By Thanassis Cambanis | The Boston Globe | August 4, 2012 | [Original Article]
"...As they do, "Islamist" is quickly becoming a term as broadly applicable and as useless as "Judeo-Christian" in American and European politics. If important distinctions are emerging within Islamism, that suggests that the lifespan of "Islamist" as a useful term is almost at an end that we've reached the moment when it's time to craft a new language to talk about Arab politics, one that looks beyond "Islamist" to the meaningful differences among groups that would once have been lumped together under that banner.
Some thinkers already are looking for new terms that offer a more sophisticated way to talk about the changes set in motion by the Arab Spring. At stake is more than a label; it's a better understanding of the political order emerging not just in the Middle East, but around the world..."
"...Over the years, the term "Islamist" continued to be a useful catchall to describe the range of groups that embraced religion as a source of political authority. So long as the Islamist camp was out of power, the one-size-fits-all nature of the term seemed of secondary importance.
But in today's ferment, such a broad term is no longer so useful. Elections have shown that broad electoral majorities support Islamism in one flavor or another..." [Read More]
"...They are sure to evolve as competing movements sharpen their ideologies, and as the lofty rhetoric of religion meets the hard road of governing. The importance of moving beyond "Islamism" will only grow: After all, what we call the "Islamic world" includes about a quarter of the world's population, stretching from Muslim-majority nations in the Arab world, along with Turkey, Pakistan, and Indonesia, to sizable communities from China to the United States..."