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Egypt tells foreign journalists to describe terrorists as "slayers" Open in fullscreen

Imogen Lambert

Egypt tells foreign journalists to describe terrorists as "slayers"

The document was handed out to journalists and widely circulated on social media [facebook]

Date of publication: 6 July, 2015

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Egyptian Foreign Ministry dictates terms to journalists as new law allowing state to take legal action against journalists who contradict official reports of militant attacks is proposed.
The Egyptian foreign ministry has dictated the terminology that foreign journalists should use to describe "terrorism" in the country.

The document, reportedly handed out at a press conference, and circulated on social media said that terms that "tarnish the image of Islam as it falsely attaches the horrendous acts of these extremist groups to the Islamic faith" should be avoided.

These terms include "Islamists and Islamic groups", and "sheikhs, emirs and ulamas".

The foreign ministry also said that "ISIS, ISIL and Islamic State" should be avoided as this is a "nation which is built on the principles of the Islamic Shariah and abides by its juristic rulings".

Additionally, the term "jihadists" should not be used, as the definition of this is "one engaged in personal struggle and devotion to Islam, especially involving spiritual discipline."

The ministry said that among the terms that should be used to describe "terrorism" are "slayers, criminals, murderers, rebels, executioners, assassins, destroyers, killers and eradicators."

AFP reported on Sunday that legal action could be taken against journalists whose stories contradict official statements on attacks by militants, with a suggested minimum sentence of two years.

The new law is proposed in the wake of contradicting reports of death tolls during militant attacks on Sinai last week.  

Controversy surrounding the use of various terms for terrorism is not confined to Egypt, with the BBC last week rejecting a proposal backed by British members of Parliament to call the Islamic State by its Arab aconym of "daesh", as this term apparently risked giving the impression of siding with the movement's opponents.  

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