AP Submits to Islamic Political Correctness
“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, CAIR’s communications director
The Associated Press Revises Another Politically Charged Term
Stylebook entry for ‘Islamist’ revised two days after ‘illegal immigrant’ dropped
From U.S. News and Special Report
By Steven Nelson, April 4, 2013
Following on the heels of the Tuesday decision by The Associated Press to discontinue use of the term “illegal immigrant,” the news agency on Thursday revised its stylebook entry for another politically charged term.
The term “Islamist,” the AP clarified in a Thursday afternoon alert to online stylebook subscribers, should not be used as “a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals.”
“Islamist” is frequently used as a label for conservative Islamic political movements, particularly Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, the group’s Palestinian offshoot. It generally carries a negative connotation.
The AP first added the term to its stylebook in 2012. The definition initially read:
Supporter of government in accord with the laws of Islam. Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, an American advocacy group sometimes labeled “Islamist” by critics, previously lobbied for the AP to drop the term. In a January op-ed CAIR’s communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, wrote the term “has become shorthand for ‘Muslims we don’t like'” and “is currently used in an almost exclusively pejorative context.”
As of Thursday’s update, the AP definition reads:
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 praised the AP’s update. “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,” Hooper 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.”
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: This action comes on the heels of AP’s decision to discontinue “illegal immigrant”, part of the company move to rid itself of labels. Getting approval from CAIR is hardly shocking. CAIR has been on a campaign to redefine the media’s use of the term for some time and it would be safe to assume that AP simply capitulated to “Islamist” pressure. The gross hypocrisy is CAIR’s frequent labeling of “Islamophobia” to any group/person that questions or criticizes the Islamic agenda.
It should be noted that CAIR did not take up issue with AP linking “militant” with “jihadi” in the revised definition even through it conflicts with the My Jihad PR campaign.
- The language police win again: AP bans term “Islamist” (legalinsurrection.com)