UK Police Consider Banning Terms 'Islamist Terror' & 'Jihadi' Over Islamophobia Fears
National Association of Muslim Police demands words banned
Police in the UK are considering banning the terms "Islamist terror" and "jihadi" over fears they may be linked to "Islamophobia," according to reports.
The British terror police may be forced to drop the terms over allegations that linking Islam to terrorism doesn't "help community relations."
"Faith-claimed terrorism," "terrorists abusing religious motivations" and "adherents of Osama bin Laden's ideology" are among the recommended alternatives, The Times reported.
A Muslim police organization claimed Monday that the official terminology used by police is fueling negative perceptions, stereotypes, discrimination, and Islamophobia.
The issue was put forward for consideration at an online conference.
The conference was addressed by Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of counter-terrorism policing.
The police told The Times that changes to the phraseology were not certain.
Attacks such as the London bombings of 2005 as well as the Westminster, London Bridge, and Manchester Arena assaults, all in 2017, have been officially deemed "Islamist terrorism."
But the 3,000-strong National Association of Muslim Police advocated "a change in culture by moving away from using terms which have a direct link to Islam and jihad.
"These ... do not help community relations and public confidence."
It instead suggested an Arabic word, "Irhabi," could be deployed.
It is used throughout the Middle East to describe those with extremist views.
The group said that the word "jihad" was complicated by its figurative meaning of the "struggle" of being faithful, as well as being used to denote self-defence in the context of a physical struggle.
But David Toube, of Quilliam, a counter-extremism think tank, told The Times: "People do not like to feel that they are being told only the partial truth ... there is a serious problem with Islamist terrorism.
"The use of any term that obscures that fact risks damaging public trust in the police."
Chief Superintendent Nik Adams, the coordinator of the de-radicalization unit, Prevent, said that the meeting had been convened to look at all the evidence.
He said that Mr. Basu had invited a broad range of opinions from both sides of the debate because he believed the discussion was important.
But Mr. Adams told The Times: "We have no plans to change the terminology we use at present but welcomed the debate and contributions.
"It's vital we get our terminology right to define the threat accurately and succinctly but also to avoid alienating communities crucial to our efforts."