Archive for July 23rd, 2011
The media is engaged in a stunning double-standard regarding the Norwegian terrorist–except that he’s not being called a “terrorist.” As Glenn Greenwald points out, the term “terrorist” is reserved for special kinds of people who wreak destruction:
[N]ow that we know the alleged perpetrator is not Muslim, we know — by definition — that Terrorists are not responsible; conversely, when we thought Muslims were responsible, that meant — also by definition — that it was an act of Terrorism.
As usual, Greenwald has done his homework and offered plenty of links. When is the word “terrorist” appropriate?
Terrorism has no objective meaning and, at least in American political discourse, has come functionally to mean: violence committed by Muslims whom the West dislikes, no matter the cause or the target . . . if it turns out that the perpetrators weren’t Muslim (but rather “someone with more political motivations” — whatever that means: it presumably rests on the inane notion that Islamic radicals are motivated by religion, not political grievances), then it means that Terrorism, by definition, would be “ruled out” (one might think that the more politically-motivated an act of violence is, the more deserving it is of the Terrorism label, but this just proves that the defining feature of the word Terrorism is Muslim violence).
Greenwald also gives detailed proof that when there was no evidence that the perpetrator was a Muslim, many media outlets we happy to assume that the perpetrator was Muslim from the Middle East. This was a total lack of critical thought on behalf of the New York Times and other major outlets, as documented here.
None of this is surprising these days, given that the news media so often sees its job as promoting government objectives. And consider that uttering the phrase Al Qaeda, which was done more than a few times recently, gives the federal government yet more chances to give us nightmares so that we feel that we need the government as our warmongering protector against terrorists, meaning Muslims.