There are, however, hints that a backlash is brewing. A recent study by the Inspectorate of Constabulary and Audit Commission finds that the ambiguous terminology favored by the British Home Office is hampering efforts to fight domestic radicalization.
“Switching language … causes confusion,” one local council head bemoans in the document. Another suggests that the guidelines have led people to say nothing because they are “worried about saying the wrong thing” and being called “racist.” Instead, many officials express “a preference for plain speaking so that issues could be dealt with openly rather than being avoided or disguised as something else.”
In addition, a U.S. Central Command “red team” has produced “Freedom of Speech in Jihad Analysis: Debunking the Myth of Offensive Words,” a report that questions policies aimed at downplaying connections between Islam and terrorism. “While there is concern that we not label all Muslims as Islamist terrorists,” it argues, “it is proper to address certain aspects of violence as uniquely Islamic. … The fact is our enemies cite the sources of Islam as the foundation of their global jihad. We are left with the responsibility of portraying our enemies in an honest and accurate fashion.”