WaPo: Islamist = Conservative

Hot on the heels of the Harvard report on media bias comes a shining example, as explained by the Counterterrorism blog:

Regarding Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the November 5 Washington Post views him as "head of a conservative religious party", and reports Qazi Hussain Ahmed's calls against Musharraf as: "It's time to take a stand. It's a now-or-never chance, and people should come out on the streets and throw out this military dictator." The Washington Post reports that "[h]undreds of the party's activists had been arrested as of Monday morning, a party spokesman said". The Washington Post does not identify the organizations or the ideology that Qazi Hussain Ahmed and his political parties represent.

In fact, the "conservative religious party" that Qazi Hussain Ahmed leads is Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI), which is also part of the Muttahidah Majlis-e-'Amal (Council of United Action) (MMA) -- that he also leads. Neither are merely a "conservative religious party", but are Islamist political organizations, with reported support of Jihad by their leaders and some of their members.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed has been reported as a sympathizer and defender of Osama Bin Laden. One media report stated "Qazi Hussain Ahmed has earlier made flattering comments about Osama bin Laden, and his party, Jamaat-e-Islami, also has hailed al-Qaeda members as heroes." Qazi Hussain Ahmed views that the 9/11 attacks were "specially designed to crush Muslims all over the world under this garb".

In his own party's media news ("Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) Media News"), Qazi Hussain Ahmed "has warned the government that unrest in the country would assume serious dimensions if it assisted the United States or any agency in arrest of Osama bin Laden." In May 2003, South Asia Intelligence Group reported potential links between Qazi Hussain Ahmed, JEI, and Bin Laden: "US intelligence officers posted in Pakistan have reportedly been making detailed enquiries into the likely links of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) of Pakistan headed by Qazi Hussain Ahmed with Al Qaeda of Osama bin Laden".

Regarding Jamaat-e-Islami, the Christian Science Monitor reported that Pakistan's Interior Minister Makhdoom Faisel Saleh Hayat has alleged links between JEI and Al Qaeda stating "[a]ll of the activists and terrorists who have been apprehended in recent months have had links to the Jamaat-e-Islami, whether we have arrested them in Lahore or here or Karachi....[t]hey have been harboring them."

Prior to the Musharraf emergency declaration, the Pakistan Daily Times reported that Jamaat-e-Islami has been petitioning the Pakistani Supreme Court to halt all Pakistani military action in the Tribal Areas.

As GlobalSecurity.org states of Muttahidah Majlis-e-'Amal (MMA) political coalition: "it venomously attacked the Musharraf government for having betrayed the Taliban and sided with the US in its supposed 'war against Islam'. They...speak in favour of the militant groups banned by the Musharraf government Leaders under the MMA umbrella have issued fatwas of death on Americans and have denied the 9/11 attack by Osama bin Laden. The four parties are opposed to the present fiscal system and want it Islamised together with a complete enforcement of 'shariah'."

Now, granted, this may be viewed as "conservative" in Pakistan, which has a long history of being an Islamist haven, but the WaPo article makes no such distinction. By slapping the label "conservative" on this man and his party without explanation, they are at the very least negligent in not clearly explaining their terms, and at worst are trying to conflate the American conservative movement with these Islamoterrorists.

And don't get me started on the "religious" label. That's even worse, lumping all religions in with the radical terrorist wing of Islam.

The Washington Post deserves nothing but scorn for that article.