Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week
To begin with, while there are some similarities between the Islamic threat and fascism (Christopher Hitchens does a good job of explaining these here), there are also important differences. The most obvious is that fascism implies a centralized totalitarian regime; fascist movements which have not yet established such a regime usually have its creation as their main immediate goal. Jihadism, by contrast, is a common ideology motivating similar goals and behavior in many different militant groups all over the world, most of which are not linked by any common structure of authority and show little sign of making serious efforts to create one, despite all the rhetoric about restoring the Caliphate. Iran certainly resembles a fascist state in this sense, but its relationship with jihadist groups outside its borders more resembles that of the old Soviet Union with the global Communist movement -- an ideological state linked with a network of ideologically-similar external groups whose roles are something between puppets and allies. Such linked external groups were not a major feature of fascist states such as Nazi Germany. In any case, only a minority of jihadist groups worldwide have such connections with Iran.
More importantly, the term "Islamo-fascism" implies that the jihadist threat is a sort of derivative or imitation of Western fascism as we know it from the twentieth century, which is simply not the case, though there have been some superficial influences. Like some leftists' delusion that jihadism is primarily a form of "blowback" from various Western interference in the Islamic world, it obscures the real nature of the problem. Jihadism is a distinct phenomenon in its own right, far older than fascism or Western imperialism; it is innate in the nature of Islam itself and has been present from the religion's earliest beginnings. As I've said before, if the West had never meddled in the Middle East, if Israel had never been established, and if we imported no oil from there at all, we would probably still be facing basically the same jihadist problem. The same would be true if Western fascism had never existed.
It's understandable that Westerners who know little about Islam try to explain the jihadist phenomenon as a response to some influence from the West, whether as retaliation for Western interference or imitation of a Western ideology. It's also simply wrong. Jihadism can only be understood on its own terms, as an integral part of Islam itself.
Then there's this. What on Earth does educating people about the Islamic threat have to do with global-warming denialism? Aside from the fact that a worthy cause is actually weakened by linking it with the rapidly-collapsing denialist delusion, there is a more fundamental problem which I recall observing, on the left, when I lived in Berkeley in the 1980s. Every demonstration on behalf of any one cause associated with the left consistently evolved into a demonstration for every cause associated with the left. They could never just stick to one subject. A march organized on behalf of, say, gay rights would always attract hangers-on agitating on behalf of the Palestinians, El Salvador, whales, drugs, Marxism, nuclear disarmament, labor unions, and what have you. Supporters of the putative matter at hand who did not also endorse all the other causes would have felt uncomfortable or unwelcome. The right is increasingly plagued by the same phenomenon; any blog posting on the Islamic threat which provokes a long comments thread will soon become overrun with vituperation against liberals, atheists, Hillary Clinton, and so on.
The temptation to claim opposition to Islam as the sole province of the right must be resisted. Islam is even more hostile to the values of Western liberalism than to those of Western conserva-tism, and the efforts of Western leftists to minimize the Islamic threat or to defend or excuse Islamist groups and regimes lead to constant absurdities and contradictions (here's a recent example). Many of the smarter people on the left have already awakened to this and recognize the threat for what it is, and with time more and more will do so. It's a trend that should be encouraged.