Sunday, April 09, 2006

Redefining Terrorism Away

Professor Ron Geaves of the University of Chester in England is claiming that the London Tube bombings of last July 7, in which 52 innocent people were butchered and 700 wounded, was not terrorism at all but rather a form of extreme demonstration. In a speech before members of the Muslim community, Professor Geaves said, "I have included, rather controversially, the events in London as primarily an extreme form of demonstration and assess what these events actually mean in terms of their significance in the Muslim community."

Professor Geaves went on to complain about labelling the four suicide bombers as terrorists, "Terrorism is a political word which always seems to be used to demonise people." Perhaps rather than demonize mass-murdering terrorists and hurt the feelings of their constituencies, maybe we should just call them "robust protestors."

Later, Professor Geaves clarified the whole terrorist demonizing thing, "What I was trying to say was that the word terrorism, like the word evil, does not take us very far." Certainly, the Geavesian interpretation of blowing people into bloody chunks on the subway as extreme demonstration doesn't take us very far and stops well short of the truth. The adjective "Evil" seems particularly well suited to such terrorist acts and their authors.

However, Professor Geaves does illustrate the peculiar European and leftist approach to dealing with terrorism: Simply redefine it away so that it really isn't terrorism but something else, not an act of religious war but more a mundane political demonstration demanding tangible, normal, understandable things. If it's just a political demonstration, you can talk your way out of it. That's so much better than a religious jihad, where you are forced to fight. The last thing people like Professor Geaves want to do is fight.


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