Terrorists and criminals
Terrorists are persons who use unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. So says the Oxford dictionary, whose definitions I use in this essay. Terrorists lie when they say they have “political aims”. Their claim to such aims is just a smoke screen to hide their criminal intentions. Terrorist acts are therefore just serious criminal acts on a much larger scale. I mention several terrorist acts below as examples.
Spanish terror attacks: Thursday August 17 2017
- A terrorist ploughed a van into crowds, killing 13 people and injuring more than a hundred, in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas in the afternoon.
- Hours later, police shot dead five attackers wearing fake suicide vests after a second attack in Cambrils, a coastal town south of Barcelona.
London Bridge terror attack: June 3 2017
- The London terror attack killed eight people and injured many others on London Bridge and in nearby Borough Market on Saturday June 3.
- Three knifemen were shot dead by police after mowing down pedestrians on the bridge and going on a killing spree at pubs and restaurants at 10pm.
We know for sure that those acts mentioned above are criminal acts. Crime is: an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law. Treason is: the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill or overthrow the sovereign or government. A criminal, similarly: is a person who has committed a crime.
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Terrorists, remove the myth
From the above definitions, these people are criminals who may also be guilty of treason. Even if they have “political aims” and are guilty of treason, they are still criminals. Treason is a crime as shown above. They are not political figures. They are not religious figures. Plain and simple, they are criminals.
This is the myth of these people: we choose to associate them and or their actions with political aims. Then we refuse to brand them as criminals. We choose instead to give them the glamorous title of terrorists. This is a prestigious award to them. They wear it with pride rather than shame. They flaunt it to recruit new followers of their evil way. We’re only aiding their effort when we do this.
We are associating these people with freedom fighters. They are not freedom fighters. These groups are not National Liberation Movements. There’s a big difference between these two types of group.
In our fight against this evil we must destroy the myth of these people. Authorities must stop treating them as prisoners of war. Governments, the media, organizations and individuals must stop referring to these people as terrorists. We must refer to them as criminals and treat them as such.
The law courts must try them as dangerous criminals; and the state must execute them if the courts order this. If the courts sentence them to imprisonment they should go to prison. Prison authorities should treat them like other dangerous prisoners.