The British government has published a new phrase book instructing civil servants how to talk to Muslims about the terror threat without implying that they are to blame, The Guardian newspaper reported Monday.
The newly published guide, received by The Guardian, clearly indicates that the British government has decided to recant its previously aggressive rhetoric regarding terrorism, and dissociate completely terrorism and extremism from Islam.
In lieu of terms such as “Islamist extremism” or “jihadi-fundamentalist”, the guide advises civil servants to use terminology such as “violent extremism” and “criminal murderers or thugs” in order to avoid explicitly linking terror with Islam.
The guide was drafted by the British Home Office research, information and communications unit, established last summer to counter al-Qaeda propaganda.
It also cautions those involved in counter-terrorism that utilizing terms such as “struggle for values” or a “battle of ideas” can often appear confrontational and counterproductive, and advises them to instead describe the war on terror as a fight for a common cause.
UK no novice to terror
The UK experienced the full wrath of Islamic terror roughly two and a half years ago, when four British-born Muslim suicide bombers set off a series of coordinated blasts within London’s underground railway system.
Several other attempted UK terror attacks have also since been foiled. Last summer two car bombs were discovered in central London right before they were set to explode, and a car bomb attack on Glasgow airport was similarly foiled.
The Guardian has also indicated that the British government has been of late adopting a different, more sophisticated approach to the war on terror, grounded in the realization that it must “avoid implying that specific communities are to blame if it is to enable communities to challenge the ideas of violent extremists robustly.”