I thought we are understood
I was talking to one of my friends about a Muslim woman who holds more than one Arab nationality. When I asked this woman, where do you can relate yourself more in terms of places? I meant country A or country B. She said she does not belong to any and that she is a human being. I did not intentionally ask her this question, but there are questions you ask and the answer turns to be a moment of revelation for a psychological state.
I was talking to my friend and told her I have my doubts about this woman’s inclinations in life. She asked me why? I told her she declares herself as a virtuous Muslim and says she has no sense of a belonging to a place. People with no sense to belonging to a place are like those Brits who exploded themselves in London’s subway. They did not feel their British citizenship, they had another ideological affiliation.
My friend did not seem to understand what I was hinting at. I told her such people like this woman would support Muslims in Pakistan rather standing by Sudanese people in Darfur who are miles away from where they grew. She still did not understand and she excused because she is coming from a completely different region in the world. Her world does not have the word Islamist in the dictionary.
I asked her do you know the difference between and an Islamist and a Muslim. She thought they are the same. I explained to her many people around the world are born Muslims by birth but their identity will never be Muslims. Their identity is the environment where they grew up which is normally a country. People usually hold pride in their countries. Many Muslims around the world categorize themselves as practicing, non-practicing, liberal or secular Muslims. An Islamist will not belong to a place. He/she would belong to an idea or an ideology that takes the slogan of the supremacy of Islam as a political system for a way for living. That explains why an Egyptian Islamist would oppress an Egyptian Copt in support of a Bosnian Muslim. Islamists believe in political Islam and that Islam will eventually lead to a Caliphate.
The discussion with my friend was so simple, but confusing the definitions of a Muslim and Islamist can lead to dangerous consequences. Underestimating the dangers of Islamists within their nations or in the world in general can have horrifying consequences. Categorizing all Muslims as Islamists can lead to the most discriminatory treatment ever.