Monday, July 9, 2012

Enough with the Islamists already....

What's the difference between an Islamist and a Muslim? 

Here's the Associated Press, transcribed uncritically by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, who in my opinion should know better:
 "ISLAMABAD (AP) — Gunmen killed seven people Monday at a Pakistani army camp in a city where thousands of hardline Islamists spent the night on their way to the capital to protest the government's recent decision to reopen the NATO supply line to Afghanistan, security officials said."
[emphasis added]
So, everybody but me knows what an "Islamist" is, and further, what a "hardline Islamist" is. It's of interest that the Google Blogger "compose" function, where I am now, reports "Islamist" as an unknown or incorrect word, but "Muslim" is correct. There you go. I'm with Google.  Here's the OED, who also should know better:

We're immediately back to full frontal George Orwell:

"But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."

I don't think it's possible to say that sentence too often.

Note that the OED usage dates from 1980, if we consider the meaning of Islamist fundamentalist. Is that different from a Christian fundamentalist? Or a Jewish fundamentalist? Me, I'm an agnostic fundamentalist, or an evangelical agnostic, and I'm out to convince the world that I don't know anything for sure, including that I don't know anything for sure. Really, I'm on Karen Armstrong's side:

...most of fundamentalism, however defined, is fear of annihilation.

For what it's worth, my fear is of being annihilated by clowns who think they know what they're doing when they don't, and who - like Obama - believe they can kill people with impunity, and who know that God's on their side.

See also, Terrorism and the English Language