icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

UK cops need to realise that calling a jihadi a ‘faith-claimed terrorist’ will neither stop jihadism nor tackle islamophobia

Guy Birchall
Guy Birchall

Guy Birchall, British journalist covering current affairs, politics and free speech issues. Recently published in The Sun and Spiked Online. Follow him on Twitter @guybirchall

Guy Birchall, British journalist covering current affairs, politics and free speech issues. Recently published in The Sun and Spiked Online. Follow him on Twitter @guybirchall

UK cops need to realise that calling a jihadi a ‘faith-claimed terrorist’ will neither stop jihadism nor tackle islamophobia
British police are considering dropping terms like “jihadi” and “Islamist terrorism” from official communications, to improve “community relations.” This verbal chicanery takes the public, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, for fools.

The National Association of Muslim Police have called for the change to be considered because the current terms do not help “public confidence”.

Among the inventive alternatives suggested are 'faith-claimed terrorism', 'terrorists abusing religious motivations' and 'adherents of Osama bin Laden's ideology'. Even by British policing’s herculeanly woke standards this is absurd and, more importantly, counterproductive.

If a society is to address an issue, they must first be able to identify it. Regrettable though it is, the fact of the matter is that there is a problem with Islamic terrorism and radicalism in Britain. This has been demonstrated by hundreds if not thousands British citizens having run off to join ISIS over the years and multiple terror attacks from the 7/7 bombings of 2005 to last year’s London Bridge attack. There was a common theme with these attacks and that was and is Islamic terrorism. 

Also on rt.com Monty Python’s classic ‘The Life of Brian’ relentlessly mocked Christianity. Now we must do the same thing to the Church of Woke

Obviously, the thought behind the call to erase any reference to Islam when discussing these incidents is to prevent “Islamophobia”. Perplexingly this always seems to be the primary concern after some murderous maniac drives a truck into a crowd, goes on a knife rampage or blows themselves up on a train. The narrative always shifts to Islamophobia and how it must be avoided, despite the fact that it has hardly ever materialised in the wake of yet another atrocity. 

This was perhaps best illustrated following the last month’s attack in Reading which saw three gay men stabbed to death by a suspected terrorist. In the wake of that attack homophobia was barely mentioned, but Islamophobia and racism were regarded as primary concerns, even by LGBTQIA+ charity Stonewall. 

The uncomfortable truth is that, in recently years in Britain, the biggest threat from terrorism has come from jihadis. In 2017 there were three within a matter of months which all had horrifyingly fatal consequences. The Westminster Bridge Attack, the Manchester Arena bombing and the first London Bridge attack all happened between March and June of that year, and they were all carried out by Islamic fundamentalists. Those are facts and engaging in verbal gymnastics to try and weasel out of confronting that helps no one. 

Even the suggestions make no sense, describing it as “faith-claimed terrorism” for example, would surely lead people to ask which faith in particular it was that was claiming the attack? “Terrorists abusing religious motivations” would again illicit the same response and as for calling them “adherents of Osama bin Laden's ideology” his ideology was Islamic fundamentalism, he was really rather clear on that one. 

This move would also be unhelpful to the Muslim community of Britain. No sane person believes that all Muslims are terrorists, or that Islam has a monopoly on terror, both those positions are absurd. However, the community has to acknowledge that within its ranks there are bad actors and some of them have very sinister ends that they wish to achieve. By trying to mollycoddle the wider Islamic community with these word-salads we do them a disservice and a disrespect. By branding these attacks accurately we are simply treating British Muslims in a respectful and adult manner, rather than treating them as some kind of fragile “other” in society. 

Also on rt.com Refugee with anti-homosexual history slaughters 3 gay men during Pride Month, but it’s TOO EARLY to speculate about homophobia?

It seems striking that at a time when we are being urged by large sections of the woke left to accept the blanket claim that Britain is a systemically racist country our police would be considering not calling a specific problem for what it is. Language is important and what we call problems matters. Islamist terror is just that, terrorism perpetrated by Islamists. It is observable, it is evident and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous.

No one is blaming all Muslims for the terror attacks committed by fanatics, but to try and completely divorce the religion of these terrorists from their motivation is inaccurate and unhelpful. Addressing the motive for terrorism is arguably more important in preventing future attacks than the type of violence used. Not calling a “jihadi” a “jihadi” is not going to stop him being a jihadi. We must be honest about what the problem is, regardless of how uncomfortable that may make some people.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Podcasts