Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Intel Official: Don’t Use ‘War on Terror’

The U.S. should stop using the term “war on terror” because it suggests to Muslims that the West is engaged in a “war on Islam,” a top intelligence official declared.

Charles Allen, the senior intelligence official at the Department of Homeland Security, said the term creates “animus” in Islamic countries.

“It has nothing to do with political correctness,” Allen said in remarks reported by the Financial Times. It is interpreted in the Muslim world as a war on Islam and we don’t need this.”

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said “war on terror” is the “dumbest term you could use” and has urged Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, not to employ the phrase.

Hadley’s spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the White House understands that “the use of the word ‘Islamic’ before the word ‘terrorist’ can be heard by Muslims … as lacking nuance, which may incorrectly suggest that all Muslims are terrorists or that we are at war with Islam.”

But he added that the term “accurately describes the fight we are in.”

President Bush made “war on terror” a stock phrase following the 9/11 attacks. And Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff does not agree that the term is equated with a war on Islam, according to his spokesman Russ Knocke.

“We are at war with terrorism, and its underlying ideology — not Islam — and we’ve gone out of our way to make that point,” Knocke told the Times.

“In truth, war has been declared on us.”

Last week’s Insider Report disclosed that new U.S. government directives instruct individuals in the counter-terrorism and diplomatic communities not to use “jihadist,” “mujahideen,” “Islamo-fascism,” “al-Qaida movement” and several other terms because they convey an undesired message to the Muslim world.

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