Qutbism: An Ideology of Islamic-Fascism by DALE C. EIKMEIER
>From Parameters, Spring 2007, pp. 85-98.
The recently published National Military Strategic Plan for the War on Terrorism (NMSP-WOT) is to be commended for identifying âideologyâ as al Qaedaâs center of gravity.1 The identification of an ideology as the center of gravity rather than an individual or group is a significant shift from a âcapture and killâ philosophy to a strategy focused on defeating the root cause of Islamic terrorism. Accordingly, the planâs principal focus is on attacking and countering an ideology that fuels Islamic terrorism. Unfortunately, the NMSP-WOT fails to identify the ideology or suggest ways to counter it. The plan merely describes the ideology as âextremist.â This description contributes little to the publicâs understanding of the threat or to the capabilities of the strategist who ultimately must attack and defeat it. The intent of this article is to identify the ideology of the Islamic terrorists and recommend how to successfully counter it.
Sun Tzu wisely said, âKnow the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.â2 Our success in the War on Terrorism depends on knowing who the enemy is and understanding his ideology. While characterizing and labeling an enemy may serve such a purpose, it is only useful if the labels are clearly defined and understood. Otherwise, overly broad characterizations obscure our ability to truly âknow the enemy,â they diffuse efforts, and place potential allies and neutrals in the enemyâs camp. Unfortunately, the War on Terrorismâs use of labels contributes a great deal to the misunderstandings associated with the latter. The fact is, five years after 9/11 the NMSP-WOT provides little specific guidance, other than labeling the enemy as extremist. This inability to focus on the specific threat and its supporting philosophy reflects our own rigid adherence to political correctness and is being exploited by militant Islamists portraying these overly broad descriptions as a war against Islam. As David F. Forte states âWe must not fail . . . to distinguish between the homicidal revolutionaries like bin Laden and mainstream Muslim believers.â
Knowing the enemy requires an understanding of militant Islamâs ideology and recognizing that it is the militantsâ âcenter of gravity.â Their extremist ideology has been called many things, âMilitant Islam,â âSalafism,â âIslamism,â âWahhabism,â âQutbism,â âJihadism,â and even âIslam.â Since most ideologies reflect the integration of various related concepts, theories, and aims that have evolved over time into a broader body of thought, no label is entirely perfect and all are subject to critique. However, it appears that President Bush has ended the debate and accepted âIslamic-Fascismâ as the ideological label. While Islamic-Fascism immediately conjures up images of an evil to be resisted and is therefore useful as a public relations term, intellectually it does little for the serious students of Islam or the strategic planners charged with its defeat.
Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
"Pat Morrison writes in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: '[John C.] Hagee [founder and pastor of the 18,000-member non-denominational evangelical Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas] coined the term 'Islamofascist' at CUFI's [Christians United for Israel's] founding conference, [the Rev. Donald] Wagner noted, "and within a week [President] Bush was using it, then [former Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld"'("The Dangerous Potent Elixir of Christian Zionism," April 2007, http://www.wrmea.com/archives/April_2007/0704058.html"