A TERRORIST BY ANY OTHER NAME
By Micah Halpern
Monday July 18, 2005
It's Theatre of the Absurd.
England. Friday. The day following the London bombings.
Camera crews, reporters, photographers from around the world have converged on England's capital to cover the atrocities that befell the people of London.
And what does the respected, the renowned, BBC do? They issue an editorial policy stating that the people who carried out these acts of terror should not be referred to as "terrorists" but rather, as "bombers."
Do we laugh or do we cry?
The BBC's rationale for this maneuver was that they do not want to place a "value judgment" on the murderous monsters because, after all, the terrorists who strapped bombs onto their own bodies blowing themselves and as many innocents as they could to smithereens, did not consider themselves to be terrorists at all.
Well, excuse the value judgment, but that type of thinking is not only absurd, not just ridiculous, but it is dangerous. Objectivity in a news agency is essential, but there are times when impartiality is misplaced. Actually, in the aftermath of acts of terror, I would go so far as to say that it is essential to have a point of view, otherwise, your intended but misplaced impartiality transforms you into an advocate for the terrorist side.
Let's take this conversation up a notch and I'll demonstrate just why it is so very problematic to be impartial here.
We have a dilemma. What do we call them?
The reality is that they actually are suicide bombers. And they are mass murderers. And they are Islamic extremists. And they are terrorists. And that is what they should be called by all people of conscience.
We must use the proper terms, the terms that describe their actions, not their convoluted thought process, when referring to terrorists. We must not acquiesce and accept the descriptive terms that terrorists and their organizations dictate in the same way that we do not acquiesce or accept their political and social terms and dictums. The people who own the terms own the discussion. The terms that are used ultimately determine who is right. And how can one argue and justify the actions of terrorist suicide bombers who murder innocent people?
Let's take it another notch higher.
It is essential that we understand the logic of the terrorist, but it is imperative that we not be swayed by the logic of the terrorist.
If they did not believe the way they do, the Islamic terrorist, the Muslim mass murderer could never go forth and complete missions. The suicide bomber needs to see his or her role as the absolute defender of Islam against an extremely dangerous adversary that whimsically murders Muslims.
No true Muslim could do what these terrorists do. It is against true Muslim belief. It is extremist Islam. And we must call them on it. And we must call them by the title they have earned: TERRORIST.