A leaked memo from Carlos van Meek, the chief journalist at Al Jazeera English, was published this week by the National Review. Meek instructs writers and reporters to avoid certain “key words that have a tendency of tripping us up.” He says “Terrorist,” “Islamist” and “jihad” should usually be avoided.
“One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter,” Meek writes, echoing an ancient saying. Apparently that eliminates “Terrorist.” He’s decided “Islamist” is a “simplistic label,” therefore “Do not use.” There are exceptions, however: “Guests will use the word Islamist. It is absolutely fine to include these answers in our output. There is no blanket ban on the word.”
What about the Arabic word “jihad”? It terrifies many and inspires some. Meek explains that “Strictly speaking, jihad means an inner spiritual struggle, not a holy war. It is not by tradition a negative term. It also means the struggle to defend Islam against things challenging it.”
His reasons aren’t crazy but students of Al Jazeera will realize that it’s owned by the government of Qatar, whose leaders would be almost certain to endorse every word in his memo. “We manage our words carefully around here,” Meek says. True, but not always for purely linguistic reasons...Meek--what an absolutely perfect name for a dhimmi.
Since the meek one doesn't like "terrorist," "Islamist" and other such simplisms, might I suggest a word that I coined in my first post of the day: Caliphatist.
Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?