Friday, May 07, 2010

Islam: Fascist, not totalitarian

Dwight Garner reviews Paul Berman’s new book, “The Flight of the Intellectuals”, a critique of Islamic philosopher Tariq Ramadan:

[Berman's] litany of charges against the elusive Mr. Ramadan is largely circumstantial, although it must be said that the pile he amasses is plenty damning. Finally, Mr. Berman believes in straight talk and insists that we use words like “fascist” to describe some Islamist ideas rather than “totalitarian.” Why? “It is because totalitarian, being abstract, is odorless. Fascist is pungent. To hear that emphatic f-sound and those double different s’s is to flare your nostrils.”

The smell of death sticks in nostrils like no other.


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