Quilliam has today published ‘Islamism and Language: How using the wrong words reinforces Islamist narratives’, the latest paper in Quilliam’s ‘Concept Series’ which examines key issues important to commentators, policy-makers and civil servants.

‘Islamism and Language’ gives five examples of how carelessly used language may inadvertently reinforce Islamist narratives, thereby helping the spread of an intolerant and totalitarian modern political ideology.

The terms discussed in ‘Islamism and Language’ are:

• ‘The Islamic/Muslim World’

• ‘Muslim countries’

• ‘The Muslim Community’

• ‘Islamic Law’

• ‘Islamophobia’

As well as discussing how these phrases can be inaccurate and reinforce Islamist narratives, the paper proposes alternative phrases which can be used to effectively advance understanding and build bridges within a diverse society.

George Readings, co-author of the paper, says:

“Most people wouldn’t think twice about using terms like ‘The Muslim World’, ‘The Muslim Community’ and ‘Islamophobia’. However, we should be aware that using these terms carelessly could actually exacerbate Islamist radicalisation by popularising divisive Islamist narratives.

“Our paper proposes various, less problematic, alternatives to these phrases. What we are advocating is not ‘political correctness’; it is a practical step towards undermining the worldview and narratives that underpin the modern extremist ideology of Islamism.”

‘Islamism and Language: How using the wrong words reinforces Islamist narratives’ is available free online here.

‘A Brief History of Islamism’, the previous paper in Quilliam’s ‘Concepts Series’, is also available online here.

For further information, please contact George Readings, the paper’s co-author, at [email protected] or +44 (0)7590 229 917.