Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch reports:
A reliable source has informed me that Condoleeza Rice has approved a new lexicon for State Department usage, absolutely forbidding the use of the terms “jihad” and “jihadist” by any State Department official.
The argument, of course, is the old Streusand/Guirard claim that by using the word jihad, we’re validating the jihadist claim to be waging jihad. Of course, it’s ridiculous to think that the U.S. State Department carries any validating authority within the Islamic world to determine what is Islam and what isn’t. This would be the first time that unbelievers have set the meaning of Islamic theology for Muslims.
Also, the claim is that by using the word “jihad,” we are insulting the peaceful Muslims who are waging the daily jihad of the struggle against sin…
Again with the argument that by using a word that implicates some of the more violent Muslims, we are insulting them all.
Just yesterday I was congratulating John McCain for refusing to cow under pressure from the ISNA to stop using the word ‘Islamic’ when describing Islamic terrorists:
Mr. Fareed, who is ISNA’s secretary-general, said such usages are wrong.
“I think this is just criminality, fair and square. We should just call them criminals. You want to call them terrorist criminals, fine,” he said. “But adding the word ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islamic’ certainly doesn’t help our cause as Americans. It’s counterproductive. It paints an entire community of believers, 1.2 billion in total, in a very negative way. And certainly that’s not something that we want to do.”
Michael Ledeen countered with the obvious, clear thinking rebuttal to this type of PC tripe:
“It doesn’t group the enemy under the Islamic brush stroke because there are plenty of terrorists and extremists who are not Islamic. So it’s just a way of specifying who they are.”
Of ISNA’s criticism, Mr. Ledeen said, “They’re just silly. What a silly thing to say. I talk of Marxist extremists and nationalist extremists. They just don’t want people to say there are Islamic terrorists, which there are. Too bad.”
Sadly, bureaucrats at the State Department aren’t capable of such clear thinking.
It’s true that the word, Jihad has more than one meaning, violent Jihad being just one, but the primary one. Muslihoon who wrote a series of posts about the meaning of the word ‘Jihad’, back in February put it this way:
… there are technically a number of types of jihad. However, in general and across Muslim peoples, jihad by force (“jihad bi-s-sayf”, “jihad by the sword”) is the type that is assumed by default.
By not allowing officials to use the word, ‘jihad’, the State Department is like an ostrich hiding its head in the sand. Everybody knows what it means, but they’re going to deny it and hope it goes away.
Hat tip: Weasel Zippers
The inimitable Nick has a different take on this:
While I am generally appalled at political correctness or anything resembling it, this could be viewed in a different light. I can see how the term “Jihadist” could be viewed by a terrorist in a positive and emboldening light. Also, against political correctness doctrine she didn’t mandate an alternative term to replace teh forbidden words as is customary in enlightened circles, leaving the budding state department snob to use their own imagination to replace it.
UPDATE (May 1st):
Robert Spencer addresses this issue in a Jihad Watch video:
Just when Condi says something mildly agreeable they go and pull this BS.
I am curious, is this a Cursing Moronblog or a Family Moronblog?
It’s PG-13. Mild profanity acceptable.
No F-bombs please.
Thanks Deb, we need more people in this country to speak the truth. I enjoy reading your blog everyday, and it keeps me sane…as in…”am I the only one who thinks like this?”
P.C. talk makes me sick and we get enough of it on the boob tube.
Keep up the good work. Somehow you manage to stay ahead of the news curve every day.
Umm, dumb question here but has there been an outpouring of complaints from these so-called peaceful and yet offended Muslims? This seems so unnecessary. If the terrorists use the term, it seems appropriate to reference it. Duh.
While I am generally appalled at political correctness or anything resembling it, this could be viewed in a different light. I can see how the term “Jihadist” could be viewed by a terrorist in a positive and emboldening light. Also, against political correctness doctrine she didn’t mandate an alternative term to replace teh forbidden words as is customary in enlightened circles, leaving the budding state department snob to use their own imagination to replace it. Something fitting, such as, “Rabid Muslims” and “terrorist ragheads”.
Just a thought.