One Man’s Ultraconservative is Another Man’s Fascist

December 20, 2011 13:47 by

It ain’t just the word moderate that’s becoming abused by journos trying to make sense of the mushrooming Islamist parties. Reuters says Islamist is another word now “stretched to its limit.”

The rainbow of varieties of political Islam has forced world media to start using unfamiliar terms such as Salafi — an ultraconservative champion of an Islamic state — to bring out some of the diversity in the emerging Muslim democracies.

Even local analysts and journalists in the Middle East find themselves fumbling for nouns and adjectives to describe exactly where a party stands in the spectrum of political options that find inspiration in the region’s main religion.

I hear the concern for nuance.

And it’s appropo that Reuters — of all news services — is talking about getting the labels right. After all, we all know that one man’s ultraconservative is another man’s fascist. Or something like that.

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