Pamela Geller has noted the same tendency to whitewash the way in which Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism on the part of the Society of Professional Journalists, here.
The problem with these guidelines are many. One main problem with them is that while they urge journalists not to use “jihad” in connection with Islamic jihad terrorism, what if the jihad terrorists themselves do so? As we have seen here at Jihad Watch many times, it is common practice for journalists to report on Islamic jihad activity without ever mentioning Islam, jihad, Muslims, etc. They are responsible for the public’s abysmal state of ignorance regarding the nature and magnitude of jihad activity.
Do you know what Jihad means? The difference between “Muslim” and “Arab”? Michigan State University’s School of Journalism has published a manual of best practices for journalists reporting on Islam.
The manual includes sections on ethics, knowledge, objectivity and sources. It was developed by Michigan State j-students.
Under knowledge, the manual says:
Learn Connotations of Terms:
“Do not make assumptions based on the connotation of words. As a reporter, you should research, investigate and understand the true meaning of words not used frequently in your native language to make sure the words are being used properly.
“Avoid using terms that the audience has no knowledge of or with which a misplaced knowledge has developed. In the event that they can’t be avoided, clarify. For example, the word “jihad” is commonly mistranslated as “holy war” and believed to be something that is inherently wrong, dangerous, sinister, etc. While some militant groups use the term in that way, the concept has a much different meaning for mainstream Muslims.
“Likewise, the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is the Greatest,” is both extremely important to and commonly used by Muslims. It is a repeated feature of Islamic prayer and also is used in place of applause and as a general cheer. However, the media often present the phrase as a battle cry. This has the potential of casting all uses of the phrase as suspicious or to be feared, which would then serve to demonize entire Muslim populations.”
That language — “demonize entire Muslim populations” — is so strongly redolent of OIC propaganda that it is likely that Michigan State University’s School of Journalism was getting advice from Islamic advocacy groups in drawing up these guidelines.