Controversial 'Islamofascism' added to Oxford dictionary
In its latest update, the Oxford English Dictionary now includes "Islamofascism" and related words, which came into vogue in recent years in the context of President Bush's "war on terror."
Islamofascism is one of nearly 2,700 new entries added to the dictionary in the last three months, according to a press release from Oxford University Press.
Other words added to the dictionary include Islamofascist, Islamophobe, Islamophobic and jihadi.
The dictionary's subscription-only Web site, accessed Tuesday afternoon by RAW STORY, defined Islamofascism as, "the advocacy or practice of a form of Islam perceived as authoritarian, intolerant, or extremist; [specifically] Islamic fundamentalism regarded in this way." The dictionary's first citation of the phrase comes from a 1990 article in London's Independent, which observed "authoritarian government, not to say ‘Islamo-fascism’, is the rule rather than the exception" in Islamic societies.
Wikipedia says the Oxford American Dictionary defines Islamofascism as "a controversial term equating some modern Islamic movements with the European fascist movements of the early twentieth century."
Islamophobia is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "hatred or fear of Islam, [especially] as a political force; hostility or prejudice towards Muslims."
The term was introduced by a French writer to describe the Iranian Revolution of 1978, according to a Wall Street Journal column by Roger Scruton.
Scruton said the term has become popular since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, because "it provides a convenient way of announcing that you are not against Islam but only against its perversion by terrorists."
Some say the term carries more political and xenophobic weight, though. Spencer Ackerman, blogging at The New Republic last year, wrote of a trip to Dearborn, Mich., which has a high population of Muslims who were upset over Bush's invokation of the phrase.
"It doesn't diminish the crimes of the Taliban to observe that a Nazi would find Taliban-ruled Afghanistan unrecognizable," Ackerman wrote "'Islamofascism' merely strokes an erogenous zone of the right wing, which gains pleasure from a juvenile reductio ad Hitlerum with the enemies of the U.S."