Alleged official document stipulates terrorism terminologies for Egypt-based journalists

Ahram Online , Sunday 5 Jul 2015

Reportedly handed out at an Egyptian Foreign Ministry presser, a document circulating on social media among journalists instructs media workers on dropping religious references in reports on terrorism

Egyptian soldiers keep guard during a military operation in the Egyptian city of Rafah, near the border with the southern Gaza Strip November 2, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Some Cairo-based foreign correspondents widely shared Sunday through their social media accounts an alleged official document that defines different terrorism-linked terminologies.

A foreign correspondent in Cairo, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Ahram Online that many foreign journalists received the document Saturday during a presser held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The document stipulated that the foreign correspondents should not use terminologies that are "religiously based or faith oriented, carry in its fold negative connotations that are largely based on heinous stereotypes and ill-informed predispositions."

The document listed several terminologies "not to be used in describing terrorist groups," with a brief definition of each, such as: Islamists, Islamic groups, jihadists, jihadis, shiekhs, emirs, ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State, fundamentalists, puritans and literalists.

Other terminologies to be used in describing terrorists were also present in the document, as long as they aren't "associated with any religion or affiliated with any faith, even if these groups falsely claim to base their horrifying acts on religion."

The document urged correspondents to use the terms "terrorists, extremists, criminals, savages, murderers, killers, radicals, fanatics, rebels, slaughterers, executioners, assassins, slayers, destroyers and eradicators."

On Thursday, Egypt’s army spokesperson, Bridger General Mohamed Samir, blamed the local press for repeating "wrong" death tolls published in the foreign media covering Wednesday's deadly confrontations between Islamic State affiliated militants and the Egyptian army in North Sinai, which left 205 militants and 21 military officers and soldiers killed, according to official records.

While the military released initial figures Wednesday night saying that the confrontations left four officers and 13 soldiers killed, some foreign news outlets put the death toll at 60 to 70 security personnel killed.

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