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June 27, 2006

Castle Argghhh! Style Manual Change

From today's Stand-to:

In dealing with Islamic extremists, the West may be giving them the advantage due to cultural ignorance, maintain Dr. Douglas E. Streusand and Army Lt. Col. Harry D. Tunnell IV. The men work at the National Defense University at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C.

Okay. So, whattaya mean, fellas?

A case in point is the term "jihadist." Many leaders use the term jihadist or jihadi as a synonym for Islamic extremist. Jihad has been commonly adapted in English as meaning "holy war." But to Muslims it means much more. In their article, Steusand and Tunnell said in Arabic - the language of the Koran - jihad "literally means striving and generally occurs as part of the expression 'jihad fi sabil illah,' striving in the path of God."

This is a good thing for all Muslims. "Calling our enemies jihadis and their movement a global jihad thus indicates that we recognize their doctrines and actions as being in the path of God and, for Muslims, legitimate," they wrote. By countering jihadis, the West and moderate Muslims are enemies of true Islam.

The men asked Muslim scholars what the correct term for Islamic extremists would be and they came up with "hirabah." This word specifically refers to those engaged in sinful warfare, warfare contrary to Islamic law. "We should describe the Islamic totalitarian movement as the global hirabah, not the global jihad," they wrote.

jihadist Hirabah.

Another word constantly misused in the West is mujahdeen. Again, in American dictionaries this word refers to a holy warrior - again a good thing. So calling an al Qaeda terrorist a mujahid legitimizes him.

The correct term for these killers is "mufsidun," Streusand and Tunnell say. This refers to an evil or corrupt person. "There is no moral ambiguity and the specific denotation of corruption carries enormous weight in most of the Islamic world," they wrote.

mujahideen mufsidun. Okay.

I'll be implementing this at Castle Argghhh! (to include, over time, editing the archives).

Read the rest here.

Addendum: Bollixed link fixed (in case anybody wondered why you got linked to your e-mail). The original report is available here--do the "right-click, save as" trick... --cw4(ret)billt