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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776
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Who is an ‘Islamist’ and Why it Matters

Based on the Associated Press's definition, whom exactly can a reporter call an Islamist?
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… and the West

But we can take a cue from Ronald Reagan in maintaining our fundamental posture.  Reagan knew that the biggest advantage America and the West had in the Cold War was not gained through properly defining the threat of communism – although that was important.  The biggest advantage was the West’s own character and beliefs, which continued over the years to widen the divide between the failures of communism and the successes of freedom.  This was the case even in the West’s deep political funk of the late 1960s and 1970s.  The divide continued to grow, even then, and the flow of immigration was still all one direction, even when many in the West’s “elites” were claiming to despise Western freedom.

The most important thing the West can do today is recover our ideas about freedom and what it’s good for.  If we do that, it will be glaringly obvious that freedom is better.  The truth is that freedom is stronger, when men and women are committed to it; if it were not, it could not have won out over all the forces arrayed against it throughout human history.  It can do so again, if we are not faint of heart.

The great moral question for us today – the question that defines our hope for civilization and a future – is not what Islam is, but who we are, and whether we will embrace our heritage of freedom.  The proximate political question is what we will cede to Islamists, whose patterns are very identifiable and whose demands are specific.  The answer to that question must come, not from what we fear, but from what we believe to be right.  If we look to our heritage of freedom, we will answer it well.

Originally published at the Optimistic Conservative, under the title, ““Islamism” and the West: How do you solve a problem like the AP Stylebook?”

J. E. Dyer

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