Friday, October 06, 2006

Islamists and fascists - 2

Version 1
Pankaj Mishra ....

Version 2 (or version n-1)

I picked up a link on Harry's Place from last week to an essay by Martin Amis ('The age of horrorism', the  Observer, 10 Sept, 2006).  At the same time, I was trying to find online an article by Pankaj Mishra from the FT Magazine ('Identity crisis', 12 Aug). By chance (no, by the wonders of Google), I also found that Pankaj Mishra had written a reply to Martin Amis. Harold Evans's "Comment is free" piece, that Mishra attacks, appears to be this: 'We must stand up to Islamo-fascism', August 15, 2006. Here are some of the criticisms:
Big words like 'Salafist totalitarianism' and 'Islamo-fascism' certainly help project the illusion of profound knowledge.
People obsessed with the threat of 'Islamo-fascism' fail to notice that a loose network of fanatics and criminals hunted everywhere around the world resembles little the modern nation-state that in less than six years caused the death of tens of millions of people across Europe.
Convinced of a mortal threat from 'Islamo-fascism', an ideological chimera of their own making, many of this country's brightest men and women reflexively assert that superior force will vanquish it.
I must admit I skimmed through some of Amis's essay, but I did read Pankaj Mishra's two pieces properly.  Maybe it was things like this (from Amis) that got up his nose:
Today, in the West, there are no good excuses for religious belief - unless we think that ignorance, reaction and sentimentality are good excuses.
In all the masses of comment in the "Comment is free", there are a couple of useful links: 
Freedom & "Islamofascism", Fascism: Clarifying a Political Concept.

Pankaj Mishra again:
Fortunately, the mass of ordinary citizens in Britain, though largely excluded from decision-making, has sensed clearly the moral and strategic emptiness of the 'war on terror'. Recent opinion polls show a majority to be increasingly convinced that the vain policies of our political and intellectual elites have made us less safe than before.
Just in case the masses were not able to make this intuitive leap on their own, they had some help: from the Guardian / Observer, the Independent, Channel 4, the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror; from the BBC (mostly).

I doesn't look like I am going to have time to write a 'Version 1', after all, so you will have to make do with this rough version. I started it about 2 weeks ago, so when I say 'last week', it should probably read '3 weeks ago'.

Anyway, the main point of posting now is to draw you attention to last week's (2 Oct) The Ticket, though the link will be outdated on Saturday: 'celebrated British writer Martin Amis talks to us about his latest novel...' He discusses Islamism towards the end of the interview.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Links to this post:

Create a Link