“What should be the new word for ‘Violent Extremism’?”


The language we are permitted to use with regard to Islamic terrorism has undergone constant evolution sine 9/11.

The expression Islamic terrorism could be considered both honest and descriptive, in that it explicitly denotes the fact that Muslims, acting in the name of Islam and in accordance with the teachings of Islam, carry out terrorism, ie, targeted violence with the aim of terrorising a population into accepting one’s political aims.

From here, expressions such as Islamist Terrorism, Radical Islamism, Extremist Islam, Violent Jihad, and/or any combination or permutation of these expressions, are a little less direct. Although they all acknowledge the ideological and political nature of the violence, they pretend that it is carried out under a perverted, or extremist, radical, or fundamentalist version of Islam, by a tiny minority who do not represent true Islam.

A further level of deflection is required to reach the language used for the first decade after 9/11, coined by the supposed arch Islamophobe George W Bush – the War on Terror. This category of language explicitly acknowledges the political and ideological nature of the opponent, but fails the first law of combat – know thy enemy – in that it explicitly omits any mention of Islam. Bush was actually at pains to make this absolutely clear.

Of course, this old fashioned language had to be replaced. Like any euphemism, people began to associate the expression with what it actually meant. After all, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, thus academics and the “progressive” media started referring to the “so-called” War on Terror.

Under the current Obama administration, the expression “Violent Extremism” has come into use. This is obfuscation at its most ingenious, in that it turns one adjective into a noun, and combines it with another adjective, to create a term deliberately designed to create a fog in the minds of Western citizens regarding the true nature of the opponent.

However, as with technology and social change, the language used to describe what I can no longer remember is the issue we’re discussing anymore, has to evolve. In a performance which deserved some kind of award for its seamless fusion of Takiya and the postmodern language of moral relativism, spokesperson for Multicultural NSW, Widyan Fares, stated this morning on the ABC that “language has become quite problematic when we talk about countering violent extremism,” criticised the “blurred lines of communication between the police and authorities and between the community,” and urged “more genuine community consultation.” A few days earlier, another community spokesperson on the ABC referred to ‘violent extremisms’ (ie in the plural) indicating that he felt that the issue of, wait, a minute, it’s coming to me… no it’s gone, well, whatever it is, it is a two way street.

We here at The XYZ could not agree more. It is for this reason that we would like to announce the following competition:

“What should be the new word for ‘Violent Extremism’?”

Submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

1) Inclusivity
2) Tolerance
3) Mutual Consultation

For those of you who require guidelines which actually mean something, we suggest the following extra criteria:

1) Shift the blame onto the victim(s)
2) Promote appeasement, accommodation, surrender and submission to Islam and to Terrorism
3) Find expressions which are as far removed from Islam and Terrorism as possible.

This author had a crack at this yesterday, with “creative self-initiated asymmetrical divine social justice.” The top ten responses will be quoted anonymously, shamelessly flogged by The XYZ, and will go into the draw to decide, via XYZ Viewer Poll, what is the new permissible, and thus mandatory, expression to describe whatever it was I was talking about.