Friday, March 30, 2007

EU attempts to control language

The Daily Telegraph has finally published a story that should concern anybody who believes that by pussyfooting around we will remian in denial about the threats facing Europe and the West,
"The European Union has drawn up guidelines advising government spokesmen to refrain from linking Islam and terrorism in their statements.

Brussels officials have confirmed the existence of a classified handbook which offers "non-offensive" phrases to use when announcing anti-terrorist operations or dealing with terrorist attacks.

Banned terms are said to include "jihad", "Islamic" or "fundamentalist".

Some, at least are trying to block this campaign of Euro Newspeak,
However, Conservative MEP Syed Kamall hit out at the lexicon. "It is this kind of political correctness and secrecy that creates resentment among both the mainstream in Europe and in Islam," he said.

Meanwhile, UK Independence Party MEP Gerard Batten claimed that the EU was in denial over the true roots of terrorism.

"This type of newspeak shows that the EU refuses to face reality," he said. "The major world terrorist threat is one posed by ideology and that ideology is inspired by fundamentalist jihadi Islam."

Mr Batten has put in a PQ about this,
The Council of The European Union's Document JAI 452 / ENFOPOL 164 / COTER 81, The EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation & Recruitment to Terrorism states on p. 4, sect. 11, states that the EU will seek to "Correct unfair or inaccurate perceptions of Islam & Muslims". It also states in the same paragraph that the EU will seek to develop a "non-emotive lexicon for discussing the issues in order to avoid linking them to terrorism".

The Daily Telegraph on 12/4/2006 responded to a Reuters report that the EU is developing this ‘non-emotive’ Lexicon. The Lexicon seeks to restrict and replace terms such as Islamist, fundamentalist & Jihad. The words 'Islamic Terrorist' would apparently be replaced with 'Terrorists who abusively invoke Islam'. However the Lexicon is being kept secret from journalists. It appears the EU not only wants to restrict freedom of speech but to restrict information on the restrictions it imposes.

1. Will the Commission make this lexicon available to Members of the European Parliament? If so, please inform me how to obtain a copy.

2. If the Lexicon is not to be made available to MEPs, will the Commission please provide a full explanation of why not?

3. On what legal basis does the Commission consider that institutions of the EU have competence to determine freedom of speech & the use of language?

4. Does the Commission consider that it has any legal basis to provide, what appears to be legally binding instructions to member state press spokesmen and women, and if so, what is that legal basis?

5. On what basis is the EU empowered, or feels itself able, to decide what is and is not authentic and non-authentic Islam?

6. Has any institution of the European Union consulted any organisation or body representing the Islamic religion on the use of language to describe its adherents, or terrorists purporting to be Muslims?

What is particulary concerning is the way that the British authorities have responded to the story. What, pray do they mean by this?
"Details on the contents of the lexicon remain secret, but British officials stressed that it is there as a helpful aid "providing context" for civil servants making speeches or giving press conferences.
"We are fully signed up to this, but it is not binding," said one".

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