Somewhat confused by this morning’s NYT usage of Islamism, in a context where, I think, Islam would have made just as much, if not more, sense.

The internet defines “Islamism” like such.

Which clearly confuses religion and politics in a rather convoluted way.


In my mind, it is comparable to the use of the made-up word “Christianityism”, and as such doesn’t really have a legitimate place in respectable or professional discourse, as I can’t possibly understand its differentiation from other words that already exist, such as Islam (religion), or Islamic theocratic political movements, or some other such combinations of meaningful words.


2 thoughts on “Question.

  1. This is rather odd, as we say at Whitehall. I was having this identical thought about three days ago. I came up, I think, with “Christianist”. It takes many streams to make a river.

  2. And another admission: my reverie has had a tremendous growth in its use of profanity in the past week, just as I was chiding your father for not putting you into care (as we say in Whitehall) on account of your mental abberation. I even derived a theory. Language needs, as Karl Rahner says (seriously, now), some “this” designator to make the uttered words apply to an actual situation. “This cat, not cats in general, you dimwit!” So the curse words draw the listener’s attention–out of her reverie, into the moment. I call it a referential intensifier.
    Whitehall is what the English foreign ministry is referred to in Agatha Christie stories. Can you think of any way Israel will give up its racist form of government without a fight? Or, on the other hand, some way to force it to? I have in mind spreading rumors that the US is sponsoring a military takeover, which most Israelis would never notice since they’ve grown up with the military in charge, in that delightful South American sense of medals and ribbons and interlocking directorates–oh, have they stopped doing that down there–such a pity. Seriously, all it would take is two Israeli generals having a submachine gun duel in some underground bunker to start everbody major and above shooting at each other–“Ah, you foul sell-out!”

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