Down With Islamists

Down With Islamists by • June 29, 2010 • Printer-friendly

Ali Mir of the USC Muslim Student Union is upset about the media’s usage of such terms as Islamist and extremist. (They are “blah, blah, blah.”) This bothers him because these words “play to readers assumptions” and fail to “challeng[e] their prejudices.” And that’s unfair, considering he is “unable to find examples of similar stock-phrases referring to Christianity . . . that carry the implications of something inherently negative or dangerous . . . ” (I’m sure you’ve never read anything negative about “fundamentalist Christians” in the aforementioned media.)

He then goes on to rely on Princeton’s “WordNet” for a definition of Islamist, which, by his standards, is pretty innocuous—the term only refers to someone who is knowledgable about Islam and probably believes that stuff! (Ali Mir is an Islamist!)

This is disingenuous at best. Islamism and Islamist have a long history. Islamism used to be a synonym for Mohammedanism, before both gave way to Islam. Then the term resurfaced in connection with modern political movements that had a basis in Islam.

But more to the point, the mainstream media now uses such terms while falling all over itself in an effort to keep from identifying the followers of Muhammad (in word and deed) as vanilla “Muslims.” So perhaps what Ali Mir wants is for the media to stop identifying killers who cry “Allahu Akbar!” with Islam in any way, shape, or form.

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