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| | |-+  EUROPE TELLS BRITAIN: DON'T SAY 'MUSLIMS'
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« on: July 07, 2007, 11:35:48 AM »

 EUROPE TELLS BRITAIN: DON'T SAY 'MUSLIMS'


By Alison Little

Comment Speech Bubble Have your say(53)

Secret EU guidelines have been drawn up warning governments not to link Islam and terrorism.

The politically correct directives are believed to be behind ministers not using words such as “Muslim’’ about Britain’s terrorism crisis.

Yesterday the Daily Express reported how Gordon Brown’s ministers had been told to avoid inflammatory language when speaking about the attempted car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow.

Neither the Prime Minister in a major interview nor Home Secretary Jacqui Smith in the Commons referred to Muslims or Islam.

Last night critics pointed to a classified EU document sent out to all European governments offering “non-offensive’’ phrases to use when discussing terrorism.

Banned terms were said to include “jihad’’, “Islamic’’ or “fundamentalist”.

 EU officials said the “common lexicon’’ aimed to stop the distortion of the Muslim faith and alienation of its followers in Europe. European governments had previously agreed on the need to develop a “non-emotive lexicon’’ for use in discussion to avoid “exacerbating division’’.

Gerard Batten, a UK Independence Party MEP, claimed Ms Smith’s statement was “evidence that the Government is now cutting its suit to suit the European Commission’s cloth’’. He is demanding that the full lexicon be published.

But the Home Office insisted: “The Home Secretary uses her own words. She did not draw on any other source.’’

Even Labour former Foreign Office Minister Denis MacShane said yesterday that “Islamist’’ was an “accurate description’’ of the ideology behind the terror attacks.

And Conservative MP Philip Davies said: “Whatever your view on particular words, surely everyone should agree it is completely unacceptable for people in Brussels who have already interfered too much in our lives to start to tell us what words we can and can’t use.

“If we believe in anything in this country we should believe in free speech. If we are allowing the EU to dictate to us on this, most people would find that horrifying.’’

Hugo Robinson, of Open Europe thinktank, said: “Brussels has no place telling national governments how they should deal with the real and immediate threat of terrorism: The EU’s so-called non-emotive lexicon won’t do anything to stop dangerous extremists targeting Britain.’’

A Foreign Office source insisted the “common lexicon’’ was not an exercise in “political correctness’’ but an attempt to find a “common vocabulary and definitions’’ for statements about terrorism.

EUROPE TELLS BRITAIN: DON'T SAY 'MUSLIMS'
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