Saturday, September 26, 2020

Unmasking an old propaganda tool for terrorists 

Aug 27. 2018
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Re: “The problem in defining terrorism”, Have Your Say, August 22.

Having followed (not without amusement) the recent exchange between contributors on the very important issue of terrorism, let me first of all take Dr Frank to task for his condescending, indeed contemptuous, letter in Friday’s Nation. While disagreeing is fine and even desirable, one must respect other contributors and certainly refrain from alluding to their supposedly limited intellectual abilities and, by implication, boasting about one’s own.

But as a historian I have a bigger complaint to make. Unfortunately, the idea of trying to isolate the “root causes of terrorism” is an old propaganda tool meant to try to justify the unjustifiable (ie, the murder of innocents in the name of a distorted faith), to provide terrorists with excuses where there aren’t any, and indeed use reasonable arguments to explain actions that are totally senseless.

Oppressed individuals with problematic childhoods? Please give peaceful civilians a break. Fighting terrorists can only be successful if states agree to tackle them using the only language terrorists understand.

Dr András Kanos

Budapest

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