A Russian lawmaker proposes a ban on expressions such as ‘Islamic terrorist’ and ‘Islamist militant’ in the mass media, claiming they give people the wrong impression about Islam and put ordinary believers at risk.
Shamsail Saraliyev (United Russia) stepped up with this initiative at this week’s session of the State Duma Committee for Information Policy, Izvestia daily reported on Wednesday. According to the newspaper, other Russian MPs supported the idea.
Saraliyev is from Chechnya and before taking a parliamentary seat he was the minister of external relations, ethnic policy and information in the predominantly-Muslim internal Russian republic. Presently he is a member of the State Duma committee for Foreign Policy.
The MP said in an interview with Izvestia that lately the mass media are freely and frequently using expressions like ‘Islamic terrorists’, ‘Islamists’, ‘Jihadists’, ‘Shahid belt’, ‘Terrorist Islamic State’ and many others of this kind.
“These expressions push people towards the conclusion that Muslim religion and terrorism are the same thing. Common people automatically begin to associate Muslims with bandits, murderers and terrorists,” Saraliyev said.
At the same time, the majority of Muslims prefer to distance themselves from radical groups, preferring to call them ‘Kharijites’ – Arabic for ‘dissenters’ or ‘insurgents’, the lawmaker noted.
One typical example of such people are the supporters of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), he said.