We have a rather profound disagreement. I also have several disagreements with Miraj. Maybe I am just disagreeable. Rocket, you wrote:
"My only disagreement (if it is a disagreement) is that Islamists are part of Islam and their understanding of Islam is part of Islam. It may not be the majority view, the proper view, or even a view which is supported by much in the way of traditional learning, but it is still part of Islam."
The Islamists identify themselves as Muslim. That is a piece of information. The Islamists base their ideology on Islamic writings. That is another piece of information. I can tell what Islam is by examining the Islamists. That is a fallacy. I can predict what parts of Islamic writings the Islamists will make into their ideology by studying Islam. That is another fallacy.
Rocket, I could give you a lot of examples from inferential statistics of these and other sorts of fallacies. But instead I will use an example with which I think you are familiar. There are some groups around who insist that they are Jewish Christians or Christian Jews. They have an ideology and even share some beliefs with mainstream Judaism. However you simply cannot infer what is mainstream Judaism from a study of the ideology of Jewish Christians. To do so would be a fallacy.
Now let me give you an example from the Islamists themselves. If you read the Hamas Charter, you will find that they cite the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as an information source about the Jews. What you are suggesting in your statement that "Islamists are part of Islam...." is that the Protocols (and the ideas expressed in them) are part of the Islamic belief system because the Islamists believe them to be true. That is a fallacy. You simply cannot infer any such thing from the Hamas Covenant and that is what you are trying to do.
Where I disagree with Miraj on this is that she posits an Islam that is different from that expressed in the ideology of the Islamists. She may be (and probably is) right about this but it doesn't matter. The question of what is and what is not Islam is for Islamic Scholars and scholars of Islam, and the authoritative Muslim individuals (and Miraj) to decide. Just as an aside, as an Israeli, Zionist Jew I have enough problems trying to figure out what Judaism is all about, then to expend time to begin delving into the complexities of Islam.
Both intellectually and practically the question of what is Islam belongs on another forum, just as what is Judaism. The subjects of Arab nationalism, Pan Arabism, Pan Islamism, Islamist political movements, Zionism, anti-Zionism, Baathism and a whole bunch of others, in terms of what they are and what elements of the religious belief systems are incorporated in their ideologies are the proper subject of this forum. But if you think that studying any of the above will tell you about Islam or Judaism , you are simply mistaken.
I hope that is clear.
You make it absolutely clear.
This is the problem in using the word "Islam" in any man-created term. It is used too easily by all sorts of people without even thinking whether it is appropriate or not. The only people who can feel qualified to use "Islam" in any original term is people who understand Islam well. Even many so-called Muslims do not understand Islam well enough.
I know one thing: There are a billion Islamic people in the world today, and there will be about 2 billion by the time we're dead. They're not going to give up their religion. (Chris Matthews)
"This is the problem in using the word "Islam" in any man-created term. It is used too easily by all sorts of people without even thinking whether it is appropriate or not. The only people who can feel qualified to use "Islam" in any original term is people who understand Islam well. Even many so-called Muslims do not understand Islam well enough."