Conservative details what 'Holocaust denier' Nick Fuentes has in common with 'radical Islamists'
Many right-wing pundits are deeply resentful whenever far-right Christian nationalists are compared to far-right Islamist groups like al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Boko Haram. As they see it, Christian nationalists are incapable of the sort of violent extremism that the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden favored — a perspective that ignores the countless acts of domestic terrorism that white racists have committed in the United States over the years.
But one conservative who isn’t afraid to make a white nationalist/radical Islamist comparison is Daily Beast opinion columnist Matt Lewis. In a November 29 column, the Never Trump journalist describes some of the parallels between white nationalist Nick Fuentes’ beliefs and the beliefs of radical Islamists like al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Former President Donald Trump, who is seeking the GOP’s 2024 presidential nominee, has been drawing widespread criticism for having a dinner at Mar-a-Lago with Fuentes — the 24-year-old Holocaust denier, Christian nationalist and incel who holds the annual America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC). Fuentes views AFPAC as a white nationalist alternative to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and his event has attracted well-known MAGA Republicans who include Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, former Rep. Steve King and Arizona State Sen. Wendy Rogers.
Ironically, one of Fuentes’ allies is far-right pundit Michelle Malkin, who is Asian-American yet openly associates with white nationalists. And equally bizarre is the fact that hip-hop star Kanye West is the one who brought Trump and Fuentes together at Mar-a-Lago.
In his November 29 column, Lewis explains, “I spent this weekend re-reading Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book on al Qaeda, ‘The Looming Tower,’ which opens with the origin story of the influential radical Islamist Sayyid Qutb. With one eye on Qutb, and the other on news about white nationalist Nick Fuentes, who dined with Donald Trump last week, it became clear that the two revolutionaries have a lot in common — and not just regarding their obvious shared antisemitism, either.”
Lewis outlines some of the parallels between Qutb and Fuentes, who he describes as a “24-year-old vlogger, a white supremacist, and a January 6 cheerleader” who “thinks Trump should have issued a blanket pardon for the Capitol rioters” and “floated the idea of killing legislators who certified Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory.”
“He’s also a Hitler fan who is also a Holocaust denier,” Lewis observes. “Even though Fuentes has railed against Muslims, his views are not that dissimilar from those of Qutb. Like Qutb, Fuentes is obsessed with women and sex — specifically, not having sex with women…. In his videos, Fuentes doesn’t just rail against gay marriage or trans athletes — issues that mainstream conservatives might oppose. Nor does he just go after birth control, contraceptives, and internet pornography. His vision of a good society looks like one where ‘women don’t have the right to vote,’ ‘women (are) wearing veils at church,’ and ‘women (aren’t) in the workforce.’”
Those positions, Lewis points out, are the same positions one finds in severe Islamist Sharia law.
“Remember all those Republicans who worried that Sharia law was coming to America?” Lewis explains. “Well, it turns out, they were right! Sort of.”
Fuentes isn’t Muslim. Nor is he a Protestant evangelical, although he identifies with Christian nationalism. Rather, Fuentes favors a severe and extreme form of Catholicism — one the vast majority of Catholics reject.
Lewis quotes Fuentes as saying, “I want this country to have Catholic media, Catholic Hollywood, Catholic government. I want this to be a Catholic-occupied government, not a Jewish-occupied government.”
Lewis writes, however, that as someone who is a “very flawed but committed Christian” as well as a conservative, he has found left-wing comparisons of evangelical Protestants and “radical Islamists” to be “overwrought and offensive.” But in the case of Fuentes, Lewis adds, the Islamist comparison fits.
“Prior to 2016,” Lewis argues, “the notion that someone like Fuentes would be a prominent political voice in America, much less someone who dined with the former Republican president, also seemed outlandish. Donald Trump’s election inspired and mainstreamed many radical and foreign ideas that were not really represented in American political thought. We can only imagine what will happen if he gets another four years in the White House.”
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