Ministers have adopted a new language for declarations on Islamic terrorism.
In future, fanatics will be referred to as pursuing “anti-Islamic activity”.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said that extremists were behaving contrary to their faith, rather than acting in the name of Islam.
Security officials believe that directly linking terrorism to Islam is inflammatory, and risks alienating mainstream Muslim opinion.
The alleged terror attack on Glasgow Airport last summer: The Government is renaming Islamic terrorism as ‘anti Islamic activities’
In her first major speech on radicalisation, Miss Smith repeatedly used the phrase “anti-Islamic”.
In one passage she said: “As so many Muslims in the UK and across the world have pointed out, there is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorise, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief.
“Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic’.
Another section referred to enlisting the Muslim community against “anti-Islamic activity”.
Her words were chosen to reflect new Government strategy on labelling the terrorists and their recruiting agents.
The shift follows a decision taken last year to stop using the phrase “war on terror”, first adopted by U.S. President Bush.
Officials were concerned it could act as a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda, which is determined to manufacture a battle between the values of Islam and the West.
The strategy emerging across Government is to portray terrorists as nothing more than cold-blooded murderers who are not fighting for any religious cause.
Al Qaeda inspired terrorism is instead being described by key figures as “more like a death cult”.
Last night the Home Office stressed that no phrases have been “banned”.
But senior Whitehall sources have made it clear that the “war on terror” and “Islamic extremism” will not be used again by people at the top of Government or those involved in counterterrorism strategy.
Sir Ken Macdonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has also said phrases which liken London to a ” battlefield” will no longer be used.
But the move led to accusations of “hand-wringing”.
Conservative MP Philip Davies said no Muslim constituent had ever complained to him about the use of the term “Islamic extremism”.
The Shipley MP added: “Whenever anyone refers to Islamic terrorism, they are not saying all Muslims are terrorists.
“Everybody knows what people mean is terrorists doing it in the name of Islam, misguidedly.
“If the Government spent less time worrying about this, and more time worrying about things such as having effective border controls, we would be getting somewhere.”
In her speech, Miss Smith said extremists who use the internet to radicalise young children would be pursued in the same way as paedophiles.
She will meet members of the online industry in the next few weeks to decide how to crack down on Al Qaedainspired sites.
Illegal material will be tracked down and removed using tactics already deployed against online paedophiles. Those guilty of grooming youngsters for terrorism could face prosecution under incitement laws.
Miss Smith said: “If we are ready and willing to take action to stop the grooming of vulnerable young people on social networking sites, then I believe we should also take action against those who groom vulnerable people for the purposes of violent extremism.”
Her plans also include a new unit to sift through intelligence gathered by police and security agents.
The unit will be told to “identify, analyse and assess not just the inner circle of extremist groups, but those at risk of falling under their influence”.
Young people found to be falling under the spell of potential terrorists will be targeted for help by community leaders and the authorities.
Outdoor activity centres and sports facilities will be sent guidance to stop them being used as meeting places by fanatics after the July 7 bombers were photographed attending a white water rafting centre in Wales.
Mosques will be helped to root out extremism, with imams encouraged to learn English. Efforts will be made to improve the access of women to mosques and their management committees.
There will be new advice for universities on how to deal with extremism on campus, and a crackdown on extremist material in libraries and galleries.
A forum of headteachers will be set up to advise on what more can be done to protect children and build bridges between communities.
Youngsters will be taught about all faiths in schools, and ?2million will be spent “twinning” schools of different faiths.
Funding will be boosted to allow more youngsters to carry out volunteer work overseas.
The Government also wants to hold more “roadshows” of mainstream Islamic scholarship around the country.
Miss Smith said: “Counter-terrorist policing is not just about the sharp end – the disruption of those who seek to attack us – crucial though that is.
“It must also be about stopping people becoming or supporting terrorists. We can’t, after all, simply arrest our way out of this problem.”
We appreciate your support
One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.
Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this service free of charge.