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

Submitted by Alan Roberts (United Kingdom), Sep 8, 2004 at 06:53

It it not only strange, but, in this case, dangerous, that journalists fight shy of using words correctly. My dictionary (the English Oxford) defines 'terrorist' as: 'b. Anyone who attempts to further his views by a system of coercive intimidation.'

The absurdity (i.e. futility) of this is implicit in the definition. (These people are killing us, therefore they must be right.) Its justification is approximately that of the torturer, with which it should be morally equated. It is only worse in that it usually involves those not capable of involvement or influence. It is evil used as method. Obviously, this is not to say that we should not be concerned about the causes of terrorism. But not to give it its rightful name is an act that condones the violence.
Alan Roberts

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