Guatemalans and Mexicans Seek Solutions

Appropriate language

I am happy to see the author of the article "What to Call Those Pushing Political Islam," April 21, recommend using the term "Islamist" for those involved in the current resurgence of Islam in politics. I would like to add some positive reasons for this word choice:

First, this term can be used both by Islamists themselves and by those (Muslim or otherwise) outside their movement. Second, I take the word to be constructed on the analogy of communist or capitalist: an ideological position.

This seems quite accurate. For Islamists, Islam is not only a religion in the narrow sense, and not only a cultural heritage, but also an ideology to guide political and social action in the present. W. Shepard, Christchurch, New Zealand University of Canterbury

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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