Monday, November 29, 2010

What A Terrorist Is and What A Terrorist Isn't.

And we were just starting to make some progress.
Thanks, Rufio.  

Prompted by the recent "attack" in Oregon, I've decided that it's about time we get one thing straight about terrorists.  The dictionary definition of "terrorist" is not "someone who practices Islam".  It never has been, and it never will be.  Here are two definitions straight from the dictionary:
1) A person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism.
2) A person who terrorizes or frightens others.

And what is the definition of "terrorism", you ask?  
1) The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
2) The state of fear and submission produced by terrorization.
3) A terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.  

Anyone see the words Muslim or Islam in there somewhere?  Because I sure don't.  Here's a fun little list of "terrorists":
-The Americans prior to and at the start of the Revolutionary War.  Learn your history, silly.
-George Bush and his administration (more on that later).
-Timothy McVeigh, a Christian that killed over 150 people in the bombing of a building prior to 9/11.
-Guy Fawkes.
-The KKK (speaks for its self).
-The Westboro Baptist Church (speaks for its self).
-Anti Abortionist's that kill doctors and the like which, honestly, is a bit hypocritical considering they are "pro-life".
-The Jewish Defense League.  Founded in New York City, protects Jews from anti-Semitism and harassment by bombing targets.
-The Earth Liberation Front. They are responsible for burning down housing developments, SUV dealerships, and chain stores in order to preserve Mother Nature.  Fun fact:  They also are responsible for the burning of 65% of the world's marijuana each year (just kidding, I made that up- sounds true though, doesn't it?).
-The Irish Republican Army (speaks for its self).

"Hebrew Power!  Hebrew Power!  What, do we 
have to hold our fists up all day? Oh, mushugana, ya gotta be kiddin' me."

There are plenty more, believe me.  But notice how not a single group or individual above is a follower of Islam.  Why is it that since 9/11, we as Americans have come to associate terrorism and terrorists with Muslims?  Just because Muslims destroyed the Twin Towers, does not mean that you can narrow down the definition of terrorist to simply "Islamics" and "any guy named Mohammed".  If that were the case, Christians would look pretty foolish because of people like Timothy McVeigh, or countries that committed genocide in the name of God.

Is the Jewish Defense League really just a secret group of Muslims?  I highly doubt it.  Is the Irish Republican Army really a front for al-Qaeda?  I don't think there has ever been a single Muslim IRA member in the group's history.  Were the American founders, who fought for freedom against the British government, really just Middle-Easterners with a devious hidden agenda?  Since most of the founders and declaration signers were atheist or agnostic, I doubt that too.

You might be thinking that that's the difference right there- that the IRA and the Americans fought for freedom from oppression, while al-Qaeda and other sects fight against our "perfect government"(coughfarfromperfectcough).  In terrorism, the motive doesn't matter.  It is the actions that speak loudest, and if you are using violence or fear to coerce someone or a group of people into doing something, then you are terrorizing them.  The definitions above really prove my point here.

One thing I want to touch on that's important is that you might have noticed a prior president on the list of terrorists.  While I hate to single him out, he was the very thing he was fighting.  He scared us into going to war in Iraq and Afganistan, he played on our fear to get what he wanted, and by the time we all realized how foolish the Iraq War was, it was far too late.  Don't get me wrong, Saddam was a monster that needed to be stopped, but there were much better ways to go about it.

He came, he decided, he left (us in debt).

See, that's what terrorism is.  It is the causing and controlling of fear to get your way.  So by being afraid of any terrorist, be they KKK or al Qaeda or the JDL, you really are letting them win.  Stop vocalizing your fears and calling on your government to take immediate and often violent, hateful action against these groups.  The world today is scary, sure, but learn when to voice your fears and when to keep your mouth shut.  I could get killed crossing the street by a car driven by a good, Catholic man and his family tomorrow, but you don't see me going out and saying things like, "Catholic drivers are murderers!  Get out of our country!"

I realize that the guy arrested in Oregon was both a Muslim, and named Mohammed.  It's unfortunate that these people are the ones getting all of the terrorist attention, really.  The media seems so focused on labeling all angry Muslims as terrorists, that they sometimes forget that by spreading fear, they are terrorists themselves.  It's a fine line, to be sure.  Careful where you step, because it doesn't take a Koran and a Middle-Eastern complexion to terrorize anybody.  All it takes is hate, extremism to a cause, and violence.

*Update* If you guys would like to know more about any of the terrorist groups I labeled above, either email me, leave a comment below, or write on A Sane Break's facebook page.  I'll personally type up the history and reasons behind the terrorist label for you, or throw up another post devoted to it if I get enough requests.  I sincerely hope that this post was informative.


Tom Major said...

On FB you mentioned reprising your comments about them. If terrorists win we we are scared, then Westboro wins when we give them anger. Not only are they old news, they weren't much news then. Deny Westboro its victory by never giving them another bit of attention.

Shaun said...

A very good point! I was thinking that they might be too easy of a target- it's not like I have to convince anyone that they are psychotic. Most reasonable people can see that they are a bunch of hateful lunatics without my help. If I do write about them, I probably wouldn't devote an entire post to them. They aren't worth the energy it would take to type that much. Still, I feel as though they are at least worthy of an honorable "crazy group" mention.

Anonymous said...

terrorism has alot to do with trying to kill all Americans that don't believe in Muslim belief system. The dictionary don't have a right slant on that type of people. I believe we should put him up front in American fighting group and let him get shot at as he is only a coward to pick on children and women

Shaun said...

The modern view of terrorism- the wrong view- does indeed have to do with Muslims, and it's very unfortunate. Their religion has not been proven any more correct than the other faiths of the world. As for the guy you believe needs to be put on the frontlines, well, I can't agree or disagree, because I don't know who you're talking about. If it's the recent Portland, Oregon bomber, then I will admit that yes, he is indeed a coward. However, I think he is and has been misguided for a very long time, and represents a very small portion of the Islamic community.