What is a Terrorist?

13May15

This week, Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron announced plans to fast-track new powers to tackle radicalisation and set out his intention to include a new counter-extremism bill in his Queen’s Speech later this month.

It’s all because the fear of religious extremists has reached a new high. But it’s an irrational fear. According to statistics from Europol, less than two per cent of all recorded acts of terror were perpetrated with religious motivations, with an even smaller number being committed by Muslim extremists. Estimates suggest only around two per cent of all terrorist attacks were committed by Islamic groups or individuals. For example, out of the 152 terrorist acts in the EU in 2013, only two were religiously motivated. In 2011, none of the 174 attacks were ‘inspired’ by religious organisations.

Politicians including David Cameron are not idiots. They are intelligent, well educated people. They know the threat from Muslim extremists in Europe is low, so why are they bringing in these new measures as one of their first orders of business since re-election?

It’s because perception is reality. A large, uninformed, majority are Islamophobic. Governments are using that irrational fear to curry favor with the electorate. That is not leadership. David Cameron wants you to think he is a leader but he is merely a politician.

Napoleon said the job of a leader is to “Define reality and give hope”. If David Cameron was a leader, he would define reality by reminding us of how small the threat from religious terrorists is, but reassure us that his government was doing all it could to protect us from it and far greater threats as well. Instead he exaggerates the threat that he must know is very small.

The sad truth is that politicians would rather lie about a threat and reassure you that they’ve got it covered than tell the truth about the scale of that threat. In this way, they are working WITH and NOT AGAINST the terrorists. One of the terrorists most effective weapons is fear. Governments who fear monger are helping the terrorists.

Terrorism is defined in the dictionary as, “The unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”.

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