American Muslims and the effect of Negative Bureaucratic Terms Negative bureaucratic terms refer to the terms that are used by the members of a bureaucracy. These terms have the sanction of the authority behind them. This is why Koppelman believes that negative bureaucratic terms are powerful purveyor of negative images. (Koppelman, 2011) My topic of discussion is terrorism and the terms used by the government officials to refer to the terrorists.
Terrorism is a global problem and every single effort to prevent terrorism is praiseworthy. But the problem starts when some politicians, state government officials, members of the congress and senate try to link these terrorists and their activities to the religion of Islam. For example, in 2010, governor’s office of Texas released the Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan 2010-2015. It includes information about state’s preparation, response and recovery efforts for all types of threats for the years 2010-1015. Release, 2010) Some of the terms used in that report are “Islamic extremists”, “Violent Islamic extremists”, “Jihadists” etc. (Texas Homeland Security, 2010) I think using these types of terms are wrong because it gives a message to the American people that Islam is somehow related to the terrorists and their activities are sanctioned by Islam- which is not true at all. This is why I believe state officials should refrain from using words like “Islamic terrorism” because it gives Islam a bad image and portrays all Muslims as terrorists.
The report also describes terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbullah and Al Qaeda as “Islamic Terrorist Groups”. (Texas Homeland Security, 2010) But in reality, they are all violent political groups whose members happen to be Muslims. I have no sympathy for any member of these groups but I think associating Islam with terrorism in this fashion is very offending to the American Muslims. In an extensive research, Robert Pape- a political science professor at the University of Chicago concluded that, Islam has nothing to do with terrorism.
According to Pape, the root cause of terrorism is “foreign military occupation “. (Pape, 2010) I think government officials need to realize that using these types of terms doesn’t help the cause at all. It creates more problems. Associating Islam with terrorism by the members of congress, senate and other state and government official is morally wrong. It is fuelling the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in America and is the number one cause of Islamophobia in America.
According to a New York Times report, anti-Muslim discrimination in America is all time high now. (Greenhouse, 2010) Koppelman’s theory of negative bureaucratic terms says that these terms are more harmful than social derisive terms. Examining the current condition of American Muslims will prove that he is absolutely right. Negative bureaucratic terms lay out the foundation for social derisive terms and then it becomes the reason for pain and suffering for a minority group.