On Tuesday, the Associated Press announced that “illegal immigrant” was a completely unacceptable term to describe … an illegal immigrant. But the language cops aren’t done yet. The AP has issued a new, “more nuanced” definition of “Islamist.”
AP updates style entry for "Islamist." Not syn. for "Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists."
— Alex Fitzpatrick (@AlexJamesFitz) April 4, 2013
— Shelby Blakely (@aBeneGesserit) April 4, 2013
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.’”
“It might be an interesting exercise to hold a contest, the winner of which would be the first to find a positive mainstream media reference to ‘Islamist,” wrote CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper earlier this year.
Here’s the new definition:
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.
What’s the word on proper usage of “right-wing extremist“?
— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) April 5, 2013
Naturally, CAIR is thrilled with this victory.
“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,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “The key issue with the term ‘Islamist’ is not its continued use; the issue is its use almost exclusively as an ill-defined pejorative.”
Next the group can push for a ban on the term “unindicted co-conspirator.”
Heh. The AP might have its journalists on board, but some Muslim leaders have other ideas about the word “Islamist.”
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) April 5, 2013