AP’s New Islamist Denial Orwellianism

It would take a George Orwell to make sense of the AP’s latest “under pressure” linguistic transformation.

Following on the heels of the Tuesday decision by The Associated Press to discontinue use of the term “illegal immigrant,” the news agency on Thursday revised its stylebook entry for another politically charged term.

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.”

So you can call them Islamic fighters, but you can’t call them Islamists. Why not? Because the Islamists don’t want you to.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, an American advocacy group sometimes labeled “Islamist” by critics, previously lobbied for the AP to drop the term.

So what is the official terminology now? There isn’t one.

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.”

The AP Stylebook has entirely eliminated any broad term for Islamic terrorists and insists on particular terms. That’s not just an attack on language, but on the ability to organize and categorize meaningful definitions.

The redefinition is entirely fact-free. The majority of terrorist groups in the Muslim world are currently Islamist. The number of lefty terrorists in the Muslim world who are not animated by Islamism has dropped to an all time low.

The AP is artificially segmenting Islamist groups. The Muslim Brotherhood it can admit is Islamist, but not Hamas or any of the Muslim Brotherhood’s blatantly terrorist armies. And what of the Muslim Brotherhood before it came out of the cold? It wasn’t Islamist then. Just terrorist. Now it becomes Islamist.

The absurdity of that double standard is obvious. An Islamist group that sets off bombs will not be called “Islamist” by the AP. But once the group seizes power as a political party and begins repressing its opponents using state power, then it can be called Islamist.

Al Qaeda, under the AP Stylebook, is no longer an Islamist group, even though its entire mission is Islamism. Its goal is to establish Islamic states under Islamic law. If you remove that aspect of it, then it no longer has an ideology.

The AP’s new approach is like insisting that the Soviet Union cannot be referred to as Communist, but it’s actually worse than that because once you remove the Islamism from Islamist terrorist groups, they are left hanging in the air. You can’t talk about them in any terms other than Islamism, because Islamism is their entire agenda.

So the AP Stylebook has rendered Islamist terrorist groups definition-less. No one knows what they want or what they stand for. But even the AP still has to talk about them in terms of Islam.

“Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists,” the AP says. But what is an Islamic fighter but an Islamist?

The AP can’t even practice its denial without mentioning Islamism. Instead it substitutes Islamic for Islamist. And is that supposed to be an improvement?

  • kasandra

    Purely Orwellian. Next AP won't allow its stories to refer to people who rob banks as "bank robbers." They'll have to be called something like "financial redistribution facilitators," or such.

    • RUI

      Maybe the AP will start using "Jew" and "Christian" as a generic term for criminal, terrorist, greed, financially independent and nationalist.

      We stare at the Void, the Black Hole that will devour all of Western Civilization. I get the feeling that fighting this thing with mere words is no longer an option.

      • defcon 4

        Just look at Canada to see the future for the USA. I think it can be said that Canada has already implemented at least an aspect of Sharia law — by criminalising all criticism of islam as hate speech and enforcing it.

  • isahiah62

    It is certainly abhorrent that the main source for most USA media will do this but OBummer an Holder have made sure our FBI CIA and military are also prevented from naming the enemy- from calling these ISLAMISTS, what they truly are- I just call them Islamonazis, it's way more accurate.
    Whitewashing of language is a sure sign of the OBumbler's Orwellian takeover- and the crowds roar for him and hold hands out same as they did for HITLER………………..

  • bill

    It is obvious that secular western liberals are dhimmis (i.e. subjugated, inferior infidels who deserve abuse from Muslims). The AP fits that mold. Western secular progressive liberals hate Christianity and everything that Christianity spawned in Western Civilization. They share several goals with Islam: the destruction of Trinitarian religion, the destruction of Israel and Jews, oligarchic socialism and the abuse and sexual domination over women including pre pubescent girls. Just like Muhammed.

  • defcon 4

    I wonder how many negative news stories about islam don't ever see the light of day at the AP? I'll bet the islamic atrocities and persecution we actually read about are only the tip of a gigantic iceberg of islamic atrocities and persecution that are never reported at all.

  • Mladen Andrijasevic

    This more and more looks like the classic definition of a totalitarian society. Anything that is not prohibited is compulsory.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Leftist media, in tandem with leftist academia, WILL destroy the west and it is almost a done deal – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/12/30/u-s-leftist-m… ..the fact that Obama Inc owns its organs, lock, stock and barrel, makes it that much easier. Much credit goes to Georgie boy Soros. This is no conspiracy theory!
    Moreover, "Islamophobia", itself an Orwellian construct, was designed to soften the masses to such a linguistic travesty – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/12/06/islamophobia-
    Again, not a conspiracy theory. The west is in very serious danger.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • kafir4life

    I've heard that cair is an islamist terror supporting group, and that its members and leadership support terror in an islamist manner. Rumor has it that they worship the moon god that was invented by the pedophilic maniac, mohamat, who also shat the contents of the most disgusting terror guide ever shat, the most unholy Koran, following unlawful carnal knowledge with his favorite pig or "mom" as he was fond of calling her. Confirmation? I've also heard that cair was founded by and is currently run by a bunch of pedophiles, in attempts to emulate the false prophet and piece of garbage, the afore mentioned mohamat.

  • stephen Tweed


  • Rostislav

    After the communism had crushed here, I was elected by the citizens of my small Siberian town to be an editor of the local newspaper (a strictly Party post before). Entering my cabinet, I've found in its steel safe the thick grey manual of things never to be mentioned by the Soviet journalists – from Lend-Lease to epidemics, and from criminal statistics to Party members being drunk. Reading these regulations with all the journalistic team, we were laughing like never. But! I must confess that the manual's authors were immensely shier than AP: there was clear red stamp "Strictly Secret" across its cover. AP, it seems, is quite open about their Orwellian madness, and I do not know it if's a step forward or a step back in comparison with our old grey book… Rostislav, Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

  • Georgina

    I am with the AP on this one (OMG, did I just say that?) – "political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam" is a perfect description of an islamist, the others are jihadi terrorists.

  • SoCalMike

    The Old Testament order to stone false prophets seems harsh by modern standards until you realize the incalculable damage modern journalists from the AP and Reuters do.
    They deserve and have richly earned far worse than they will ever receive in the form of punishment.

  • SoCalMike

    The Old Testament order to stone false prophets seems harsh by modern standards until you realize the incalculable damage modern journalists from the AP and Reuters do.
    They have earned and richly deserve far worse than they will ever receive.