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  Challenging Racism and Violence in the Media Through Education  


CNN Money "A Time For Clarity"

Lou Dobbs Moneyline - (Monday, June 05, 2002)
We're not just fighting terror... we're fighting a particular and specific breed of terrorist.
NEW YORK (CNN) - Congress has launched its investigation of intelligence failures that led up to the terrorist attacks of September 11th. And Congress is preparing to spend a lot more money on intelligence, which already has a budget of about $35 billion. And we learned today that the United States has spent $17 billion so far on the war effort in Afghanistan. Now, as far as I'm concerned, that's money well spent... I'm sure you agree.

But let's be honest about what we're doing, about what it costs... and how we're going to pay for it. What are we doing? We're not fighting terror... we're fighting a particular and specific breed of terrorist. We're fighting a war against extreme radical Muslims who would try to destroy us, our society, our economy our way of life. They're called Islamists, as we've reported for two days. Not Muslims or Islamics. Islamists. They are the enemy. They are the enemy in Afghanistan, in the Philippines, Indonesia, Kashmir, Yemen, Somalia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and other countries all over the world. Islamists... a particular brand of terrorist. That may not be politically correct... but it's honest, and this is the time for honesty in all quarters of our national life. Business. Religion. Government. And Media.

NEW YORK (CNN) - Last night, I asked for your opinions about the importance of calling this war against those who would destroy this country by an accurate name. And we'll share some of our viewers' opinions with you tonight. I also suggested that "war on terror" is not adequately descriptive, and far too politically correct to have ample meaning, even though that is the term of art favored by the government and the media.

Personally, I believe it's important for us to describe our enemies honestly, and with as much clarity as is possible. We are engaged globally against terrorist enemies far flung... whether in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East. And in each instance, our enemies are Islamists... not Muslims, not Islamics... but Islamists. Last night, I suggested the term War Against Islamists... and we've been talking with experts on Islam and the Middle East for three days about the subject.

This is what three highly-respected authorities had to say on the subject today:

Andrew Winner, Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis:

"What about 'War on Islamist Terrorists'? That way it is not about what they believe, but about what they do to further those beliefs."

Geoff Porter, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, NYU:

"Osama bin Laden is an Islamist. His Islamism is one strain. I would say Lou is right to say Islamist. Personally, I would like it to be more nuanced. It would be better to say 'Radical Islamist'."

Fawaz Gerges, Author, "America and Political Islam":

"I saw the Dobbs Report last night, and I think the distinction Lou made was brilliant. We are not talking about Muslims or Islam. And he made that distinction. At the same time, Islamists are a highly diverse and complex group.

A Radical Islamist basically subscribes to an ideology that he or she would do anything to bring about the establishment of an Islamic state, including violence."

We'll continue to discuss this on this broadcast, with experts, scholars, and political leaders, as we try to lift the fog of war from our language.

Nearly everyone agrees that's important. You and I've begun our dialogue on this issue, and as you know, our viewers' thoughts are important to us....

Let us hear from you on this important matter.

Read it carefully and see the type of information this man is sending out. Under the guise of 'determining the difference between Muslims and terrorists... he proposes that terrorists be describes as "Islamists". The pathetic thing is that some Muslims agree with him, citing that it makes a distinction between Muslims and those who profess to use Islam for terrorist activities. This is a dangerous precedence. Terrorism comes in all religions, and for it to be labeled under Islamists is swaying the already jaded opinion of the public to believe that it is only an Islamic trait.

Please read what he has written and some of the replies and see if you agree.

BE FIRM, BUT POLITE.  Racism has no place in Anywhere!

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