It’s Bernard-Henri Levy’s word for that segment of the Muslim world that defines itself through support for political violence and oppression. In his forthcoming book Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism, he has also unearthed a great quote from the journal of the writer Paul Claudel. From May 21, 1935: “Hitler’s speech: a kind of Islamism is being created at the center of Europe . . . “
The comparison is apt: There is a universal dynamic at work, whenever a fetishization of the collective is allowed to gather steam.