The Islamofascists are coming! (or are they?) Assessing the accuracy of a common contemporary analogy
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This paper assesses the accuracy of the common analogy by which contemporary Islamists are casually conflated with classical fascists. It argues that there are some parallels, in particular the manner in which Islamists and fascists, when pursuing their political agendas, are and were both deeply intolerant of “deviants” and prepared to readily deploy violence against opponents. But it also argues that the analogy remains substantially flawed: in the context of domestic politics, Islamists face authoritarian regimes prepared to use violence against them and which are therefore very different to the liberalist regimes the fascists faced. And from an international perspective the Islamists face great powers united in their determination to ensure they do not rise to power by “capturing” a state, unlike the fascists. While current changes in the Arab world may create conditions more amenable for Islamists to carry out “stealthy” take-overs, until such occur the analogy remains at best only partially valid.
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