Definitions

Arabs – Arab Millennial (AM) does not believe that pure ethnic ties to a distinct people continue to exist. However, we define Arabs as inhabitants or descendents of inhabitants of the geographical Arab world that expands from Mauritania to Oman. Arabs generally share a language-type, culture-type, distant ethnic ancestry, or a combination of either of these.

AM acknowledges that a number of inhabitants of the so-called “Arab World” do not in fact identify as Arab, such as the Amazigh people. However, we believe in their inclusion in our discourse as ethnic groups in this region exist interdependently. This interdependence is one of the defining characteristics of the so-called Arab world.

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Arab Millennial (AM) – Arab Millennial (AM) is our organisation’s name, reflecting our target audience. AM is a social enterprise that contributes to progress amongst the global Arab community. We do this through: a) building awareness on global issues, b) providing training for personal development, c) equipping professionals with data, statistics and other resources related to Arab affairs, and d) providing a platform to facilitate coworking between Arabs and other ethnic community groups.

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Awareness – In AM, we perceive awareness to be the process by which we are primarily concerned by the status of the Arab world and want to create a well-informed global society. We are part of this awareness campaign that each individual is contributing to.

We do not wish to raise awareness to the issues facing the Arab world only. Instead, we want to raise awareness of Arab culture, history, identity, art, politics, economic and conflict. We want the world to recognise this region of the world, realise its value and become conscious of its strengths and weaknesses; not in a condescending or postcolonial manner, but in a realistic, pragmatic and productive way that leads to a more integrated, global society.

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Conservatism – The precise meaning on the term “conservatism” depends on its context of use though, generally, it is the philosophy through which an individual or group holds “traditional” attitudes, behaviours and/or opinions and does not necessarily desire or contribute to significant change.

Therefore, whilst most Islamists are conservatives, most conservatives are not Islamists.

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Diaspora – Dispersed people, voluntarily, as refugees, or otherwise.

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Discrimination – Discrimination is the differentiated treatment of people based on various categories including and not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, ability, age, sexuality and religion. Such treatment is unjust and we, at AM, condemn it not only in the Arab world but for the whole globe and all humanity. While we may each have our own individual religious ideas, we do not discriminate based on these ideas and we condemn others who may do so.

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Equality – Equality is the state of being equal in opportunity and status. The state of being equal, however, does not mean uniformity in any aspect except to say we all have value. Our value can, however, manifest itself differently. While we acknowledge that each of us is born into some type of privilege, we condemn and absolutely refuse to allow these privileges to dictate the obtaining of opportunities as well as access to these opportunities. Our notion of equality does not, therefore, necessarily overlook differences.

We want to see equality in the Arab world. Equality in access to education. Equality in access to state capital. Equality in access to jobs and higher positions. We do not want socioeconomic status or political ideologies to dictate what an Arab can or cannot do. We also want Arabs to treat each other fairly, as well as other ethnic or culturally community groups that exist alongside or, unfortunately, “within” the Arab world.

We want citizens of the Arab world to have equal access to opportunities and justice despite differences in class, economic status, political ideology, religion, race, ethnicity, bodily ability, gender or sexual orientation.

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Extremism – Extremism is the advocacy of any religion and/or ideology on either end of a larger spectrum of context within which that view operates.

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Fundamentalism – Fundamentalism is a literal – and, often, binary – interpretation of a religious and/or ideological text. A fundamentalist is not necessarily an Islamist or Muslim, but could be.

At AM, we respect and tolerate those who hold fundamentalist, and allow their opinions to be shared, so long as they, themselves, are not intolerant of others. To learn more about commenting and comment moderation, please see our Terms of Use.

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Islamic – AM does not take a specific stance on Islam or any other religion for that matter. Although a number of our founding team is Muslim, the organisation is not Muslim. AM also recognises that there is no one authentic way in which Islam or any other religion is ought to be practiced or believed. We neither condemn nor support specific sects of Islam. We respect each sect, and we do not question any sect’s beliefs or practices.

We are not theologians and therefore when we use the term “Islamic”, we will often refer to the faith in general and not one specific sect of the faith. In other words, when we say “Islamic”, we mean relating to the faith in all its sects. We, however, understand how problematic that can be, but given that we are not a theological organisation, we have no authority to argue what is ought to be Islamic and what is not.

Instead, we value progress in religion, not only in Islam but in all religions.

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Islamism – “Islamism” refers to the advocacy and/or propagation of Islam in a recognisably political context. By logic, an Islamist is therefore any individual who advocates the Islamic faith in whichever one of sects in a significant political context and/or for political purposes.

Whilst discussions on Islam, as a faith, are raised in our opinion pieces – due to its ties with most of the Arab world – AM is a secular organisation and does not believe in Islamic political leadership. In 2017, we believe that all faiths must be treated equally, and not one proponent of a faith should claim intellectual superiority or enlightenment; secularism is one of the solutions for a globalised and diverse world.

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Liberalism – The term “liberalism” depends on its context of use:

In common parlance: Liberalism is being open to new thoughts, opinions, ideas and/or behavior.

In classical political theory: Liberalism refers to the philosophy advocated by John Locke that promotes cooperation through mutual gain based on certain assumptions taken from Christianity.

In classical economic theory: Liberalism is the process through which freely operating market forces can interact and pursue transactions in a way that supposedly creates efficient economic outcomes.

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Millennial – Millennials are also known as Generation Y or Gen-Y. For AM, millennials are people born between 1982 and 2004 who are susceptible to sharing some attitudes towards the world we live in due to the socio-political climates into which they were born. These attitudes often – but not always – tend to lean towards the use and advancement of technology.

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Nationalism – “Nationalism” is a different to “patriotism”. It can be seen as a bias towards and/or love for one’s country (not necessarily one’s born country, but the country that one identifies most with). This may result in either a beneficial or disadvantageous outcome.

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Platform – AM is a platform in which information is accessed, circulated and spread. It is a community for Arab millennials to express their opinions and see others’ opinions. It is a manifesto that aims to alleviate the status of an Arab millennial to a higher level of intellectuality and, hence, progress. This platform intends to help each millennial to become independent in his or her thoughts.

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Progress – Progress is the goal that AM holds for the Arab world, its internal interaction, and its interaction with the rest of the world. It is the forward and onward movement of these societies towards social, political and economic emancipation. We follow the philosophy of progressivism that pins advancement in science, technology, economic development and social organisation to be essential for the improvement of the human condition.

While the abovementioned philosophy was developed during the Enlightenment Era in Europe, we do not necessarily align ourselves with that period in time. At the same time, we want to make it clear that, while we deem progress to be a positive destination we would like the Arab world to strive towards, we neither promote nor advocate for a Western style of social change similar to that of the Western emergence during the Industrialisation Era. Instead, we philosophically follow the ideas of progressivism, but strongly believe that the Arab world can strive towards progress in its own style and manner and on its own timeline.

Finally, we do not necessarily believe that there is a direct correlation between “time” and “progress”. Rather, progress can happen in cycles – sometimes, time can bring with it the regression of society.

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Radicalism – Radical change is change that does not come gradual but is sudden and is extreme. “Radicalism” is therefore advocacy for change – positive or negative, moral or immoral – in such a manner. Whether we and/or external writers use “radicalism” with a positive or negative connotation depends its context of use and subject being discussed.

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Secularism – Secularism is the separation of statehood, society and/or religion.

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Social Enterprise – Arab Millennial is a social enterprise. A social enterprise is a hybrid of a charitable initiative and an ordinary business. Whilst we use traditional business models to generate revenue for Arab Millennial, we also rely heavily on donations to continue powering our initiative. Furthermore, all profits raised go back into the Arab Millennial organisation in order to drive forward the values that we support.

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Terrorism – Terrorism is violence or threat of use of violence used to intimidate innocent civilians with intent to advance political, religious and/or ideological objectives.

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Zionism – “Zionism”, with an upper-case Z, is a term commonly used to characterise the religious, political, philosophical, historical and/or ideological position that the Jewish people are entitled to a promised land that had been preordained to them by God and/or by genetic predisposition; typically, the area that presently encompasses – but is not limited to – the UN recognised States of Israel and Palestine.

Whilst some Jews agree with the conventional view of Zionism, other Jews do not. Furthermore, there are non-Jewish advocates of the conventional view on Zionism defined above. Therefore, we do not believe that “Zionism” and “Judaism” are interchangeable terms: not all Zionists are Jews, and not all Jews are Zionists.

Indeed, there are some Jewish leaders who agree with a general notion of “zionism” (with a lower-case z) – such as the position that Jewish people, like anybody else, are entitled to self-representation and self-emancipation – but believe that the conventional take on Zionism practiced by the Israeli state is inherently immoral and against the very values of Judaism.

If “Zionism” is used in a different context other than the ones mentioned above, we will typically specify its context in the article within which the subject matter is being discussed. If you believe our definition of Zionism is inaccurate, please contact osama.filalinaji@arabmillennial.net or shatha.sbeta@arabmillennial.net with a clear explanation and, preferably, an alternative definition in line with your constructive feedback.

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Can’t find the term you’re looking for? Please email osama.filalinaji@arabmillennial.net or shatha.sbeta@arabmillennial.net.