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Black Community Opinions

The Double Standard Applied To Terrorism

By Imam Vernon M. Fareed

After looking at the definitions of terrorism used by the various U.S. departments and agencies one thing is very clear, “they have little or no meaning at all to the victims and their love ones.” The families and friends of individuals that are killed or injured in a terrorist attack could care less about anybody’s definition of terrorism!

This is not to suggest that there shouldn’t be legal definitions, however there’s a need to point out how some victims of terrorism fail to receive support from law enforcement and government agencies, due to the application of the term. Certain segments of the media have also been complicit in joining the bandwagon to label acts by some as terrorism, while coloring the acts of others with another crayon.

There is no doubt that disparities exist regarding the framing of the many barbaric acts committed by certain individuals and groups. Certain segments of the media and government have been complicit in creating these disparities, and though it may not always have been intentional they’ve given oxygen to this fire.

What I’m going to mention next is probably going to fall on deaf ears, but we play into the hands of these insane criminals when we associate their acts with the religion of Al-Islam! To be clear, it is important to note the use of the following terms: 1) radical Islamic terrorism 2) Muslim terrorist 3) extremist Islam, etc. whenever an horrific act is committed by someone claiming to be Muslim or of the Islamic faith, But there is no reference to the religious persuasion of persons killing and instilling fear in the name of any other faith. The intent here is not to create religious division but rather to highlight the scheme and focus on the disparity!

Go back and take a look at the definitions that we have provided of terrorism and you will see the following: 1) there is no number criteria (of participants) to meet the threshold of terrorism; 2) there is no criteria of religion (Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, etc.) to meet the threshold of terrorism; 3) there is no criteria of ethnicity, geography, age, citizenship, etc. to meet the threshold of terrorism.

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Given this reality how can one explain the media, government and law enforcement officials using terms like, “radical Islamic terrorism, Muslim terrorist and extremist Islam” whenever someone commits a horrific act claiming to be a Muslim?

To the contrary, “why do they fail to use religious labels when horrific acts are committed by individuals or groups whose faith is other than Islam?”

Has anyone thought to ask, “what religion did the perpetrators of the theater massacre, school shootings and abortion clinic incidents claim?”

What was the Religion of the following and how were they characterized

Adam Lanza

Sandy Hook

Killed 26

Mass Murderer

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Cho Seung-Hui

Virginia Tech

Killed 32, Injured ?

Mass Murderer

James E. Holmes

Colorado Theater

Killed 12, Injured 70

Mass Murderer

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Jared Lee Loughner

Tucson, Az.

Killed 6, Att. Mrd 13

Mass Murderer

Robert Dear

Colorado P. Parenthood

Killed 3, Injured 9

Mass Murderer

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Jeff Weise

Minn. School

Killed 9

Mass Murderer

Dylann Roof

Charleston, S.C.

Killed 9

Mass Murderer

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Timothy McVeigh

Ok. FBI Bldg.

Killed 168, Injured

600+ Terrorist

We should question why only one of the above killers was declared a terrorist? Do you think that there might be some relationship between what Timothy McVeigh bombed and why he’s the only one on this list that’s been labeled a terrorist?

There’s no doubt that the above individuals would likely have been labelled terrorist had their names been Muhammad, Akbar or Abdullah. The above list is just a small example of proof necessary to highlight the disparity with who gets labeled a terrorist.

According to the legal scholar William Yeomans, “Federal law creates some special authority to charge international terrorists, but there is no stature that allows the federal government to charge an individual with the crime of “domestic terrorism.”

Imam Vernon M. Fareed leads Masjid (Mosque) William Salaam in Norfolk, Va. He is a featured religion columnist in the New Journal and Guide.

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