Some analysts have advised U.S. officials not to employ the terms our enemies use to describe themselves (“jihadis” or “mujahids,” i.e. those engaged in jihad) or their actions (e.g. “martyrdom operations”) since these terms legitimate them in the eyes of other Muslims. Instead, they argue, U.S. officials should use Arabic terms that will discredit the jihadis among mainstream Muslims. This is a reasonable suggestion, but it should be taken up with caution.

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive updates from CTC.

Sign up