“The New ‘Islam For Journalists’ Whitewashes Jihad,” Investor’s Business Daily, April 9 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
Political Correctness: “Top academic experts on Islam” have issued new reporting guidelines for newsrooms to improve the “accuracy” of media coverage of Islam. The reference guide is little more than a whitewash.
Titled “Islam for Journalists: A Primer on Covering Muslim Communities in the U.S.,” the digital handbook is anything but accurate, sugarcoating jihad as a “positive” exercise — a “struggle for God.”
“It is inaccurate to use the term simply as a synonym for violence,” claims the guide, published by the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.
It gets wrong one of the most important public issues of our time.
The 9/11 attacks were conducted in the name of jihad, along with virtually every homegrown act of terror since then. That’s because jihad, according to Islamic law, means to “war against non-Muslims.”
This is made clear in the English translation of the Quran by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, who is cited in the handbook. Ali defines jihad as “warfare,” adding that “believers will either conquer or die as martyrs in the cause.” It would help if the “experts” read their source material.
They also claim, outrageously, that the terrorist group Hamas opposes jihad, and that HIV/AIDS is a bigger threat than terrorism.
Their guide counsels reporters and editors against “amplifying fears of jihad.” Yes, we don’t want to report the obvious truth about what’s motivating the terrorists.
The handbook on Islam can’t even get simple facts straight. On Page 12, under “Fact: Islam is the fastest growing religion in the U.S.,” they say 2.6 million Muslims are in America; on Page 92, they say the number is 6 million to 7 million. Which is it?
Taking cultural relativism to new lows, the guide compares Shariah law — with its beheadings, amputations and scourgings — to Christianity. “Sharia is a religious code for living, in the same way that the Bible offers a moral system for Christians.”
What about Islam’s notorious oppression of women? Surely the feminists of academia wouldn’t gloss over that.
Yet the guide says “in the Quran, men and women are equal” and “men are instructed to support their wives in all respects.”
Right, except when it comes to matters of dress, marriage, divorce, child custody, inheritance, testimony, travel and most other basic human rights.
The Quran (4:34) instructs husbands to beat their disobedient wives. No mistranslation: Ali confirms “physical correction may be administered,” on Page 195 of his “Meaning of the Holy Quran,” which is featured in a companion video for the guide. Too bad the scholars didn’t bother to read it.
Instead, they left it up to the Council on American-Islamic Relations to interpret it for them so they in turn could “inform” us journalists. The Islamist group is cited as an expert source.
No wonder CAIR is pressuring colleges to stop airing the film “Honor Diaries,” which exposes Islam’s brutality of women. No wonder the journalist guide it blesses reads like 343 pages of Islamist propaganda.
Thanks, we’ll pass.