By: Ibrahim Hooper
The Associated Press (AP) added the term "Islamist" to its influential Stylebook in 2012. That entry read:
"Islamist -- Supporter of government in accord with the laws of Islam. Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi."
That same year, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) approached AP about modifying the reference, suggesting that AP change its Stylebook to incorporate language similar to that used in the reference to "fundamentalist," which states that the label should not be used unless a group applies the term to itself.
CAIR urged media outlets to drop the term because it has become journalistic shorthand for "Muslims we don't like" and because it is used in an almost exclusively pejorative context and is often coupled with the term "extremist," giving it an even more negative slant.