What is Terrorism? Violence?


See also: Four Faces of Islam & Signs of the times (links on Israel)

Homeland Security and the transformation of  America


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What Terrorism Is and Is Not - A Problem of Definition: "The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as:

"...the unlawful use of force or 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."

"The U.S. Department of State:

"'terrorism' [is] premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine state agents, usually intended to influence an audience."

"The Department of Defense:

"The calculated use of violence or threat of violence to inculcate fear, intended to coerce or try to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological."

"...The definitions of terrorism used by U.S. Government Departments and Agencies are applicable to all forms of political violence. To conclude, terrorism has two components: political objectives and fear from violence." See Trading U.S. Rights for UN Rules

FAA Passenger Profiling Alert (old news): "The U.S. Dept. of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has submitted a proposal to require airlines to use a computer-assisted passenger screening program that selects passengers both randomly and who fit the supposed profile of a terrorist for heightened security examination of their checked bags. EFF believes this profiling system would: violate due process (no probable cause when targeting random persons); and violate the Fourth Amendment (unreasonable search)." See A Terrorist? Me?

Bush Administration's Redefinition Of 'Terrorist' Worries Many: "...while Congress may pass the legislation originally aimed at Arab terrorists who work for Osama bin Laden, the actual wording of the proposed law is so broad and vague that some highly elected official might just redefine who and what constitutes a terrorist. A simple redefinition might just make a terrorist out of anyone who disagrees strongly with the government. A simple redefinition might just make terrorists out of the Fundamental, Born Again Christian ..."

        "This redefinition may have already begun. In Tom Ridge's statement, he also uses the vague verb, 'lash out' to redefine terrorist. There are several ways in which a person can 'lash out.' They can do so physically and violently. They can 'lash out' orally, calling a person false derogatory names. But, is it possible for government authorities to so construe 'lash out' as to apply to a situation in which the truth is told about a person, his country, or his religion -- a truth that is not popular to hear?     

        "In other words, if a Christian ministry tells the truth about Islam, even quoting from their writings, including the Koran, can that ministry then be called a 'terrorist' organization? If this is the case, then all the broad authority which Bush and Ashcroft are seeking could then be turned on that Christian ministry." See The UN Plan for Your Mental Health 


Note: Like "terrorism," the word "violence" is open to all kinds of expedient political interpretations. Ponder these statements by leaders at the 1995 UN Conference on Women and from its concluding Beijing Declaration:

Anglican Women's Network: "We strive to eliminate economic, political, domestic, cultural, environmental, religious and sexual violence against women?" New usages of the word violence in a world where feelings and propaganda is fast replacing fact and truth: 

  • "Economic violence included 'unequal distribution of  wealth. . .  as evidence by world debt' and 'no wages for women's work."

  • "Political violence ranged from genuine examples of violence [such as rape] . . .  to 'women's exclusion in decision-making.'

  • "Religious violence was 'intolerance and persecution of women who will not conform' and 'exclusion of women from religious leadership."

  • "Sexual violence [included] 'compulsory heterosexuality.'

"The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is inalienable and must be universally enjoyed.... However, it is acknowledged that any form of extremism may have a negative impact on women and can lead to violence and discrimination."

Find these quotes, corresponding footnotes and background information in Chapter 9 of A Twist of Faith.

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