In “Good Jihadists and Bad Jihadists?,” the always excellent Walid Phares brilliantly explains what’s wrong with the new State Department gag rules on using the word “jihad” and other words. I tried to explain it here and here, but Walid does it better.
In his latest audio released by As-sahab (media arm of al Qaeda), the organization’s Zaeem (supreme chief) elaborates on the difference between the pure Jihadists and those Islamists who lost their way and determination to continue the fight in the path of the founding fathers, which he calls the “Salaf of Islam.” This complex speech (by Jihadist standards) can be only understood – and thus explained to decision-makers and the public – if the listener-analyst is able to grasp the multi-layered world of Jihadism.
But this task has been made unnecessarily difficult for most citizens and certainly impossible to those who in the U.S. bureaucracy are supposed to do the job. By disseminating the so-called “Lexicon”, the Bush administration, bureaucrats are prohibited from using the words Jihad, Jihadism, Caliphate, Salafism, Islamism and the like when writing about and analyzing matters related to terrorism. This ridiculous proposition is now put to test when al Qaeda leaders – and other Jihadist high profile figures – broadcast their statements.
Just imagine the poor analysts at the various counterterrorism centers who chose to apply the new directives to the bin Laden letter. How can these counterterrorism bureaucrats process bin Laden’s words which they can’t use or touch “when dealing with Terrorism”? One can imagine them staring at these “forbidden words” attempting to replace them with “Lexiconic” terms. So how will they handle such texts? Some are suggesting that the end product of these “Lexiconic” analysis will not only be absurd, but will further confuse the consumers of the intelligence assessment, from the defense and national security sectors up to the highest congressional leaders and of course, the President.
Read it all.