The British police are considering ceasing to use such terms as “Islamist” and “jihadi” in internal discussions of Islamist and jihadist terrorism. Liam Duffy comments:
Unsurprisingly, this parochial debate did not exactly strike fear into the hearts of terrorists. . . . According to critics of the word, “Islamism” should be dropped because it conflates religious belief with terror. But the term, [in contradistinction to] “Islamic,” is intended to draw a distinction between the political ideology and the religious beliefs of more than two million Britons. It is important though to understand how religion informs the political ideology. Which it does, significantly.
When innocent people are gunned down in European capitals and minorities are persecuted in the Middle East, it is of the utmost importance to understand why this is happening. We need to know that we are not simply dealing with a band of malcontents or the vulnerable, but a distinct and coherent violent program which, as repugnant as it may be, should be respected and understood as an opponent.
Perhaps the most overlooked people in this debate are the formidable Muslims standing up to Islamism every single day across the country. Making Islamism more of a taboo than it already is would undo so much of their hard work, and would be a frustrating betrayal of brave men and women who need our support.