Media Urged to Drop Term ‘Islamist’ in New Year

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A Muslim civil rights group is urging the media and the public to be more judicious in how they describe Muslim public officials.

(Jan 03, 2013 - Anaheim, CA) 

Ibrahim Hooper is national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization with an active branch in Orange County.

As many people make promises to themselves to improve their lives or their societies in the coming year, here is a suggested New Year’s resolution for media outlets in America and worldwide: Drop the term “Islamist.”

The Associated Press (AP) added the term to its influential Stylebook in 2012. That entry reads: “Islamist—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 AP says it sought input from Arabic-speaking experts and hoped to provide a neutral perspective by emphasizing the “wide range” of religious views encompassed in the term.

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*Picture credit: Flickr/textbookfc

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