CAIR Welcomes AP Stylebook Revision of ‘Islamist’

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/5/13) — The nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today said the decision by The Associated Press (AP) to revise its Stylebook reference to the term “Islamist” is a “step in the right direction.”

Late last year, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) approached AP about modifying the reference, which had been added to its influential Stylebook. That entry read: “Islamist — 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.”

CAIR suggested that AP change its Stylebook to incorporate language similar to that used in the reference to “fundamentalist,” which states that the label should not be used unless a group applies the term to itself.

Earlier this year, CAIR urged media outlets to drop the term because, “Unfortunately, the term ‘Islamist’ has become shorthand for ‘Muslims we don’t like.’ It is currently used in an almost exclusively pejorative context and is often coupled with the term ‘extremist,’ giving it an even more negative slant.”

In an update emailed yesterday to online Stylebook subscribers, AP modified the “Islamist” reference to read:

“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.”

Controversial Islamic rally in Ontario gets go-ahead

News Agencies – August 17, 2012

 

Jewish groups are expressing disappointment and alarm over a decision today by Ontario’s speaker of the house and sergeant-at-arms to permit a controversial Muslim rally at Queen’s Park. International Day of Al-Quds, which bills itself as a protest against Palestinian oppression, but which others call an anti-Zionist hate rally, will go ahead on legislative grounds. Last year’s event drew criticism and concern after demonstrators were seen waving Hezbollah flags, carrying pictures of Ayatollah Khomeini and the head of York Region’s Islamic society was videotaped criticizing U.S. President Barack Obama, “this black man in the White House” who can’t say no to “Zionist parasites”.

 

Dave Levac, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, said in a statement released today that he has spoken with a number of groups and individuals about the demonstration and, because rally organizers have indicated their willingness to conform to guidelines, he will allow the event to proceed.

 

Chris Yaccato, executive assistant to the Speaker of the House, said he understands Queen’s Park security services won’t permit Hezbollah flags “or any signs promoting known terrorist organizations” during this year’s rally. “If they do, we’ll have to shut it down.”

Foreign Policy: Twitter Firing Was A Mistake For CNN

By STEPHEN M. WALT

CNN has fired senior editor Octavia Nasr for tweeting that she was “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah … One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.” Fadlallah was one of the spiritual leaders of Hezbollah, and regarded by the U.S. government as a terrorist. More importantly, plenty of American journalists and politicians have shown “respect” (and in some cases, fawning admiration) for various world figures with hands far bloodier than Ayatollah Fadlallah — including Mao Zedong, Ariel Sharon, the Shah of Iran, or even Kim il Sung — but it didn’t cost them their jobs. And let’s not forget that plenty of American journalists treat our own leaders with plenty of deference and “respect,” even after the latter have launched unnecessary wars in which tens of thousands have died or authorized the torture of detainees.

Octavia Nasr, CNN’s Mideast Editor, Fired by CNN over Tweet Praising Late Ayatollah

The Lebanese militant Hezbollah has denounced CNN’s decision to fire a Middle East editor for posting a note on Twitter expressing admiration for the country’s late top Shiite cleric. Octavia Nasr later apologized for her tweet in which she described Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah as “one of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.” But CNN officials said her credibility had been compromised. Hezbollah’s spokesman Ibrahim Moussawi says CNN’s decision amounts to “intellectual terrorism” and reflects the West’s “double standards” in dealing with the Mideast.

There’s No Place for Racism in Miss USA

After winning the Miss USA pageant on May 16, Lebanese immigrant Rima Fakih has since experienced a flood of backlash from critics who say that because she’s Muslim, she doesn’t accurately represent America — and that her ties with a terrorist nation make her title undeserved. In particular, Fakih has received conservative backlash over her name — which a few Hezbollah officials allegedly share. Radical pundits like columnist Debbie Schlussel have fueled an absurd rumor that Fakih is a terrorist, which birthed the unoriginal nickname “Miss Hezbollah.”

Germany: Threat of Islamic terrorism ‘consistently high’, says report

The threat of Islamic terrorism in Germany remained high in 2007, according to an annual report by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The report said Islamic militants are increasingly setting their sights on Germany and view the country as an “operational area” and that Islamists regard Germany as a “crusader” and as an ally of the United States and Israel. American, Israeli and British institutions were at high risk, said the report, as well as Russian targets, due to the ongoing conflict in Chechnya. As an example, the report mentioned the arrests of militants on 4 September 2007, when three individuals allegedly planned attacks on American institutions in Germany and were caught with bomb-making material. By the end of 2007 there were 30 nationwide active Islamist organisations said the report, an increase of two from the previous year. Among them, 1,390 active followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, and about 900 followers of Lebanese Shia radical group Hezbollah. The report mentions Chechen militants but it said their followers in Germany have so far done it without violence. Meanwhile, Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany’s minister of the interior and a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) said that Germany escaped terrorist attacks because of preventive measures taken by the security services. The report included right and left wing extremism, extremism by foreigners, the Scientology organisation, and Islamism.

Cameron seeks ‘hate preachers’ ban

Conservative leader David Cameron has called for a ban on “preachers of hate” entering the United Kingdom. Mr Cameron accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown of dithering over the case of Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, following press reports that he is to be granted permission to come to London for medical treatment. The Tory leader branded Mr al-Qaradawi – and the head of Hezbollah’s TV station Ibrahim Moussawi, who recently spoke in Manchester – “dangerous and divisive” and said they should not be allowed in the country. And he called for a complete ban on Islamist political movements Hizb-ut-Tahrir and Hezbollah.The Wharf

Allah, Amps and Anarchy: On the road with the first-ever Muslim punk-rock tour

By Evan Serpick In late august, a creaking green school bus with red camels stenciled on its side rolled up to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Ohio. Seventeen exhausted, beer-reeking punks, with mohawks and dyed hair, walked up to the mosque looking for a place to rest. “I was surprised — they totally let us hang out there,” says Kourosh Poursalehi, 19, frontman for San Antonio’s Vote Hezbollah. “They even wanted CDs and stuff.” Vote Hezbollah (the band’s name is intended as a joke) is one of five Muslim punk bands that recently wrapped up a ten-date tour that took them from Boston to Chicago during August and September. The bands, which hail from Chicago, San Antonio, Boston and Washington, D.C., share left-of-center politics and an antipathy toward the president. And all have used punk as a means to express the anger, confusion and pride in being young and Muslim in post-9/11 America.

Hezbollah Chief Urges Bush To ‘Shut Up’

By Sam Ghattas, Beirut THE leader of Hezbollah yesterday hit back at the US over claims Syria and Iran had fuelled protests over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Meanwhile, it emerged that an Egyptian newspaper had reprinted the cartoons in news story back in October without any apparent problems. Egyptian bloggers reproduced pages from the October 17 edition of Al Fagr, which had printed the cartoons in an article about the controversial images. The article had a headline which one blogger translated as “Continued Boldness. Mocking the Prophet and his Wife by Caricature.” Denmark, meanwhile, said it had temporarily closed its diplomatic mission in Beirut, which was burned by protesters on Sunday, and all staff had left Lebanon. The Danes also feared religious processions in Muslim countries to mark the Shi’ite festival of Ashoura would spill over into violence against its diplomats and soldiers after days of protests over the caricatures, which were first published in a Danish newspaper in September. About 2,000 hard-liners rallied and burned a Danish flag in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka yesterday. In Beirut, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah urged Muslims worldwide to keep demonstrating until there is an apology over the drawings and Europe passes laws forbidding insults to the prophet. The head of the guerrilla group, which is backed by Iran and Syria, spoke before a mass Ashoura procession. Whipping up the crowds on the most solemn day for Shi’ites worldwide, Mr Nasrallah declared: “Defending the prophet should continue all over the world. Let Condoleezza Rice and Bush and all the tyrants shut up. We are an Islamic nation that cannot tolerate, be silent or be lax when they insult our prophet and sanctities. “We will uphold the messenger of God not only by our voices but also by our blood,” he told the crowds, estimated by organisers at about 700,000. Police had no final estimates but said the figure was likely to be even higher. Speaking about the controversy on Wednesday, US President George Bush condemned the deadly rioting sparked by the cartoons and urged foreign leaders to halt the spreading violence. Secretary of State Ms Rice said Iran and Syria “have gone out of their way to inflame sentiments and to use this to their own purposes. And the world ought to call them on it.” Iran has rejected the US accusations. Syria has not commented publicly.