Arab/Muslim euphemisms

This is a reference article that I intend to add to as I collect more information.

Different countries have developed different euphemisms for referring to the local Arab or Muslim community. It is a way for the media to pretend it is politically correct, though by creating social cues for people to understand what they mean without saying so, journalists and the media are actually causing more harm than good.

I would appreciate more examples. I will add anything sent to me or added by comments.




Asians - I have already seen quite a few examples of the media referring to the "Asian Community" and then going on to talk about imams and mosques.


Allochtoon (originating from another country). Officially this holds for every person who has at least one foreign born parent. Practically, the media uses it almost only for Muslims.

In Belgium: Nieuwe Belg (New Belgians). An article I read recently had trouble diffrentiating between "Old" Belgians and "Old Belgians".


Nydansker - New Danes


Turks - there's no general distinction between Muslim, Arab and Turks. It's not really a euphemism, but not every Turk is a Muslim and vice versa.


Suburban youth/resident - see comments below


Village - in the Israeli press and popular opinion, any reference to a 'village' usually means 'Arab'. Therefore, a newspaper can write "three thieves were caught, from a village in the Galilee" and everybody will know that the three are Arabs, without them having to spell it out.


Pakistani / Muslim community

Last updated: Feb. 26th, 2007


Frank said...

In Canada its "Pakistani" or the "Muslim community"; a straightforward enough description.

mlj said...

in Denmark it's first-/second-/third-/fourth generation immigrant as appropriate. Although it seems a bit hysterical to go on categorizing people based on their great grandfathers actions.

A newer, more PC term, is nydanskere - literally "new Danes".

The_Editrix said...

Esther, the German definition is simply not true.

Germans DO distinguish very well between Turks and Arabs and the two groups, who detest each other heartily, never let them forget the difference.

The common euphemism for Muslims is "Migrant/Migrantin" or, worse, "Person mit Migrationshintergrund".

"Hintergrund" = background and I think everything else is self-explaining.

Esther said...


This appears in a study about Muslims in Germany:

Few articles and media releases distinguish between the differences in the Islamic community (unless it is in reference to the specifi c article topic) and they often use
the terms ‘Turkish’ and ‘Muslim’ interchangeably.

Due to the overwhelming majority of Turks within the German Islamic community, the meaning in terminology of the words: ‘Islam’ and ‘Turkish’ have become intermingled.

Migrant might be another euphemism, but it's not the only one. Take a look at Google News - how many articles use 'migrant' and how many use 'Turk'.

Anonymous said...

In Finland:

young people (nuori) = muslim rapist/child molester/robber/etc.

youngsters/youth (nuoriso) = muslim attacking people and burning cars and houses

new finnish resident (uussuomalainen) = muslim/black immigrant

make culture richer = muslim/black raping a young child

Anonymous said...

In the uk i find when the bbc say a white man or use a very English name then we know that it may be an English guy, when nothing is mentioned neither name nor ethnicity i usually think muslim.
With the torture and killing of Ann Marie the bbc mentioned only two names both very English sounding, yet not one of the gang were actually white guys. two were black the rest muslims, i refuse to call them Asians as this brands all Asians as muslims.

Anonymous said...

I just posted two topics on a Finland forum about the "nuori" term and the postings were immediately deleted.

Krishna109 said...

During the Cronulla Beach riots [Australia- Dec. 2005] they were referred to as''men of middle-eastern appearance''.

Anonymous said...

Most of the Muslims in Britain are of Pakistani descent. So the euphemism 'Asian' even though technically incorrect (Britain is in Europe) is sort of logical.
The problem is for the rest of the immigrants of Asian descent. Mostly Indian and to a lesser extent, Chinese. They, who to a general degree integrate well into British society, get tarred with the Asian brush when Muslims get themselves involved in controversy - which, like in most countries, happens frequently - and from what I can gather are deeply resentful of this.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a German reader can confirm this, but I think the description 'Sudlaender' (southerner) is quite common in the German-speaking media.

Anonymous said...

Increasingly in the American and Canadian press use the terms "street gangs" and "street youths" refer to Muslims, whereas tose terms used to refer to blacks and sometimes Hispanics. Honestly I think the Muslims have done great service, in a sick way, for black/white relations in that law enforcement had laid off the blacks somewhat since 9/11. We had no idea what ghettos were before the Muslim influx, even despite the crack epidemic. And while blacks in the ghetto may commit lots of crime, they keep it in the ghetto and they commit crimes against their own people. The same is true of the Hispanic community. But Muslims are more likely to commit crimes against whites. They're also less likely to receive harsh sentences for doing so, sadly, in our self-destructive PC culture. Today the number of Muslims in jail for violent crimes is far more out of proportion to their population in the US than that of blacks. Blacks are also far more likely to go to college and far less likely to end up on welfare. Amazing. And of course, blacks and Hispanics are far more likely to raise their chldren to be good people, and well-adjusted, self-sufficient adults who are capable of self-sufficiency and who embrace the Judeo-Christian work ethic and contribute something of value to society, something no Muslim has ever managed to do.

I'm a redneck and I hate political correctness, so I call them what they are: terrorists, pedophiles, child molesters, Nazis, cult members, brainwashed sicko perverts, parasitic sex slave baby factories, and prostitute tapeworms in medieval Nazi slave rags. I keep it real.

Esther said...

Hi jetabler,

And while blacks in the ghetto may commit lots of crime, they keep it in the ghetto and they commit crimes against their own people. The same is true of the Hispanic community. But Muslims are more likely to commit crimes against whites.

You talk about blacks, hispanics, Muslims and whites. But Muslims aren't their own race. There are black Muslims (especially in the US), and white Muslims, and Asian Muslims etc.

Besides which - can you prove what you write above? I really don't think it's true.

Anonymous said...

Granted, I was rather unclear. I wasn't talking so much in racial terms as I was in terms of communities and neighborhoods, specifically the 'ghetto' ones. There are black ghettos, Hispanic ghettos, and Muslim ghettos, and the Muslim ghettos are a big mishmash of Muslims from all over, as are many Hispanic ghettos. There are also white ghettos. We call those 'trailer parks,' because lots of whites in the ghetto live in trailers. I of course realize that Islam isn't a race. Eastern Europe is full of blonde-haired, blue-eyed Muslims, and even Hispanic, Native American, and Inuit convicted criminals have been known to join the Islamic party (I'm done talking about it in terms of 'conversion' since Islam is really just a more extreme, more thuggish Nazi political movement which has zero divine basis, so it doesn't even resemble a legitimate religion).

And to demonstrate my point, black kids are often forced to attend run-down, poorly funded 'ghetto' schools, and many of them make fantastic lives for themselves despite their humble beginnings. But when a bunch of Muslim kids attend good schools they ghettoize them with violence against Jewish kids, between Arabs and Turks, and against girls; they slow down the educational process because they are too inbred to keep up, and when they fail, it's blamed on the perfectly good schools rather than the stupidity and unwillingness to embrace the Judeo-Christian work ethic on the part of the students.

Muslims have certainly ruined my grad school experience, and I attend what was until very recently one of the greatest graduate institutions for the study of linguistics in the world. Now it's just ghetto as hell, and that's due to a minority affirmative action population who repeatedly harasses all the good students who actually deserve to be there, most of all me, as you might imagine.

bernie said...

Great Collection - I linked to your article from The Word No one should Utter without shame - Muslim

gsw said...

@Anonymous said...
Perhaps a German reader can confirm this, but I think the description 'Sudlaender'(southerner) is quite common in the German-speaking media.
Ne, dos sind die Bayern!
Actually, in Austria the newspapers tend to distinguish between muslim immigrants, muslim-extremists, muslimische Turk-Volk, etc.
Quick search of the local paper today found the word muslim mentioned 31 times and "radikaler Muslime" once (ok, so that was from the FPO).