Islam or Islamist? That is the question. Is the term “Islamist” a politically correct fabrication to dodge the inconvenient truth that Islam itself is inherently and inevitably chauvinistic and totalitarian? Or is it a necessary distinction to draw: denominating supremacist Muslims striving to impose on societies a classical, rigid construction of Islamic law, distinguishing them from authentic Muslim moderates who elevate reason, embrace pluralism, and take sharia as spiritual guidance rather than the mandatory law for civil society?
I think we have to separate Islamists from Islam. My friend Robert Spencer disagrees. As NRO readers may know from my reviews of some of Robert’s books and my frequent references to his invaluable work at Jihad Watch, I hold him in high esteem. On this question, however, he is mistaken. And because how we answer the “Islam or Islamist?” question critically affects how we respond to the profound threat posed by supremacist Muslims, we must answer it correctly.
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