69 million page views

The VOA - a propaganda machine on behalf of Islam - caught red-handed

Reader comment on item: The Voice of America, Silenced on Radical Islam
in response to reader comment: Reply from the Voice of America

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Mar 8, 2009 at 17:56

Dear Dr. Pipes, you remarked :

> She does contest my characterization of Spozhmai Maiwandi, only not by refuting the information I provided but by insisting on the virtues of this person. To prove my comments "unacceptable," however, requires more than - some actual proof of where I am wrong.<

While reading Joan Mower's response my first impression was that it wasn't written spontaneously but followed some ready-to-use guidance. As such guidances by their nature cannot give any matter-of-fact arguments against the serious points raised by you the whole official letter looked in my eyes vacuous and unconvincing. Her statement

> The Voice of America (VOA) regularly provides guidance to our journalists on style and usage to enable writers to communicate with audiences clearly, precisely and consistently.<

begs for many questions. "The Voice of America" here means who? The board of directors ? Senior editors like Jennifer Janin? Whoever stands for "the Voice of America", what criteria guided them in introducing this new usage and invalidating the old one? Whose voice is decisive in cases of doubt as to what new "style and usage" are to be adopted? Are the VOA journalists so unprofessional they can't "communicate with audiences clearly, precisely and consistently" without the guidance ? Had they been consulted at all before the new guidance replaced the old one ? If so, did they make any objections? What sanctions are foreseen for those that might happen to use the old vocabulary?

Joan Mower is fundamentally wrong implying the guidlines affect just 'style and usage'. It's semantics - the very heart of communication - that is doctored and garbled with here. Current collocations and meaningful phrases are manipulated, mutilated or suppressed at all or replaced by watered-down ones.

>Islamic terrorists: DO NOT USE. Instead use simply: terrorist < Terrorism/ terrorist: AVOID OVERUSE.
< Islamic Fundamentalism/ Muslim Fundamentalists: AVOID. <
< Islamist: NOT NECESSARY < Muslim Extremists: NOT NECESSARY. Extremist serves well.

There is some undercover ruse ( or rather perfidious hidden logic) in these guidelines. So the journalists are advised to use simply 'terrorist' and immediately afterwards are encouraged not to 'overuse' the term !!!

I wonder if this is Jennifer Janin's own idea or one of the 'editors' or those hidden fathers of the guidance. Whoever is the author of it, its effect must be the disapearance of 'Islamic terrorism' and progressive regress of "terrorism" worldwide thanks to the new "style and usage" guidlines of the VOA!

> It was in this context that Jennifer Janin wrote to the Urdu Service, reinforcing guidelines in the VOA News Stylebook, which is updated regularly.<

She herself is senior editor but prefers modestly to hide herself behind the phrase "editors & I". Anyway, I am still curious who advised and entitled her/them to write the rules which embody a very specific political ideology ? Was she chosen /indicated because of her previous knowledge of and/or connections to the influential officials in very high places as the terse entry in her bio might suggest

> Jennifer was selected in 1998 to be an Assignments Editor in charge of coordinating coverage from our correspondents in the White House, Pentagon, State Department and Capitol Hill.< ?


Who initiated the guidelines in the first place? Who instructed her to prevent possible mistakes from arising ? I suspect she is just a pen in someone else's more powerful hand. But whose hand was it exactly , dear Mr. Mower ?

> What Mr. Pipes' readers may not know is that VOA is governed by the VOA Charter, which became a law in July 12, 1976 was reiterated in the more recent U.S. International Broadcasting Act of 1994. It mandates the U.S. international broadcaster "will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news. VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive."<

Nobody doubts the charter says what you quote. And it's not the charter that is the problem here. The charter of the Soviet News Agency TASS or "Radio Moscow World Service" for that matter was also very strict and demanding which didn't make the TASS or RMWS reporting very reliable though.

To elaborate the point let's take a glance at the Urdu Website of the Voice of America (available ,fortunately enough, in English too) where Jennifer Janin's "style and usage" guidelines are faithfully implemented , as one must think. They have a page called : "Muslims' America". Its mission is stated as follows :


" Muslims' America gives a first hand perspective on the lives of America's millions of Muslim citizens, how they are making a positive difference and helps differentiate between myths and reality about the Muslim American experience in all spheres of society".

It's so reassuring to learn that there are no problems these Muslims produce and which Dr. Pipes discloses ( from Moslem taxi drivers refusing to transport passengers with alcohol to jihadist antisemitic propaganda) with undefatigable devotion and honesty. But such trifles are not even worth mentioning in the VOA . But take e.g. wife-beating ! A Moslem problem, one might think. But, no ! To our relief we learn about "A Muslim woman activist who works for the rights of battered women of all religions". Yes, the VOA "style and usage" is clear and unambiguous! "Battered women of all religions"!!! We must conclude then that all religions have sacred mysogynic verses and practices after all, don't they? And the brave Muslima is there to stretch a helping hand to a Christian/ Buddhist/Judaic/Shamanist girl beaten by their religious husbands ! Good news! It's very reassuring again to see 'the stereotype" of a Moslem battering his wife/wives refuted or at least made relative. It's no Moslem problem any longer. "True Islam" is above that as is proven by "A Muslim magazine columnist who creates awareness about the true message of peace and tolerance of Islam".

"Peace and tolerance of Islam"? Another entry from the VOA style and usage manual ! ...How about those 900 Jews decapitaded in Medina by the prophet , hate suras, horrors of jihad etc.etc. ... But wait a minute ! How does the VOA praise itself ? The self-eulogy includes "a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news", "accurate, objective, and comprehensive"!!! ... They say so. I am supposed to believe it is so. I will I repeat after St. Tertullianus "Credo quia absurdum".

They have more happy news of this kind on the adjacent pages. So e.g. we meet two happy Muslimas Khadijah Rivera and Jill Mraida and learn that "Piedad (http://hispanicmuslims.com/piedad/) began as a support group for Spanish-speaking converts to Islam." They did so much to make the new Latino converts to Islam feel happy about their new Moslem identity. True, it's no quite unproblematic. Even Jill Mraida admits it :

"When you first come to Islam, you are leaving one world behind, but you're not fully comfortable in the new world yet".

Is she implying that when you want to come back to World nr 1, you as a Moslem will be killed according to shari'a ? But no, she doesn't mean that at all! How could a gullible visitor to the VOA suspect such an insignificant detail ? She simply "is also trying to maintain balance between her faith and her obligations as a community worker and a mother." She is a good brave Muslima and by being too good neglects her own home and family.

I don't want to accumulate more of that trash and Pro-Islamic propanda on the Urdu VOA webpage. I can conclude that the VOA - at least in its Urdu Service - is occupied with consistent brainwashing and pro-Islamic propaganda. I am no American but I find it scandalous that this propaganda is financed by the clueless American taxpayer and is carried out under the lofty slogans of "credibility, which reflects our vigorous adherence to the Charter and VOA's Journalistic Code, calling for reliable and unbiased reporting". If what obtains to the Urdu Service is valid to other VOA services, then it's a shame that

> an estimated 134 million people around the world in 45 languages by radio, television and Internet.<

are consistently denied a reliable but hard account of what Islam really stands for, what its anti-Western supremacist aims and terrorist methods are.



Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to The VOA - a propaganda machine on behalf of Islam - caught red-handed by Ianus

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)