Partying like it’s 1984. Of course, many of these terms are euphemisms employed in the first place to dodge the heart of the matter, Islamic jihad. But euphemisms themselves eventually begin to take on too much of the connotation of the words they replaced, and it’s soon time to roll out a fresh batch of non-offensive terminology. Eventually, this list will also require revision and supplementation… at taxpayer expense. But maybe, just maybe, it will keep some Misunderstander of Islam from becoming “radicalized.”
No, scratch that. Apparently you can’t say “radicalize” now, either. “Don’t call extremists ‘extremists’,” by Graeme Wilson for The Sun, December 4:
MINISTERS have been BANNED from using words like Islamist and fundamentalist – in case they offend Muslims.
An eight-page Whitehall guide lists words they should not use when talking about terrorism in public and gives politically correct alternatives.
They are told not to refer to Muslim extremism as it links Islam to violence. Instead, they are urged to talk about terrorism or violent extremism.
As opposed to violent moderation? Or non-violent extremism? Is the latter ok, then?
Fundamentalist and Jihadi are also banned because they make an “explicit link” between Muslims and terror.
Ministers should say criminals, murderers or thugs instead. Radicalisation must be called brainwashing and talking about moderate or radical Muslims is to be avoided as it “splits the community”.
Islamophobia is also out as it is received as “a slur that singles out Muslims”.
It’s hard to make heads or tails of that one; the use of passive voice doesn’t help.
The guide, produced by the secretive Research, Information and Communications Unit in the Home Office, tell ministers to “avoid implying that specific communities are to blame” for terrorism. It says more than 2,000 people are engaged in terror plots.
The guidance was branded “daft” last night by a special adviser to ex-Communities Secretary Hazel Blears. Paul Richards said: “Unless you can describe what you’re up against, you’re never going to defeat it. Ministers need to be leading the debate on Islamic extremism and they can’t do that if they have one hand tied behind their back.”
The Home Office said: “This is about using appropriate language to have counter-terrorism impact. It would be foolish to do anything else.”
The secret weapon, the fruits of the Manhattan Project of the 21st century: “appropriate language.”