Michael Buerk chairs a live debate examining the moral issues behind one of the week's news stories: combative, provocative and engaging.
6 February 2008
rpt Saturday 10.15-11.00pm
This week: A new lexicon?
What do you call someone who believes their religion has inspired them to set off a bomb on a crowded train? Criminal? Certainly. Terrorist? Perhaps. But what connection should you make with their faith which motivated them? The Home Office has just issued a new set of guidelines for civil servants and police advising them not to use phrases such as "Islamist extremism" or "jihadi-fundamentalist" but instead to refer to "violent extremism" and "criminal murderers" or "thugs."
Their argument is that the "aggressive rhetoric" of the so-called war on terror is counter productive and that people stop listening if they think you are attacking them.
Is this new lexicon a more sophisticated tactic in the battle of ideas and values, or does it seriously undermine our ability to confront head on unpleasant and dangerous beliefs. Is it right to censor our language just in order to win over the hearts and minds?
This week's team:
Clifford Longley, Melanie Phillips, Claire Fox, Ian Hargreaves cross examine the experts.