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

Robert Spencer of JihadWatch writes:

“DHS [Department of Homeland Securiy] Secretary Jeh Johnson just said that to call the Islamic State Islamic would be “dignifying them as occupying some form of Islam.” And so here we see the cognitive dissonance clearly: the Islamic State is impatient with Syrians whom they claim know nothing about Islam, and non-Muslim authorities in the West (and Muslim authorities as well) insist that it is actually the jihadis of the Islamic State who know nothing about Islam. At very least, Western intelligence agents and policymakers should study the Islamic State’s understanding of Islam, so as to comprehend these jihadis’ motives and goals, and be able to counter them more effectively. But they will not do that, because that would lead them into study of…Islam. (Robert Spencer, “Islamic State jihadis complain that “the Syrians do not know anything of the Islamic religion”).

Most, if not all, Western leaders sing the same silly tune: ISIS has nothing to do with “peaceful” Islam. What is the touchy truth: 

All Islamists are Muslims, but not all Muslims are Islamists. Why is  this so? Because an Islamist is one who follows the letter and the spirit of the Qur’an to a Q, while many Muslims don’t. Who are the Islamists par excellence? ISIS, Al Qaeda and their ilk? The ignorant or pussilanimous refer to the latter as “radical.” In one sense, they are right – the etymological sense. “Radical” derives from the Latin root “root” (radix). Islamists go deep down into the roots of Islam, while many Muslims sit high in the branches, In sum, “Islam” in its unmutilated form is radical. That explains its mutilations, which embrace two kinds: verbal – chopping and changing Qur’anic revelations (for example, abrogation) and chopping off heads.

Most of those in the branches either encourage the radicals – or remain mum, for fear of attacking the root from which they spring and the certain repercussions coming down upon their heads.

2 thoughts on “What’s the difference between an Islamist and a Muslim?

  1. “Most of those in the branches either encourage the radicals – or remain mum,”
    Dead on. It never cease me how a “moderate” Iman that is promoted by Western government as a leader of “the religion of peace” crowd often turns out to have what we would like to call “extreme” views.

  2. They should first turn them inside out before they appoint them. But if underneath they turn out not to be “extreme” they would be considered by kosher ( tee hee) Muslims to be apostate ?

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