The ‘Islamist’

The diary of Faisal Haque, a British Muslim activist

What did Cameron learn from his stay with a Muslim family?

Posted by theislamist on May 13, 2007

Some of you may have read the interesting article by David Cameron in today’s Observer. He has just spent a couple of days with a Muslim family in Birmingham and states that:

We do need greater understanding of the true nature of the terrorist threat. There’s too much complacency about it among non-Muslims, and too much denial of it in the Muslim community. But our efforts are not helped by lazy use of language. Indeed, by using the word ‘Islamist’ to describe the threat, we actually help do the terrorist ideologues’ work for them, confirming to many impressionable young Muslim men that to be a ‘good Muslim’, you have to support their evil campaign.

I tend to agree with his criticism of the term ‘Islamist’. Although my blog is entitled The ‘Islamist’, I use the term as I have always equated it with Islamic activism. However, I’m not sure where the term originally came from – it now appears that it is being used to label those for whom Islam is not merely a personal matter. In Michael Gove’s book Celsius 7/7 he writes that:

Islamists are a self-conscious vanguard who look down on other Muslims and consider the majority of their co-religionists as sunk in barbarity or error.

I am a bit surprised by Cameron’s latest comments – he endorsed Munira Mirza’s Policy Exchange report that made a distinction between Islam and Islamism and controversially described those who wanted the Shariah as being like the BNP!

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