EVAN MOORE: We need to expand our definition of who is a terrorist
It’s time to look at the people we label as terrorists, and why we only seem to reserve that label for Muslims or people of Arabic descent.
Let’s take a look at how terrorism is defined.
Webster’s Dictionary: “The use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal.”
FBI: “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.”
Collins Dictionary: “The act of terrorizing; use of force or threats to demoralize, intimidate, and subjugate, esp. such use as a political weapon or policy.”
Based on these definitions, Americans need to come to the realization that most people have: White supremacists are terrorists.
If anyone wants to do harm to someone based on race-baiting by white men who turn to firearms to act upon a sense of being “marginalized,” that’s terrorism.
If someone shoots an Arab, Muslim or Indian person for simply existing, while yelling “Get out of my country” — which happened in February in Kansas — that’s terrorism no matter how the press wants to dress it up.
If these definitions are to be used as suitable explanations for terrorism, why is it that the media have a hard time calling white people who engage in such acts terrorists? Timothy McVeigh, James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Dylann Roof, Alexandre Bissonnette, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold fit the description of what a terrorist is, so why didn’t they get the label that many Arab or Muslim people seem to get when they are involved in violence?
And don’t think that these folks haven’t picked up on this trend knowing that people will only look for Arabs, Indians and Muslims.
Remember how the initial outrage was framed for the Quebec City mosque shootings? Fox News reported that the shooter was a Moroccan-born Muslim, while it was actually Alexandre Bissonnette, a white French-Canadian nationalist who admires President Donald Trump.
I guess when a narrative doesn’t fit but you need to stay on task, “throw something at the wall and see what sticks” seems to be the plan.
Not all terrorists are Muslim or Arab. Terrorists can be from any background. Anyone who uses violence or threats to back up their views is technically a terrorist.
Evan F. Moore is a syndicated columnist with GateHouse Media.