UK: Max Hill QC, the newly appointed Director of Public Prosecutions, has categorically refused to use the phrase ‘Islamic Terrorism’, starting a new round of debate in the UK about the right term to refer to terrorism carried out in the name of Islam.
Mr Hill, who replaced Alison Saunders last week, held a 90 minute meeting with pro-jihadist advocacy group CAGE last autumn – a month after the organisation’s international director, Muhammad Rabbani, was convicted of a terrorism offence and fined for refusing to give police the PIN number of his mobile phone when he was stopped and searched at Heathrow Airport.
It came after the group had held a press conference following the February 2015 killing of ISIS’s chief executioner Mohammed Emwazi describing the brutal killer as “beautiful” and “extremely gentle”. The 27-year-old from Queen’s Park, London, is thought to have been responsible for the beheading of western hostages including US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
In February, Mr Hill – then head of the Government’s terror watchdog – declared that it is “fundamentally wrong” to use the phrase “Islamist terrorism” to describe attacks carried out in Britain and elsewhere, insisting that the word terrorism should not be attached “to any of the world religions” and that the term “Daesh-inspired terrorism” should be used instead.
In 2017 CAGE criticised Mr Hill’s predecessor David Anderson for his use of the “Islamist” term.
While talking to ITCT Newsdesk, ITCT Executive Director Noor Dahri said, “I think Mr Hill is coming under pressure by Islamists who are looking to not only deceive Muslims but also our entire country. I’m a Muslim and I don’t think there is any problem with using the term Islamic terrorism because we have to indicate which religion’s name is being explicitly used to justify the act of terrorism, which is the only way to resolve it. How can we resolve anything if we can’t even name it? Mr Hill is trying to be politically correct but this is a dangerous path because he is allowing pro-jihadist groups like CAGE to influence how we see and address terrorism. We have to be very careful before we start appeasing a fringe group of people looking to deceive.”