Why using words like 'they' and 'muslims' is a problem when you decide to discuss te

The answer to this blog title is somewhat self explanatory but you may be puzzled to know that there are those that do not see an issue with using words like 'they' and 'muslims' when discussing terrorism. After all it is them isn't it? No it's not actually. Let's take pause on that a moment... ok that's a long enough pause. Those that see no problem with using such broad, indiscriminate words to describe a heinous act as terrorism would be quick to defend free speech in response, and usually vehemently; well what isn't vehement when it comes to their type.

Trouble is, the question has nothing to do with free speech. You can speak freely until the cows come home. This question has to do with simple respect and simple accuracy. Occasionally I get people saying why should I change what I say. That's what I think? Sure, that's what you think but society doesn't function based on what you think. It's based on finding common understanding and sharing a set of tools to conduct its work; words being an important part of those societal tools.

Let me give you an example that you might better relate to. If I were to decide to write blogs about whites exploiting African people, African land and wealth without specifying which whites I was referring to we could agree that some may be offended or at least put off by it. And it wouldn't stop there. I would continue to refer to whites in this way with regard to any white groups, sects, communities i choose to write about that break the law, exploit others, commit criminal acts, terrorise etc etc. I just refer to them as 'they' and 'whites'.

It already doesn't feel right to me and it's just a hypothetical situation. But all is good and everyday white people can partake of their everyday to doings without the lingering thought that they are being targeted as the problem.

Okay, so you get the picture. What now? How best to have these discussions, because as I said this isn't about stopping the discussion, it's not a freedom of speech issue. It's about being fair to your muslim neighbour who also want to partake in their everyday to doings without feeling like they're the problem.

It's simple; replace 'muslim' with Wahabi. The main source of the illness that is infecting Islam is in this small band of Saudi's and their proponents. It all stems from here. So, why do the professional pundits, commentators and so-called experts refuse to say it. Your guess is as good as mine but I will bet your bottom dollar that a little exactitude will go a long way towards keeping our communities strong in their diversity.

*This article is dedicated to everyday muslims.

This image is claimed as fair dealing under Australian copyright law. It shows a muslim girl at a starbucks doing everyday things. You don't see that in the media much.