Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Islam vs Islamism

Colin Chapman, CMS missionary to Egypt and Lebanon for seventeen years, offers some good basic advice on a Christian response to Islam and Islamism. I wouldn't be so quick to reach for the language of 'human rights' in the final paragraphs, but it's a useful piece nonetheless.


Megs said...

Hi Byron!
I just noticed that a nemesis of yours is the all too common misplaced apostrophe. I am so with you there!

And now, living in the USA, adjectives used as adverbs. CRINGE!!


Jonathan said...

Seeing this prompted me to finish a post I'd started on the weekend.

Colin's advice seems good, but as well as the human rights ideas, I'm not so sure about supporting moderate interpretations.

Anonymous said...

Rejected by PBS:
"Islam vs. Islamism" - video

Anonymous said...

Media Legitimizes Islamic Extremists While Defaming Muslims

On October 29, 2007, Texas court held a hearing on TRO filed against Joe Kaufman. The next day the Internet was flooded with the following headlines:
"Islamic Groups Sues Joe Kaufman of Americans Against Hate"
"Islamic groups sue man who arranged protest"
"TRO Against Anti-Muslim Group Extended"
"TX Muslims Sue FL Islamophobe for Defamation"

We already addressed the "Anti-Muslim" and "Islamophobe" aspects earlier. There are other, more subtle, but also more dangerous issues with those headlines. We cannot stress enough how important it is to draw a distinction between moderate Muslims and Muslim extremists, between Islam and Islamism. However the aforementioned headlines and articles associated with them completely ignore that distinction and mislead their readers in the process.

The infamous Nazi rallies are never described as Christian events because most Christians are disgusted with the Nazis. However, when Islamofascist organizations put out their events, it seems to be universally acceptable to describe those events as Muslim or Islamic. Why such double-standards? Why does the media shun Christian extremists, but embraces Muslim extremists? Is there a hidden agenda or just complete ignorance?

Western Muslim community and Western media must address the following issues arising from ignoring the difference between Islam and Islamism:

1. Radical Muslims are legitimized as mainstream
2. Moderate Muslims are bunched together with the radicals, which gives credence to the notion that all Muslims are radicals and gives rise to Islamophobia

We ask everyone in the media:
- If you do not understand the difference between Islam and Islamism, stop providing your opinions on the subject
- If you do understand that difference, please make it clear every time you address the subject and call everything by its proper name

Some of the favorite media questions are "where are the moderate Muslims" and "why are they silent". Well, we are right here. It's you who don't want to hear what we have to say.

Video: Islam vs. Islamism

Original post

byron smith said...

MAS - thanks for those links. It is indeed an important distinction. Could part of the issue be that Islamists deny the distinction? That is, they claim that all true Muslims are Islamist?

Anonymous said...

"Could part of the issue be that Islamists deny the distinction?"

It's a huge part

"That is, they claim that all true Muslims are Islamist?"

Close. In their view any Muslim who does not agree with them is not a real Muslim. If we had a dime for every time we are called non-Muslims, or fake Muslims, or misguided Muslims, we'd be rich.