Mounties instructed to avoid 'inflammatory' Islamist terms

Ottawa, Canada - There is new trouble for the RCMP over a manual that tries to wash out terms like "Islamist" and "jihad" from officers' mouths when they talk about terrorism.

"Distorted and inflammatory linkages between Islam and terrorism can serve to convince Muslims -- both in the West and in the larger Islamic world -- that the West is, in fact, their enemy," the manual says.

That doesn't impress anti-terror expert David Harris, of Insignis Strategic Research.

"This is, if I may be blunt, an Islamist's wet dream," Harris said. "It misstates fundamentally the established history, and undermines warnings of many moderate Muslims about jihad and its possibilities."

The manual, called Words Make Worlds, dates back to 2009 and also tells Mounties not to fear organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood, despite its terrorist links.

American anti-terror expert Brian Michael Jenkins says cultural sensitivity is often appropriate, but the RAND Corporation advisor adds that terms the RCMP dislikes are needed to analyze security threats.

"The term 'jihad' is on the banner of al-Qaida," says Jenkins. "If they use it, I can use it."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has openly called "Islamicism" a threat to Canada, while Public Safety Canada's counter-terrorism strategy refers to "Islamist extremism."

Still, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said he doesn't consider the RCMP's soft language on terror a concession to Islam.

"I think it's a matter of moving sensitively in what is an area where we need the co-operation of these groups," he said in Winnipeg.

The RCMP had no one available for comment.