Adventures in English

Last week this Quadrant Online column reported the extraordinary action of Senator Robert McClelland, the Attorney General, and his planned Orwellian obsession to create “Project Lexicon”. The “Project Lexicon” focus is to dissuade the media, and ultimately the Australian people, from using “negative words” such as “terrorist”, “jihad”, “martyr” and the objectionable George W. Bush’s phrase, “War on Terrror”. 

Light heartedly we referred to the similarity of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth and the exquisitely named Ministry of Love to McClelland’s Attorney General’s Department. This week there was some scurrying about, within the bowels of the Thought Police’s office, when The Australian newspaper lobbed in a grenade (sorry, that should read “a rapidly-through-the-air-of- hurtful–metal device”) in the form of Senator McClelland’s support for an Iranian Muslin cleric named Sheik Mansour Leghaei. 

ASIO, Australia’s front line security agency considers, or at least considered, Sheik Mansour Leghaei, a “threat to national security”. Attorney General McClelland, who, it has been revealed, wrote two “gushing” letters of support for the Sheik, one in 1997 and one after learning of ASIO’s concern. Senator McClelland is the minister in charge of ASIO. As mentioned last week, this is bringing back memories of the controversy surrounding the former Labor Attorney General, Lionel Murphy. 

It would appear that Sheik Mansour Leghaei has been in this country illegally since 1995 on an expired work visa. A Federal Court ruling upheld ASIO’s finding that the sheik “was a risk to national security”. 

The timing of the launch of Project Lexicon and the revelation regarding the connection between the security-risk-sheik and Senator McClelland, and other Labor politicians, such as Anthony Albanese, raises serious questions as to why Labor politicians are so keen to side with Muslim activists to change this nations use of English words. 

Of course any notion of dumping words like “terrorist”, and “suicide-bomber”, were quickly abandoned this week, by the Australian media, when two bombs exploded in central Djakarta killing nine people in two terrorist attacks. 

At least three of the victims were Australian citizens. Two were having breakfast in the J.W. Marriott Hotel. They were Nathan Verity and yet to be identified, Craig Senger, an Australian diplomat. Radio, television and later the Australian press were headlining stories under “Terrorist Attack”, “Terror Returns” and Terrorists Return to Djakarta”. Even the ABC dropped its political correct guard and used the dreaded words. 

So getting back to Senator McClelland’s brave new world of weasel words, to describe these terrorist attacks— how would the headlines and copy have appeared had we all followed the “Project Lexicon” rules? Perhaps “Disgruntled activist of desert-based-faith relieves personal frustration by detonating rapidly-expanding-chemical-mix while infidels dine on bacon and eggs.” There we have successfully avoided the words “terrorist”, “bomb”, “jihad” and of course any notion of the lack of humanity or the savagery of the action. We have also neutralised any suggestion of the horror of it all. 

Unfortunately for Senator McClelland, the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a practicing Muslim, had no trouble using the words “terrorist” and “terrorist group”. Nor did Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who described the slaughter as a “terrorist bombing”. Even the ABC managed to use “non-lexicon words” in their extensive news coverage. 

The Indonesian President also seemed to suggest that “the war against terrorists” was continuing. Unfortunately, you will never hear in Australia,words from the mouths of most Muslims, criticising terrorist and their activities. You will never see marches down the streets of this nation protesting the actions of terrorists. You will see huge demonstrations in support of David Hicks, a confessed terrorist. 

Hick’s own description (or was it his dad) of his Muslim/Jihad activities being “Just looking for a bit of adventure.” Now there is an idea for the Lexicon

ADVENTURERA time-on-my-hands activist with a passion to kill and main those, not of my religious persuasion. Sometimes blasts fellow Muslims as well!

Leave a Reply