Letter: Know the difference | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Know the difference

Know the difference

My hat is off to Lauren Glendenning for her fine column Friday titled “We are all French.” I was far less impressed with a following letter by Sean Elias declaring “Je ne suis pas Charlie.”

In his criticism of Charlie Hebdo, Elias ignores the distinction between “Islam” and “Islamism” and between “Islamic” and “Islamist.” He speaks of Charlie Hebdo’s “anti-Islamist cartoons,” which they are, as “Islam-bashing,” which they are not.

For the record, “Islamism” is what Daniel Pipes, of the Middle East Forum, terms “yet another 20th century radical utopian scheme,” like Marxism-Leninism or fascism. To make this clear, Christopher Hitchens often used the term “islamofascism.” Like fascism, Pipes continues, Islamism openly relies on state power for coercive purposes and leads to economic contraction, the oppression of women, horrific human-rights abuses, the proliferation of arms and terrorism.

Islamism is no more Islamic than the neo-Nazi Christian Identity movement is Christian, or that Nazism itself is synonymous with “German.” It is a grotesque cancer, and I say “Pens up!” to Charlie Hebdo and its admirers.

Barbarians are not deserving of Elias’s multicultural sensitivities and polite respect.

Chad Klinger