EU Removes 'Islamic Terrorism' from its Dictionary By Selcuk Gultasli, Brussels Published: Wednesday, April 12, 2006 zaman.com
The European Union (EU) also admitted that the concept of “Islamic terrorism” is misused by racist groups in Europe and terror networks such as al-Qaeda.
The Union, taking action to rid such expressions, which are offensive to Muslims, from its dictionary, searches for new concepts behind closed doors. The European bloc is expected to release its new dictionary in June.
Works are underway to eliminate the expression “Islamic terrorism” from the EU’s current dictionary.
Both the EU and Europol have been seeking a new concept for some time for the expression, “Islamic terrorism”.
Many experts believe that the words “Islam” and “terrorism” must not be used together, and concluded that the use of such expressions “alienates” Muslims in Europe.
As a result of long consultations with academic experts, the EU will review expressions such as “Islamic terrorism,” “Islamist terrorism,” “fundamentalist,” and “jihadi.”
EU counter-terrorism chief Gijs de Vries, told Reuters, terrorism does not exist in the essence of any religion and praised Muslims struggling against those conducting terrorism in the name of religion.
Professor Rik Coolsaet, one of several authorities serving as an adviser to the EU, in the statement he made to Zaman, emphasized that Brussels realized such words can be used as “political weapons.”
Instead of expressions like “Islamic terrorism” and “Islamofascist,” a phrase the United States insistently uses, Brussels is trying to develop new concepts that will not cause offense to Muslims.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has often objected to the expression “Islamic terrorism.” The incidents arising after the European press’ publication of the cartoons insulting Prophet Mohammed accelerated the activities of EU officials on this issue.
The activities currently being undertaken at the Council of Europe serve two purposes:
• Firstly, to determine and eradicate the basic sources of the radicalism producing terror,
• Secondly to produce a new communication strategy in the fight against religious-based terrorism that will not offend Muslims and will not be abused by the extreme right or terrorist organizations.
For nearly two years, the EU and member countries authorities have been conducting secret talks about how to solve the religion origin terror problem. Contrary to the US, the authorities think the issue is Europe’s and therefore it must be handled as a domestic issue.
The new concurrence is intended to ease European Muslim involvement in the struggle.
European officials are of the opinion that changes to the expression of “Islamic terror” are of paramount importance.
Directly hit by terrorist attacks on March 11 and July 7, Europe regards Islam as being enslaved by some fanatics, since Islam does not have anything to rely on to legitimize terror.
The European Union is working to develop a new and more appropriate terminology for use by bureaucrats and politicians. The new terminology will be introduced to public opinion in a new dictionary set for release in June.
Terrorist advocates of Islam kill Muslims in largest numbers; that is to say, Muslims comprise the largest group of victims of terror in the world, according to the draft document, sources told Zaman.
Europeans have to formulate a particular method, dissimilar to that of the United States, for dealing with religion-based terrorism, said Rik Coolsaet, a professor of political sciences at Gent, and head officer of the Royal Institute of Belgium.
The term “Islamic terrorism” has for years provoked objections from Coolsaet, whom the European Union conferred with over the upcoming edition of the dictionary.
“We have to care for the kind of people living here together with us, most of who have already worked very hard for citizenship from a European country. We should, therefore, desist from helping the right-wing extremists.”
The European outlook on Islamic terrorism, unlike the United States, does not view it as a problem brought in from overseas, said Coolsaet, who also spoke out against a reference from George W. Bush, President of States, to Islamofascism.
“That is a silly expression. Fascism is ironically a gift from Western Europe to the rest of the world. Islam, on the other hand, is a religion like any other religion, and cannot by any means be associated with fascism. The expression in question is invented with the intent of bolstering their assumptions and for use by neo-conservatives in the United States. This term is also in danger of being abused by such terrorist organizations as al-Qaeda.