The Washington Times is reporting that a coalition of American Muslim groups is demanding that Sen. John McCain stop using the the term “Islamic terrorism.” The group includes the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a leading member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. ISNA Secretary-General Dr. Muneer Fareed told the newspaper that the organization is beginning a campaign to persuade Mr. McCain to stop using the term:
We’ve tried to contact his office, contact his spokesperson to have them rethink word usage that is more acceptable to the Muslim community,” Mr. Fareed said. “If it’s not our intent to paint everyone with the same brush, then certainly we should think seriously about just characterizing them as criminals, because that is what they are….Mr. Fareed, who is ISNA’s secretary-general, said such usages are wrong. “My own take on this is that we tried and failed to stylize this particular onslaught against the United States as one that has religious connotations and regional connotations,” said Mr. Fareed, a former associate professor of Islamic studies at Wayne State University. “I think this is just criminality, fair and square. We should just call them criminals. You want to call them terrorist criminals, fine,” he said. “But adding the word ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islamic’ certainly doesn’t help our cause as Americans. It’s counterproductive. It paints an entire community of believers, 1.2 billion in total, in a very negative way. And certainly that’s not something that we want to do.
A previous post has outlined the four conceptual categories which can be used to understand Muslim Brotherhood positions on terrorism and controlling the language used to describe terrorism falls into the first of these categories- Denial. As this post explained:
1. DENIAL- Since the Brotherhood is pursuing Islamization and eventually Shariah (Islamic Law), it is necessary at all costs to deny that Islam as a religion has any connection to violence or terrorism. Of course, the Brotherhood represents Islamism as opposed to Islam in this regard but since the general audience does not understand that distinction, it is Islam which is the Brotherhood reference. They cannot afford to fail in this denial and the denial strategy is usually pursued through sophistry. That is, the Brotherhood claims that Islam is unfairly associated with terrorism while Christianity, Judaism, and other religions are not (e.g. Abortion bombers are not called Christian Terrorists) and/or that other religious terrorism is just as dangerous as Islamic terrorism. The Brotherhood may be winning this battle (see here.)
The Times article said that a McCain aide said that the senator will not drop the word while Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton “generally shun such word usage.”