Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security policy paper -- drafted with the help of anonymous "influential Muslim Americans" -- not only makes the current struggle more difficult but also is riddled with outright falsehoods. The document states, "The civilized world is facing a 'global' challenge, which transcends geography, culture, and religion." That statement defies reality. We didn't label al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, Jemaah Islamiyah and Mahdi Army murderers (to name just a few of the groups I have seen in action) Muslim holy warriors; they did. We didn't call their savage suicidal bombing campaign an Islamic jihad; they did.
The Department of Homeland Security document insists that "Islam and secular democracy are fully compatible -- in fact, they can make each other stronger. Senior officials should emphasize this positive fact." That "positive fact" simply isn't. Save for Iraq and Afghanistan, where U.S. troops have become the protectors of Muslim women and nascent representative political institutions, there is no Islamic majority country where "secular democracy" flourishes. We didn't create these realities; Muslim leaders did.
Reality has little to do with this new wave of political correctness, and it goes well beyond this new DHS policy document. Muneer Fareed of the Islamic Society of North America told The Washington Times that he has contacted Sen. John McCain's office to urge him to "rethink word usage that is more acceptable to the Muslim community." Fareed is upset that McCain consistently refers to "radical Islamic extremism."
In London, the British government's Home Office has advised government officials that they should use words such as "violent extremism" instead of "terrorism." When fanatics carry out horrific attacks on innocent civilians in the name of Islam, the perpetrators should be referred to as "criminals" instead of "terrorists."
Not to be outdone in the political correctness department, the European Union has come up with guidelines on how to talk about terrorists who literally are dying to kill us. It warns, "Unintended stigmatization resulting from an ill-considered choice of words may have serious negative psychological effects and thus contribute to the process of radicalization." In other words, it's all our fault.
If we succumb to this kind of mindless mumbo jumbo and doublespeak to describe the Islamic radicals who are trying to kill us, we're courting uncertainty and defeat. Or as one very politically incorrect soldier put it plainly during a book signing this afternoon, we're screwed.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.