Some of the terminology regarding Muslim-Western relations has been widely misused or misunderstood, confusing key issues and clouding constructive opportunities. In an attempt to improve ongoing communication, we have developed the following Terminology in Muslim-Western Relations guide. A downloadable PDF version is also available.
The Western/US-led military and intelligence effort to stymie, imprison and/or
eliminate all militants and groups, including terrorists, who are attacking or
planning to attack Western interests and the West itself
Why a Problem:
Because all individuals, groups and countries that the West has engaged with in
an adversarial manner since the declaration of this war, whether directly or
indirectly, have been Muslim, it has created the impression that it is in fact a
war on Islam;
This term raises the critical question of why terrorist groups that are not
Muslim have not been a target in this war. In addition, it is not clear who the
"enemy" is or what a victory would look like, and as a result it perpetuates a
sense of fear in society and empowers militants who do take violent actions
against Western or other targets.
Many Muslims feel suspicious of all Western (especially US) policies toward
them; feelings of mistrust are underscored and Muslims are put in the position
of defending themselves as non-terrorists.
It contributes to the "if you're not with us, you're against us" paradigm