Some things just aren't nice. It's not nice to say :
So what to do about it?
- terrorists act in the name of Islam
- jihad is a central tenet of Islam
- jihad involves violence.
- Islam uses jihad to further its plan for world domination.
Far better to pretend that violence has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam, and label any who dare say otherwise a bigot.
THE phrase "war on terrorism" is set to be expunged from the official lexicon.
"Experience has shown that the language used to describe terrorism can be counter-productive," Attorney-General Robert McClelland said.
"Certain words have the potential to glorify terrorism and terrorists, while others can cause anxiety among Australians and create divisions within and between communities."
Of particular concern are phrases that specifically link religion to terrorism, such as "jihad" and "Islamic extremists". The "war on terrorism" as well as its more American-style cousin, "the war on terror."
The project was inspired by a similar linguistic realignment that recently took place in Britain.
A counterterrorism phrasebook was drawn up to help officials talk about terrorism without making an explicit link between Islam and terrorism...British politicians started to speak of "al-Qaeda terrorists" instead of "Muslim terrorists" or "religious extremists".
The Australian project involves focus groups, run by the Australian Multicultural Foundation, whose Executive Director Hass Dellal said people did not want a new wave of political correctness but wanted language to be used more carefully. Words such as "moderate Muslim", "jihadist", "Islamic extremists" and "Muslim terrorists" were too general.
"When people talk about Islamic terrorism they are putting the two things together.This attempt at repackaging facts is reminiscent of George Orwell's Big Brother, where The Ministry of Truth fabricates lies. Maybe, rather than us changing our language in the vain hope that it will lessen Islamic terror, those who commit terror in the name of Islam could change their behaviour, so we wouldn't have to use the word “terrorism” alongside “Islam.”
"It concerns people because it paints a picture and creates a stereotype."
The phrase "war on terrorism" was particularly pernicious, because it had very quickly become "shorthand for Muslims".
Although it was difficult to change language, it could be done if the country's political and community leaders made an effort to use different words, Mr Dellal said.
"Language reflects attitudes. "If people change their language, it will filter through (to behaviour)." (source)
The curious phrase “ linguistic realignment” is nothing less than inverting the plain meaning of language.
We call them Islamic terrorists because that's exactly what they are – they are following the mandate of their holy book and killing in order to spread Islam. As for McClelland's desire to avoid “causing anxiety”, this could be achieved by standing up to Islam and making it clear that sharia will never be part of Australian law. Pandering to their demands simply emboldens them to ask for yet more sharia in place of our democratic principles, which our Attorney General should be upholding.
Of course, the UK and Australia are merely following the European Union, which in March 2007 drew up guidelines advising government spokesmen to refrain from linking Islam and terrorism:
- Brussels officials have confirmed the existence of a classified handbook which offers "non-offensive" phrases to use when announcing anti-terrorist operations or dealing with terrorist attacks.
- Banned terms are said to include "jihad", "Islamic" or "fundamentalist".
- The word "jihad" is to be avoided altogether, because for Muslims the word can mean a personal struggle to live a moral life.
- One alternative is for the term "Islamic terrorism" to be replaced by "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam".
- An EU official said that the secret guidebook or common lexicon is aimed at preventing the distortion of the Muslim faith and the alienation of Muslims in Europe.
- It includes guidance on a number of frequently used terms where lack of care by EU and member states' spokespeople may give rise to misunderstandings," he said.
- "Careful usage of certain terms is not about empty political correctness but stems from astute awareness of the EU's interests in the fight against terrorism.
- Details on the contents of the lexicon remain secret, but British officials stressed that it is there as a helpful aid "providing context" for civil servants making speeches or giving press conferences.
- However, Conservative MEP Syed Kamall hit out at the lexicon. "It is this kind of political correctness and secrecy that creates resentment among both the mainstream in Europe and in Islam," he said.
- UK Independence Party MEP Gerard Batten claimed that the EU was in denial over the true roots of terrorism. “This type of newspeak shows that the EU refuses to face reality," he said. "The major world terrorist threat is one posed by an ideology that is inspired by fundamentalist jihadi Islam." (source)
Of course there's no empty political correctness here, just a bit of cultural sensitivity!
Last year, JihadWatch lambasted the OIC chief who complained:
"Attempts to equate Islam with terrorism should be stopped. Stereotyping and demonization of Muslims should be combated"
Of course, he is exercised about "attempts to equate Islam with terrorism" by non-Muslims, who make this equation simply by reporting accurately on the terrorists' own stated justifications for their actions. He is not talking about the terrorists' own "attempts to equate Islam with terrorism." Those don't bother him.Speaking after the U.N. General Assembly passed an Islamic-sponsored resolution condemning "defamation of religion" for the fourth year in a row, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said his group was committed to respecting freedom of expression.
Ihsanoglu probably knows that he can't have it both ways, but is hoping the West doesn't figure that out in time to stop his anti-free speech initiatives.There was a "rising tide of incitement to religious hatred and discrimination and intolerance targeting Muslims," he told a meeting called by the Organization of the Islamic Conference at the UN in Geneva. The 57-nation OIC, based in Saudi Arabia, represents 1.5 billion Muslims.
In a statement on Ihsanoglu's remarks, Geneva spokesman for the International Humanist and Ethical Union Roy Brown argued that Islam was often linked to terror because perpetrators of many terrorist acts identify themselves as Muslims. (source)
Roy Brown's startlingly simple analysis that Islam was linked to terror because terrorists link themselves to Islam will no doubt be called “defamation of religion”, but normal people would call it stating the obvious.
The Obama administration appears to be backing away from the phrase "global war on terror".
The Defense Department's office of security review noted that "this administration prefers to avoid using the term 'Long War' or 'Global War on Terror' [GWOT.] Please use 'Overseas Contingency Operation.' "
The Bush administration adopted the phrase soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, when in an address to Congress, Bush said, "Our war on terror will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated."
But critics abroad and at home, including some within the U.S. military, said the terminology mischaracterized the nature of the enemy and its abilities. Some military officers said, for example, that classifying al-Qaeda and other anti-American militant groups as part of a single movement overstated their strength.
Early in Bush's second term, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld promoted a change in wording to "global struggle against violent extremism," or GSAVE. Bush rejected the shift and never softened his position that "global war" accurately describes the conflict that the United States is fighting.
Last month, the International Commission of Jurists urged the Obama administration to drop the phrase "war on terror," saying the term had given the Bush administration "spurious justification to a range of human rights and humanitarian law violations," including detention practices and interrogation methods that the International Committee of the Red Cross has described as torture.
John A. Nagl, who helped write the military's latest counterinsurgency field manual, said
"Our strategy should be to divide and conquer rather than make of enemies more than they are," ...We are facing a number of different insurgencies around the globe -- some have local causes, some of them are transnational. Viewing them all through one lens distorts the picture and magnifies the enemy." (source)
Heaven forbid we magnify the enemy: perhaps if we call Islamic terrorists fluffy bunnies all will be well!
In Berlin for a five-day European tour, he challenged German translators with his "Rudd-speak", saying
it was unlikely any progress would emerge from the Major Economies Forum (MEF) "by way of detailed programmatic specificity".
The line had German translators scrambling for a meaning.
When asked about the Prime Minister's choice of words in Perth today, the Opposition Leader said Mr Rudd would be better to use clear, plain English.
Mr Turnbull admitted he personally had "no idea what (programmatic specificity) means".
"As I understand it, I heard part of his speech was not only incomprehensible in English, but so incomprehensible the German translators were unable to translate," Mr Turnbull said. (source)