Why The Definition of Terrorism Is Important Today

The definition of terrorism is important and should not be confused with criminals, shooters, hate crimes, and more. This month’s serial bombings by Mark Anthony Conditt in Austin, Texas, which happens to be my hometown, raised questions on whether to call the violent acts ‘domestic terrorism’ or not. In a recent interview for IPT News, I was asked to comment on why words matter: why should we care about the definition of terrorism? Is it relevant today?

Heck, yes. Definitions matter. So what is terrorism? 

Terrorists identity with a radical ideology to achieve a political goal. It’s that simple.

In the interview I offered the following viewpoint: 

 

I believe that criminals–petty theft, drug dealers–should not be treated as terrorists. School shooters should not be treated like drug dealers. And so on. These are different kinds of crimes, so we should be careful not to place everyone criminal act under the umbrella of terrorism.

 

Click here to read the complete article by Abigail R. Esman.