Monday

17th Jun 2019

'Islamic terrorism' phrase to be banned from EU lexicon

The EU is working on a public communication lexicon which blacklists the term "Islamic terrorism."

The "non-emotive lexicon for discussing radicalisation" should be submitted to EU leaders who will meet in June, according to press reports.

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EU officials drafting the guidelines hope that the European Commission and the European Parliament will also endorse the linguistic code of conduct, which will be non-binding.

"Certainly 'Islamic terrorism' is something we will not use ... we talk about 'terrorists who abusively invoke Islam'," an EU official told Reuters.

The aim of the guidelines is to avoid the use of words that could unnecessarily offend Muslims and spark radicalisation.

The EU official indicated "You don't want to use terminology which would aggravate the problem."

"This is an attempt ... to be aware of the sensitivities implied by the use of certain language."

"Jihad" is another term under review, with the EU contact telling Reuters "Jihad means something for you and me, it means something else for a Muslim. Jihad is a perfectly positive concept of trying to fight evil within yourself."

The lexicon initiative comes in the wake of a row over Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohamed, which led to outbreaks of anger and violence throughout the Muslim world.

The European Commission currently employs 20 terminologists, one for each official language, to advise translators how to handle not only EU policy jargon such as "subsidiarity," but also sensitive words like "terrorism."

The EU’s interinstitutional termbank (IATE) defines a "terrorist" as "a person who commits a violent act for political reasons."

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