In Defense of the EU
A reader writes:
It is easy enough to drag out the PC punching bag to make a point about those too-sensitive Europeans whose mis-guided sensibilities will only harm themselves. Another (and to my mind equally compelling) reading of the phrase "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam" is that it is strategic: it creates another Islam, a Reformationist Islam, that rejects murder and terror as an arm of religious identity. The phrase isolates the actors, the terrorists, and what they want the most, to speak for Islam itself. "Terrorists who abusively invoke Islam" highlights what they are: thugs and murderers. It makes explicit what they do to justify their thuggery: abusively invoke Islam. It is a phrase that looks forward to a time where the Islamic Enlightenment has taken hold and a moderate Muslim would bristle at an Islam of terror. The phrase isn't PC. The phrase describes a world that I hope we all want to see come into being.
And, by the way, that is true of Christianity in the West and US Christianity in particular. If only it were the case that the US public understood that "Christian opposition to gay marriage" wasn't at core Christian. If only we lived in a world where the marriage rights for US citizens who are lesbian and gay could be debated in a way that the opposition was understood to be abusively invoking Christianity - not to mention a routine abuse of the document that should guide every citizen's life. And it's not the Bible. It's the Constitution.
I take the point. The question, though, is whether this makes the phrase Orwellian - an attempt to promote a view of the world that isn't yet the case. If that obscures reality, then language isn't doing the job it should.