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Terrorists or freedom fighters?

Reader comment on item: [Beslan Atrocity:] They're Terrorists - Not Activists

Submitted by Sue Vogel (United Kingdom), Sep 8, 2004 at 05:46

Dear Daniel Pipes

Your article was forwarded to me by a relative in Israel. I would like to congratulate you for articulating what has become so serious a problem in the media.

Sapir and Whorf concluded that the language we use to describe and name things invariably influences what we think about them. Hence (and this is where your article really hits home) "terrorism" immediately becomes less malignant and therefore less dangerous in theory by being changed into "militancy" or "freedom fighting". In fact, however, it loses none of its negative power to influence. We become innured to the consequences of terrorism and lose our power to deal with it, much less to comprehend it, if we call it something other than what it is.

Keep up the excellent work,

Best wishes,

Sue Vogel


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