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Its Time To Learn The True Meaning Of The Word Terrorism

01/12/2016 11:18

It appears to be currently one of the media's favourite words, terrorism, terrorist, terror suspect, its frequency has created a word that does exactly that, strike fear into our hearts that for some reason individuals, groups and countries would like to create a culture of panic and fear. With Britain's threat of terror at an all time high perhaps it is best to create a depth of understanding of the word terror.

To explore its origins we have to turn to the French Revolution, a protest against the excessive system of taxation that targeted the poorer members of society and demands an abolition of the feudalistic system of privilege that offered very little social mobility. From this political upheaval rose what was described as 'a regime of terror' also known to as The Reign of Terror (la Terreur). But what is apparently crucial is that the people who were considered to be the terrorists were not the people rebelling against the state but the state itself. The Reign of Terror refers to the legitimate system of government which used terror to assert itself.

So, if the origin of Terror is not the Others but within the aspect how have we managed to change its definition so drastically, the modern definition being "the unofficial, unauthorised use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims" but what strikes me in this definition is who defines what is official and what is authorised, it appears to me that those with that ability consequently get to define what is an act of Terror, and in no universe would they allow their own definition to work against them.

Perhaps it is time to place ourselves as the authority on terrorism, to view our own governments' agenda as being the political aims defined by terror. In a world where those living in poverty, relying on the welfare state are trapped in a constant state of fear that should they miss an appointment at the jobcentre, where our Christian state is still God-fearing, where the media pumps images into the world that creates a set of ideals that we fear to deviate from lest we face the social backlash, young men and women live in constant fear of their bodies, should it ever dare to present itself in a less than socially acceptable way, working families live in fear that due to the absurd rise in living costs they may not be able to afford put food on the table. I for one live in a semi-constant fear that the numbers on the sizes in the clothes that fit my body don't reflect the numbers I feel are socially acceptable. I believe that this too should be acknowledged as a modern form of terror which ultimately resonates primarily with the original definition of the world.

I urge you to question the language in the media and to dare to wonder why they want to label the other as the creator of terror. There is no denying that the version of terrorism we are used to witnessing has an incredibly racial and religious undertone, we are very keen to define and attach labels to radical individuals who are seen as non-white as terrorists and reluctant to label white perpetrators of fear and terror as such, preferring to call them "lone wolves" In the case of Anders Behring Breivik and in the Dylan Roof act the language appears to skate around the word "terrorist" simply referring to it as a hate crime and a tragedy as opposed to an act of terror.

Perhaps it's time that we viewed terror as not the threat of the other but threat and control from within or perhaps above. What Trump is doing in America is an act of Terror, to spread an agenda of fear, not through singular explosive acts, but by placing a fear of the unknown into people's heads Surely it the ultimate proof and ability of whiteness, that it can, in fact, behave as the perfect manipulator and creator of a society of fear, without being called a terrorist, while simultaneously labelling any opposition as committing acts of terror.

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