Friday, March 12, 2010

Double Standard in the Definition of Terrorism

Sometimes, I’m a bit slow and have a hard time understanding certain things. For example, when a group of Muslim guys get angry at America and demonstrate their anger by flying planes into buildings, including a government building, they’re terrorists. But when another guy, also angry at America (or at least the IRS) flies his plane into a government building, he’s merely a lone delusional nut but not a terrorist. When a white Muslim guy hides explosives in his shoe and tries to detonate those explosives on an airplane, he’s taken into civilian custody, read his rights, and treated as a criminal who tried to commit terrorist acts; yet when another Muslim guy (black) hides explosives in his underpants and tries to detonate those explosives on an airplane, there’s a hue and cry that he should be remanded to military custody, tortured, and treated as an enemy combatant. When a Muslim military psychologist goes on a shooting rampage on a military base, he’s called a terrorist and people cry out for more ethnic and racial profiling. But when another guy walks up to the Pentagon and opens fire on guards, he’s simply a lone delusional nut. When a Muslim guy walks into a US Army recruiting office and opens fire, he’s a terrorist. But when an anti-Semitic, white supremacist vet goes on a shooting spree at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, he’s simply another lone delusional nut. When environmental activists spike a tree or try to release animals from a lab, they’re eco-terrorists. But when an anti-abortion activist with ties to a broader anti-abortion network assassinates an abortion provider, he’s another lone delusional nut. Do you see a pattern here?

Maybe we should ask Fox News to explain the double standard? Maybe Glenn Beck can draw us a diagram on a blackboard.

Just for the record, I think that all of the episodes that I’ve described are most probably classified as acts or terrorism. Whether the perpetrator was an American or foreigner, whether a Muslim or Christian, whether on the left or right, these acts all probably constitute terror and should be treated the same.

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