Is Terrorism Ever Justified?
“Terrorism has no justification, no matter what pretext terrorist use for their deeds.” Says Mohamed El Aziz Ben Achour, a Tunisian Culture and Preservation of Heritage Minister. (UN News Centre.) Many people view terrorism the same way as Ben Achour, especially in America. But there are also many of those, such as Alan Dershowitz, who counter with questions like, “Is ‘terrorist’ just a negative version of ‘freedom righter’?” and “How are civilian deaths in terrorism different from those in, say, war?” ( Philosophy Talk-Perry and Taylor). And while there are people like Dershowitz, who believe terrorism can be justified; there are more who believe it’s necessary- like the terrorists themselves. In the question of whether terrorism is just or unjust- terrorism targets anyone who happens to be in a certain place at a certain time, (Dictonary.com), killing innocent people, and making it unjustifiable. The word “terrorism” comes from Jacobins rule in France from the fall of 1793 to the summer 1794. The Jacobin’s rule was called a reign of terror, because the “ultimate aim was to reshape society and human nature by destroying old regimen, suppressing all enemies of the revolutionary government, and inculcating and enforcing civic virtue.” The Jacobins believed that without terror, virtue would not be enforced, and therefore used death sentences against those not following their virtues, to impose terror in others so they follow those virtues in the future. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). The word ‘terrorism’ quickly became associated with abuse of power and tyrants, giving it negative connotations. Now, when you hear the word “terrorism”, you might think “reckless murder”, since many Americans have been affected by terrorism in some negative way, with the terrorist attacks on 9/11. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) So why can’t terrorism be justified?
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