How wunderbar, merveilleux and perfectly ripping that the European Union is creating a new "lexicon" to discuss Islam and terrorism so as never to conflate the two. The Telegraph tells us that EU officials -- having double-checked that George Orwell and his satirical pen are dead and gone -- are putting together a "non-emotive lexicon for discussing radicalization."
Islamic "radicalization," that is. When it comes to dealing with Europe's Muslim populations, the old "Sticks and stones ..." proverb is out, particularly the "words can never hurt me" part. These days, the update goes: "Say words that hurt me and I'll blow up a train." As an EU official explained non-emotively, "The basic idea is to avoid the use of improper words that could cause frustration among Muslims and increase the risk of radicalization."
As they say over there: What rot. Only hothouse EU officials could believe that words such as "Islamic terrorism" cause radicalization. Fanatical bloodlust (not to mention 72-virgin-lust) inspires acts labeled "Islamic terrorism," not the other way around. But not in EU-land. "These words (Islamic terrorism) cannot sit side by side," Omar Faruk, a Muslim barrister and "adviser" to the British government, told Reuters. The phrase "just creates a culture where terrorism actually is identified with Islam," he continued. "That causes me a lot of stress."
And the EU certainly wouldn't want that. Stress leads to frustration, and frustration leads to radicalization, and radicalization leads to -- and here's where the new lexicon comes in -- to "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam." Take Flight 93: The Sept. 11 hijackers might have invoked Allah 24 times in its final minutes (also causing what Mr. Faruk might recognize as "stress"), but the new lexicon would probably tell us that wasn't "Islamic terrorism," it was an Attack of the Terrorists Abusively Invoking Islam, not to mention Allah. Not only did the hijackers hijack a passenger jet, they hijacked their religion.
This, of course, remains President Bush's general position. "I believe that the terrorists have hijacked a peaceful religion in order to justify their behavior," President Bush said yet again this month. Problem is -- to stick with the idiotic metaphor -- the "hijackers" have been piloting the plane for centuries, and the "passengers" have yet to take the controls. They go along for the ride, happy with or resigned to the anti-infidel destination because the jihadist itinerary comes straight from the Koran and other signal Islamic texts.
The grand Western strategy? Not to notice. The Guardian recently reported on a Tehran "recruitment fair" for Islamic suicide bombers. The sponsoring group asked several hundred volunteers to complete forms specifying whether they wanted to murder Israelis, Americans, Brits or, specifically, British author Salman Rushdie. As a spokesman said, "Britain and other European countries have a lot of disaffected Muslims who are ready. We understand the suspicion with which ... Western countries regard their Muslim populations. We don't condemn them for this because we believe every Muslim has the potential to turn into a bomb against the West."
The phrase "Muslim bomb potential" will surely give Mr. Faruk palpitations, but the Free World remains in denial. "Western diplomats played down the significance of the group's threat," the Guardian reported, "saying it was primarily a campaign to gather signatures of protest against Israel rather than recruit bombers."
Is this some kind of a joke? Much of the news these days ends in such harsh quasi-punch lines. Fatah terrorists demand an apology of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for his "offense" -- condemning this week's Palestinian suicide bombing. Nuke-seeking Iran has an appointment with the U.N. Disarmament Conference -- as co-chairman. And then there was the story about the two Al Qaeda fathers discussing their suicide-bomber sons -- namely, how kids today blow up so fast.
Hang on a sec. That last one was a real joke, as told by John Vine, a senior Scottish policeman, at a gala dinner for the Perth Bar Association. It actually roused that small corner of the Western world to genuine outrage -- and not because everyone already had heard it. It was an "amazing gaffe," said the journalistic consensus. A "deeply offensive comment," commented a politician. Mr. Vine apologized ("profusely"), and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) "welcomed the apology" (naturally).
I have to wonder on behalf of whom the MCB accepted the apology -- the Suicide-Bomber Dads of Al Qaeda support group? But never mind. Just wait until the non-emotive lexicon is in place.
That'll quiet everything.