The irony is that, as I have explained many times (as in this National Review article), the term “Islamist” is often used by those who believe that Islam is a Religion of Peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists, to create a distance between Islam, which is supposedly entirely benign and peaceful, and Islamism, which teaches political authoritarianism, subjugation of non-Muslims, and everything else about Islam that is unpleasant and at variance with Western principles of human rights.
You can see a recent example of this in Martin Amis’s fatuous statements here: “In ‘The Second Plane,’ a collection of nonfiction published in 2008, Mr. Amis noted that he is an “Islamismophobe,” not an Islamophobe. The events of Sept. 11 left him bereft and angry and in desperate search of distinctions. ‘Let us make the position clear,’ he wrote in an essay titled ‘Terror and Boredom.’ ‘We can begin by saying, not only that we respect Muhammad, but that no serious person could fail to respect Muhammad. . . . But we do not respect Muhammad Atta.’” No serious person could fail to respect Muhammad? Despite the fact that Atta and others like him look to Muhammad as their exemplar and inspiration, not without abundant justification for doing so from the canonical accounts of Muhammad’s life?
Anyway, now even the word “Islamist,” although it is usually used to exonerate Islam and distance its teachings from the violence and hate propagated in its name, is unacceptable for Hamas-linked CAIR, and they’re crowing today about their victory over AP. Clearly Hamas-linked CAIR’s amiable stomach-stapled beekeper, Honest Ibe Hooper, sees how successful he and his fellow Islamic supremacists have been in co-opting the media, government, and law enforcement in recent years, and is pressing on toward final victory: the total silencing of any resistance to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism.
“The Associated Press Revises Another Politically Charged Term, by Steven Nelson for U.S. News and World Report, April 4 (thanks to all who sent this in):
…The term “Islamist,” the AP clarified in a Thursday afternoon alert to online stylebook subscribers, should not be used as “a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals.”
“Islamist” is frequently used as a label for conservative Islamic political movements, particularly Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, the group’s Palestinian offshoot. It generally carries a negative connotation.
The AP first added the term to its stylebook in 2012. The definition initially read:
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 Council on American-Islamic Relations, an American advocacy group sometimes labeled “Islamist” by critics, previously lobbied for the AP to drop the term. In a January op-ed CAIR’s communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, wrote the term “has become shorthand for ‘Muslims we don’t like’” and “is currently used in an almost exclusively pejorative context.”
As of Thursday’s update, the AP definition reads:
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.
CAIR praised the AP’s update. “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,” Hooper said. “The key issue with the term “˜Islamist” is not its continued use; the issue is its use almost exclusively as an ill-defined pejorative.”