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Muslim Doctor: Stop Avoiding Term ‘Islamist’

Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a Muslim and author of “In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor’s Journey in the Saudi Kingdom,” argued that Americans should stop avoiding the term “Islamist” to describe terrorists on Wednesday’s “New Day” on CNN.

She said that the White House was refusing to identify terrorist as Islamist because “there’s a tremendous fear that they avoid impugning all Muslims.” Ahmed added that “the phrase ‘radical Islam’ suggests that all of my faith might be somehow radical, which I disagree with. But to identify a distinct ideology, that borrows from Islam. ‘Islamists,’ I think, is the best term and that’s actually what they call themselves.”

While Ahmed said that she could “understand” the White House’s refusal to use the term ‘Islamist,’ she stated “I think there [are] a couple of deficiencies, by avoiding the term ‘Islamist,’ we are committing ourselves to identifying only terrorists or physically violent acts, I call them jihadism. The United States has an array of phrases for it, but also, therefore that leaves out nonviolent Islamist ideologies that are also being propagated, and that’s what’s come to play with the Charlie Hebdo crisis. This contraction on freedom of speech under the aegis, the false aegis of blasphemy is an Islamist, nonviolent assault in a different kind of war. So I think we are very limited in the United States when we avoid using this phrase.” She also declared that while Islamism and Islam are “separate,” and that “my Islam, which is the Islam of the vast majority of 1.62 billion Muslims is not represented in Islamism,” “there is no getting away from the fact that Islamism would never exist without Islam.”

She also discussed the punishments for blasphemy in the Koran, which she said, if it exists, is solely “between man and his maker.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

 

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