Something is real fishy about the modern understanding of the word ‘terrorism’. It looks like everyone who is against a government using violence will be viewed as a terrorist.
Many separatist groups are called terrorists like nationalists, the communists in Malaya, the various separatist groups in Indonesia and many more. The fact is that they are no different to those ‘righteous’ people who are in control. They are just trying to establish their political ambitions as to those people of predominant power. If history is the other way around, I mean if separatists were successful in overthrowing the predominant government, then the predominant loyalists will be viewed as ‘terrorists’. Terrorism is a big fat illusion, a term designed to deceive and create partisanship.
According to most dictionaries, terrorism is defined as ‘the use of violence such as bombing, shooting or kidnapping to obtain political, religious, or ideological aim’. That’s odd. If that is the definition of terrorism, then all governments in the world are terrorists because they use violence too, when combating criminals. Violence is also used to control the people by threatening them with armed forces and law.
The term ‘terrorism’ should be improved. When referring to those who are trying to revolt or achieve political success, I prefer to call them ‘rebels’ or ‘separatists’ instead of the misleading word ‘terrorists’. That’s because the use of violence is latched towards human nature, especially during danger and under pressure. Philosophers say ‘man are political by nature’. In fact, politics is what has been driving history. Wars, rebellions, and revolutions are among the things that have been delivering great changes to history. When the government doesn’t negotiate with separatists, that leaves the separatists no choice but violence. It’s a kill or be killed situation, and that usually makes people violent.
As a sociologist and philosopher, I’ve been studying civilizations- how they act and what makes them fight each other. Everything a man does is influenced by the ideology they choose to live by. No one can escape this. Ideology can be like humanism, nationalism, liberty, religious or literally anything. Humans cooperate when they have the same ideology. Ideology have two components- vision and mission. If two or more people cooperate, then their vision and mission are the same. If one of these two or both aren’t the same, then they will not cooperate. Instead, they will probably fight each other if one of their ideology cannot coexist with the other’s ideology. If both’s ideology can coexist, they’ll still do whatever it takes to defend their ideology, including war.
There’s actually no way to stop man from being political, as being human means being political.
To simply call a rebellion as an act of terrorism is to say almost all civilizations and many groups of people as ‘terrorists’. The Soviet Union was a terrorist nation because it was founded succeeding the Russian Revolution. As well as the restored Han dynasty in China. So as the Roman slaves in the Servile Wars, and the poor Jews in the Roman-Jewish wars. Even those who opposed tyrant dictatorship and despots are terrorists. This is purely absurd!
The problem is actually the definition of terrorism. The term hasn’t been internationally agreed of it’s definition. Therefore, people, especially governmental institutions, can easily label anyone as a ‘terrorist’ to whirl up partisanship.
International institutions like the United Nations must produce a worldly-accepted definition of terrorism to stop any more nonsense and unacceptable propaganda from spreading. Alternatively, they can change the perception of terrorism or stop using the word for good.