Let’s see… the UN says that terrorism is defined 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 other nature that may be invoked to justify them”. (GA Res. 51/210 Measures to eliminate international terrorism)
and says that the academic definition is:
“Terrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby – in contrast to assassination – the direct targets of violence are not the main targets. The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators. Threat- and violence-based communication processes between terrorist (organization), (imperilled) victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target (audience(s)), turning it into a target of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, depending on whether intimidation, coercion, or propaganda is primarily sought” (Schmid, 1988).
While the CIA defines it as:
The term â€œterrorismâ€ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.
CIA Terrorism FAQ
And terrorism according to ONE Muslim source, is:
If we consider the meaning of the word “terrorism” on the one hand, and its fallout and traces left on human life on the other, we note that terrorism may be carried out on different levels. There is a terrorism which threatens security, honour, property and the like; there is a cultural terrorism which tears human identity apart, and leads to the abyss of perdition and aimlessness; there is an information terrorism which deprives man of his freedom to breathe in an unpolluted atmosphere. We can cite other types of terrorism such as economic terrorism, scientific terrorism, diplomatic terrorism, military terrorism, etc.
BUT (yes, there is always a but):
There exists, however, a division based on the type of perpetrators, which must be taken into account. It is the division into official and unofficial terrorism. Official terrorism – which is the more dangerous – consists of all acts that are supported by an internationally recognized quarter or State, whether by the army of that State or individual elements or in the form of an operation for the benefit of the said quarter. Opposing this type of terrorism is unofficial terrorism.
Fifth Islamic Summit
In Wikipedia, it’s defined as:
Terrorism refers to a strategy of using violence, or threat of violence to generate fear, cause disruption, and ultimately, to bring about compliance with specific political, religious, ideological, or personal demands. The targets of terrorist attacks typically are not the individuals who are killed, injured, or taken hostage, but rather the societies to which these individuals belong. Terrorism is a type of unconventional warfare designed to weaken or supplant existing political landscapes through capitulation or acquiescence, as opposed to subversion or direct military action. The broader influence of terrorism in the modern world is often attributed to the dramatic focus of mass media in amplifying feelings of intense fear and anger.
See how disparate these definitions are? Is it any wonder that our own parliamentarians, bless their effervescent souls, should find it quite difficult to agree what it should be defined as? Well, in that case, as is usual to that malleable body, they lump everything together – like taking a pot-shot with a cannon at a tied and trussed bird – and call it intelligent:
According to the law, people who deal with foreign terrorist organisations receive a life sentence and if they carry out operations with their backing get the death penalty.
MPs also disagreed on the governmentâ€™s definition of terrorism, which stipulates that anyone who uses violence or threatens others, whatever the reason or objective, to execute an act, whether alone or for a group, to terrorise people, or scare them, is considered a terrorist.
It also says that any threat to peopleâ€™s lives, property, freedom, rights or security, or damage to the environment, public or private utilities or national resources and international facilities, is considered as a terrorist act.
The definition of a terrorist act also includes threats to regional stability and safety or the countriesâ€™ leaderships and politicians.
Some MPs are calling for the adoption of the definition of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference to Combat International Terrorism, which was used in the money laundering law passed by parliament.
The definition specifically exclude armed struggle for liberation and self-determination.
Others believe that the foreign affairs, defence and national security committee, which studied the proposed law, did not cover all terrorist activities in its amendments.
Meanwhile, Al Wefaq National Islamic Society expressed its concern that the law was being pushed by the government.
GDN :: 12 July, ’06
Which, naturally, by utilising this froufrou definition includes anyone who farts in my presence, let alone someone who vociferously advocates sending the Bahrain Defence Forces to jihad to help our Palestinian brothers and sisters against a country which we accepted to have the right to exist!
And this hurts: that last call was done by someone whom I have heretofore regarded as a “good” force in parliament, and one whom I had held in high regard. What’s this brain fart then? It must have been released whilst thinking of re-election, at least I hope that is the case.
No matter. The essence is, if the Bahrain government definition is actually taken to be true and laws are based on that definition, then with my writings, and that of everyone else on the island, we are died in the wool terrorists and don’t be surprised too much if we are summarily executed while our brain-dead MPs stuff their faces with crisps while giving aiming instructions to our executioners!
The Bahrain parliament is capable of defining terrorism, while they still can’t decide whether to install “efrenji” or eastern “hole-in-the-ground” toilets in parliament! Hah!