The Civil War of Words: Islam vs. Islamism (Continued…)

By Walid Shoebat

Note: if you haven’t been brought up to speed about this point of disagreement between Daniel Pipes and I, click here.

Daniel Pipes posted a comment on May 18, 2013 stating that his article – Islam vs. Islamism – “has been misinterpreted, for example by Walid Shoebat who states that “Pipes makes an unsubstantiated claim that a majority of Muslims are moderate and that Islamism is only supported by 10-15 percent of Muslims.”

He argues:

“No, I do not claim that 85-90 percent of Muslims are moderate. Let’s use more precise language. I estimate that a very small percentage of Muslims are actively opposed to application of the Shari’a and can be defined as anti-Islamists. That leaves a vast body that includes traditionalists, Sufis, Islamic supremacists, and completely apolitical types. I do not characterize them as moderate. I only call them not Islamist.”

But I misinterpreted nothing, since my article was not focused primarily on Mr. Pipes’ recent article, but on his entire premise.

The issue with playing the percentage game is obvious and Pipes knows it; he has to weigh between pleasing a constituency of readers who dislike Islam and then he has his other constituents (foundations and elite media like Fox) who reject the usage of “Islam” and is why they publish such junk. Pipes is caught between a rock and a hard place; the struggle to please both creates a conflict and is why we believe this phenomenon exists. By doing this, Pipes (like Fox News) actually minimizes his contributions to solving the problem; he only aids in creating confusion, i.e., who is this enemy?

We used his past faulty research when he wrote years ago: “10 to 15 percent of Muslims worldwide support militant Islam” which is blatantly false, even according to Pipes himself, to only then switch it in a Fox News article to “10-15 percent” are “Islamists”.

The term “Islamist” now comes with a new spin, strictly a creation by Pipes, a new standard. These are Muslims who advocate the creation of an Islamic state in recent times after 1924 and by this it excludes the bulk of Muslims from the usage of the term “Islamist”.

So now “militant” “Islamists” “Jihadists” “fundamentalists” “Shariists” “honor killers” “mahdists” are a mixed-multitude, some of which become exempt from his newly elected terminology and by this he pleases the few ‘movers’ and ‘shakers’; I have been in this field long enough to understand this game and how it is played.

And we argue, again, what is the use then of such attempts to come up with standards like this, especially since Pipes himself admits that “traditionalists” and “Sufis” (according to him) are not “moderate”? The common term used today is “moderate” or “fundamentalist”. If we use “Muslim” or “Islamist” most will still equate these with “moderate” or “fundamentalist” anyway.

Why does Pipes do this? It’s simple; he must follow the common theme that “most Muslims are peace loving” or else he gets booted out.

More unusual, we posted this view to Pipes’ own comment section on his blog and he censored it.

This speaks volumes.


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