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Islamic State: The political challenge of naming

Munnik, Michael ORCID: 2023. Islamic State: The political challenge of naming. Al-Azami, Salman, ed. Media Language on Islam and Muslims: Terminologies and Their Effects, Palgrave Macmillan, (10.1007/978-3-031-37462-3_6)

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The adjective "Islamic" is contentious in journalistic writing, associating events, ideas, objects, and practices with Islam regardless of their merits. The case of the violent insurgent group Islamic State presents a peculiar challenge. Politicians and civil society groups urge journalists not to use the term, arguing it legitimises the group and can negatively influence public attitudes towards Islam and Muslims by association. Journalists respond that this is what the group calls itself and they have no responsibility to provide a substitute. In this chapter, I examine shifts in journalistic practice in naming the group - Islamic State, ISIS, IS, Daesh, etc. - in the context of wider debates. I examine coverage in UK newspapers over three month-long periods to examine what names journalists used an identify when, how, and whether they changed their practice. In most cases, these organisations favoured journalistic values of brevity, familiarity, and independence over concerns about social harm.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: In Press
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9783031374616
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 13:45

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