Free Research Paper About Terrorism. Can Terrorism Be Justified?
Terrorism has got a new identification-Islamophobia. The world is reeling under the wrath of terror. The usual norms of terrorism have undergone total change in recent times. The Obama administration’s cacophonous ‘War on Terror’ isn’t limited to Al-Qaeda; now, it has the biggest challenge of overthrowing the Islamic State from the Middle East and Boko Haram from the African countries. The brutal assaults committed by these terror groups in the name of religion are the most heinous crimes committed in the world history. Terrorism can never be justified; but, the threat is now deeper than terrorism. It is the murderous crime that is now a daily routine in several parts of the world. In this research paper, I strongly condemn terrorism. Evidences are put forward in order to support this stand. Counter-argument by religious fanatics is also put forward in order to reach an unbiased conclusion. Theories behind war crimes are discussed and specific terror examples are analyzed for understanding terrorism.
Civilian bombings by Al-Qaeda have given rise to a new dimension of terrorism, which even this group is opposing. The 9/11 attack was followed by unspeakable torture in Abu Ghraib prison. This American prison was the birth place of what we know as the Islamic State. This terror group is imposing brutal Sharia Law across the states of Iraq and Syria. From arm amputations, throwing men off the roof top to raping children and women on an hourly basis are the latest acts of terrorism. The Boko Haram group has now pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and the world gears up to witness another World War.
Brutality of the Islamic State in the name of religion. This group of assaulters won’t just blow up the World Trade Centre. They have surpassed even Osama Bin Laden. The terror group justifies enslaving women and children, and claims it to be the legitimate interpretation of Quran. A latest manifesto released by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) catapulted the ethics of humanity in the name of religion. The ISIS followers claim that it is absolutely fine to rape a child even if she didn’t reach the age of puberty. The owner just needs to check whether she is fit for intercourse; else he can enjoy her without intercourse. Non-virgin women need to purify their uterus first. It is legal to buy, sell or give as a gift female captives and slaves. Women are just a property (CNN).
Condemning terrorism. The above account is just a brief overview of the terrible wrath that the Islamic State is posing in Iraq and Syria. From beheading hostages to burning captives alive, this is now a regular norm. The tragedy doesn’t end there. These brutal acts are recorded on camera and professionally edited for broadcasting and threatening President Barack Obama. Several foreign journalists and aid workers have been beheaded on camera. This is the latest propaganda norm that the terror group is incorporating. Unfortunately, the media is surrendering to their propaganda tactics. From graduates of esteemed Universities (like Jihadi John from University of Westminster) to young girls are leaving behind their comfort to support what they call Jihad- the Holy War. This unstoppable rampage is being committed under the name of religion and Prophet Mohammed. One wonders, can God ever justify such heinous crime on a daily basis? Non-Muslims are now tagged as non-believers and the Muslims are starving them to death, cutting off the captives’ genitals, female terror groups torturing new mothers with Middle Aged torture devices. Terrorism can never be defended. It has crossed all limits of barbarity and no religion can support such gruesome assault upon the humankind.
Islamic extremism is denounced worldwide. Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon was quoted saying that nothing can justify acts of terrorism. The United Nations is showing great solidarity in overthrowing terrorist groups and its fortitude to defeat it by all means. Following the United Nations Charter and international law, the Secretary-General has vowed to abolish intolerance and extremism with calls for compassion and moderation. The extremists are increasingly using social media networks and exploiting the sites to radicalize people and spread hate messages. Terrorism feeds off extreme destitution and undermines development through violence, intolerance and human rights violation. He admitted that terrorism can be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach. It requires participation and collaboration of all States and international organizations. Terrorism can’t be defeated by military forces alone (United Nations). The international government acknowledges the outcome of defending terrorism. Over 54 people were arrested in France for glorifying and defending terrorism. Social media is blamed for permitting terrorists comment and propagate radical messages. Apologists for terrorism are highly criticized in the wake of brutal terror threats across the world (The Independent).
Theories of terrorism. Terrorism can be explained by the Instrumental Approach. Terrorism is a violent force and a bargaining method that intimates the opposition group. It is based on a strategy of ‘power to hurt’. Terrorism targets to alter the government’s political position, and does not destruct military potential. This theory suggests that surprise is crucial to the success of terrorist acts. These are carried out by technological or doctrinal innovation. It is a new wave of warfare; terrorists have come up with new strategies for captives, hijacking, civilian bombing, with the ultimate goal of achieving smashing success by surprise strategy (Crenshaw 14).
Terrorism can also be explained by Organizational Process Theory. Here, internal dynamics of the terror group can be seen through the terrorists’ behavior. Leader of the group strives to promote the terror organization and his ambitions are linked with the group’s global standing. Often, people join such terror groups in order to attain social status, material gains, or finding comradeship. Violence is permanent and the founders have innate commitment towards the objectives of the terror group (Crenshaw 21).
An analysis of the above theories of terrorism indicates that the Al-Qaeda terrorism is more in sync with the Instrumental Approach. Principles of the Islamic State and Boko Haram coincide with the Organizational Process Theory. The tactics used by Osama Bin Laden for demolishing the World Trade Center was a surprise attack and it left the government baffling for tackling such a massive crisis. 26/11 in India can also be explained by this theory. Few religious scholars have often supported cause put forward by the Al-Qaeda followers. These veteran scholars didn’t justify terrorism, but they acknowledged the targets deemed fit by Al-Qaeda. As opportunities and technologies expanded, it gave rise to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The leader of this group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is fully committed towards promoting his group across the world. His tactics are totally organized. The ISIS captured major cities of Iraq like Mosul and Tikrit; then they got hold of the Syrian city of Raqqa and made it their headquarters. They have strong presence along the Turkish border and the west of Damascus. They have now entered Libya and this country would be the perfect gateway for entering Europe. Despite air strikes by the West and criticism from Muslims, the ISIS continues to spread its brutal messages of imposing Sharia law. It is consistently titillating the youths from the West by provoking them to become ‘Jihadi bride’. Teenage girls from affluent families left behind their freedom and gender equality and ventured into a life, where they cannot step a foot ahead without a man, or uncover even an inch of their face. This terror group is offering them fake promises of an esteemed lifestyle. The reality is no close to the oasis that is created by the terror group. Few young fighters tweet their lifestyle as five-star jihad and women are wooed by the idea of getting authority in the all-female police force of the ISIS. They are having a husband, a house, allowances and above all- a prestige of joining the ISIS.
Terrorism can be understood by psychological or cultural values. A kind of fantasy develops during the phase of radicalization and it usually breaks as reality passes by. A school teacher from Britain joined the ISIS out of excitement of a new life that has a noble cause at its core. As she ventured into Syria, her hopes crashed as she discovered that this fight is nothing more than a fraudulent act and unimaginable horror of regular butchering, rapes, amputations etc. Justice is not the ultimate purpose of this terror group.
People who join terror groups have shown few resemblances in their thought processes. They tend to feel angry and aloof. They criticize contemporary political structure and identify themselves with the fighters that have vowed to liberate their religion from corrupt powers. They tend to consider violence as a moral way to fight for the cause and believe that by joining a terror group will give their ambitions a concrete purpose. The norms of deradicalization have three main components: intellectual, emotional and social. An intellectual component involves moderate Muslim clerics who work towards deciphering the true teachings of the Quran, and its opinion about violence and jihad. An emotional component depicts detainees' anger and frustration out of their serious concern for their families. A social component states that the detainees who reenter the society have rekindling of their radical beliefs (DeAngelis).
In Gurr’s “Why Men Rebel”, terrorism acts can be explained by Relative Deprivation Theory. A gap is present between anticipated and achieved welfare that create collective discontent. Inferiority complexes give rise to terrorist acts. Individuals feel inferior and perceive their welfare to be crippled when compared to others. Collective discontent caused by a feeling of relative deprivation leads to political violence. There exists a discrepancy between the “ought” and the “is” of collective value satisfaction (Gurr).
The Hamas attack of Israel can be attributed to the Relative Deprivation Theory. The disappearing stance of Palestine has triggered offenses in Israel and the recent decision of no-statehood for Palestine will aggravate further tension. Conspiracy theory is also a cause behind rampant terrorist attacks. No matter what theories are behind regular murderous assaults, it is impossible to justify acts of terrorism. This is not an ideal discretion, but a focused observation that have been garnered by a thorough research. However, there critics of this argument and even few eminent leaders have openly justified terrorism. I will now analyze the counter-argument before reaching a conclusion.
Counter-argument. If I look at the history of terrorism across the world, certain perceptions contradict the claims that are stated above. The horrific assault at the hands of ISIS fighters reminds us the atrocious torture of the Iraqi Muslims by the Americans. It was the Abu Ghraib prison, which gave rise to the ‘orange jumpsuit’ trend. In an attempt to punish the culprits of 9/11, the Americans have played around with emotional and physical state of innocent Iraqis. The leaked images of the Abu Ghraib prison torture sends chilling tremor across the spine. From professors to eminent scholars, they have been tortured for no reason. Regular intimidation by dogs, forced masturbation, rape of female prisoners, photographing naked females etc. have been common in the American prison of Iraq. One professor was captured, questioned and tortured by inserting sticks into his rectum. The CIA gave rise to all the terror techniques that are being used worldwide. Prisoners were electrocuted; subjected to rectal abuses; water boarded, tied electric wires around their genitals and dragged. Female police forced men to masturbate in the open, while she took pleasure and picture of the appalling scene. This was completely against Islam and the prisoners were humiliated by forceful posture of sexual acts. The infamous ‘pyramid’ structure formed by compelling the detainees into sexual postures was highly condemned. Now, if the Muslims are getting back to the West for the inhumanity, is it seriously unjustifiable?
British politician David Miliband justified terrorism and had to face rage for his comments. He stated that there are few circumstances that justify acts of violence. He made this remark as he showed support for the ANC’s armed struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Conservative party leaders criticized him and stated that his irresponsible opinion will give boost to the Taliban rampage in Afghanistan. The military wing of the ANC carried out a number of terrorist attacks in 1983, which killed 19 and wounded 200. He also stated that often terrorism yields effective results. It was due to terrorist acts that the apartheid regime was blown down and lost its strong hold in South Africa. The ANC attack upon the apartheids was a significant move. Opposition party members argued that Miliband’s comments were ill-judged and that ministers should think twice before making statements that legitimize terrorism in any circumstances (Owen).
We are already aware of the fact that terrorists justify their actions in the name of religion. Let us discuss how they are excusing their dreadful crimes. Taliban have used children to defend their atrocities. The killing of 130 school children in Pakistan was defended by the child of a Taliban leader. He claimed that the Pakistani government supports an apostate army. They have an American army with zero zeal and moral. Using blasphemous terms like “bastards”, “hypocrites”, “polytheists” aimed towards the Americans, Jews and Christians; the child claimed that their war is against those “thieves” and “drunkards”. The Afghan Taliban slammed the deadly attack and argued that killing innocent children is against the ethics of the Afghan Taliban. President Obama said the Pakistan school attack once again showed the Taliban’s “depravity” (Ferran).
In this section, I will summarize evidences that have been discussed above and analyze diverse perceptions.
After a thorough research, I conclude that terrorism cannot be justified. The inferiority complex that groups develop over time is understandable, but violence cannot be the solution. No one has the right to take thousands of lives on a daily basis. This paper might seem to have overemphasized upon the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq. The rationale is that notions of terrorism have completely changed ever since this brutal group has swept through swathes of Iraq and Syria. If one Pakistan school blast raises serious concern, then what ISIS is doing is beyond imagination. Each day comes come as a curse for the Iraqis. People are starving; cooking cats and eating grass. Does that sound sane in this century? Imposing Sharia law makes no sense if the citizens suffer under a horrific regime. World heritage sites are being bulldozed in Iraq and Syria. Christian race in the country is at the verge of extinction. Women are being sold for just 20 dollars. Children as young as eight years are forced into sexual slavery. They are compelled into the role of a mother and wife. Universities are being destroyed. Disabled men are made to serve as suicide bombers. Western captives are subjected to mock execution before the actual beheading takes place. All this is happening in the name of religion? Does it sound credible?
There is no logic behind this murderous rampage in the Middle East. The terrorist groups are there just to loot land and property. No God can command such horrific onslaught. Moreover, the extremist groups are confused and fail to prioritize their choices. They blame the West for the upheaval that the Iraqis and Syrians are subjected to. So, if they have so much contempt against the West, why do they tweet about enjoying a Mac Donald’s cheese burger? Isn’t that an American company? Doesn’t’ the notorious killer Jihadi John enjoy his leisure time by watching the British kids show, Teletubbies? Aren’t they mimicking editing techniques of the West to make their editing videos? Who on Earth are they trying to make fool by their silly excuses? The Iraqis are getting tormented for no reason. It was Osama Bin Laden, who wrecked havoc of 9/11. But, it was the innocent Iraqis that to bear fury of the American military forces. Reputation of Saddam Hussain for possessing weapons of mass destruction didn’t go well with any of the Western countries. Militants and extremist groups have participated in these carnages, but how come the innocent people are suffering? Firstly, they suffered at the hands of the Americans, and now it is the Islamic State that has made their lives miserable. The ISIS is killing its own people and this is how they lost credibility. Waging Holy war is now past; everyone knows that there is nothing holy in this War.
Militant forces like Taliban impose brutal forces for administering states. But, they fail to understand that force and coercion can never give rise to a stable government or a political scene. Terror can never give rise to loyal followers. Violence and hatred can never pave the way for victory. It didn’t happen ever and it will never happen. Peace agreement is the only way to settle disputes. Terrorism takes societies to the primitive days and hinders growth of communities. But, it is not just the Middle East that is suffering. It is only that the ISIS is getting the required media attention that it desired with brilliant propaganda techniques. Boko Haram is an equal threat in Nigeria. But, the media isn’t paying attention. ISIS offers maximum drama, but Boko Haram is committing similar atrocities. The common aspect is that they claim to butcher, murder and rape for people that doesn’t follow Islam. The world has reached the zenith of secularism and forceful conversion into Islam is futile. Destruction of churches and targeting to abolish the Christian and blonde race is one among the several insane activities that the terror groups commit. Taliban has apparently taken a break and is witnessing regular drama being put forward by ISIS and Boko Haram. Hamas is just copying torture techniques from wherever it can.
No matter what comes, President Obama has to take a call on this. Terrorism has to end. Coalition forces needs to be send to the affected areas as soon as possible. Strict international aw needs to be implied and adhered to. The world can’t go back to the Dark Ages. It is only because of these terrorist groups that Islam is developing bad reputation worldwide. No other religious groups have been so perverted in their actions. It is only the religious fanatics that are spoiling the name of Islam. Preachers of Islam propagated peace, and Brunei is one country that successfully follows the Islamic teachings of maintaining peace. It is highly derogatory to identify the religion with terror activities. But, this is what the criminals are forcing the global audience to believe. Despite all issues, terror shouldn’t be used as a weapon. Violence needs to end.
CNN. ISIS: Enslaving, having sex with 'unbelieving' women, girls is OK. 13 Dec. 2014. Web. 16
Crenshaw, Martha. Theories of terrorism: Instrumental and organizational approaches. Journal
of Strategic Studies. 24 Jan. 2008. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
DeAngelis, Tori. Understanding terrorism. American Psychological Association. Vol.40(10).
Nov. 2009. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
Ferran, Lee. Taliban Uses Child to Justify Campaign of Violence. ABC News. 2 Jan. 2015. Web.
17 Mar. 2015.
Gurr, Ted Robert. Why Men Rebel. Princeton, NJ: Center of International Studies, Princeton UP,
Owen, Glen. David Miliband: There are circumstances in which terrorism can be justifiable.
Mail Online. 15 Aug. 2009. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
The Independent. Paris attacks aftermath: French police arrest 54 people for 'defending or
glorifying terrorism'. 14 Jan. 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.
United Nations. ‘Nothing Can Justify Terrorism — Ever,’ Says Secretary-General, as Security
Council Hears from Some 50 Speakers in Day-Long Debate. 13 Jan. 2013. Web. 16 Mar 2015.