…believe it or not Slavoj Zizek. Yes, the postmodern Marxist sophist (he believes Stalin’s mass murders are to be preferred when compared to Hitler’s because the intentions of Marxism were better than those of Nazism). Zizek wrote an uncharacteristically sensible and persuasive <"http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n14/zize01_.html">essay on the Iranian situationin the London Review of Books (h/t <"http://www.theawl.com/">The Awl) in which he tells us “Ahmadinejad is not the hero of the Islamist poor, but a corrupt Islamofascist populist, a kind of Iranian Berlusconi…”
This is important. Because sophist though he is, he’s attracted a large bloc of unsophisticated sophists (so to speak) mainly on campuses, who should be suporting the Iranian revoultion but are afraid for unsophisticated mulitculti reasons from doing so.
Setting aside whether “islamofascist” takes the full measure of the holocaust-denying A’jad, Zizek’s casual use of “Islamaofascist” as a legitmate term of political abuse for the vicious creep, is a significant development, a great advance for the truth among his fashionable postmodern followers. It will at least stem the temptation for the ignorant to favor him as an Iranian Castro just because he’s anti-American.
And as for “Islamofascism”, as I’ve had occcasion to point out here, those who attack the use of that phrase are hung up on the minor differences a theocratic police/terror state has with fascism–and not the major similarities.
It’s a way for them to hide from the ugly realities of Islamofascism, ignoring the westernization of Islamic anti-semitism (holocaust denial, for instance), so it won’t divert their narrative of self-blame for eveything wrong in the world: every culture in the world, including one that rapes and murders women and hangs gays is deserving of respect. Human rights is an orientalizing imposition.
Tell us again now how strongly you feel it’s a misrepresentation of the Iranian regime to associate it with fascism? You shouldn’t need Slavoj Zizek, but if the terror in Terhan didn’t convince you maybe you need help.
Prediction: conservatives on this site will try to use this to score points off an Obama supporter (me) because he’s wanted dialogue with Iran. But you know, I think Obama is a true Machiavellian. By abandoning “axis of evil” rhetoric, and by making that Cairo speech, however anodyne it was, and by not jumping in too soon, he turned the Iranian revolution into a pro America phenomenon, rather than allow the fascist mullahs to smear it as a pawn-of-America phenomenon. Not bad for a rookie.