a war, why does’nt he put on a tin hat and a gun and go off and fight one himself.

  20. Jim Denham said,

    johng said: “And as for Jim. If he thinks there needs to be a war, why does’nt he put on a tin hat and a gun and go off and fight one himself.”

    John, I don’t think the only (or even *main*) means of combatting Islamism is *military* action – indeed military action is usually counterproductive, on exactly the ground that Ed Husain explains here about a different issue – but the same argument applies – the “profiling” of Muslims:


    Johnny-boy, just for the record (how many more times?): I *don’t* generally support military attacks on Muslim states – or anywhere else.

    However I *do* believe that the ideology of Islamism must be opposed (*ideologicaly* rather than militarily) by socialists. Do you *not* agree with me about that? Shouldn’t Marxists be waging ideological war upon ultra-right religious fundamentalists?

    If not, why not?

  21. Andrew Coates said,

    Andy Newman now seems to think that Iran is a democracy.

  22. frunobulax said,

    Further re: Curtis and PON.

    IIRC, there was an interview with a Madrid police chief who said that the bombers had in fact been marked for surveillance, but were then discounted precisely because they appeared to have no international connections, i.e. they didn’t fit the image that Rumsfeld et al were peddling. Here at least is one example where the Dr No – international conspiracy portrayal of AQ may have had tragic consequences.

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