Politico’s Dylan Byers reports that the AP is eliminiating such terms as “ethnic cleansing,” “Islamophobia” and “homophobia” from its official lexicon:
The online Style Book now says that “-phobia,” “an irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness” should not be used “in political or social contexts,” including “homophobia” and “Islamophobia.” It also calls “ethnic cleansing” a “euphemism,” and says the AP “does not use ‘ethnic cleansing’ on its own. It must be enclosed in quotes, attributed and explained.”
“Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for pretty violent activities, a phobia is a psychiatric or medical term for a severe mental disorder. Those terms have been used quite a bit in the past, and we don’t feel that’s quite accurate,” AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn told POLITICO.
Bravo for the AP. Personally, I have found “Islamophobia” one of the most deliberately misleading locutions to appear in some time. Those accused of it are usually not phobic of Islam at all, but disdainful of it on an ideological basis.