Europe’s anti-terror chief has launched a stinging attack on the political correctness that he says is hampering the campaign against militant Islam. Gilles de Kerchove, the EU counter-terrorism co-ordinator, said last week that concern about stigmatising Muslim populations was hampering policy-making and thus prevention. “One of the problems … is that some member states are extremely reluctant to be explicit about the link with religion,” said de Kerchove.
De Kerchove’s statement comes against a background of infighting within the EU over counter-terrorism policy. The European Commission has been working for several years on a paper analysing militancy in Europe and outlining policy to combat radicalisation. The Council of Ministers is still waiting for the now long-overdue paper, on which future policy will be based.
EU officials claimed last week the delay was because Jacques Barrot, the French Commissioner for justice, freedom and security, had grave reservations about the definition of terrorism in the commission’s policy paper and had delayed signing the policy document as it “went too far in blaming Muslim communities”.