Kamlesh Kumar Singh
Deptt. of Sociology
Banaras Hindu University
M.N. - 09369240262, 09026399178
“All Muslims may not be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims”. This comment, frequently heard after the Mumbai bomb blasts implies that terrorism is a Muslim specialty, if not a monopoly. The facts are very different.
First there is nothing new about terrorism.
The term terrorism derives from the Latin verb terrere, "to cause to tremble or quiver." It began to be used during the French Revolution, and especially after the fall of Robespierre and the "Reign of Terror”, or simply "The Terror" in which enemies of the Revolution were subjected to imprisonment, torture, and beheading, the first of many modern example of state terrorism. Sociologically, terrorist groups often recruit disaffected and alienated individuals, often motivated by strong ideologies like nationalism or religion to commit terrorist acts. These in turn generate societal fear and exacerbate conflicts and hatred within the social fabric.
Terrorism is generally defined as the killing of civilians for political reasons. Going by this definition, the British Raj referred to Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad and many other Indian freedom fighters as terrorists. These were Hindu and Sikh rather than Muslim.
In 1881, anarchists killed the Russian Tsar Alexander II and 21 bystanders. In 1901, anarchists killed U.S. president McKinley as well as king Humbert I of Italy. World War I started in 1914 when anarchists killed Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. These terrorist attacks were not Muslim.
Guerrilla Fighters from Mao Zedong to Ho Chi Menh and Fidel Castro killed civilians during their revolutionary campaigns. They too were called terrorists until they triumphed. Nothing Muslim about them.
In Palestine, after world war second II, Jewish groups (The Haganah, Irgun,...