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Olivier Roy believes "the socioeconomic realities that sustained the Islamist wave are still here and are not going to change: poverty, uprootedness, crises in values and identities, the decay of the educational systems, the North-South opposition, and the problem of immigrant integration into the host societies".
The strength of Islamism also draws from the strength of religiosity in general in the Muslim world.
The Council on American–Islamic Relations complained in 2013 that the Associated Press's definition of "Islamist"—a "supporter of government in accord with the laws of Islam [and] who view the Quran as a political model"—had become a pejorative shorthand for "Muslims we don't like." "An advocate or supporter of a political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam.
Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists.
Where other peoples may look to the physical or social sciences for answers in areas which their ancestors regarded as best left to scripture, in the Muslim world, religion has become more encompassing, not less, as "in the last few decades, it has been the fundamentalists who have increasingly represented the cutting edge" of Muslim culture. This had lead to the conception of Islamic form of such institutions, and Islamic interpretations are often attempted within this conception.
Even before the Arab Spring, Islamists in Egypt and other Muslim countries had been described as "extremely influential. In the example of democracy, Islamic democracy as an Islamized form of the system has been intellectually developed.
From French, it began to migrate to the English language in the mid-1980s, and in recent years has largely displaced the term Islamic fundamentalism in academic circles.
The use of the term Islamism was at first "a marker for scholars more likely to sympathize" with new Islamic movements; however, as the term gained popularity it became more specifically associated with political groups such as the Taliban or the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, as well as with highly publicized acts of violence.
Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi." —and thus is not a united movement.
Compared to Western societies, "[w]hat is striking about the Islamic world is that ... Even if the Islamists never come to power, they have transformed their countries." Democratic, peaceful and political Islamists are now dominating the spectrum of Islamist ideology as well as the political system of the Muslim world.
it seems to have been the least penetrated by irreligion". Moderate strains of Islamism have been described as "competing in the democratic public square in places like Turkey, Tunisia, Malaysia and Indonesia.
There was no need for any other term, until the rise of an ideological and political interpretation of Islam challenged scholars and commentators to come up with an alternative, to distinguish Islam as modern ideology from Islam as a faith...
To all intents and purposes, Islamic fundamentalism and Islamism have become synonyms in contemporary American usage.