Saturday, April 2, 2011

Reuters pathologically incapable of calling a spade a spade

In an op-ed ("Analysis" in Reuters opaque parlance) published last month, Reuters religion editor Tom Heneghan attempts to win his audience to the notion that there are fundamental distinctions between Islamists.
(Reuters) - Politicians and pundits wondering if Islamists will soon take power in Egypt or Tunisia might usefully ask first what the term "Islamist" means and what the Muslim leaders it describes say they want to do.
"Islamist" denotes an ideology that uses Islam to promote political goals. But it is so broad a term that it can apply both to Shi'ite Iran's anti-Western theocracy and to pro-business Sunnis trying to get Turkey into the European Union.
While the politically charged word can evoke violent action, such as that of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda, many Islamists say they abhor the use of force and want to work within the law.
"We have to distinguish between different combinations of Islam and politics," said Mustafa Akyol, a columnist in Istanbul for Hurriyet Daily News. "A party can take its values and inspiration from Islam but still accept a secular state."
We will leave it to the esteemed scholars in Islam to debate the question of whether those whose motto is:
"Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope"
can seriously be considered to "abhor the use of force".  But note how Heneghan employs a misleading and Arab ethnocentric euphemism in violation of the Reuters Handbook to conceal the reason specific Arab militias are classed as terrorist groups:
Hezbollah and Hamas are classified as terrorist groups by the United States, not because they are Islamist but because they advocate armed struggle, especially against Israel.
Hezbollah and Hamas are classified as terrorist groups (the European Union also identifies Hamas as such) not because they "advocate armed struggle" but because they actively try to kill civilians in order to further their stated political aims, which include genocide of the Jewish people.

A clear and concise statement of fact, but one that holds no propaganda value and is therefore, completely anathema to Reuters.

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