Somalia’s Government Just Banned Calling Al Shabab by Its Name
Kevin Knodell

I find this piece valuable and thought provoking, but I think there is a little more to be said….

We now talk about “pedophiles” rather than “pederasts” — just how did we get from “child abusers” to “child lovers” for a class of person who is unlikely to be on many people’s Christmas (sorry “Holidays”) Card list (unless you are a senior UK official, perhaps?)

I have many devout non-Christian friends — I call their festivals by name — not “that extra day you have off ‘cause you have a beard” or “because you had an interaction with a guy with a knife as a very young boy”, or a rather demeaning “holidays” —( I guess the small “h” is essential.)

So is a stand against the debasement of language. and hence thought, by government (or almost anybody) a good thing? — could the “abstract” answer be anything but “no”? Are they simply “calling a spade a spade”?

But like most worthwhile questions this is more complex — the issue seems to be — should this particular stand be made? Does it matter that Barack Obama is a “Democrat”, so what was George H Bush? (well that IS another question, lol) In relatively stable democracies such terminological debate is relatively risk free, and relatively innocent. But that is not true in all situations.

Is the US to be lauded specifically for calling the NY terrorist attacks which caused the launch of the “War on Terror” a “neutral” 9/11.? And then killing a larger number of young Americans in combat (and literally countless others)? Is it appropriate for the West to call ISIS by that name because that is ISIS’ preference? Does that suggest support for their aims? If I chose to call 9/11 — “World Freedom Day”, would that get me onto somebody’s list for a spot of non-consensual watersports— I (privately)rather hope it might.

It’s a tougher call than the item suggests. I probably agree with the conclusion, but not with the apparently linear nature of the supporting argument.

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