I think I have finally come to the point where I can agree that Jihadism is the proper term for what we are against. This ads clarity to all of the things we have to deal with. Following the lead of this post at the Counterterrorism Blog, I'll adapt my writing to conform:
Because for 11 years years, the American public wasn’t informed about the threat that lead to September 11 and because the classrooms and newsrooms of the United States were not educated enough about the global threat of “Jihadism,” we feel it is incumbent on individual citizens to educate themselves about this danger and mobilize to prevent a Future Jihad looming around the world and at home. It is important that American citizens understand who the “Jihadists” are, what they want to achieve, and how they are proceeding. Without this knowledge, the American public will be unable to be part of the political debate about national security and the War on Terror. And if deprived from the support of an informed public, the US Government, now and in the future, cannot sustain difficult decisions pertaining to the defeat of the Terrorist enemy.
This makes it clear that the enemy is not Islam. This makes it clear that Terrorism is just a method, so people who might dither on the nature of Hezbollah's recent incursion against Israeli military personnel and targets cannot dispute they are jihadis. This makes it clear that the GWOT is indeed against an ideology, and not just Terrorism itself. This makes it clear that Iran, while not a direct terrorist threat under the current regime, is an ideological threat and allows us a threat to differentiate various current and future leaders.
I'm also a little fed up with terms like 'Islamo-Nazi' as Michael Medved uses, because its Jewishcentric and automatically implies more to the relationship between the US and Israel than there needs to be - dragging more of Islam into the enemy camp than there needs to be.
This term outdoes 'Islamicist' which I've previously used in terms of those who wish to establish Sharia. It's OK to want to establish Sharia if it is moderated by the Westphalian concept of statehood and diplomacy. For example, I don't have a problem that Sharia is established in some African states like Somalia if that is generally speaking the will of the people. So long as Somalia doesn't export Jihad, then it's cool. Sudan, on the other hand is not exporting Jihad, but it is clear that the attempt to establish Sharia there includes ethnic cleansing, which is unaccetable under any conditions. So I can be diplomatically specific with regard to Islamicists and differentiate them.
The case of The Wanker al-Sadr in Iraq is difficult. Clearly, he is a force for insurgency and has cast his lot to be a fomenter of civil strife if not civil war. But it is unclear to me at this moment whether or not he is a Jihadist. Does he use such terms to incite his followers in the Shiite Mahdi Army to sectarian violence, or is his strategy to sustain chaos against the US occupation? He may or may not be. Still, he is clearly an enemy of the US and of the current Iraqi Government, and sooner or later the Prime Minister is going to have to disarm his militia or declare him an enemy of the state. Islamist militants may or may not be Jihadis. But it's difficult for me to determine if their opposition to other sects is due to political repression or if they see other sects as irrevocably heretical.
I have used the terms 'Islamist' and 'Islamicist' almost interchangeably but I have always meant for their to be a distinction. That distinction being that the Islamist wants Islamic influence on the state, whereas the Islamicist demands an Islamic state. The Islamicist demands Sharia. In that regard I view Islamicists as more dangerous. To add subtlety and perhaps confusion to this distinction, I would argue that Islamists and Islamicists may or may not be Fundamentalists. So I am acknowledging the possibility that there may be moderate Muslims who may desire Sharia in that they may not prescribe Dhimmitude to all non-muslims. Nevertheless, I don't generally expect that any Islamic Fundamentalist would be comfortable with or supportive of secular rule. All fundamentalists want to destroy the line between church and state.
As for Islamo-Fascist, I think that it stands to reason that any Islamic Fundamentalist would establish a state which by Western standard would probably be Fascist, but I think it really depends upon the level of education in that state and how comfortable middle class muslims would be there.
Fortunately there aren't that many major muslim movements in that many countries. We can bring this down to cases, and we should. The enemy is the Jihadi.