Because burning people alive and tossing gays off rooftops isn’t the behavior of violent psychopaths, or something.
Counter-terrorism advisers and Muslim community leaders have raised serious concerns about Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s obsessive use of the phrase “death cult” to describe Islamic State, saying it is counter-productive, ineffective and does some of the terror group’s marketing for them.
Of all the existential threats to the Australian way of life, none seem to have captured the Prime Minister’s attention like the “death cult”, otherwise known as Islamic State, ISIL or ISIS.
An analysis by Fairfax Media of all press releases, transcripts, speeches, interviews and YouTube videos uploaded by the Prime Minister’s Office as well as Hansard reveals that Tony Abbott has used the term “death cult” 346 times since September.
Props to Abbott, who clearly has more balls than any other Western leaders (sorry to say, but we have to lump Obama into that “leader” category).
However, experts say the incessant use of “death cult” is a misfire by the Prime Minister that may have dangerous ramifications.
“Osama Bin Laden used to say, ‘you love life, we love death’. Dying a martyr is their badge of honour, it’s a huge push factor for young Australians and the Prime Minister is putting that front and centre,” said Dr Anne Aly, from Curtin University, who had advised governments on counter-terrorism policy.
Where would we be without experts? Still facing the obvious problem in dealing with the violent psychopaths.
“The term has two effects,” said Kuranda Seyit, a Muslim youth worker and secretary of the Islamic Council of Victoria.
“For mainstream Australians it creates a perception that these people are violent psychopaths. For the more impressionable sympathetic ear, say a young man angry with the world, the term has little meaning. Death cult is an out-dated term [without] the same connotations it had in the ’80s or ’90s.”
So what should we call them? One lunatic professor weighs in:
Professor Michele Grossman, a cultural diversity researcher from Victoria University, said it was dangerous to use a term that only reflected one small part of the reality of Islamic State.
“It’s too easy to overlook the elements of the IS narrative that focus on building a new world and a new order, promising action, power and engagement,” she said. “This holds enormous potential appeal, especially for the young.”
Action! Power! Engagement! See how simple it is to overlook the genocide, burnings and beheadings?