The BBC headline said “Labor peer Lord Ahmed suspended after ‘Jewish claims,’” but the story had nothing to do with any allegations by Jews; it was about anti-Semitism.
It seems the phrase “Jewish claims” was used instead of “anti-Semitism” because the BBC determined it was shorter and fit better in the headline space, an American commentator explained.
“They’re both the same length,” Robert Spencer pointed out at Jihad Watch.
Spencer linked to the original criticism from “The Global Dispatch,” which said, “Apparently the BBC chose not to use ‘anti-Semitism’ and then claimed the decision was not about changing the tone of the story, but about length.”
The Global Dispatch report said that instead of using ‘anti-Semitism,’ the BBC “opted for ‘Jewish claims,’ making the story seem like there were claims by Jewish people leading to Lord Ahmed’s suspension.”
The BBC offered an explanation to the Global Dispatch: “Thanks for your email and please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We try and stick as closely as possible to the words used, so, in this case we used ‘Jewish claims’ in the short space available for headlines to summarize his comments.”
The writer of the email responded: “Thanks for your reply, but with all due respect that is utter nonsense. ‘Jewish claims’ 13 characters. ‘Antisemitism’ 12 characters.”
The Global Dispatch report noted that the BBC also had no trouble fitting “Islamophobia” into headlines.
The report was by Brad Jones, co-founder of the Dispatch.
The BBC report was about Labor peer Lord Ahmed, a longtime Muslim business operator who was suspended by his party while it investigated his comments.
The London Times said he had sent text messages, shortly after his car was in a fatal crash, that said his problems, including a jail sentence, were the result of a Jewish conspiracy.
He claimed his prison time for dangerous driving resulted from pressure on the courts by Jews “who own newspapers and TV channels.”
The report said Ahmed, Britain’s first male Muslim peer, also claimed the judge who sentenced him to 12 weeks had been given his court post after help a “Jewish colleague” of Tony Blair.
In a follow-up report by the BBC about Ahmed’s apology to the Jewish community and resignation from the party, the word “anti-Semitism” was used in the headline.
In that report, Ahmed claimed, “I am not anti-Semitic. I have never held these views. All my political career I have worked with Jewish colleagues and Jewish organizations.”
He said he should be given access to the original documentation about the interviews so that he could check what he said.
“Please give me the video so that I can look at it,” he said.
As WND reported, another media giant, the Associated Press, has made its terminology more politically correct.
In its most recent change, AP banned the use of “Islamist” as a synonym for “fighters” and “militants.”
Politico’s Dylan Byers noted the change was made “after much prodding from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.”
Politico reported that CAIR complained late last year that the AP’s old definition of “Islamist” – defined as “a supporter of government in accord with the laws of Islam [and] who views the Quran as a political model” – had become a pejorative shorthand for extremist Muslims.
The AP stylebook’s entry for Islamist now reads: “An advocate or supporter of a political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam. Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists.”
That move followed the AP’s decision to discontinue references to “illegal immigrants.”
That move widely drew guffaws, with “Tonight” show host Jay Leno joking that it was being replaced with “undocumented Democrat.”
U.S. News explained that “Islamist” has been used “as a label for conservative Islamic political movements, particularly Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, the group’s Palestinian offshoot.”
“In a January op-ed CAIR’s communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, wrote the term ‘has become shorthand for ‘Muslims we don’t like” and ‘is currently used in an almost exclusively pejorative context,’” the report said.
CAIR was pleased with AP’s move, stating: “We believe this revision is a step in the right direction and will result in fewer negative generalizations in coverage of issues related to Islam and Muslims. The key issue with the term ‘Islamist’ is not its continued use; the issue is its use almost exclusively as an ill-defined pejorative.”
The online Your Dictionary maintained its definition: “an advocate or supporter of Islamic, esp. orthodox Islamic, political rule.”
The AP also advises: “Where possible, be specific and use the name of militant affiliations: al-Qaida-linked, Hezbollah, Taliban, etc. Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi.”
When the AP announced it was dropping the use of the term “illegal immigrant,” a border-security group came up with another response. Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, or ALIPAC, says it now will use the term “illegal invader” to balance AP’s edited terminology.
“This Big Brother move by AP is political correctness on steroids,” said William Gheen, president of ALIPAC. “What class of criminals will the Associated Press and Congress make disappear next with the stroke of a pen?”
He said ALIPAC is changing its terminology for all future writings, including press releases and reports, “in response to the totalitarian steps by the Associated Press to make ‘illegal immigrants’ disappear.”
“ALIPAC will now use the more accurate term ‘illegal invaders’ or simply ‘illegals’ to describe the class of criminals represented by the more than 12 million people on American soil who have chosen to violate America’s immigration laws and borders,” the organization said.
On an AP blog, Kathleen Carroll, an AP editor, said: “The (AP) stylebook no longer sanctions the term ‘illegal immigrant’ or the use of ‘illegal’ to describe a person. Instead, it tells users that ‘illegal’ should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally.”
She continued: “Is this the best way to describe someone in the country without permission? We believe that it is for now.”
She said the new definition is being employed immediately. It will say:
Illegal immigration: Entering or residing in a country in violation of civil or criminal law. Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant. Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.
Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented.
Do not describe people as violating immigration laws without attribution.
Specify wherever possible how someone entered the country illegally and from where. Crossed the border? Overstayed a visa? What nationality?
People who were brought into the country as children should not be described as having immigrated illegally. For people granted a temporary right to remain in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, use temporary resident status, with details on the program lower in the story.
Said Leno: “And in a groundbreaking move, the Associated Press, the largest news gathering outlet in the world, will no longer use the term ‘illegal immigrant.’ That is out. No longer ‘illegal immigrant.’ They will now use the phrase ‘undocumented Democrat.’ That is the newest – ‘undocumented Democrat.’”
CAIR has a long history of confrontation with organizations that do not bend to its wishes. Mustafa Carroll, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth CAIR branch, just weeks ago said Muslims living in America should not be bound by U.S. law.
“If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land,” he said.
His remark echoed a statement allegedly made by CAIR co-founder and former chairman Omar M. Ahmad. He was paraphrased by a reporter saying, “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant” and the Quran “should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”
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