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English Police may drop ‘Islamist’ term when describing terror attacks


The police are looking at dropping the terms “Islamist terrorism” and “jihadis” when describing attacks by those who claim Islam as their motive.

Proposed alternatives include “faith-claimed terrorism”, “terrorists abusing religious motivations” and “adherents of Osama bin Laden’s ideology”.

The reform was requested by a Muslim police organisation that blamed the official use of “Islamist” and “jihadi” for negative perceptions and stereotypes, discrimination and Islamophobia.

The name change was proposed in an online event attended by Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the national head of counterterrorism policing, as well as a representative from the National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP), which boasts some 3,000 members.

The association’s representative, Alexander Gent, said that there should be “a change in culture by moving away from using terms which have a direct link to Islam and jihad. These . . . do not help community relations and public confidence.”

The NAMP suggested that jihadi be replaced with the Arabic word ‘Irhabi’, which they claim “is commonly recognised to mean terrorist within the Middle East and could be used to describe people that hold extremist ideologies.”