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What is the Terrorism?

Terrorism has a long history. There is no generally accepted definition of terrorism. Michael J. Stevens has various immediate and long-term approaches. He intended to prevent terrorism such as teaching tolerance and citizenship, modifying media images of terrorism, and building peace. With the emerging ethnic and religious sensibilities, the widening gap between the rich and poor, status of US as superpower, access to the Internet, growing of weapons of mass destruction will be expanded to reach and impact of terrorism.

In 21st century terrorism is characterized by religious zealotry, globalization and the US’s superpower status. Terrorism pointed to the Muslim world as especially tended to violent confrontations. Globalization has weakened national boundaries. Nations may be weakened such as regulated economies, political stature and authority, and demographic balance are challenged. Globalization has increased to the standard of living worldwide.

There are three rationally derived forms of terrorism. These include ethnic terrorism, ideological terrorism and state-based terrorism. Firstly, ethnic terrorism includes ethnic minorities such as economic, political and cultural oppression. For instance, Palestinians and Arab pan-nationalists regarded Israel’s existence as an ethnic challenge. Another example is that Hamas is infamous for using murder bombing against Israeli civilians in urban areas. Secondly, ideological terrorism contain violent struggle against economic, political and social systems. It based on political principles, religious doctrine or natural law. According to political terrorism, example is the Cuban revolution captured the imagination of leaders such as Che Guevara. In addition regional terrorism is that terrorism motivated by religious zealotry. Religious terrorists are decentralized. For example, Iranians and other Muslim fundamentalists attacked Israel and the US. Hezbollah is a radical Shi’ite organization founded in 1978. He dedicated to establish Islamic states in Lebanon. Hezbollah terrorists bombed the US. Eco-terrorism aims to cause financial hardship. Finally, state-based terrorism is two variants: state terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism. State terrorism is conducted by government against its own citizens or against other states such as assisting rebellions, coercive and intolerable diplomacy. Its aim at maintaining the status quo but terror itself aims at changing the existing order. State-sponsored terrorism is the support of terrorism by government. For instance, the anti-communist MNR/RENAMO was sponsored by South Africa. MNR terrorists kidnapped government officials.

Definition of terrorism has not yet been universally accepted. Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons. There are lots of definitions according to states. According to scholars, the audience of the act or threat of violence is more important than the immediate victim. Terrorism can be interpreted as a form of violence such as political violence, revolution, guerrilla warfare, conventional warfare and crime. Terrorism became a special case of political violence. Political violence creates several dilemmas. Revolution and terrorism are key differences. Revolution has a more systematic, common activity and implies alternative governments. But terrorist initiated to profess their action. They have a consistent vision of their future. Another point is guerrilla warfare. Terrorism is confused with guerrilla warfare. Guerrilla is a larger group of armed individuals. It operates as a military unit, attacks enemy forces and hold territory. But terrorists do not initiative to hold territory. Terrorist prefer hijacking and kidnapping. Terrorist’s use of violence and threat of violence. Terrorism has a political aims and motives. Guerrilla has some tactics such as hostage taking, bombing, assassination, etc as terrorists. Terrorists do not operate to the laws and customs of warfare. Terrorism can be viewed crime and terrorists as criminals. For example, the US Crimes and Criminal Procedures Act (1998) punishes act of terrorism, threats, etc. to terrorism. Terrorism can be justified morally. Just war theory has two sets of criteria. First one is about justify going to war. Second one is about that is govern the conduct of warfare. Just war theory is compromised by uncertainties because of lack of convincing rules. With the development of technology, terrorism will be reflected such as biological, chemical, and nuclear material. Counter-terrorism is the practices, techniques, and strategies. Government adopted to prevent terrorist threats or acts. Law enforcement prevents the immediate threats posed by terrorism such as intelligence gathering, target hardening, and behavioral profiling. For example, the American Psychological Associations (APA) that law enforcement improves communication and cooperation. In addition, target hardening includes the use of screening systems. On the other hand, behavioral profiling involves demographic and psychological template. For example, the political ideology of American terrorist has been linked to their demographic and tactical status. Also, education is the most important role in terrorism. Children must be educated to become positive contributors to their community. If we want to prevent terror attack, we will teach tolerance and civic education. If emergence of terrorism wants to prevent, educators will be teach children how to manage anger and resolve conflict peacefully.

The role of the media is very important because of shaping attitudes and behavior. Terrorists have become sophisticated a marketing their message through radio and television. According to redressing injustice, UN General Assembly urged elimination of cause’s terrorism. There is an important special case of redressing injustice is peace building. Peace building is a process of establishing realistic empathy and capacity. It promotes peace and develops a workshop. Psychological approaches must link the individual to economics, history, law, politics, religion and culture to the understanding and preventing terrorism.

Yazar: Zeynep YILDIRIM, Çankaya Üniversitesi, Siyaset Bilimi ve Uluslararası İlişkiler mezunu.

26 Nisan 2012 Perşembe

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