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The Term Islamist - Is It the Issue?

Reader comment on item: [President Bush and] Naming the Enemy

Submitted by Ira Katz (United States), Aug 17, 2004 at 12:14

I subscribe to and appreciate your column. In this article the effort given to attempt to define or establish a common meaning to the words 'Islamist' and 'Islamism' seems both needed and yet also perhaps academic. I've received and read much literature about the issue and am myself not clear on how to label these militant extremists or Islamic terrorists. It sems many writers use these terms to apply to them. I am also sensitive to the need to distinguish between them and Muslims who seem to live by a peaceful faith. Your paraphrase of Prince Naif's comments - including the statement that he himself is an Islamist suggests to me that the term may be mis-applied. If the Prince is an Islamist but not one if this group, something is wriong with the term or its application. That the movement is totalitarian in its aims is very clear. I don't understand what value would be gained by being very specific about the term. Perhaps the 'term' is not your point. ...
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