Terror is terror. It is often cloaked in religion, dogma, or nationalism, but at its root it is simply terrorism. There have been terrorists who identified with, or been labeled as, Muslims, Christians, Hindu’s, Jews, and Buddhists. Nobody however is a “Muslim terrorist” or a “Christian terrorist”. None of the major religions, nor the majority of their followers, advocate or condone the taking of innocent and/or civilian lives. People that cloak their feelings of inadequacy and/or desire for power and control, in the name of religion, do not represent that religion. Using religion as a guise to cover up, and justify one’s violent actions towards another, is a con, a rouse, a blasphemy against the religious tenets they claim to follow.
Terrorist’s use violence and terror for a number of reasons. The primary purpose is to spread fear and cause a reaction. People who become terrorists usually do so because of a lack of power, no self-worth, wanting a sense of control, and/or wishing to belong to something, regardless of how hateful or absurd the group is with which they identify. Understanding why someone becomes a terrorist is irrelevant, when trying to stop someone from committing an act of terror in the present tense, but understanding why can be useful to dissuade, and prevent people choosing such a path, in the future.
There are also those who cause suffering because of their own suffering, and wish to externalize that pain on to others, that do not use religion as a scapegoat or justification. These individual’s have experienced pain and loss, and do not know how to live with such grief, and/or experience times of uncontrolled mania, delusion and/or disassociation. These acts are difficult to foresee, but can often be minimized, or removed, with good mental health treatment and support.
Acts of terrorism by nation states, in the name of defense, retribution, and/or security, are also acts of violence and terror, as is rape and abuse, but in this instance I am specking about individuals who act alone towards a group of people, and those who report on their acts. Stop adding religious classification’s to acts of terrorism, and simply call them for what, and who, they are – an act of terror perpetrated by a terrorist. Terror is terror – period.
My words about terrorism, and terrorists, do not derive from any particular religious, political, or personal slant, but are a result of over 40 years of observations, and supporting hundreds of individuals and families who have lost a loved one to violence, murder and/or genocide; and speaking with many people who have committed murder and/or genocide.