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Terrorism Affects Us All

In: Social Issues

Submitted By valepop1
Words 2359
Pages 10
Valentina paz Alvarez
Joe Radzikowski
Political Science 004
27 April 2014
Terrorism Affects Us All
From the late 13th and the beginnings of the 14th century to the 1700s, the terror and barbarism were actually already used in warfare and conflicts. However, the key ingredients for terrorism were not quite solid yet. Until the rise of the modern nation state subsequently the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the type of central authority and a united society that terrorism tries to influence scarcely existed. Communications were controlled, and the facts that might cause terrorism, such as religion, insurrection, political disagreements, typically led to an open warfare during earlier times of civilization. By the time kingdoms turned into nations, they had sufficient reasons to enforce their authority and repress activities such as terrorism. According to the webpage Terrorism Research, “The French Revolution provided the first uses of the words "Terrorist" and "Terrorism". The use of the word "terrorism" began in 1795 in reference to the Reign of Terror initiated by the Revolutionary government.” In other words, the agents of the Committee of Public Safety and the National Convention that administered and enforced the policies of "The Terror" were called 'Terrorists". The words terrorist and terrorism can cause an immediate effect in people’s minds. People often just relate terrorism to power and politics, but what is the real meaning of Terrorism? Every time I hear the word terrorism, I unconsciously think of Religion and Arabian countries. However, those are just labels that were built up in my mind by what surrounds me. In this research paper, I will explain what terrorism is and its effect in international relations, the terrorist organizations most heard of such as Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood, and how international organizations are controverted and are willing to resolve terrorist affairs.
Terrorism has over a hundred definitions. There is not an academic or international consensus that defines the term terrorism. However, throughout our history of civilization, terrorism has been defining itself. It refers to the violent act that its intentions are to create fear and terror, and are usually perpetrated for an ideological, political, or religious goal. Also, terrorism targets the safety of military personnel or civilians. Sometimes, terrorism is labeled and equalized with Islamism, while at the same time non-Islamic organizations or individuals are ignored. The word can be emotionally and politically charged. This is one of the reasons of why a concrete definition of terrorism is missing. For example, an organization can call itself as “freedom fighters” by the people who support it but other people might consider this organization to be a terrorist one. Terrorism is practiced by organizations to accomplish their objectives. It has been practiced by religious organizations, revolutionaries, nationalistic group, political parties, left-wings, right-wing, ruling governments, etc. The main characteristic of terrorism is the use of violence against non-combatants for the only purpose of getting more publicity for their own group, and their own cause. The fear caused in people is the symbolism of terrorism so that the terrorist organization can achieve its goal. It affects people all over the world, as the United Nations explains in its webpage, “hardly a week goes by without an act of terrorism taking place somewhere in the world, indiscriminately affecting innocent people, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” That means that any person can be affected by terrorism. We all live in this world full of complications, and it doesn’t matter where we are now, terrorism can affect us regardless. Terrorists have found their targets on almost every continent, with bombings in Bali, United States, London, Madrid, and elsewhere. A clear example that innocent people are killed by terrorism for no reason at all is the 9/11 case. All in all, by any means, terrorism cannot only address one specific organization and one particular country. It has to be addressed internationally because it affects everyone. It may not affect a person today, but it may affect him or her tomorrow.
There are many terrorist organizations. Many of them that are accused of being terrorist organizations deny using terror and violence as a military practice to achieve their purposes, and as I previously mentioned there is no international consensus on the legal definition of terrorism. However, there are two terrorist organizations that regardless they consider themselves as terrorists or not, they are really known by the trajectory throughout American history, and world history as well. Such organizations that have lately made history noticeably are Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. First, according to the Foreign Policy magazine, Al Qaeda “has metastasized into a multinational movement with franchise operations in at least 16 countries, from Mali to Syria, Yemen to Nigeria.” These affiliates have named Al Qaeda as the driving force of global jihad. Jihad means struggle. It is the duty of every Muslim. Within the context of the Quran the word jihad refers to the struggle against those who do not believe in the Abrahamic God, which is Allah. It is a non-violent meaning. However, there is consensus amongst Islamic people that the jihad will always include armed struggle against oppression and persecution. Al-Qaeda has attacked civilian targets and military targets in different countries. One of them was the September 11 attacks in New York. Other examples are the embassy bombings in 1998 in United States embassies, and the 2002 Bali bombings. According to Cell, Education Learning Lab,
“Al-Qaeda differs significantly from more traditional terrorist organizations.” Al Qaeda does not depend on the sponsorship of a political state, and it is also not defined by a specific conflict. However, the main objective of Al Qaeda is to get American influence out of any and all Muslim nations. According to Daily News, the current leader of Al Qaeda al-Zawahiri has called on Muslims “to kidnap Westerners, particularly Americans” These kidnapped westerners and Americans would be eventually exchanged for Egyptian jihadists that were convicted of conspiring to attack the United Nations. Also, Al-Zawahiri was asked about the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. His answer was, "the duty on every Muslims is to deter the aggressor by any means, and especially the oppressed Muslims." Al Qaeda members are all along different countries. Although it is not known where all of them are located, according to fox news and reliable sources, the top Al Qaeda commander was relocated in Syria. Jonathan Schanzer, the Vice President of Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies has said, “the fact that Al Qaeda leadership is now seeking out Syria as a core area of operations explains a lot about, I think, the new direction of Al Qaeda today." Syria has become the pre-eminent location for Al Qaeda-aligned groups. Al Qaeda groups are there to recruit and train. The number of extremists is growing, and some of them seek to conduct external attacks. Al Qaeda movement has shown the world that it is not going to give up. Many people thought that by killing Osama Bin Laden, this organization would be finished. However, that was not the case at all. The threats continue. Al Qaeda and terrorist networks in general will go on, and they will follow the path of least resistance because their principles as ideologies will never change. Al Qaeda’s current leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, in a recent video released has expressed solidarity with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim organizations support each other by their beliefs. Religion is an important part that guides terrorist organizations. According to the Daily News in Egypt, Ayman Al-Zawahiri said that “The United States and the west are trying to limit Egyptians to peaceful means … [but they] use horrific weapons against us. I call on free Egyptians to choose the means that they find suitable [to] lead them to victory.” The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by an Egyptian teacher Hasan al-Banna. It is one of the oldest, largest and most influential Islamist organizations in the world along with Al Qaeda. The organization group is currently active in more than 70 countries. They seek to establish an Islamic kingdom, expanding all of the present day Muslim world, and eventually the entire globe. During the early times of this organization, in 1948, one of the Brotherhood members assassinated the Egyptian prime minister, Mahmud Fahmi Nuqrashi. In February 1949, Hasan al-Banna was killed by government agents in Cairo. An official crackdown started against the Brotherhood and thousands of its members were taken to prison as well as many other members were taken to detention camps. The fight against Muslim Brotherhood is still on. According to an article today April 27th in the Irish Independent Newspaper, “Egyptian court will on Monday pass final judgment on Muslim Brotherhood supporters sentenced to death last month, in a case that has provoked indignation among Western governments and rights groups.” In March 2014, Egypt's army blamed Muslim Brotherhood for attacking an army bus where one officer was killed and three others were wounded in the capital. However, the Muslim Brotherhood says that the military-backed was trying to implicate the Brotherhood in the attack just for political reasons. As much as international and governmental organizations try to aim and destroy terrorist organizations, it is difficult as the only option left it to attack them the same way as they attack us. In other words, international organizations are aware of the big damage terrorism causes towards certain governments and individuals, so then what would be the best way to culminate terrorism?
According to the article “A Comprehensive Strategy against Terrorism” by Foreign Policy, “the terrorism we face is transnational in nature, and defeating it will require international collaboration.” It is people’s duty to ensure that communities exercise their right to vote freely without fears or intimidations. The article also mentions that winning the people’s support that government is protecting is the central key to the strategy for defeating terrorism. Terrorism targets a certain group of people, whether they are Americans, Westeners, Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Iraqiis, among other groups, people must unite against the forces of extremism. For example, al Qaeda has used civilians, especially kids and women, as human shields in the past. Because Iraqis desire to avoid civilian catastrophes, they have opted to empower local forces to tackle this threat from within. Operations to enforce and finish terrorist movements to stop damaging and affecting people are slow. In order to achieve the goal of eliminating terrorism societies where every community has a voice and no one feels excluded have to deny extremists the support they require for their violent aims. Iraq is one of the main countries that has been suffering and looking for specific ways to solve and finish terrorism. Terrorism is a close enemy, and for this reason Iraq was able to sort of analyze what these terrorist organizations want from them. Iraq has worked its way with the help of Americans and other international organizations such as the European Union and the Arab League. International help for defeating terrorism is important. Americans and Iraqis have sacrificed so much in their common struggle against their common enemy which is terrorism. Strategies had to be found in order to aim the problem. With a comprehensive strategy against violent extremism, Iraqis are determined to build an Iraqi stronger and capable to overcome terrorism. All in all, Middle Eastern countries need to direct the worrying rise of recruitment by jihadists who incite hatred and terrorism by glamorizing their evil acts of violence. In adittion, according to an article written by an Iraqi man in the webpage Foreign Policy, “throughout the Middle East, governments and civil society need to be more vocal in countering the sectarian narrative of jihadists who seek to pit the people of our region against each other.”
In conclusion, terrorism is a tactic that may be used by any ideology, religion, political organizations. It does not have legally binding and neither a criminal law definition. However, it has a vast quantity of definitions, and most of them are emotionally shocking because terrorism is the way that organizations act violently using fear as the main tool of changing other individual or group’s thinking. It is an international problem because it affects everyone. Terrorisms conflicts are mainly known by Al Qaeda and the 9/11 attack supposedly organized by Osama Bin Laden. It is known also for being majorly created around Arabian countries, however, we are all affected by terrorism because we might be in the wrong place and at the wrong time, and we can be one of the people who are part of a terrorist attack. Innocent people have died because of terrorism. Al Qaeda and most of the terrorist organizations believe in blowing people up, not in winning people over. For this reason, governments and international organizations have to address terrorism in a spirit of partnership. It is true that we are divided by countries, but that does not mean we cannot fight against terrorism, because regardless where we come from, terrorism can be everywhere, and it is an international affair that has to be analyzed and taken seriously. Cited Sources
"Al Qaeda leader urges Muslims to kidnap Westerners." Daily News 27 Apr. 2014: n. pag. Print.
"International Terrorism and Security Research." Terrorism Research. N.p.. Web. 20 Apr 2014. <>.
Al-Maliki, Nouri. "A Comprehensive Strategy Against Terrorism." "A Comprehensive Strategy Against Terrorism" Iraq is using all the political, economic, and military tools at its disposal in its effort to defeat al Qaeda.. 18 02 2014: n. page. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
Herridge, Catherine. "Top Al Qaeda commander relocates to Syria." Fox News 24 Apr. 2014: n. pag. Print.
Koppeser, Adam, and AbdelHalim H. AbdAllah. "Al Qaeda chief declares solidarity with Muslim Brotherhood, urges followers to kidnap westerners." Daily News Egypt 27 Apr. 2014: n. pag. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
McCants, William . "Islamist Outlaws." Foreign Affairs 17 Mar. 2014: n. pag. Print.
Mccormick, Ty. "Al Qaeda Core: A Short History." 17 03 2014: n. page. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

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