'Lexicon of Terrorism' Project

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The Lexicon of Terrorism project was announced by the Australian Attorney-General, Robert McClelland in July. In a media release, he stated that the project aimed to "promote the consistent use of language in engaging with communities on national security issues. The ‘Lexicon of Terrorism’ project seeks to examine the use of language by Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments’ in relation to terrorism."[1]

The project

McLelland stated that "the project will look at the impact of terrorism-related language, including for example, describing combating terrorism as a ‘war’ and words such as ‘jihad’ to depict a struggle between religions or values. 'We need to use language that does not inadvertently glorify terrorism but rather describes it in terms of base criminal behaviour of the most reprehensible kind. We should also be conscious of not alienating broad ethnic and religious groups by labelling them in a way that causes prejudice or leads to misunderstanding'."'

In the media release, McClelland that "work on the project is being led by Victoria Police, in partnership with the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Australian Multicultural Foundation and the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department. Community focus groups will be conducted around Australia by the Australian Multicultural Foundation. Additional interviews with relevant agencies, academic research and public submissions will also inform the project’s recommendations. 'This project will help Governments frame effective public information messages on national security issues by strengthening community harmony and disempowering potential violent extremists.'"

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  1. Robert McClelland, "'Lexicon of Terrorism' Project", Media Release, July 6, 2009.

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