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Don't Forget the Media's Role

Reader comment on item: Terrorism Defies Definition

Submitted by Alex (United States), Oct 26, 2014 at 16:50

One additional factor that I see in muddling the public policy definition of terrorism is the language that the media use to describe different groups who commit what I consider clearly to be terrorist attacks.

I noticed during the Second Palestinian Intifada that the media began referring to HAMAS and other Palestinian groups who carried out suicide bombings as "militants" rather than terrorists, and the trend appears to have caught on in all media definitions of groups who carry out terrorist attacks.

Another point I would make is that, in order to define terrorism more effectively, governments should rely on he same logic that terrorists use in selecting their targets: just as a terrorist might claim that an attack on a government building "exposes" a government 's corruption, taking counterterrorism measures against specific actors not yet totally defined as terrorists will help to establish definitions of terrorism that have both more weight and more practical application.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

You are entirely right about the media. But that's another topic from the one I covered here.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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