AP Drops Term ‘Islamist’ – Keeps ‘Militants’ & ‘Settlements’


associated-pressReports in recent days indicate that the wire service, Associated Press (AP), has expunged the term ‘Islamist’ from its vocabulary when reporting on those Muslims who seek to subvert, dominate and defeat the non-Muslim world and institute sharia law. Also, it will no longer describe people residing in America in contravention of immigration laws as ‘illegal immigrants.’

AP has claimed that ‘illegal immigrant’ should be discarded because there is nothing illegal in being an immigrant. Yet no reasonable person reading ‘illegal immigrant’ deduces that immigrants are innately illegal. Everyone understands that it refers solely to those immigrants who are in the country in breach of U.S. laws. Clearly, then, AP is discarding the term for political reasons and has adopted a transparently contrived excuse for doing so.

The same applies with the term ‘Islamist,’ which usefully distinguishes radical Muslims from Muslims in general who, whatever their religious views and praxis, are not engaged in the Islamist campaign for supremacy.

Why has AP dropped ‘Islamist’? It appears the Saudi-funded lobby, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), succeeded in persuading AP that the use of the term amounted to an indirect attack on Muslims. CAIR’s national communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, who publicly urged AP to drop the term in January, claimed that the term was “shorthand for ‘Muslims we don’t like.”

This is disingenuous. The issue is not disliking Muslims, but identifying those Muslims who are waging a war on America, Israel or the West in the name of their religion. Far from being sweeping and indiscriminate, ‘Islamist’ distinguishes hostile Muslims from friendly ones.

It is therefore obvious that CAIR seeks at least two things in banning the word:

-To stifle any discussion or even recognition of the Muslim identity and ideology of these American foes; and

-To sanitize the term so that the public is gradually accustomed to the falsehood that an Islamist is a respectable person with no connection to terrorism or subversion, thus destroying the distinction between ‘Muslim’ and ‘Islamist’ that the term is intended to serve.

In this long-term strategy of suppression and sanitization, AP is now enabling Islamists. As with Newspeak in George Orwell’s 1984, it alters language, removing distinctions and shades of meaning so discussion can be censored and controlled. Yet AP, like other wire agencies and media outlets, has been doing this for years. Not only have they altered language they should have left intact, but they persist with usages they should discard but haven’t. Two examples:

‘Militants’: AP long ago substituted the term ‘militants’ to refer to Palestinian terrorists, but now others as well. The impropriety of this substitution is obvious: militants are headstrong activists, not murderers. In contrast, people who deliberately murder and maim civilians are terrorists – not militants. Calling them ‘militants’ sanitizes the terrorists and taints those who fight them.

Thus, when in April last year, AP claimed in a report that “Israel killed a militant leader,” it misled: the Israelis killed a terrorist- Zuhair al-Qissi, secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committees, which has murdered several Israelis.

Those using the term ‘militant’ in this way profess objectivity and claim that ‘terrorist’ is too emotive. Actually, ‘terrorist’ precisely describes the people in question. That we might have a visceral reaction to the fact of terrorism does not disqualify the use of the correct term to describe it. By substituting ‘militant,’ it is clear that AP is conforming to the dictates of the terrorists themselves, who do not regard the murder of Jews as constituting terrorism.

‘Settlers’ and ‘settlements’: Palestinian terrorist groups have long asserted that Jewish communities in the West Bank are the main obstacle to an Israeli/Palestinian peace settlement. AP and other media have obliged, referring to West Bank Jews as ‘settlers’ and their communities as ‘settlements.’ These terms falsely conjure up images of interlopers, living in makeshift dwellings in a foreign land.

Yet, at the 1920 San Remo Conference, the right of Jews to live in the land of Israel, including the West Bank, was affirmed. It was subsequently incorporated in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. It has never been superseded or invalidated by any subsequent, binding agreement. In the absence of an Israeli/Palestinian peace agreement or Israeli annexation, the West Bank remains unallocated territory under international law. Moreover, Jews living there pose no obstacle to a genuine peace should Palestinians ever be willing to conclude one. Their presence is the Palestinian alibi for refusing to make peace, not its cause.

Calling Jews living in their homeland ‘settlers’ is obviously slanted in favor of Palestinians, who deny any Jewish right or even historical connection to the land. Jews living there should be called – accurately and without bias – ‘Jews,’ ‘Jewish residents,’ or ‘Israelis’ – not ‘settlers.’

It is past time for AP to abandon its Orwellian Newspeak – and time to start devising means to pressure them if they don’t.

{Andy Heller-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Crimes of the pen build walls around sentences. The islamists are not a counterfeit, terrorists are a carefully constructed gratuity against time and settlements are only temporary before time makes them communities. This will not change the world but the AP has taken a step towards obscurity.