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Language policing - the sign of the times

Reader comment on item: The Voice of America, Silenced on Radical Islam

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Mar 7, 2009 at 14:59

I wonder why the PC guidelines for the Urdu Service of the Voice of America were issued so late? Have they previously been less PC which now makes stricter and more intrusive language policing necessary? My guess is though that all services within Voice of America in other languages follow roughly the same PC recommendations. At any event, I can hardly imagine that exclusively the Urdu section has these rules while others are free to call a spade a spade. It goes without saying that not following the guidelines might be dangerous.

The governmental intervention to impede and prevent public opinion from debating on Islam openly, without any verbal strait-jackets and vigilant semantic policing from above has a long history. In Europe , if I am not mistaken, it goes back at least to the infamous 1991 Recommendation Nr 1162 of the 43rd ordinary session of the Parilamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe - one of the cornerstones of Europe's Islamisation. Its article 6 states :

" Islam has, however, suffered and is still suffering from misrepresentation, for example through hostile or oriental stereotypes, and there is very little awareness in Europe cither of the importance of Islam's past contribution or of Islam's potentially positive role in European society today. Historical errors, educational eclecticism and the over‑simplified approach of the media are responsible for this situation."

http://www.funci.org/en/1991/issues/recommendation-1162-19911/

This EU recommendation has become part of the EU-wide law and it helps explain the relatively monolithic unformity of EU media in this respect. It accounts also for all the pseudo-historical pro-Islamic distortions, bias, disinformation and consistently promoted ignorance on this sensitive issue in the official reports and programms. No divergent opinions have a chance to appear in the state-controlled media which systematically play down, excluse or simply criminalize as 'hate crime' serious criticism of the cause that the Brussels satraps decided must be defended and praised across Europe.

The media and the public seem not to care much about how the above-mentioned recommendation came into being, how the corrupt European Commission organized in Paris in May 1991 a fraudulent colloquy on Islam with exclusion of all critical scholars to obtain the final laudatory report in favor of Islam. Now it's too late. Objections to the ultimate 'wisdom' of the Brussels clique are not welcome or allowed.

As to America I think that the same trend has been visible for a longer time. More than a month after the tragedy of September 11 , 2001 , on 1 6.10.2001, the Society of Professional Journalists - one the oldest organizations representing journalists in the US , established in 1909 with more than 9,000 members of the media now - adopted what it generously called its "Diversity Guidelines"

http://www.spj.org/divguidelines.asp

wherein it is recommended to :

> — Avoid using word combinations such as "Islamic terrorist" or "Muslim extremist" that are misleading because they link whole religions to criminal activity. Be specific: Alternate choices, depending on context, include "Al Qaeda terrorists" or, to describe the broad range of groups involved in Islamic politics, "political Islamists." Do not use religious characterizations as shorthand when geographic, political, socioeconomic or other distinctions might be more accurate.

— Avoid using terms such as "jihad" unless you are certain of their precise meaning and include the context when they are used in quotations. The basic meaning of "jihad" is to exert oneself for the good of Islam and to better oneself. <

Besides being taught by infallible professionals on what jihad is and what it isn't , 'professional journalists' are told to

> — When writing about terrorism, remember to include white supremacist, radical anti-abortionists and other groups with a history of such activity.<

Yes, white supermacists and anti-abortionists flying planes into black ghettoes or suicide bombing abortion clinics ... That makes the task of PC 'professional journalists' much easier who are asked in addition to that to

> — Cover the victims of harassment, murder and other hate crimes as thoroughly as you cover the victims of overt terrorist attacks. <

'Harassment , murder or other hate crime' treated the same way as terrorist attacks ? An ingenious trick to make the latter look less harmful.

Now compare these PC manual entries of the respectable Society of Professional Journalists and its professed objectives. Its stated mission is to promote and defend the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Strange that it tries to promote freedom of speech by curtailing and banning critical portions of a rational speaker's language and by inhibiting his or her cognitive and analytical abilities by not allowing him/her to use their own brain and logic but instead to follow some arbitrary rules and defintions. If strictly applied these recommendations must lead to uniformity and monotony. Yet they call that 'Diversity' ! In their "Code of Ethics" they proclaim as their aim "seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues."

http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

Unfortunately, if the truth happens not to correspond to the guidelines -as it often tends to do - , it must seem to be useless and so can be sacrificed. In short, 'seeking the truth' about Islam with the guidelines restricting speaking and thinking ( be it by the European Commission , by Jennifer Janin and her bosses or by the ethics experts from the Society of Professional Journalists) reminds me a little bit of trying to swim with one's hands and legs firmly tied. The funny thing about it is that those who tie the swimmer's hands and legs seem to hope that he will willingly comply not noticing the ropes and their deadly effects.

Submitting....

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