UK Terror Watchdog: Stop Using the Term ‘Islamist Terror’

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The British government’s terror watchdog says it is “fundamentally wrong” to use the words “Islamist terrorism” to describe attacks carried out by … well, for lack of any better words, Islamist terrorists.

Queen’s counsel Max Hill is the UK’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, whose job is not only to monitor legislation but, as he says,  engage “in all sides in national and international discussion about terrorism and national security.”

Hill declared that the word terrorism should not be linked “to any of the world religions” and that instead, the words “Daesh-inspired terrorism” should be used.

This latest display of political correctness from the “terror watchdog” is yet another attempt by a Western government to put its proverbial head in the sand about the real and ongoing threat we all face – not just from ISIS (which, Hill also would also like us not to say) but from all Islamist terrorists.

Moreover, it has been repeatedly shown that many adherents of non-violent Islamism go on to become violent Islamists. It is important to in that respect to name and continue to call out the ideology of Islamism.

Moreover, labeling the problem accurately is the first step to fighting it. In addition, by not acknowledging the connection of Islamism and terrorism when the public is well aware of this real and pervasive connection makes it much more difficult for the average person to distinguish between peaceful, law-abiding Muslims and radical ones.

Since the average person understands all too well the scourge of Islamist terrorism, not making the distinction leads to more racism and anti-Muslim bigotry. It also impedes the work of reformist Muslims, who have largely been cut out of the conversation by various Western governments.

If this is the weltanchaung of the UK terror watchdog, then we can, unfortunately, predict that many terrorists will slip by on his watch.


Watch this short film by Clarion Project for a discussion about the use of language in fight terror:



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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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