The Anthropology of Terrorism

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 403
  • Published : March 25, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, “terrorism” has been a word that every American has used daily. It has been eleven years since these attacks, and our country is still at war, and we use terms like “acts of terror” to justify our invasion of their civilian space. Personally, I do not care much for conspiracy theories, but I was interested to know a little bit more about the Islamic culture that these “terrorists” stem from. While the majority of the population of Iraq and Afghanistan are practicing Muslims, they can not all be defined as “terrorists.” In all actuality, a lot of them may define Americans and other westernized countries with seemingly unlimited war powers as “terrorist” groups. There are many differences from the American view of acts of terror, the Iraqi view of acts of terror, and the view of how those who commit crimes of terror see their own actions. I think it very important that American civilians, especially those who are not well educated on our foreign policies and the current war situation, take time to see how Iraqi civilians and the Muslim population view the September 11 acts of terror, and the subsequent war compared to those who chose to commit these acts. I think that most would be surprised when they find that the Islamic religion does not actually promote those extensive “acts of terror” that they do not support the extremist groups like Al Quaeda, and that our presence in their civilian areas, like market places may not be necessary or productive for their day-to-day routines.

In order for many people to understand these differing viewpoints on terrorism, I think it is important to focus on how different people may define an act of terror. In December of 1994, the Unite Nations General Assembly Resolution 49/60, "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism," describes terrorism as: “Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them.” Later, in 2004 at UN Security Council Resolution 1566 a definition is given, stating acts of terror are: Criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act. The United Nations adds to the definition again in 2005 at a panel, stating the definition of terrorism as: Any act intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non- combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act. (“Various Definitions of Terrorism”)

The United Nations has no official definition of terrorism, because some would argue that there is no real distinction between a “terrorist” and a “freedom fighter.” Therefore, the United Nation’s descriptions of the term are vague and always include that terrorism is “intimidating” or that it “provokes terror” on a group of people. The first description listed comments on the justification of these acts, which most others do not. Now, I would like to point out the differences in he definitions that are released by the Arabic Community and the united States. In 1998, the Arab Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism was implemented by the Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior and the Council of Arab Ministers of...
tracking img