Eight arguments we use to excuse terrorism

The media are starting to get it – finally.

Our discourse on terrorism is a bad record that has been stuck on repeat for decades. And it won’t matter whether I write this today, in a week, a month, or a year. Because with each new attack, the dialogue is only pushed deeper into discord and away from examining terror.

Rather than terror attacks inciting a more thorough and informed understanding of terrorism, there is a predictable tsunami of excuse-making, victim-blaming and sidestepping of the actual issue.

While it’s great that some people believe sharia law can be interpreted in a positive way, or that Muslim people are their best friends, this is not actually addressing terrorism. This political pointscoring is increasingly blocking the public from developing better understandings of, and solutions to, terrorism.

Argument 1: Islam has nothing to do with terrorism

This kind of denial relies on the public to ignore all data on terror: the imams who preach hate, the holy texts that demand it, the statistics that show fairly significant portions of Islamic nations support terrorism, and the lists of registered terrorist groups wherein the vast majority are Islamic.

Instead, this argument relies on the theologians who insist that on some intellectual or spiritual level, their interpretation of Islam reflects peace. Certainly, that may well be their interpretation. But unfortunately that is not the reality for all followers.

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