ex MI6 agent Alastair Crooke interviewed on Al Jazeera:
read this and then see how Cohen totally misunderstands the terminology (Islamism, Islamist) he so confidently told me was the 'accepted term'...
"You make a distinction between the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hizb Allah, and al-Qaida or al-Qaida related-groups, that are more global in their actions?
I think there is a big difference between the two, in that what you have is Hamas, Hizb Allah, Jammat Islamiya, Muslim Brotherhood and these groups.
They may be seen on the one hand through the optic of using resistance or violence, in support of their objectives, but these groups all favour elections, they look for reform, they're looking for constitutional change in their society, and that is an important difference between these groups and some of the other Salafi, Takfiri, extreme radical groups who are looking for polarisation.
So what does al-Qaida want?
Well, I'm afraid I'm one of those people in the West that thinks this title, al-Qaida, has become so overused and used so widely, that I mean that's it's impossible any longer to say.
I don't think there is that organisational structure that is so often presented in the West, but I think it is quite clear the main objective is the removal of Western armies from Muslim lands and an ability to create a just society in Muslim lands. But their methodology is very different.
This is to oversimplify it, but it has some objectives which were evident in 1998 [the year Osama bin Laden declared a fatwa calling on his followers to kill American nationals and allies of the US, and the year of the East Africa embassy bombings] which was about polarisation and radicalisation and a short circuiting of the route to an Islamic society by an act of "shock and awe" that would radicalise the ummah [global Muslim community] and bring about an instant change.
But for many Muslims and many groups - including the Islamists - they would say it has alienated much of the ummah by the type and nature of the violence that has been used to radicalise the situation. And also some would say that it has made the conditions for Muslims worse off because of "the war on terror".
And certainly, some groups might point to the situation of the Palestinians as an example and say it has greatly deteriorated. So what have these acts achieved?