Nomenclature of Deception
By I’jaz ibn Iftikhar
“Among the Jews are those who distort words from their [proper] places.”
There has been a long trend in the media circles, both print and broadcast, on using specific terminologies to vilify and depreciate Islam and Muslims and disseminate their false propaganda globally; it is geared more so towards Islam, simply because the neo-cons and media spinners realize that Islam is more of a threat than any Muslim towards their self-gratifying, opportunistic agendas for world domination.
The terms I am alluding to are: “radical Islam”, “militant Islam”, “Islamic men”, “puritanical brand of Islam”, “Wahhabism,” “ultra-conservative view of Islam” “Islamic militants,” “violent jihad,” etcetera.
This form of deception is not limited to employing the oft-repeated, oft-quoted term “fundamentalism/fundamentalist” anymore (e.g., Muslim fundamentalist, etc.). Now, we have a vast myriad of catchwords and catchphrases utilized by the [pro-Zion, Illuminati-controlled] mainstream media as well as self-appointed “experts” on Islam and terrorism who write books not in order to educate people but in order to mar the image of Islam and instill enmity and animosity in the minds of the readers and thereby dissuade people from being tolerant towards it, let alone approaching it with an open-mind or embracing it.
The growth and proliferation of such literature has increased exponentially to such a level that I have resolved to amalgamate and conglomerate these highlycharged anti-Islamic, anti-Muslim terms under the blanket phrase “nomenclature of deception.”
Anyone with a speck of reason can decipher that these terms are highly-charged with deceptive form of diction. Unfortunately, the whitewashers have succeeded in manipulating the minds of the masses. Hence, I found it incumbent on exposing their pseudo-orismological techniques (e.g., semantic manipulation of neutral words into offensive terms and phrases), all in order to depreciate Islam and bar people from approaching it with an open, neutral mind. Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) says about such people:
“The curse of Allah is upon the wrongdoers. Who deter [people] from the way of Allah, and seek [to make] it crooked and they are disbelievers concerning the Hereafter.” [Al-A’raaf (7):44-45]
Take the term “Radical Islam,” for example. First, this phrase presupposes that there is more than one “version” of Islam. Moreover, it instils in the minds of the readers or viewers that a certain segment of Islamic teachings are radical, or in other words, extreme. However, all of this is whitewash and Machiavellian form of deception and dictional manipulation. In fact, there is only one form of Islam, that which was practiced by the prophet Muhammad (Sallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) and his Companions (Radiyallahu ‘anhum). This is not to say that there aren’t different sects within the Muslim ummah (nation) – seventy-three to be exact; however, they are not different versions of Islam, rather only one out of these seventy-three can be said to be following the original teachings of Islam. That is because, the innovated and heretical teachings adopted by the other seventy-two sects are not endorsed by Islam in the first place. Hence, there is only one Islam, but there are several sects in the Muslim nation; all except one out of them follows the pristine doctrines of Islam.1
Another point to consider is that only Islam is labelled with the term “radical Islam” or its counterpart “militant Islam.” No where will you find the doublespeakers attaching this adjective to any other religion. For example: “radical Christianity,” “radical Judaism,” “radical Hinduism,” “radical Buddhism,” “radical Confucianism,” “radical Jainism,” “radical Sikhism,” “radical Shinto”, etcetera. Only when it comes to Islam they have to attach the adjective “radical” to it; as though, only Islam has radical adherents. In fact, if they were honest they would limit themselves to employing the phrase “radical Muslim” or “militant Muslim.”
As we have explained earlier, there is only one type of Islam, and it’s not radical. The term “radical” is defined as:
3a. advocating thorough reform; holding extreme political views; left-wing; revolutionary.2
It’s possible for individual Muslims to be extreme in some of their beliefs and/or actions – no one denies that; just as it’s possible for an adherent of any religion to be extreme (or radical, the term the medium and charlatans prefer to use instead). However the use of the adjective “radical” to “Islam” is a deliberate syntactical manipulation of the highest degree by the biased media. The term “radical Islam” is a negative phrase and it instils in the minds of the readers/viewers a very negative view about Islam.
That is because this phrase presupposes that it is Islam that indoctrinates radical ideas in the first place. If we use the term “radical Muslim” on the other hand, it doesn’t give the impression that Islam made such an individual radical. Rather, he chose to swerve from what Islam teaches and thus became a radical or an extremist. Further, there is nothing in the Islamic doctrine which is radical. Islam by its very nature is moderate. Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:
“And thus We have made you a wasat (moderate/median) 3 nation that you be witnesses over the people (i.e., humanity) and the Messenger be a witness over you.” [Al-Baqarah (2):143]
Accordingly, the phrase “radical Islam” is in fact oxymoronic; just like the phrase “hot ice cream.” If it is hot, it isn’t ice cream anymore – just cream. Likewise, if anything is radical, it isn’t Islamic anymore. That is because Islam is intrinsically moderate to begin with. So, the term “radical” and the term “Islamic” are mutually exclusive. The presence of one precludes the presence of the other. You cannot combine them both in the same phrase.
Similar is the case with the term “militant Islam” – it is also infested with the same flaws as its counterpart. As mentioned above, there is only one form of Islam, that which the Prophet (Sallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) practiced and taught his Companions (Radiyallahu ‘anhum).
The term “militant” is defined as:
1. combative; aggressively active, esp. in support of a political cause;
2. engaged in warfare.4
Now, I ask: does a religion engage in warfare? Is a religion combative? In fact, does any non-living thing have such ability? The answer is: “Never!” Further, militancy hasn’t been the prime concern of any religion in history, ever. Hence, the phrase “Militant Islam” is fallacious. Whereas the term militant Muslim is quite plausible. This is due to the same reason which was given for the term “radical Muslim.” Yet the term “militant Muslim” is very narrow, as opposed to “radical Muslim,” since it implies that all that this person is concerned with is militancy – in fact, militancy hasn’t been the be-all and end-all for any adherent of a religion, let alone the religion itself. That is because no matter how violent a militant maybe, he will admit that it is not his goal to be a militant, it is only a means to his goal, whatever it may be. Hence, a more appropriate phrase would be, “a Muslim engaged in acts of militancy.” Nevertheless, take note that you will never find anyone employing a term like “militant Christianity” 5 or “militant Judaism” (or even “Christian militant” or “Jewish militant” for that matter). The pseudologists want the idea to be ingrained in the minds of the people that the terms “radical” and “militant” should only be employed in the context of Islam and Muslims. The intent and motives of reporters, journalists and authors who employ such terminology is obvious for anyone who has a share of insight.
Let us now look at the term “Islamic men.” To most people, this phrase doesn’t seem to have any negative connotations attached to it. However, according to the rules of Arabic usage [of terminology] in writing or speaking, this phrase is flawed. The reason being, never in history has any Arab author or lexicographer ever used such term. And the fact remains that the speaker of a language, let alone a linguist, knows more about his or her language than someone who does not speak a particular language.
My point of contention: Know from the outset that the use of the adjective “Islamic” to refer to people is delusive. To describe an adherent of Islam, the term “Muslim” is used instead. The term Islamic is only employed for ideas, concepts, things, places, etcetera. Whereas the term Muslim can be applied to people and ideas, concepts, places, etcetera (e.g., both “Islamic country” and “Muslim country” are correct terms, likewise is the case with “Islamic creed” and “Muslim creed”). The opposite is not the case though (i.e., the term “Islamic man” is incorrect, both grammatically and usage-wise. When describing a person to be an adherent of Islam, only a “Muslim man,” “Muslim woman,” etcetera would be correct according to rules of Arabic usage).
An unwary reader might contend: What’s the difference? It’s just a matter of diction – a choice of words. Further, one would ask, “What’s your point in all this?” Here is the crux of the matter and pay close attention to this: By utilizing the phrase “Islamic men” in context of a wrongdoing (e.g., terrorism, coup, etc.) the media gives the impression that such men are epitome of what this religion
promotes. So this is in order to form a correlation between the individual (e.g., terrorist, militant, etc.) and the religion (i.e., Islam). Thus whenever a reader or viewer or listener sees/hears such a term in context of some act of terrorism, not only does the person form a repulsion towards the individual (in this case, [allegedly] a Muslim) who committed such an act, but also towards the religion which this person ascribes to (in this case [supposedly] Islam). This is a very subtle form of sophistry which goes unnoticed by most people. However, the diction employed by these pseudologists is very meticulously chosen and it’s in no way done haphazardly.
Against this backdrop, we can now turn to the oft-abused (i.e., oft-used) term, “Islamic militant.” The adjective “Islamic” here is a misnomer as has already been clarified. The key point to note here is that this term (“Islamic militant”) doesn’t even have to be mentioned in the context of some wrongdoing. Nowadays the very term militant lights the fuse in the minds of most people. However, when attached to adjective Islamic, one surmises that such a person ascribes to something called, “Islamic militancy.” Once, people are led to believe that such a thing exists, it become easy to correlate it with Islam, and that Islam, in fact imbibes such doctrine. However, nothing can be further from the truth. The fabricators of this sort of paralogism want to embed into the minds of the masses that all that Islam is concerned with is politics. Hence, we often find writers using the term, “Political Islam;” whereas, the terms “Economic Islam” or “Social Islam” are never employed.
The very concept of compartmentalizing Islam into different versions is a reprehensible innovation. The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as “Political Islam” (whereas there is such a thing as Islamic polity). The political, economic and social facets of life may be found in the teachings of Islam, but they are not separate “brands.” Neither are they chief components of Islam. When the angel Gabriel (‘alayhis-salam) asked Prophet Muhammad (Sallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) about Islam [in the form of pedagogical questions], he
(Sallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) replied [simply] by saying,
“Islam is that you testify that La ilaha ill-Allah wa anna Muhammadan Rasulullah (There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah), that you give the zakah, you fast [the month of] Ramadan and you perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (i.e., Ka’bah) if you are able to find a way.” 6
In fact, in a variant narration of this hadith by Imam Ahmad (Rahimahullah), the narrator, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (Radiyallahu ‘anhu) was asked after he mentioned these five pillars, “What about jihad?” He (Radiyallahu ‘anhu) replied thus, “Jihad is good but this is what the Messenger of Allah (Sallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) narrated to us.”
Accordingly, if the term “Political Islam” is a misnomer, such is definitely the case with the terms, “Militant Islam” or “Islamic Militant.”
As for the phrases “puritanical brand of Islam” and “ultra-conservative view of Islam,” there is nothing negative about them on the surface; however, they also imply that there is more than one version of Islam. Put that aside, if we approach these terms from a purely semantical perspective, they are in fact praiseworthy. Puritanical means:
1. practicing or affecting strict religious or moral behaviour. 7
1 a. averse to change.
1 b. (of views, taste, etc.) moderate; avoiding extremes. 8
I ask: is there anything wrong with being ultra-conservative, meaning, in essence, “ultra-moderate?” The whitewashers didn’t know what they were doing when they labelled a group of [alleged] terrorists as having an “ultra-conservative view of Islam.” They, in fact praised them as being “ultra-moderate,” according to the definition given above. The two terms mentioned above are similar to their
predecessor “fundamentalism.” It is defined as:
2. strict maintenance of ancient or fundamental doctrines of any religion, esp. Islam.
I ask yet again: What is so wrong with clinging onto a set of fundamental doctrines? This is a fact of life; one must adhere to the fundamental doctrines one believes in. This is the case with both religious sciences and secular sciences. For example, every secular science, whether it is biology, physics, chemistry, etcetera has a set of fundamental principles which a student has to learn before moving on to a more advanced stage – this is a given. Moreover, it only makes sense to learn the fundamentals before learning the subsidiary issues. After all, the fundamentals are the “roots” and the subsidiary issues are the “branches.” Moreover, a student has to adhere to those fundamental principles throughout his course of study. If he strays from even one principle, he is prone to err in the entire subject.
Hence, the term “fundamentalism” or its counterparts are redundant. It is known a priori that to study any art or science (whether it is secular or religious) one has to learn the fundamentals. Why is it the case then that these terms are given such negative connotations? After all, they are quoted relative to some kind of censure of terrorists or “radicals.” The reason for this sort of paralogism is that people nowadays have a mindset quite negative to any form of conservatism, thanks to our semantics manipulators.
The media has done this in a very inchmeal, cumulative fashion. First, these sophists attached connotations of rigid bigotry to conservatism. This can be done especially if one is told that what is being “conserved” is detrimental to “freedom.” It is true that we, as Muslims, do not endorse the conservation of everything. That is a given; for not everything in the status quo is right. However, the intent behind such connotations was not so much to attack the status quo as it was to attack religion in general. Such is definitely the case if the commonality is told that religion promotes rigid adherence to morality or “puritanism,” which further implies that the material pleasures which many people partake in are at stake. This was further exacerbated because such is in fact the case in regards to Christianity, the official religion in the West. As the masses started to drift away from religion in general and as the media doubletalkers got the people to have a sense of aversion and repulsion for terms like “conservatism” and “fundamentalism,” they then began to attach it to Islam. Hence, recent years so the proliferation of phrases like “puritanical brand of Islam,” “ultra-conservative view of Islam,” and “fundamental Muslim.” As these terms where employed in the context of wrongdoing, the sheeple – excuse me, I mean the general people – began to reason that the purer Islam gets [to its original teachings], the worst and more violent it becomes.
Paradoxically, the opposite is the case. The more one clings onto the pristine (original) form of Islam, the more righteous, merciful, tolerant and prudent one becomes. This fact is recognized by many journalists, if not all of them. They realize that “puritanical brand of Islam” signifies orthodoxy (from Late Greek, orthodoxia, meaning sound doctrine). 9
Since they are hostile and averse towards Islam in general, as it does not allow them free access to their desires, wants and fancies, 10 they began to attack orthodox Islam – which is the pure form of Islam, free from innovations and adulterations – with slanderous labels. Once the audience of mainstream media forms a mindset of repulsion towards Islam, and when they are led to believe that the “ultra-conservative view of Islam” is essentially synonymous with “radical Islam,” or “militant Islam” it becomes quite easy for the spindoctors to attach negative connotations to orthodox Islam and then in turn bar people access to it. This is especially the case, if the media audience is told that the [supposed] skyjackers of the planes which hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were ascribing to an “ultra-conservative view of Islam” called [derogatorily] “Wahhabism.” 11
I hope you can see where this entire hodgepodge leads to. Let it be known that all of this is done with a premeditated attempt to malign Islam and hinder people from embracing it:
“They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah refuses except to perfect His light, even if the disbelievers abhor it.”
“Indeed, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to deter [people] from the way of Allah. So they will spend it; then it will be for them a [source of] regret; then they will be overcome. And those who disbelieve – to Hell they will be gathered.” [Al-Anfaal (8):36]
“Those who disbelieved and deterred [people] from the way of Allah, We will increase them in punishment over punishment for what they were causing of corruption.” [An-Nahl (16):88]
Another common term within the nomenclature of deception is “violent jihad.” This phrase has been in much vogue these days, employed by both media and government officials; the adjective (violent) for this noun (i.e., jihad) has been deliberately placed there. The term is unnecessarily verbose. It is as though there aren’t enough misconceptions and distortions concerning the concept of jihad,12 they had to make it more conspicuously abhorrent and repulsive in the eyes of the people. There all already strings attached to this term, however, and in the subliminal mind of an average individual, the term “violent jihad” is analogous to “violent crime.” Since one often sees and hears the latter term being employed in a very negative context (although the very denotation of this word is negative in and of itself), when the newspapers are replete with the catchphrase “violent jihad,” one instantaneous forms a correlation between the two, and in essence, they become synonymous.
This term was probably manufactured in order to do away with the concept of jihad altogether. However, this term has been used in the Qur’an alone [let alone ahadith (prophetic narrations)] at least 30 times in literal as well as technical sense. At any rate, the spindoctors ignore or feign ignorance of the fact that there are two types of jihad: physical and spiritual (which precedes the physical). The latter type is used majority of times in the phrase: “jihad ‘ala an-nafs” (“striving 13 against the soul”). Since, jihad essentially means “to strive,” I ask: does the following phrase make sense: “violent jihad against the soul.”? How will our whitewashers respond now? If they retort by saying, “what we mean by violent jihad is the combative jihad, not the spiritual one.” Then we would respond by saying, “Why haven’t you then used the term ‘combative jihad’ or ‘physical jihad’ instead?” They will be left confounded, unable to respond. That is because these terms are neutral having no denotations of violence; after all, jihad literally means “striving,” not “qital (combat),” nor “harb (war),” and definitely not “irhab (terrorism).” Hence, the diction manipulators had no choice but to attach the adjective, “violent” to jihad, all in order to attach negative and “evil” connotations to it – just like term, “violent crime.”
In order to pound the last nail in the coffin of “nomenclature of deception,” let’s look at the term, “Islamic terrorism.” From what has preceded I guess that you can guess what’s the problem with this term. The word, “terrorism,” is defined as, the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. 14
Islam does NOT promote terror at all, let alone the systematic use of terror. It is possible, however for acts of terrorism to be perpetrated by individuals belonging to a religion as opposed to religion itself. If it is argued that “terrorism” in this context refers to the promotion of terrorism by Islam, then we have already refuted this idea on the basis of the verse in Surah Al-Baqarah (2):143, wherein the Muslim nation has been described with the attribute of “moderation.” If it is further argued that the Muslim nation has been described with moderation and not Islam itself, we would respond by saying, “Is it possible for adherents of a religion to be moderate whereas the religion itself be radical?” This is a non sequitor – it does not follow. That is simply because the adherents of a religion take their beliefs and doctrines from the religion itself, which is the source. So it’s impossible for the source from which adherents attribute their beliefs to, to be radical, while the adherents themselves are “moderate.” The fact of the matter is that the opposite can be true. That is, it’s possible for claimants of a religion to be radical, simply because they are merely “claimants” to the religion, not actual “adherents.”
However, if what is meant by the phrase “Islamic terrorism” is the acts of terrorism committed by the Muslims, then this phrase is incorrect and misleading. We previously stated that the word “Islamic” can only be used for ideas, concepts, places, etcetera. Basically, lifeless things, not humans. This point has already been discussed under the discussion on “Islamic men.” The phrase, “Muslim terrorists” would be appropriate, however. 15
In addition, the different synonyms for the word “terror” have occurred in the Qur’an 7 times in 3 senses.16 One sense is the employment of the noun ru’b (terror) relative to Allah (the subject/doer) and is preceded by the transitive verb, “cast.” [e.g. “I (Allah) will cast terror (ru’b) into the hearts of those who disbelieve.” (Al-Anfaal (8):12)] As such, all such occurrences of the word ru’b (terror) are in the literal sense, meaning, “extreme fear,” and are used relative to the transitive verb, “cast.” Hence, they are devoid of any connotations implying “acts of terrorism.” No where in the Islamic texts (Quran or Hadith) has this term been used in the sense of terrorism. Neither has it been used to refer individuals as subjects (doers of the action). That is, never have individuals been described as even “casting terror into the hearts of the enemy,” let alone committing acts of terrorism. It has only been used relative to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). Now, does that make Allah a terrorist?! – Hallowed and exalted is He from such false attributions and thoughts. Even the pseudo-orismologists of the mainstream media won’t have the audacity to make such claims.
The second sense occurs relative to the Day of Judgement. Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:
“They will not be grieved by the greatest terror (faz’) and the angels will meet them [saying], ‘This is your Day which you have been promised.’ ”
The pronoun “they” refers to the Believers and the noun “terror” refers to the blast of the trumpet blown by the angel Israfil (‘alayhis-salam) on the Day of Resurrection. Hence there are neither denotations nor connotations of the word “terrorism” here.
The third sense occurs as a transitive verb, istarhaba (to terrify) in the following verse:
“He (Moses) said, ‘Throw,” and when they (the magicians) threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people and istarhabuhum (terrified/overawed them), and they presented a great [feat of] magic.” [Al-A’raaf (7):116].
This verse is equally bereft of any connotations of acts of terrorism.
Needless to say the term “terror” has never been used in the Qur’an or Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) to mean “acts of terror (i.e., terrorism).” Consequently, we can fling the pseudo-term, “Islamic terrorism” head long to the ground.
I hope this serves as a coup de grâce against the promoters of “nomenclature of deception.” It will serve the journalists, news reporters and terrorism charlatans (authors) best to desist from such semantics tampering and pseudo-orismology and fear their Lord who shall hold them accountable for misleading people from the way of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) (i.e., Islam):
“Those who disbelieve and deter [people] from the way of Allah – He will waste their deeds.” [Muhammad (47):1]
“Rather, glamorized for those who disbelieve is their [own] plot and they have been hindered from the way. And whoever Allah [justly] misleads, there will be no guide for him.” [Ar-Ra’d (13):33]
“Indeed, those who disbelieved and deterred [the people] from the way of Allah and then died while they were disbelievers – never will Allah forgive them.”! [Muhammad (47):34]