Two Wrongs won’t make it Right but will make it Consistent
Gone with the previous administration are those coined, frequently used and misused, nauseating, and of course widely popularized by the media, phrases and terminologies such as Evil Doers and Axis of Evil. Yet, it hasn’t been the end of others, those geared to stereotype, misguide, and promote uninformed hatred. The latest with the Fort Hood Shooting has done just that: provide opportunity for those in the business of disseminating and breeding hatred and bigotry, who do so selectively and for the purpose of serving hidden agendas. Yes, I’m referring to the previously used and now again fashionable ignorant and nauseating term Islamo-Fascism.
My focus in this piece is not going to be the wrongness, the damaging, and the pure propaganda-making nature of the term, all of which it certainly is; some have covered this already and others are still doing it; my hat is off to them. I also don’t intend to dwell upon the notion of political correctness, since in some cases it is misused, goes way too far, and acts as hidden agenda-driven censorship. Instead, I’m going to concentrate on the propaganda machine’s selectivity when it comes to pairing up religion or nations with the word fascism, and have us all question the motives for and consequences of doing this.
Let me begin with a personal, in fact a very personal, story:
It was a breezy early spring evening in Tehran, in 1982. I was standing outside a very popular pizzeria with my mother and 8 year old sister, waiting for my dad who was inside, standing in line for our takeout pizza. While my mother was covered head to toe in compliance with the new Iranian regime’s dress code, I was loosely wearing a fashionable shawl which was covering my hair partially; call it the prelude to a soon-to-come teenage fashion consciousness, or defiance, or maybe even pure stupidity.
As we were standing and people watching a charcoal grey Range Rover with shaded glass came to a screeching halt right before us. We didn’t have to guess its occupants, since the regime’s police, known as ‘pasdaran’, were known to drive those vehicles, monitor the public outside for their compliance of dress code and behaviors, and arrest, jail, and punish the deviants. Four car doors opened at the same time, one of their modus operandi, practiced and perfected synchronization. Four bearded men in civilian clothes came out and surrounded us. One of them, the one in charge, stepped forward and motioned me to step forward, and said, ‘this is no way to dress for an honorable Muslim girl.’ My mother, whose face had turned chalky white, began pleading with the man – who pretended he was not hearing any of her words. He ordered me to get inside the car.
My father, who’d noticed the commotion from inside the pizzeria, stepped out, quickly walked to where we were standing, positioned himself right in between me and the pasdar in charge, and went on the offensive. First, he asked them to produce identification since they were clad in civilian clothes. The pasdar in charge obliged, and took out not one, but three official ID cards. Next, my father told them my age and that they had no right or justification to treat a child that way. The man in charge argued the opposite, and repeated his order for me to get inside the car. At this point, my father pulled out his ID cards, and told them who he was: the surgeon in charge of one of the largest hospitals, where many wounded and burned Iranian soldiers in the Iran-Iraq war were being treated. My father pointed his finger at the guy in charge and said, ‘You take her away, and I will make sure your comrades are taken care of just the same way; you catch my drift?’…
I won’t bore you with too many details, but suffice to say, amazingly, my dad’s offense worked. We were let go. But that was not the end of the story for me and my family. It was the beginning of a tumultuous journey to escape, to leave everything behind-savings, houses, cars…even photos, and go back to Turkey.
During that period my family used the word ‘fascism’ quite often. We referred to the pasdaran as the regime’s Gestapo and fascists. Even years after our migration our bitter first-hand experiences were thought of and articulated with that word: fascism. That said and admitted to, we never paired up, either in our thought processes or expressions, those fascistic practices with either the religion, in this case Islam, or the nationality, the Persians. My parents were what many coin Agnostic; we did not practice any religious rituals, nor did we follow any particular set of rules tied to a particular religion. That didn’t apply to my grandparents and the majority of our friends and neighbors, who were Muslims. Therefore we knew enough, had experience and knowledge enough, to know that what was done to us, what we experienced and escaped from, had nothing to do with religion; nothing whatsoever. The same principle applied to nationality. For us the phrase fascism applied to practices adopted by certain people or group(s) who happened to use religion (in our case ‘Islam’) to gain and maintain control and power – as simple as that.
This same general context can be expanded to include other fascistic practices throughout modern history. Hitler’s Germany certainly was a fascist regime, but it wasn’t called Germano-Fascism. Likewise Mussolini’s Italy was not labeled Italio-Fascism. Same with Stalin’s Russia and …Fascists use and exploit religion and or nationalism. They distort, manipulate, and misuse these pulse points to achieve their objectives: power and control.
Back to the hatred-breeding and selectively generalized term Islamo-Fascism. Whether it is Bin Laden and company, or the current Islamic Regime in Iran, or the Taliban, we are looking at the same phenomenon: the use of Islam to manipulate, gain control, expand, install fear, terrorize, exercise power…In almost all of these examples the manipulation starts with targeting the uneducated, uninformed, and underprivileged, which unfortunately constitutes the majority in third world nations.
Now, how about the educated elites with positions within the media and other channels of communications here in our country? What is their sorry excuse for crafting and disseminating this generalized and misguiding terminology, this propaganda, to elicit furor, misplaced anger and hatred, and increased bigotry?
The decision to use, package, and disseminate this lately popularized term, Islamo-Fascists, appears to be done consciously, and in a calculative way. Because let’s face it, if it were the fascism aspect of these practices and the used vehicle, the specific religion or nation, justifying and leading to the usage of the terminology, then why be so very consistently selective? Why depict the radicalization of Islam, but not other religions, as deploying and exercising fascism. Here is what I mean:
Is This a Case of Zionism Gone Fascism?
Here are a few excerpts from a fairly recent article exemplifying fascistic practices by a powerful group of Zionists in Israel and the US:
Right-wing groups in Israel want to create a climate of fear among left-wing scholars at Israeli universities by emulating the “witch-hunt” tactics of the U.S. academic monitoring group Campus Watch, Israeli professors warn. The watchdog groups IsraCampus and Israel Academia Monitor are believed to be stepping up their campaigns after the recent publication in a U.S. newspaper of an Israeli professor’s call to boycott Israel.
Both groups have been alerting the universities’ external donors, mostly U.S. Jews, to what they describe as “subversive” professors as a way to bring pressure to bear on university administrations to sanction faculty staff who are critical of Israeli policies.
This is how an Israeli Professor describes the practice:
“I have no hesitation in calling this a McCarthyite campaign,” said David Newman, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University, in Israel’s southern city of Beersheva. “What they are doing is very dangerous.“
And here is how another Israeli Professor puts it:
“The goal is to transform our students into spies in the classroom to gather information and intimidate us,” a senior Israeli lecturer said. “It’s a model of ‘policing’ faculty staff that has been very successful in stifling academic freedom in the U.S.“
The powerful Zionist group with ‘McCarthyism’ practices has been successfully operating in the United States, and has done so with 100% immunity and the lack of real exposure thanks to the selective US media, when it comes to reporting fascistic practices:
Both Israel Academia Monitor, established in 2004, and the later IsraCampus model themselves on Campus Watch, a U.S. organization founded by Daniel Pipes, an academic closely identified with the U.S. neoconservative movement.
Campus Watch has been widely accused of intimidating U.S. scholars who have expressed views critical of U.S. and Israeli policies in the Middle East. The organization’s goal, according to critics, is to pressure U.S. universities to avoid hiring left-wing lecturers or awarding them tenure.
I strongly urge you to take the time and read this article. This is one of many practices by Zionist groups and related lobbies and organizations. Almost none of them get the deserved media coverage to shed light on Zionist practices that are either pure fascistic by any rational standards or border on fascistic by irrationally tolerant standards. Can you point me to articles and analysis in the US media where these culprits are coined and identified as Ziono-Fascists?
Here are two excerpts from a well-written and argued editorial on the Israeli political system and Lieberman’s rhetoric:
Jefferson thought any state could only derive conditional loyalty from its subjects, if it served them faithfully. Lieberman inverts this. The state should not serve the people. The state is inherently legitimate, and if the people disagree, they are disloyal, and should be punished for it. Whether or not such state worship is a sufficient condition for a political ideology to qualify as fascist, it is certainly a necessary condition. Lieberman also wants to strip the Palestinians of citizenship, and hopefully expel them too. Indeed, Israeli professor Neve Gordon suspects it is a matter of time until Jewish leftists are also accused of disloyalty and stripped of their citizenship. Lieberman combines his intolerance of dissent with his overriding imperative – to create a Jewish state as ethnically pure as possible. Let us also not forget his disturbing glorification of the military. He has said that the Gaza war would have been successful, but the valiant soldiers were betrayed by a cowardly civilian leadership. Who can fail to notice the historical echoes?
If you consider Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel is an Apartheid state. It rules over these territories, but has not enfranchised their populations, and has even granted full citizenship rights only to the Jews who reside within the West Bank. Indeed, the Jews who live on colonies in the West Bank taking Palestinian land have roads built for their benefit, which the Palestinians in the West Bank cannot travel on…
Does the current status of Israel’s politics reflect the characteristics mostly found in fascism? The writer in this article seems to make his points based on the reality on the ground and undisputed facts:
One can expect little else from the Israeli mainstream, blinded as it is by decades of indoctrination and vested interests, or from Israel’s President Peres, whose political lexicon never included the T of Truth. But the world should be warned. Unlike Lebanon or Iran, Israel has not moved a single step forward in the Obama Era. On the contrary: With the rogue triumvirate of Netanyahu, Barak, and Lieberman, Israel is now ruled by the most nationalist, racist, and fanatical government it has ever had. On top of that, the main opposition party, led by the ultra-nationalist Livni and the opportunistic professional soldier Mofaz, offers yet another duplicate of the government’s narrative, so that the ever narrower public discourse is framed by two ideological and political twins, offering no alternative whatsoever. In fact, the Israeli far Right has now more than 80 percent of the seats in the Knesset – the rest being the Arab parties, Meretz, and a dubious dissenting faction within Labor. Thus the Israeli media consumer is not even exposed to anything but nationalist at best, racist at worst, anti-Palestinian, anti-peace, pro-occupation brainwashing.
The flow of laws and regulations against Israeli Arabs increased exponentially. A year ago, a forgotten British Mandate regulation from 1939, banning the import of books printed in enemy countries, was suddenly revived, closing the import gates on Arabic schoolbooks and all kinds of literature printed in Lebanon (a major publishing center in Arabic) and other Arab countries. No security issues are at stake: all imported books are subject to censorship anyway.
Netanyahu’s speech is just the tip of the iceberg. The war against the Israeli Palestinians is much wider than that. It is felt in the judicial system, where for example a Jewish farmer who shot Arab burglars in the back while they were fleeing from his farm, killing one and wounding another, was acquitted (and is now celebrated as a national hero). As Orly Noy writes (YNet, in Hebrew), “given the judicial and public atmosphere in Israel these days, nothing is more predictable than the acquittal of a Jew who exercised violence, even extreme, against an Arab citizen.” In another case, a Jewish man who murdered a taxi driver just because he was Arab was deemed “unfit to face trial.” A senior army officer who ordered his soldier to shoot a handcuffed, blindfolded Palestinian at point-blank range was merely accused of “improper conduct.” This accusation was found unreasonable even by the Israeli Supreme Court.
Let’s rewind and visit how these same Israeli practices were viewed and deservedly criticized by respect-worthy and highly regarded people more than six decades ago. I don’t think anyone reading this article can label or accuse Albert Einstein of Anti-Semitism or bias, so here he is, in his own words:
Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.
Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin’s behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement. The public avowals of Begin’s party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.
A Shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village of Deir Yassin. This village, off the main roads and surrounded by Jewish lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands who wanted to use the village as their base. On April 9 (THE NEW YORK TIMES), terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants? 240men, women, and children – and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through the streets of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish community was horrified at the deed, and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act, were proud of this massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all the foreign correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses and the general havoc at Deir Yassin. The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies the character and actions of the Freedom Party.
Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model. During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.
Please read the entire letter, and marvel at the irony. If our agenda-driven media truly (but wrongly) believes in religion-driven fascistic practices, then let’s have them cover all these practices the same way and consistently. Because based on their standards this would certainly qualify to be termed Ziono-Fascism.
As I’ve said neither the horrendous records on Human Rights Abuses, nor war crimes, nor censorship, nor discrimination, nor assaults on free speech in Israel and abroad… is enough or grounds for the US mainstream media to use their beloved fascism word in conjunction with the nation, in this case Israel, or, religion, in this case extremist radical Zionists.
What happens when rarely some of these practices make their way into the US press? Well, the internet is your world so when you get a chance check out a few. I can assure you that you won’t find a single phrase like ‘Judeo-Fascism’ or ‘Ziono-Fascism’ or anything related to fascism, any derivation of the word fascism, being paired up with Israeli Zionists’ anti-democratic, anti-free speech, anti-humanitarian practices.
Why is that? Why the conscious and careful selectivity? Don’t get me wrong here. I truly despise seeing any nationality or religion being paired up with the term fascism for the purpose of creating perceptions based on stereotyping and bringing about hate-mongering. My first response and objective is to try to get these writers and speakers of the propaganda machine to stop it; period. When that proves to be futile, when they go on doing what they are doing, then, I ask them to at least be consistent. In this case the two wrongs won’t make it right, but at least it will make it consistent.
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