Sometimes the terms Islamism and political Islam seem to be used interchangeably and sometimes not.

I appreciate the fact that these concepts may not have a precise consensual definition just yet and journalists may erroneously use them synonymously. Have scholars or political scientists distinguished the two ideas or are they merely the same thing?

  • The answer wholly depends on who is using which term in what desired context. There are no single, uncontroversial, scientific definitions of either term. – user4012 Jan 3 at 14:57
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    Since you are attempting to delineate between facets of Islam, wouldn't it be fair to qualify the other aspects outside of "Political Islam" you are referencing? Is this Religious Islam, Cultural Islam, Social Islam, Theological Islam, Familial Islam. etc.? This question would be infinitely enhanced if it called out examples of how journalists may use the terms in error. Or other examples to help define and clarify the goal of this question. – David S Jan 3 at 15:16
  • As a Muslim I'd say it is actually opinion-based: One may call a practicing Muslim "Muslim" while another person may call him/her an "Islamist" it depends on how people judge other people's looks and behaviour. Also note that Islam includes politics in its teachings even if the interpretation itself is rather opinion-based as different scholars and sects have a somewhat different interpretation – Medi1Saif Jan 11 at 10:47

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