Mar 7 2009
What kind of crap is this? And why is our government now afraid to call an Islamic terrorist an Islamic terrorist? Oh, that’s right, our Muslim President is an Islamic terrorist sympathizer.
Islamic terrorists: DO NOT USE. Instead use: terrorist.
Islamic/Muslim Fundamentalists: AVOID.
Islamist: NOT NECESSARY.
Muslim Extremists: NOT NECESSARY. Extremist serves well.
By Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, March 06, 2009
For the past year, there’s been a concerted push within the U.S. government to ban frank talk about the nature of the Islamist enemy. It began with the Department of Homeland Security, then moved to the National Counter Terrorism Center and the departments of State and Defense. Already in May 2008, I heard an excellent analysis of the enemy by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Thomas Mahnken in which he bizarrely never once mentioned Islam or jihad.
I’ve been wondering how this change in vocabulary actually occurs: is it a spontaneous mood shift, a group decision, or a directive from on high?
The answer just arrived, in the shape of a leaked memo dated March 2 from Jennifer Janin, head of the Urdu service at the Voice of America. The directive can be found in its entirety at “Urdu Language Style & Guidelines #3.” Addressed to the Urdu radio, television, and web teams, as well as to the director and program manager of VOA’s South Asia Division, her diktat insists on no connection being drawn from Islam to politics.
Urdu is a dialect of Hindustani written in Arabic script found mainly in Pakistan and India and spoken almost exclusively by Muslims; it is mother tongue to about 70 million people. One can understand why euphemisms appeal in so far as VOA competes for market share with other news outlets and wishes not to insult or alienate Muslims. But VOA is not a commercial station with a bottom line and shareholders.
Founded in 1942 as part of the Office of War Information, it is funded by the American taxpayer and speaks on behalf of the U.S. government. It must not pander to increase its ratings at the expense of its integrity. Urdu-speakers need to know the real American discourse on Islam, not Janin’s bowdlerized version.
In her defense, Janin might argue that she is merely picking up on Barack Obama’s emphasis on“respect” for Muslims, but there is no public indication that “respect” means pretending that Islam is not a central public issue facing Americans. Indeed, on occasion, Obama has been very clear that it is. A pungent example came one year ago in Philadelphia, on March 18, 2008 when, in the course of a major speech, Obama repudiated as “profoundly distorted” the “view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”
“Perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam”? It does not get much stronger than that. One wonders how might Janin’s new regimen translate this – probably as the “perverse and hateful ideologies of radical extremism,” which is both inaccurate and unworthy of a credible news service.
The increasing threat of Radical Islam: It isn’t terrorism, it’s ‘Islamic terrorism.’ And I defy anyone to tell me it isn’t.
Even so-called ‘moderate’ Muslims are not very far away from the most radical Muslims.
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