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US Muslim Brotherhood Group Publishes Journalist’s Guide To Reporting On Muslims

August 31st, 2021 13:16

In late August 2021, the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR) pub­lished a 17-page “Journalist’s Guide to Report­ing on Islam and Mus­lims,” pur­port­ed­ly designed to give jour­nal­ists and oth­er media pro­fes­sion­als the tools to gain a “bet­ter under­stand­ing of Islam” and to give a nuanced rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Amer­i­can Mus­lims and their faith. Accord­ing to the doc­u­ment:

This guide­book is designed to give jour­nal­ists and oth­er media pro­fes­sion­als the tools they need to gain a bet­ter under­stand­ing of Islam and write more informed, accu­rate and bal­anced sto­ries about Mus­lims. In this guide­book, read­ers will find (…) best prac­tices for report­ing on the Islam­ic faith and a list of accu­rate and appro­pri­ate ter­mi­nol­o­gy to employ when cov­er­ing issues relat­ing to Muslims.

Read the rest here.

In addi­tion to gen­er­al infor­ma­tion about the his­to­ry of Islam and the Mus­lim faith, the guide con­tains advice on how to make con­tact and inter­act with the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty. In the guide, CAIR states that Islam does not rec­om­mend hug­ging or shak­ing hands with unre­lat­ed Mus­lims when meet­ing them, e.g., for an inter­view. CAIR also uses mis­lead­ing lan­guage, stat­ing that “jihad” was “a fic­tion­al Eng­lish term with­out an Ara­bic ori­gin” sole­ly used to mis­con­strue Islam as a polit­i­cal ideology.

In August 2021, the GIOR report­ed CAIR had pub­lished a state­ment say­ing offi­cials and jour­nal­ists report­ing about the polit­i­cal upheaval in Afghanistan should refrain from using terms like “Islamist” and “jihadist,” also mis­lead­ing­ly describ­ing them as “fic­tion­al terms with no Ara­bic equiv­a­lent.” Oth­er recent GIOR report­ing about CAIR has included:

  • A Novem­ber 2020 report that CAIR had issued a state­ment con­grat­u­lat­ing Pres­i­dent Biden on his vic­to­ry, vow­ing to hold the Biden Admin­is­tra­tion account­able on Mus­lim inclu­sion and civ­il rights issues.
  • A March 2021 report that CAIR joined had Demo­c­ra­t­ic Law­mak­ers in demand­ing Pres­i­dent Biden not reap­point a Min­neso­ta State Attor­ney over Islam­o­pho­bia allegations.
  • An August 2012 report that a CAIR report con­tain­ing new find­ings on the increase in anti-Mus­lim bias inci­dents in the US had been pub­lished on the same day as an open let­ter by 25 Demo­c­ra­t­ic law­mak­ers that called on the US Sec­re­tary of State to cre­ate a spe­cial envoy to com­bat Islam­o­pho­bia. 

CAIR is part of the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, a transna­tion­al Islamist net­work cov­ered by the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR). It describes itself as “a grass­roots civ­il rights and advo­ca­cy group” and as “America’s largest Islam­ic civ­il lib­er­ties group” and was found­ed in 1994 by three offi­cers of the Islam­ic Asso­ci­a­tion of Pales­tine, part of the US Hamas infra­struc­ture at that time.