Since I previously had an exchange with Andy McCarthy about the utility of the term "Islamist" (article here; video with transcript here); I read Raymond Ibrahim's new piece, "Why We Need Words Like 'Islamist,'" with great interest.

Raymond initially states the controversy this way:

Is the problem Islam or Islamism? Muslims or Islamists?

These and related questions regularly foster debate (see the exchange between Robert Spencer and Andrew McCarthy for a recent example). The greatest obstacle on the road to consensus is what such words imply; namely, that Islamism and Islamists are "bad," and Islam and Muslims are good (or simply neutral).

Read the complete original version of this item...