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"Islamist", the Word that Chokes

President Obama will not use the word "Islamist" to describe radicalized Muslims. In fact, all his talk is in euphemisms. As Charles Krauthammer points out, no such political correctness constricts the vocabulary of Muslims around the world. Everyone in, say, Jordan, Egypt or Pakistan, knows the difference between a follower of Islam and a radical Islamist.

Unfortunately, the Obama PC problem handicaps understanding in America and forces people to lie. Even the US military will not allow anti-terrorism trainers to use the world Islamist or any other description that suggests a warped sense of religion as the basis for terror ideology.

Ever since 9/11 there has been a fear that Americans can't figure out the difference between a follower of Islam (a Muslim) and an Islamist, and that if the government and the media didn't constantly warn against prejudice against Muslims the public would start to persecute and even attack them. This is an error. There are many kinds of prejudice in the world and anti-Muslim prejudice is one of them. But you don't prevent it by pretending that virulent radical ideology is not being fostered under the banner of Islam. In fact, you drive fear underground with such an attitude and it is bound to re-emerge in shadowy and irrational forms.

There are many good Muslims here and abroad and they deserve respect and encouragement. They definitely should be supported when they speak up against the radicals. Getting them to speak up, however, isn't easy when the government itself is unclear that Islamist ideology is a foe of the U.S., of peace in the world and of peace here in the U.S.

We have come to expect confusion on behalf of the Administration. Just exactly why the U.S. House of Representatives cannot hold a hearing on this topic is more of a mystery.

You can email brucechapman@discovery.org

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