The Guardian ‘Style Guide’ defines the word “Jihad” as “defensive” in nature

As AKUS and Hadar Sela reported back in April, the Guardian and Observer have a ‘Style Guide‘ on their site which clarifies the Guardian-approved meanings for over 17,500 terms, so that their journalists will not run afoul of the media group’s ideology.

One of the more interesting enforced orthodoxies pertains to their anti-Zionist “style” regarding Israel’s capital.

As AKUS observed:

“The Guardian has decided that even though Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital since the founding of the state, its Parliament, Supreme Court and ministerial offices are there, they [nonetheless] believe that Tel Aviv is the country’s real capital. It has apparently enforced this absurdity by codifying it in its style guide.

Is there any other country in the world for which the Guardian’s style guide defines a nation’s capital as any place other than the city they selected?”

Indeed, on April 22, 2012, the Guardian even revised a photo caption, published two days earlier, which “incorrectly” referred to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Another classic Guardian term is the word terrorism“.  Here’s an excerpt from the Guardian style guide definition.

No, heaven forbid anyone would accuse the Guardian of “taking sides”!

Finally, we recently came across the Style Guide definition of the word “Jihad“.

Regarding the first two definitions, Jihad as an internal moral struggle, in the book Understanding Jihad, David Cook, an expert on the history of Islam, Muslim apocalyptic literature and movements, dismisses as “laughable” the contention that jihad refers to “the effort to lead a good life.”

Cook establishes that the term primarily means “warfare with spiritual significance.”

And, regarding the Style Guide’s final definition, “defending Islam…with force if necessary”, Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes explains:

“Jihad…means the legal, compulsory, communal effort to expand the territories ruled by Muslims at the expense of territories ruled by non-Muslims.

The purpose of jihad, in other words, is not directly to spread the Islamic faith but to extend sovereign Muslim power (faith, of course, often follows the flag). Jihad is thus unabashedly offensive in nature…

Today, jihad is the world’s foremost source of terrorism, inspiring a worldwide campaign of violence by self-proclaimed jihadist groups:

Pipes also argues that jihad has been interpreted as justifiable against impious Muslims.

“Islamists thinkers like Hasan al-Banna (1906-49), Sayyid Qutb (1906-66), Abu al-A‘la Mawdudi (1903-79), and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1903-89) promoted jihad against putatively Muslim rulers who failed to live up to or apply the laws of Islam.”

As Bernard Lewis wrote, regarding even early understandings of the term within Islam:

“The overwhelming majority of early [Muslim] authorities, citing relevant passages in the Qur’an and in the tradition, discuss jihad in military terms.”

The U.S. State Department defines the term as follows (page two, line 6 of this U.S indictment against Jose Padilla):

“‘jihad’ refers to the use of violence, including paramilitary action against persons, property or governments deemed to be enemies of a fundamentalist version of Islam.”

Jihad, as the term is commonly understood (and in practice across the globe), is almost always offensive in nature, and to impute defensive or otherwise benign attributes represents nothing but political propaganda.  

I’m sure Arafat was merely talking about the need for Palestinian self-improvement.

47 replies »

  1. ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    It’s been written here before that the Guardian lives in Humpty Dumpty land as regards meaning of words, a fact which, given its skewed view of reality, means that it can change definitions whenever the wind changes direction.

    The fact is that jihad means “struggle” against non-Muslims, and all the guff about “internal struggle” is so much semantics and taqiyya peddled to the gullible such as the Guardian. The G shouldn’t attempt to sanitise its meaning. For Islam, almost invariably, jihad is code for getting its retaliation in first, as we see almost daily in the rocket fire from Gaza.

    • The fact is that jihad means “struggle” against non-Muslims, and all the guff about “internal struggle” is so much semantics and taqiyya peddled to the gullible such as the Guardian.

      No. The Guardian is anything but gullible. The Guardian wants to bring down the Western Liberal Democracies and replace them with a single unitary socialist world state where everybody is equal only some will be ‘more so’. (equal).

      To this end, it allies itself with extremist Islam who want the same process but a different end result. Replace ‘socialist’ with ‘Islamist’.

      The thing is that the Islamists know who they are dealing with but the Guardian Coven choose not to ‘understand’.

    • No one country in the world recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, not even the Governement of the United States.

      100% of foreign embassies are located in Tel Aviv.

      Jerusalem cannot be internationally recognized as Israel’s capital as long as it occupied East Jerusalem in breach of international law, and as long as the status of the city has not been resolved through peace negotiations with the Plestijian Authority.

      Some Israeli ministries are located in tel Aviv, beginning with the most important of them all, the ministry of Defense.

      • Please give a source for the exact “international law” that you accuse Israel of breaching.

        Too often this kind of accusation is made without quoting the actual law supposedly being breached.

        I’m sure you can enlighten us…

        • International humanitarian law (the geneva conventions) strictly forbids a occupying power (here Israel) from transferring its population onto the territory it occupies (here the Palestinian territory).

          Several UN Security resolutions stress that israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including East jerusalem, are in breach of international law, and so did the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a ruling.

          • Do we really have to have this argument AGAIN?

            1. UN resolutions are not international law.
            2. Whether Jerusalem is Israel’s capital is nothing whatever to do with transfer of population.
            3. Whether you choose to accept “East” Jerusalem as part of Israel is irrelevant. Most of the organs of government (such as the Knesset, the PM’s Office etc) are in “West” Jerusalem. There is no earthly RATIONAL reason to deny that this is Israel’s capital. Even the UN doesn’t dispute that “West” Jerusalem is part of Israel. Do you?
            4. Even if, after all that, you still refuse to accept Jerusalem, even the “West” part of it, as Israel’s capital, there is no earthly rational reason to say that Tel Aviv is the capital.
            5. The location of the Ministry of Defence is irrelevant. As I have posted before, the UK government is busy moving its ministries to Northern England to save costs. Does that mean London is no longer the capital?
            6. The location of foreign embassies is irrelevant. They are located in Tel Aviv for political, economic or (most likely) security reasons.
            7. No other country in the world is told what can or can’t be its capital. Only Israel.

            • Now – what do you make of the Guardian style guide’s definition of jihad, Nat? i.e. can we get back on topic, please?

            • West Jerusalem is in Israel, East Jerusalem is not.

              Israel declared “unified Jerusalem” to be its capital in a move that was declared illegal by the UN Security Council and rejected by all governments in the world. As a consequence, all based their embassies to Israel in Tel Aviv.

              “No other country in the world is told what can’t or can be its capital” – no other country in the world declared as it capital a “unified city” of which half does not lay in its territory.

              Should the USA declare Toronto its capital, it’d also be ruled illegal by all other governments in the world as Toronto is not located in the USA.

              • “Israel declared “unified Jerusalem” to be its capital in a move that was declared illegal by the UN Security Council and rejected by all governments in the world. As a consequence, all based their embassies to Israel in Tel Aviv.”
                The thing that makes this a poor explanation is that it’s not so. In addition, Jerusalem was not unified until 1967.

                Your analogy using Toronto is a poor one. If you’re going to make stuff up you’ll have put on your thinking to pass muster around here.

            • Great points GoonerEll. The trolls have no answer for it, except to keep on trying to confuse the issue.

          • BTW, the ICJ issued and “Advisory opinion” not a “ruling”.

            There is a big difference:

            In principle, the Court’s advisory opinions are only consultative in character, but they are influential and widely respected. Whilst certain instruments or regulations can provide in advance that the advisory opinion shall be specifically binding on particular agencies or states, they are inherently non-binding under the Statute of the Court.

          • “International humanitarian law (the geneva conventions) strictly forbids a occupying power (here Israel) from transferring its population onto the territory it occupies (here the Palestinian territory).”

            Transfer is involuntary, and the territory in question is disputed, but nice try.

      • “No one country in the world recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, not even the Governement of the United States.”

        More bare-faced lies from the incorrigible Nat!

        Of the 190 nations with which America has diplomatic relations, Israel is the only one whose capital is not recognized by the U.S. government. The U.S. embassy, like most others, is in Tel Aviv, 40 miles from Jerusalem. The United States does maintain a consulate in East Jerusalem, however, that deals with Palestinians in the territories and works independently of the embassy, reporting directly to Washington. Today, then, we have the anomaly that American diplomats refuse to meet with Israelis in their capital because Jerusalem’s status is negotiable, but make their contacts with Palestinians in the city.

        In 1990, Congress passed a resolution declaring that “Jerusalem is and should remain the capital of the State of Israel” and “must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.” During the 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton said: “I recognize Jerusalem as an undivided city, the eternal capital of Israel, and I believe in the principle of moving our embassy to Jerusalem.” He never reiterated this view as president; consequently, official U.S. policy remained that the status of Jerusalem is a matter for negotiations.

        In an effort to change this policy, Congress overwhelmingly passed The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. This landmark bill declared that, as a statement of official U.S. policy, Jerusalem should be recognized as the undivided, eternal capital of Israel and required that the U.S. embassy in Israel be established in Jerusalem no later than May 1999. The law also included a waiver that allowed the president to essentially ignore the legislation if he deemed doing so to be in the best interest of the United States. President Clinton exercised that option.

        “I would be blind to disclaim the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.”

        — Sari Nusseibeh, President of Al Quds University 20

        During the 2000 presidential campaign George W. Bush promised that as President he would immediately “begin the process of moving the United States ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital.” 21 As President, however, Bush followed Clinton’s precedent and repeatedly used the presidential waiver to prevent the embassy from being moved. Since coming to office in 2008, President Obama has continued the policy of his predecessors.

        While critics of congressional efforts to force the administration to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital insist that such a move would harm the peace process, supporters of the legislation argue the opposite is true. By making clear the United States position that Jerusalem should remain unified under Israeli sovereignty, unrealistic Palestinian expectations regarding the city can be moderated and thereby enhance the prospects for a final agreement.

    • Real freedoms..


      Happiness and satisfaction.

      Homosexuality. (Now there’s a thought).

      Female sexuality. (There’s a thought too – gasp!).

    • Jeff, paranoia is Islam’s residual being-in-the-world. The koran teaches Muslims from their earliest awareness of it that kufar will betray them and that their only true friends are fellow Muslims. The patent ridiculousness of that statement (and the cognitive dissonance ensues from it but which isn’t allowed into awareness) is borne out by the demonstrable ease with which Muslims are slaughtering fellow Muslims all over the world.

      A lifetime of koranic teaching and a cultural narrative warning Muslims of the dangers of the infidels can inculcate a natural sense of suspicion and isolation, and also, most importantly, a natural sense of superiority. This is often made worse by a peculiarly Muslim sense of victimization. It has been argued that the Muslim mind is preoccupied by conspiracy theories and that Muslims often tend to believe that they are the victims of heinous plots hatched against them by their enemies.

      The Islamic narrative is dominated by the notion that a Muslim cannot and should not trust anyone other than another Muslim because all others will betray him.

      Add to this the Muslim perception that aggressive jihad can be undertaken even if Muslims perceive themselves to be under threat, and yet are not, and we have them getting their retaliation in first, which is happening in the I/P conflict. It is countenanced in the shari’a because this is the way their prophet waged war.

      • Serendipity,
        Even though I only meant it as a rhetorical question I thank you for that wonderfully erudite explanation.
        Much appreciated.

  2. As AKUS and Hadar Sela reported back in April

    That would be the same AKUS who claims to be a direct descendent of Aaron?

    And you take him seriously?

          • O arch-contrarian, who are you to question AKUS’ credibility? You who can turn on a sixpence and would have an argument with himself if he couldn’t find anyone else to argue with.

      • If the G. style guide really does say that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel, then obviously that’s bonkers.

        I said as much on a previous thread.

    • As Matthew 5:3 says pretzel: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven….
      If you are a laughable ignorant you don’t have to worry about inconvenient facts don’t you?

      Y-chromosomal Aaron is the name given to the hypothesised most recent common ancestor of many of the patrilineal Jewish priestly caste known as Kohanim (singular “Kohen”, “Cohen”, or Kohane). In the Torah, this ancestor is identified as Aaron, the brother of Moses. The hypothetical most recent common ancestor was therefore jocularly dubbed “Y-chromosomal Aaron”, in analogy to Y-chromosomal Adam. Although most priestly functions of the Kohanim (such as Temple sacrifices) ended with the destruction of the second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE, the identity of Kohanim has been carefully preserved throughout history. In traditional synagogues, a Kohen will always be the first person called to the Torah, will be asked to publicly bless the congregation at specified times, will be asked to bless a bride and groom at the wedding, and will be asked to “redeem” every first-born male child. Until recently, however, there was neither scientific support nor continuous written record to support the claim of patrilineal descent from Aaron.

      The original scientific research was based on the discovery that a majority of present-day Jewish Kohanim either share, or are only one step removed from, a pattern of values for 6 Y-STR markers, which researchers named the Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH). However it subsequently became clear that this six marker pattern was widespread in many communities where men had Y chromosomes which fell into Haplogroup J; the six-marker CMH was not specific just to Cohens, nor even just to Jews, but was a survival from the origins of Haplogroup J, about 30,000 years ago

  3. Jihad is defined as defensive in nature……

    When this defensive Jihad,manages to blowup the Olympics in London,which they are planning to do.Will the Guardian still think of that act as DEFENSIVE IN NATURE……They never cease to amaze with their moral turpitude……

  4. For me Jerusalem is the Israeli capital.
    But for the rest of the world it is not.
    All of the foreign embassies are in Tel Aviv or around it, suggesting they are viewing Tel Aviv as the Israeli capital.

    • I always find it strange to read that “unified” Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, since 99% of the Israelis I know have never set foot in East jerusalem and do not want to go there.

      • Nat – depends on your definition of “East” Jerusalem, doesn’t it? If by that, you mean all of Jerusalem that was on the Jordanian-occupied side of the green line between 1948 and 1967 (the only time in the City’s history it has been divided), then that would include the Old City, which of course includes sites holy to the three largest religions in Israel.

        To say that 99% of Israelis have never set foot there and do not want to go there is quite frankly bizarre.

        • It’s not if the 99% of Israelis you ask all come from Wadi Ara and happen to relate to a certain Hadash party member.

        • Gooner, when was the last time you set foot in east Jerusalem: Wadi Joz, Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, Shufat, Shufat refugee camp, Beit Hanina, Dowtown Salaheddin, A-Tur, Abu Tur, Issawiya… ?

          The Israeli settlements built in East jerusalem in violation fo international law such as Pisgaat Zeev, are rather small and not the most attractive place.

          Did you know that shops in West jerusalem refuse to deliver in east Jerusalem?

          • My personal travel habits are neither here nor there (PS I am not Israeli, so please don’t include me in your representative survey of 99% of Israelis you “know”).

            Please address the points I made in my earlier post. Is the Old City “East” or “West” Jerusalem in your view? Do Israelis visit it? Want to visit it? Are you talking crap again?

          • My brother was a teacher in Pisgat Zeev and visited him a couple of times.
            I also visited A-Tur, Givat Hatachmoshet the French hill and other small parts of East Jerusalem.
            But frankly it is not a nice place to visit and being Israeli in those places is not a good idea.
            count the stubbings and rapes in the parks and around and you know.

            I won’t get out of my way to visit these places cause I have nothing to look for over there and cause the local authority doesn’t invest in these areas.

            Why is that?
            Maybe cause some people make a fuss about demolishing Arab houses every time you try to renovate.
            Or maybe some people in Shoaafat prefer to stay in the gutter cause it serves as a political tool..

      • What percentage of Brits have never set foot in London?

        Does that make Bradford or Luton the real capital of the UK?

        What percentage of Americans have never set foot in Washington DC?

        • Or more to the point what percentage of Gazzans set foot in Jerusalem?

          And no, medical visits to Hadasah or Sha’arey Tzedek, which the Israeli tax payer pay for, do not count.

        • London is located in the UK. East Jerusalem is not located in israel, but in the occupied palestinian territory (OPT).

          • Last time I checked they haven’t agreed on final borders.
            But I’ll take your word for it, shall I?

      • Nat,

        I find the Israelis you know to be either Arab, Druze or in denial.

        A trip to East Jerusalem old city is in every secular Jewish / mixed high school year trip.
        Especially around the Bar Mitzvah year group.

        In fact I can’t think of a single Israeli I came across that has never been to Jerusalem visiting Jaffo gate or the Shuk.

        And I have to drive 5 hours to get to Jerusalem.

        Most northereners driving to Ein Gedi or Kaliya will pass through Jerusalem, which will have to place them in the eastern side of the city.

        I never said Unified Jerusalem. I said Jerusalem.

        • The Old City’s Jewish Quarter is under Israeli sovereignty, and it’s therefore logical to see loads of Israelis visiting and praying at Jewish holy sites.

          I’ve almost never seen an Israeli wander in the Old City’s Muslim quarter or in Wadi Joz or Silwan or Sheikh Jarrah or Shufat or beit hanina or in downtown Salaheddin…

          Have you?

          I once asked Pizza Hut in Jaffa street to deliver a pizza in Salaheddin street, east jerusalem. They refused, saying they did not delive rto east Jerusalem.

          • “I’ve almost never seen an Israeli wander in the Old City’s Muslim quarter or in Wadi Joz or Silwan or Sheikh Jarrah or Shufat or beit hanina or in downtown Salaheddin…”

            Well, could that be because a) you have a racist view of Israelis as all being Jews? b) because you have a racist view of Israelis as being immediately recognisable from their physical appearance/clothing? c) because Jewish Israelis (to whom you are clearly referring) value their safety and lives, or d) all of the above?

            I have never been to the Falkland Islands, and 100% of the British people I know have never been there and have little or no desire to go there. Does that mean the UK should just hand the islands to Argentina?

            Could you please stop spouting this nonsense now?

          • You said East Jerusalem.
            The old city was in East Jerusalem.
            You changed your mind?

          • Nat,

            The residents of these areas are Israeli Arabs.
            So I guess you have seen Israelis there.

            As for the Pizza Hut, well, you complain when we “land grab” but then you complain when we don’t want to cross “borders”.

            Can’t win with you.
            why don’t you open your own pizza hut in salah-A-Din st.?
            You can contribute to the local economy.

            Anyway, didn’t you follow Mr. Abbas’ instructions not to do business with the Yahud?

      • And you have polled each and every one of those 99% have you Nat?

        And gooner is being polite when he calls your dramatic and overblown assertions “bizarre.”

      • Why do you “find it strange to read that “unified” Jerusalem is Israel’s capital”?

        Jerusalem has always been the capital of the Jewish homeland. “Unified” refers to its liberation from the illegal occupation of it by Jordan. Yes, Jordan’s occupation was most certainly illegal and was never “Palestinian territory”.

        See here:

        Jordanian occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem refers to the occupation and annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Jordan (formerly Transjordan), during a period of nearly two decades (1948–1967) in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.[1][2] Jordanian occupation ended after Israel’s victory in the Six Day War.

        Jordan’s annexation was regarded as illegal and void by the Arab League and others, and was recognized only by Britain, Iraq and Pakistan.[3][4][5] Elihu Lauterpacht held that Jordan’s occupation of the area west of the Jordan “entirely lacked legal justification”.

        You really should stop this nonsense of misquoting and misleading use of terms such as “international law” and “illegal occupation”. I’ve asked you to give sources to uphold your claims and you have failed to do so.

        Fort good measure, while we’re talking about the re-unification of Jerusalem see here and tell me whether you believe it would be better if Jordan was still in control of east Jerusalem:

  5. Only slightly disingenuous, because what the style guide says is…

    used by Muslims to describe three different kinds of struggle: an individual’s internal struggle to live out the Muslim faith as well as possible; the struggle to build a good Muslim society; and the struggle to defend Islam, with force if necessary (holy war)

  6. What is really dishonest is that the first two mentioned are often employed by apologists for Islamist terror as an attempt to deflect attention from the third. Jihad in common usage today means getting their retaliation in first.