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The language police win again: AP bans term “Islamist” (Update: List of Muslim leaders who already have violated AP style guide)

The language police win again: AP bans term “Islamist” (Update: List of Muslim leaders who already have violated AP style guide)

The language police are getting crazy.  There now no longer are Illegal Immigrants. And as of today at AP, there are no Islamists.

We use the term Islamist here to distinguish the fundamentalists and radicals from the non-radicals.  The Muslim Brotherhood is Islamist.  Hamas is Islamist.  Hezbollah is Islamist.  The Mullahs in Iran are Islamist.  The King of Jordan is not.

Not good enough for the thought and language police.  Via Politico:

On Thursday, after much prodding from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the AP moved to disassociate the term “Islamist” from its negative connotations with “Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists.”

CAIR had complained late last year that the AP’s old 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 extremist Muslims or “Muslims we don’t like.”

The Stylebook’s entry for Islamist now reads as follows (bold mine): “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 possible, be specific and use the name of militant affiliations: al-Qaida-linked, Hezbollah, Taliban, etc. Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi.”

CAIR commended the AP’s decision in a statement released on Friday: “We believe this revision is a step in the right direction and will result in fewer negative generalizations in coverage of issues related to Islam and Muslims,” Ibrahim Hooper, the National Communications Director for the civil liberties group said. “The key issue with the term ‘Islamist’ is not its continued use; the issue is its use almost exclusively as an ill-defined pejorative.”


Previously: CAIR demands media drop term “Islamist”.

UPDATE — quick Google search reveals numerous Muslim leaders who already have violated AP’s new style guide by using the term Islamist (just a sample here, feel free to research and add in comments):

Mohamed ElBaradei, Egyptian politician and Nobel Peace Prize winner (as quoted by The Guardian):

“The Brotherhood have not served themselves well — they have scared people right, left and centre with some of the extremist views put forward from them and other Islamist groups….”

Mohamed Abu-Hamed, the deputy leader of the liberal Free Egyptians Party (as quoted by AP):

“The most important element that led Islamists to win is their use of Islamic language in their outreach,” Abu-Hamed told The Associated Press. “They pressured people’s religious conscience”

Hamid Dabashi, the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University (as quoted in Al-Jazeera in op-ed titled Wresting Islam from Islamists):

Rescued from the Islamists – their triumphalist politics and totalitarian jurisprudence alike – Islam will resume its multifarious course of creative and critical conversation with the world and will thus become what it has always been to Muslims – integral to their expansive cosmopolitan cultures but not definitive to them.

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Comments

Henry Hawkins | April 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Boy, I can’ wait to fill out my next government form. Nothing but euphemisms, wall-to-wall.

I’d say “time for the rest of us to drop AP from our language”, but these particular clowns are omnipresent in media. The Associated Press is a weed that has overtaken the garden.

    I regret the author uses “The Language Police Win Again…”
    Why are we letting them “win”? Let’s not let them take any more of our
    language. I’m sick of it. Stand and fight them! Islamists, Islamists, Islamists….
    1st Amendment, people! Use it or lose it.

CAIR had complained late last year that the AP’s old 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 extremist Muslims or “Muslims we don’t like.”
—————————

I wonder if the AP would consider the term “fascist” too broad and pejorative to describe the Spanish, German, and Italian “political models”, at the behest of the German-American Bunt?

Kinda doubt it…

Murdering pedophiles is far more accurate.

”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 possible, be specific and use the name of militant affiliations: al-Qaida-linked, Hezbollah, Taliban, etc. Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi.”

Nowhere above does the word ‘terrorist’ appear. What a surprise.

CAIR commended the AP’s decision in a statement released on Friday: ”We believe this revision is a step in the right direction and will result in fewer negative generalizations in coverage of issues related to Islam and Muslims,” Ibrahim Hooper, the National Communications Director for the civil liberties group Islamist front said. “The key issue with the term ‘Islamist’ is not its continued use; the issue is its use almost exclusively as an ill-defined pejorative.” (strikethrough & boldface mine)

Fixed it for you, AP.

LukeHandCool | April 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm

To reduce confusion, how about the AP calls them, “Explosive Artists Formerly Known as Islamists”?

ok…
Illegal Alien Islamists it is then.

[…] The language police win again: AP bans term “Islamist” (legalinsurrection.com) […]

David Gerstman | April 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm

More “nuance” = less clarity.

[…] The revision comes after The Council on American-Islamic Relations pressured the AP to help ensure that “Islamist” wasn’t used as “a pejorative shorthand for extremist Muslims or ‘Muslims we don’t like.’” […]

[…] The revision comes after The Council on American-Islamic Relations pressured the AP to help ensure that “Islamist” wasn’t used as “a pejorative shorthand for extremist Muslims or ‘Muslims we don’t like.’” […]

[…] The language police win again: AP bans term “Islamist” (Update: List of Muslim leaders who alrea…William Jacobson, Legal Insurrection, April 5, 2013 […]

I say drop the term “Islamist” and use the term “Jihadist” instead. or better yet, use the term “Islamist Jihadist”. Oh wait, that’s two words! And in newspeak smaller is better. Good is better. But I say two words to describe these terrorists is double plus good!

Juba Doobai! | April 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm

“CAIR commended the AP’s decision in a statement released on Friday: ”We believe this revision is a step in the right direction and will result in fewer negative generalizations in coverage of issues related to Islam and Muslims,” Ibrahim Hooper, the National Communications Director for the civil liberties group said. ”

Ah, but will it result in no more slaughter of Jews, Christians, Hindus, raped women, and other such by those who may no longer be called Islamist?

Fine. Use “hirabist.” That means “someone who engages in unholy war — terrorism is a class of unholy war in Islam.

“Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists. Where possible, be specific and use the name of militant affiliations: al-Qaida-linked, Hezbollah, Taliban, etc”

You see, the name “Islamist” was ‘way to generalized… we need to be more *specific* about which KIND of Muslim Terrorist committed the atrocity. Similar to referring to members of the Republican or Democrat Parties as purely “American.” The distinctions matter to some people.

I am banning the use of the words “journalist, journalism, reporting, honesty, accuracy, truthfulness, integrity”, and my personal favorite, “we are keeping an eye on the world for you”!

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