After doing everything it can to ensconce a new word, “Islamophobia,” into conversational English, the nation’s most visible Islamist group is trying to stop use of a well-established word: Islamist.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper released a column urging journalists to “Drop the term ‘Islamist.’”
It was added to the latest Associated Press Stylebook – the guide for spelling, punctuation and other rules – that is used by journalists at the smallest community papers and the largest television networks, Hooper wrote. AP defines Islamists as “Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi.”
Journalists should ignore that, Hooper argued, because it is used in a negative way, and used by “Islam-bashers” who really hate the faith of Islam but want to cover their tracks. “Yet they fail to explain how a practicing Muslim can be active in the political arena without attracting the label ‘Islamist.’”…
…Hooper’s demand that “Islamist” be removed from the lexicon is ironic, since his bosses seemed more than comfortable placing themselves firmly in the world of “Islamists” back in 1993. CAIR founders Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad joined two dozen Hamas supporters in Philadelphia for a fall weekend in an urgent meeting called to discuss ways to “derail” the U.S.-brokered Oslo Accords.
The FBI bugged the meeting room. Transcripts entered into evidence during a 2008 Hamas-financing trial show the participants referred to “Islamists” dozens of times. Ahmad helped lead the meeting, helping determine who might attend and calling it to order.
The FBI described the group as Hamas members and supporters. “Hamas’ agenda was not only to eliminate Israel,” prosecutors wrote, “but also to sabotage the Oslo Accords and to replace the secular PA regime with an Islamist government that would control all of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.”
Awad, who remains CAIR’s executive director nearly 20 years later, addressed the meeting about media strategies.
“The fourth goal is becoming open to the media in the U.S. and the Western society to ease the intensity of the campaign and to explain the legality of the opposition led by the Islamists,” he said. [Emphasis added]
Ahmad, who served as CAIR chairman emeritus until 2009, also discussed media strategy for Islamists in America.
“The first goal was relating to activism among Muslims and Palestinians but we must broadcast our point of view in U. S. media. There is a very good reason for that which is bringing the voice of the Islamists to the surface, keeping them informed and explaining their positions in order to case the severity of allegations of radicalism and other things,” Ahmad said. [Emphasis added] “This will also make our position known to Muslims and sympathizers whom we cannot reach via our media tools.”
A speaker identified only as “Akram” told the group opposition to the Oslo deal did not “have anything to do with any living conditions. We have undisputable rights in Palestine as Islamists. They don’t change with the changing of the events.” Later, he said Islamists were the only ones willing to oppose the agreement publicly.
“We must be clear that we oppose this thing 100% and that we, the Islamists … different from what is being suggested for Palestinian activism,” Akram said. No one disagreed.
Their claim on Palestine was not limited to the West Bank and Gaza, Ahmad said, agreeing it was not a wise strategy to say so publicly.
“We’ve always demanded the 1948 territories,” Ahmad said.
“Yes,” an unidentified speaker responded, “but we don’t say that publicly. You cannot say it publicly. In front of the Americans…”
“No,” Ahmad agreed, “we didn’t say that to the Americans.”
Nearly 20 years later, Ahmad’s organization doesn’t want Americans to say the same words he and his colleagues embraced.
“Unfortunately, the term ‘Islamist’ has become shorthand for ‘Muslims we don’t like,’” Hooper wrote. “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.”
This is revisionist history….