Monday, March 23, 2009

AP Style Update - Muslim/Arab entries

Catching up on some AP stylebook updates, in February, AP released a whole slew of new entries dealing with topics from the Muslim and Arab worlds. I'm not going to list all of them (doesn't seem sporting if you really should be paying for the stylebook), but some major ones. Chief among these is the reminder that it's Somali, not Somalian, when talking about the country and its people.


Al-Aqsa The mosque completed in the 8th century atop the Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, in the old city of Jerusalem; Arabs also use Al-Aqsa to refer to the whole area, which houses the Dome of the Rock mosque, too. To Jews the area is known as the Temple Mount, the site of the ancient Jewish temples.

hajj The pilgrimage to Mecca required of every Muslim who can afford it. The person making the hajj is a hajji.

Hamas The Palestinian Islamic political party, which has an armed wing of the same name. The word is an acronym for the Arabic words for Islamic Resistance Movement.

Hezbollah The Lebanese Shiite Muslim political party, which has an armed wing of the same name. The word means party of God in Arabic.

hijab The headscarf worn by Muslim women.

intifada An Arabic term for the Palestinian uprising against Israel.

kaffiyeh The men's headdress in Arab countries.

niqab The veil worn by the most conservative Muslim women, in which, at most, only the eyes show.

Somali A person from Somalia, or an adjective for something linked to Somalia. Do not use Somalian.

Temple Mount The walled, elevated area in Jerusalem's Old City that was the site of the ancient Jewish temples. It now houses the centuries-old Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques and is known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary. Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad made his night journey to heaven from the site.

Wahhabi Follower of a strict Muslim sect that adheres closely to the Quran; it's most powerful in Saudi Arabia.