Afrobeat Culture Federator

TERRORISM - AMERICA’S DEFINITION!

Monday 6 November 2017 by Mabinuori Idowu (aka ID)

In my post AN AFRICAN SOLUTION TO TERRORISM; Thursday 17 December 2015, I wrote: “English dictionary definition of terrorism is the use of violence, and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”. This article was written after a wave of terrorist’s attacks in Europe that left a lot of people dead. I added that in our search for a long lasting solution to this dangerous trend, it is imperative to see the problem in its global magnitude. Beyond all academic definition, looking at the “terrorist coin” from both sides becomes imperative, taking into consideration the question people ask about this kind of violence.

“Could this really happen to me?” “Can I imagine myself in the situation of the victims?” The answer is absolutely YES, if we bear in mind that there is no where on earth today that can be considered safe from terrorist attacks. Without any apology to terrorists and their dastardly acts, I guess it time like I concluded in the post mentioned above, to look at the “terrorism coin” from both sides, in order to find a long lasting solution to this dangerous trend of pursuit of political aims. Today with the polarisation and persistent nature of these attacks, one can conveniently say that we are living in a world of “one man’s “terrorist” is another man’s “freedom fighter.”

On October 31; 2017 a man, drove a rented pick-up van into cyclists and runners for about 1 mile (1.6 km), killed eight people and injured 11 others. After crashing the truck into a school bus, the driver exited, apparently wielding two guns, he was shot in the abdomen by a policeman and arrested. The attack was considered a terrorist act as a flag and a document, indicating allegiance to the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were allegedly found in the truck. America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); later charged 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevich Saipov, with multiple counts of murder, destruction of a motor vehicle, and providing material support for a terrorist organization.

In another case where at least 59 people were killed, in what is considered the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, America’s authority avoid the word “terrorism”. The man, opened fire on an open-air music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino on the Las Vegas strip. The gunman, Stephen Paddock with no significant criminal record, and no obvious ideological motive, offered no known justification or explanation for the mass killings. Whatever drove him in his killing rampage, with him dead, the slaughter would drift into history as one more act of American mass violence carried out by a “disturbed loner”. This case, like many others are not considered as terrorist act. The word “terrorism” is a verbal weapon, freely wielded today in political debates particularly in a polarized country like the US, especially when the accused is Muslim.

In America’s jargon; mass killing of innocents does not automatically meet the generally accepted definition of terrorism bearing in mind that in every case, the perpetrators had a clear ideological agenda to kill and maim massively. Instead of calling a spade-a-spade, the gruesome tragedy like most mass massacres in America, was quickly and predictably diverted with the debate on gun control. As we can observe with this American approach, in the absence of any hint of a motive in the Las Vegas massacre, President Donald Trump called it “pure evil” he avoided the word “terrorism.” While attacks like the one in New York however, perpetrated by a man who shouted “Allah Akbar,” are seen by many right-wing leaning Americans as stemming from the wider threat of uncontrolled Muslim immigration while the same right- wing, consider as a disturbed loner the Las Vegas attacker.

Polarizing the definition of mass killing as terrorism or not, in my opinion is the reason why we have no-where on earth today that can be considered safe from terrorist attacks. Granted it is every American’s constitutional right to carry a gun, incidence of consistent mass shootings makes it imperative to review these rights. Particularly when questions like: “Could this really happen to me?” “Can I imagine myself in the situation of the victims,” are being asked by Americans and non Americans alike. It is imperative to see the problem, in its global magnitude in view of the “No where to hide” reality from terrorists attack. We have to bear in mind, that in every case the perpetrators had clear ideological agenda - a disturbed loner or otherwise. From the point of view of potential victims, the crucial factor may not be a specific ideological motivation but the decision to target random, innocent people.

The phenomenon of mass shooting; whether or not it properly carries the terrorist label, is a recognizable American phenomenon that stemmed from their gun-culture. Unfortunately whether you accept this gun-culture as a way of life or not, one fact that no-one can hide is that Paddock’s attack unquestionably spread terror far beyond America’s boarders. I imagine myself in the situation of the victims; someone coming to Manhattan on a visit, knowing that there is no where on earth today that can be considered safe from terrorist attacks. As someone not used to America’s gun-culture; I will consider absurd the justification, that the Las Vegas attacker act was that of a disturbed loner. Terrorist or disturbed loner, the salient point here is should we continue to follow, America’s definition in our search to put an end to terrorist acts? As often reiterated here, we have to understand that “globalization” today is a fight, a strategic fight of diverse interests, sometimes very opposite. Hence my affirmation: “one man’s “terrorist” is another man’s “freedom fighter.”

It is little necessary to recognize in the current world that there is not either concert of nations, or international community really fair or democratic. What are at stake are political, economic, military, linguistic, cultural interests - a world full of strategic fights of diverse interests, sometimes very opposite. To add to the confusion that inspires terrorist actions: we have state authorised executions by electrocution, police or secret service extra-judicial killings, hangings and all forms of summary executions. If one may ask; are all these mechanisms in the capitalist system, symbols of civilization or barbarism? There is no denying the fact that there is no universal culture anywhere; but without any doubt, I affirm that it is possible to have a universal standard for humanity.

If we take into consideration the result of anthropological and historical researches of the last few years that have brought to light, facts about the historical and spiritual consciousness of ancient African societies, we have proof that another world is possible - another world devoid of all sorts of violence and barbarism perpetrated in the name of God, Allah, or Yahweh. The anthropological and historical researches of the last few years have brought to light some facts about the historical and spiritual consciousness of ancient African societies. This was found to be a global and unitary consciousness, which included all the past history of man and nature, a socio-centric consciousness in as much as the objective of history was the construction and preservation of human society.

This could finally serve humanity as a model to move into the future - a consciousness where the future is the essential factor. If we are living in a world full of violence today, as often stated we have to understand at this point, that there is no spontaneous generation in any society as every generation follows what was laid-down by those before them. If we consider the way these religions were propagated, we can understand the tussle over what terrorism is and why we live in a world of fear.


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