Jan 7 2016
We’re not talking about most Democrats’ refusal to utter the words “Islamic terrorism,” sticking instead to the euphemistic “ISIS/Daesh terrorism” or the bland “violent extremism.” Notice how the leftist and media panderers pronounce the word Muslim as “MOOS-lim” and the word Islam as “Is-LAHM.” Here’s why:
The Federalist (h/t Mike F) In Democrat presidential debates, we hear them intentionally avoiding the common Americanized pronunciation of “Muz-lim,” instead they opt to pronounce it “MOOS-lim,” with a long “o” sound in the first syllable, and an “s” sound rather than a “z.”
Similarly, the Left tends to pronounce the word “Islam” not as “IZ-lahm,” as do the majority of Americans, but rather “Iz-LAHM,” with the “s” sound replacing the “z” and with the emphasis on the second syllable rather than the first.
To Republicans, if you want to really want to upset a Muslim, call him a “MOSLEM.”
According to the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, “Moslem and Muslim are basically the same word.” But the choice of spellings is a sensitive subject for many followers of Islam. Whereas for most English speakers, the two words are synonymous in meaning, the Arabic roots of the two words are very different. A Muslim in Arabic means”one who gives himself to God,” and is by definition, someone who adheres to Islam. By contrast, a Moslem in Arabic means”one who is evil and unjust” when the word is pronounced, as it is in English, Mozlem with a z.)
The majority of NPR reporters and pundits on liberal media outlets share this pronunciation. Those on the Left pronounce these two words the way a native Arabic speaker would, as a way of signaling their sympathy for the American-Muslim population. They are indicating they identify with this population and they have their backs.
This pronunciation is code for “I’m not Islamophobic.” The Left is making their opinions and politics known with the simple shift in pronunciation of these two key words.
By using the native pronunciation of “Islam” and “Muslim,” the Left is changing the way they are viewed with respect to Muslims. This affects the attitudes not only of Muslims themselves, but of all listeners. Those on the Left hear this pronunciation and see it as a sign of the cultural sensitivity of their politicians and pundits, reaffirming their own views.
In this case, the Left is intentionally pronouncing these two words like native Arabic speakers to demonstrate not just authenticity, but also their cultural sensitivity. They’re doing this as a sign of being part of a particular group with a particular ideology when it comes to Islam.
Pronouncing “Islam” and “Muslim” in an authentic manner is especially important to the Left because Islam is their pet project. The reactions after the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino paint a clear picture of the Left’s bias toward Islam even in the face of plain facts.
They don’t do this with other foreign words or place-names. No, the Left reserves this little linguistic condescension for its favorite liberal minority causes. You didn’t hear anyone pronouncing “Paris” as “Pah-ree,” as the French do, after the terror attacks in November in order to show solidarity. There wasn’t any effort to sound culturally authentic when discussing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But talk about Islam, and their tune—and pronunciation—changes.