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Islam,Terrorism and Jihad (04 Aug 2016 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Let Us First Go Beyond the Term ‘Terrorism’

By Diana Moukalled

3 August 2016

Le Monde and other French media outlets have decided to no longer publish photos of terrorists, because they want to deprive terrorist organizations of the potential effect of glorification. This means if an attack similar to those in Nice and Rouen happens, photos of the perpetrators will not be published, and we will not know much about what led them to commit atrocities.

Is it really possible to no longer publish photos and biographies of perpetrators, particularly in our open world where photos and information are circulated by smart phones before they are broadcast and published by media outlets? Such a decision may have been up for discussion 10 years ago, but in today’s world it seems like surrender to the massive chaos of information via social media.

These statements are not targeted against the seriousness of the decision, which many French media outlets have rejected and deemed useless. The central problem is how the media should deal with these attacks. This discussion will not be set right before we finalize our stance on the term “terrorism,” and on the repercussions of the media’s stances on perpetrators and approach toward them.

Double Standard

Terrorism has dozens of definitions. The term is used to condemn the violence we reject, not all forms of violence. When people who belong to a group we disagree with are murdered, it is not always viewed as terrorism. There are endless examples of this in the Middle East, but this double standard also exists in the West, including France.

The term is used to condemn the violence we reject, not all forms of violence. When people who belong to a group we disagree with are murdered, it is not always viewed as terrorism

Horrific crimes must be condemned, but describing them as terrorism while excluding what certain military forces are doing is unjust. Are coalition airstrikes that killed dozens of civilians in Manbij, Syria, less horrific than the murder of civilians in Nice or elsewhere? Is the massacre that Satoshi Uematsu committed in Japan, where he killed 18 patients in their sleep in a care home, a terrorist attack?

Perhaps the media should stop using the word terrorism, because it has been horrifically misused to distort and manipulate the truth. The term has even been exploited to present biased stances to the public, instead of providing information about an incident itself. Any act of murder is terrorism, regardless of the aims and cause of the murderer. Therefore, the media’s handling of any crime must be based on the same principle.

Getting to know Uematsu is as important as getting to know Adel Kermiche, who killed the priest in France. Their biographies and experiences are necessary for public opinion and decision-makers, as they provide knowledge that helps us understand how to prevent similar crimes. Knowledge and a calm approach can clarify what is going on.

Accuracy and attention when broadcasting sensitive news does not mean the media should present the audience with what it wants to hear - by doing so; we would end up with an incomplete, inaccurate and misleading story.

Source: english.alarabiya.net/en/views/2016/08/03/Let-us-first-go-beyond-the-term-terrorism-.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,terrorism-and-jihad/diana-moukalled/let-us-first-go-beyond-the-term-‘terrorism’/d/108174


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