In the context of my earlier thoughts about how the muslim community can help combat extremism, one more thing occurs to me; perhaps what is also needed is a
rebranding of the War on Terror. You cannot wage war against an emotion
or a tactic, and the Bush Administration’s alternative slogan of
“Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism” (GSAVE) isn’t much better. I propose the following: War On Muharib; Brave Against Terror (WOMBAT).
First, the war is explicitly on the muharib, not Islam or
muslims but rather a specific group that is condemned in the Qur’an itself.
This lets us communicate exactly what our intentions are to the muslim
world. Second, the right response to terror is not to run screaming or
indulge in feel-good symbolism like taking shoes off or demanding
loyalty tests of your fellow citizens; that stuff is truly letting the
terrorists win. Instead you simply want to remain brave in the face of
terror. (Brave is also a verb, as in to brave against something, so
it’s actually pretty concise yet meaningful). Lastly, the imagery is great, you don’t want to mess with a
I think if all muslims
began using WOMBAT as our acronym of choice immediately it would help a
great deal. Ok I admit this is a bit silly, but far less so than WOT/GSAVE.
In contrast, WOMBAT actually makes sense.
Think about it; it grows on