One of the analysts at Jihadica — an industrious think tank of experts on global Islamic terrorism (sorry — I meant to write “radical extremist fundamentalist Islamist” terrorism), Vahid Brown — can’t help himself. Whenever he adverts to the global problem he is analyzing, he must use Istist rhetoric.
He’s not alone in this: all his colleagues at Jihadica do this (as do most Western analysts, commentators and Joe Blows throughout the entire West).
Thus, to pluck one example out of thousands, I noted a typical quote from Vahid Brown two years ago, in which he analyzes a communique from some jihadist website called the “LIFG Revisions”. That site represented, so Vahid Brown wrote, not only a
“…sweeping repudiation not just salafi jihadism but of all forms of revolutionary Islamism in general. The text is remarkably broad in its scope, and strikes me as a 21st-century Sahwist renewal of the 1970s-era Muslim Brotherhood rejection of Qutbist Islamism.”
Wow, Vahid is sure giving the Istist terminological rhetoric a workout! Within those two brief introductory paragraphs, we have the following Istist terms:
salafi jihadism (I’m surprised Brown didn’t go further and refer to “salafist jihadism”)
All these “-ists” and “-isms” of the Istist terminological rhetoric (and there are more, such as “extremist” and “fundamentalist” as well as other words without that particular suffix which nevertheless provide the same function — such as “militant” and “restive” and the ridiculous “conservative”) are obviously calculated to continue to avoid the Camel in the Room — Islam itself.
The “-ist” du jour functions as an appendage that grows at a tangential angle off from a trunk deemed to be beyond reproach. It is only the gnarly twisted offshoot, denoted by the “-ist”, that is the problem: not the trunk or tree itself.
Islam thus is the good tree; all these “-ists” are “twistings” off of that good tree. That’s the dominant meme throughout the West whenever most Westerners bother to notice any of the dangerous and diseased data that pullulate out of the Muslim world (which of course over the past half century has been increasingly encroaching upon, and infiltrating, our own Western world).
The pressure of a logical question exerts itself — particularly with regard to intelligent people like Vahid Brown and his colleagues at “counter-terrorist” think tanks like Jihadica, whose job it is not merely to notice those mountains (or volcanos) of data about Muslims, but to assiduously monitor, collect, study, and analyze them:
How many transnational Jihadists popping up in thousands of different places around the globe must Jihadica analysts notice and catalogue before they start wondering whether the implicit denial which their taxonomy assumes — the denial, that is, that Islam itself is the source of all these “Jihadists” and their “Jihadism” — is valid?
And, of course, the Islam in this question refers to Islam holistically — Islam sociologically, Islam politically, Islam geopolitically, Islam culturally, Islam theologically, Islam psychologically.
I.e.: plain old Islam. Islam straight no chaser. Islam, the whole Islam, and nothing but Islam.
On that note: I can’t wait for the year when “It’s the Islam, stupid!” becomes the central campaign slogan of a candidate for the U.S. Presidency — and I don’t care if that candidate is a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, a Socialist, a Libertarian Osteopath, or a Pro-Abortion Gay Mime with One Leg and Three Nipples: I’d vote for him. (I suppose there’s a line somewhere beyond which I would not vote for an anti-Islam candidate, if that candidate were really beyond the pale in his policies and private life: but I’d have to think long and hard and use plenty of imagination before I could think of such a strange creature.)
The Camel in the Room: Prefixes, Suffixes, Qualifiers and Euphemisms