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Terrorism: Who Owns The Term? Essay

1195 words - 5 pages

The term Terrorism may be a difficult term to define. Acts of terrorism conjure emotional responses in the victims as well as in the practitioners. I find it hard to believe that two parties can agree what we mean by terrorism. We all know that man has always sought its freedom or liberation, but how does a person achieves their freedom? “One Man's Terrorist is Another Man's Freedom Fighter” (Vallicella). Many people believe that terrorism is evil; it could be that the term is misunderstood because there is no set definition. Terrorism can be an attack, while for others terrorism can be a threat.
So what do we know about Terrorists? What are they thinking? Like most of us, we usually plan ahead of time and we aim for a goal. Every terrorist has a plan that involves wounding someone or causing permanently damaging to the innocent. These terrorist or should we say these groups, seek attention of their actions from the public. No terrorist group attacks in vain. Their goal is to fight, to frighten and putting fear into the public; hoping to dominate and take control. This might include a rival ethnic or religious group, an entire country, a national government or political party, or public opinion in general. (Huffman)
Can we as U.S. citizens or residents come to a determination of what is terrorism? More importantly can the U.S. Government come to an agreement on what terrorism is? The U.S. has its own terms and definitions of terrorism. The Department of Defense describes terrorism by saying “The calculated use of unlawful violence to inculcate fear, intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological”(DD). The FBI describes it as “The unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”. (FBI)
Terrorism motivated by religious belief is a centuries-old phenomenon, and scores of examples can be found in all major religions in all parts of the world. You might have heard All of the major religions of the world teach an Ethic of Reciprocity. This is often referred to as the Golden Rule in Christianity, Judaism, and other religions. Although these religions use slightly different wording, they all teach that we should treat others as we would wish to be treated ourselves. Unfortunately, most religions have done a poor job conveying the range of the Ethic to their membership. In practice, congregations often interpret the Golden Rule as applying only to fellow believers. While most religions believe in prosperity and doing good for others there is a religion that is does not permit the individual to enjoy the freedoms of action and association characteristic of the Democracy that so many Western cultures currently enjoy today. Islam is a totalitarian ideology that rejects Democracy, personal freedom, and every...

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