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Islamism inIn Arabic 'Islamism' (al tayar al-islami) bad because too Western; in English 'Islamism' bad because not Western enough

Reader comment on item: Twenty Years of Illusion about Islamism
in response to reader comment: Do you really expect that scottindallas knows any Arabic? He is a tablighee and no more

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jun 11, 2012 at 08:19

Hi, dear dhimmi no more!

Thanks for another great comment which reveals a little paradox !

"Islamism and it is not a Quranic construct and it means al-tayar al-islami التيار الاسلامي or the current that belongs to islam and read this as islamism

1. the word tayar means current and here it is تيار means

جمع تَيّارات :
1 - شدَّة جريان الماء " يغامر بعض السّباحين في السِّباحة ضد التيّار "
• انجرف مع التَّيَّار : عجز عن مقاومة الأحداث فجاراها وسار في مجراها ، - سبَح ضِدّ التَّيَّار : عارض ، خالف .
2 - اتّجاه فكريّ ، أو أدبيّ ، أو سياسيّ ونحوه " يجري في أدبنا تيّاران ؛ عربيّ إسلاميّ ، وغربيّ دخيل " 0

And in number two it is defined as itijah firki or a way (current) of logical thinking or literary thinking or political thinking and it means "we have a current in our literature that is Arabic and Islamist and infleunce from the west

The word islami اسلامي or Islamism means this that belongs to islam"

First , "al-tayar al-islami" suggests there may be various "Islamisms" (what would be the plural form of "al-tayar al-islami"?) which seems to be hardly implied in English "Islamism". We are told there are different forms of Islam , but I have never heard anyone say there are different Islamisms, say an Islamism that prefers to cut off the heads of kafirs as opposed to an Islamism that makes its followers limit themselves to maiming and terrorizing kafirs. Of course, the latter Islamism would be called "a moderate Islamism" and the former "a radical Islamism", wouldn't they?

Second, judging from the definition you quoted "al-tayar al-Islami" seems nevertheless to have a different meaning from our "Islamism" (=fundamentalist, radical, wrong Islam"). In Arabic "al-tayar al-islami" suggests being too Western while in English 'Islamism' seggests not being Western enough.

So as always while dealing with Moslem semantics we apparently have a little semantic trap here when we compare English and Arabic.We say words that look the same but turn out to have different meanings for us and for them.

Submitting....

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