"Islamism" v. "Muslim fundamentalism"
I don’t like the term “Islamism,” which was promoted by French scholars in preference to the American “Muslim fundamentalism,” since they thought the latter too Protestant in inspiration (it has no exact counterpart in French, where “integrisme” is sometimes used by analogy from ultramontane, hard line Catholicism). I think “Muslim fundamentalism” is better because, as the Chicago University project on fundamentalisms showed, it allows us to see the phenomenon in the context of similar movements in other religions. Moreover, I think the term is confusing because it is too close to “Islam” per se, and I don’t agree with figures such as Gilles Keppel who see the “Islamists” as unusually “pious,” implying that they are the real Muslims. Secular-minded Muslims who are nevertheless believers, and Sufi mystics, are also “pious,” and I don’t think social scientists should be deciding who is a better Muslim.What he says at the end about the Gilles Keppel approach is also true, and might have something to do with the detachment of many modern scholars from serious religious practitioners. The nearly identical usage which is more common in the U.S. is the term "moderate Muslims," which usually just means that they do not push a political program dependent upon those aspects of Islamic teaching which do not dovetail with the values of a secular political movement. In other words, if a Muslim focuses on the religion's strong social justice message instead of women's modesty and alcohol, that Muslim is said to be "moderate" with regard to his or her faith, which carries the implicit assumption that the purely religious teachings are what to non-believers amounts to inexplicable cultural decoration.