What if the London attack wasn’t an act of terrorism?

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She-Ra
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Interesting article on the Conversation by senior History lecturer Steve Hewitt at the University of Birmingham.

A middle-aged man (Paul Chartier) with a history of criminal activity and violence, a variety of aliases, multiple jobs and addresses, and several broken relationships launches an attack on parliament and is killed in the process.

He left a manifesto explaining his motivation for the attack, citing anger over economic inequality and political corruption and declaring his desire to kill politicians in response. Although it wasn’t labelled as such at the time, Chartier’s political agenda made the bombing an act of terrorism.
Hewitt explains: "With (Westminster attacker) Masood, a step has been skipped. Instead of establishing that the London attack was an act of terrorism by providing evidence as to the perpetrator’s motivation, speculation has focused on why he became a terrorist."

"Despite the lack of clear evidence on his motivation, there was no nuance in classifying Masood’s act. It was quickly, and widely accepted as terrorism. His religious faith seems to be the key factor in explaining such a definitive determination. After all, considering repeated examples of the reluctance to label violence by white men as terrorism even when a relevant motivation has been established, you have to wonder if this case would have been labelled differently had a non-Muslim carried out the attack."

Read the article - what do you think?
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(づ ̄ ³ ̄)づ
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(Original post by She-Ra)
Interesting article on the Conversation by senior History lecturer Steve Hewitt at the University of Birmingham.



Hewitt explains: "With (Westminster attacker) Masood, a step has been skipped. Instead of establishing that the London attack was an act of terrorism by providing evidence as to the perpetrator’s motivation, speculation has focused on why he became a terrorist."

"Despite the lack of clear evidence on his motivation, there was no nuance in classifying Masood’s act. It was quickly, and widely accepted as terrorism. His religious faith seems to be the key factor in explaining such a definitive determination. After all, considering repeated examples of the reluctance to label violence by white men as terrorism even when a relevant motivation has been established, you have to wonder if this case would have been labelled differently had a non-Muslim carried out the attack."

Read the article - what do you think?
The guy mowed down 20 people in a car, then stabbed and killed a police officer in the capital city of the UK, calling him a terrorist wouldn't be that much of an overstretch.

I do agree that jumping to the conclusion because of his religion is wrong, and it should be based more on the factual evidence and motives behind it.
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rye_chew
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white = mentally ill

black = poverty/ anti-government

asian= terrorist
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username1221160
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From what had been reported in this press, this guy had serious issues with violence before converting to Islam. While I'm not convinced there isn't an Islamist motive, I do wonder if his commitment to cause was secondary to the guy simply being an utter c***.
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She-Ra
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(Original post by (づ ̄ ³ ̄)づ)
The guy mowed down 20 people in a car, and stabbed and killed a police officer in the capital city of the UK, calling him a terrorist wouldn't be that much of an overstretch.

I do agree that jumping to the conclusion because of his religion is wrong, and it should be based more on the factual evidence and motives behind it.
Completely get your point. I agree, it's not really an overstretch as far as modern "terrorism" goes.

But I really welcome this article and share by this lecturer. It raises some really good points, especially around the media's influence. I think it's very balanced and should be published more mainstream, I really enjoy the Conversation but it is a bit of an echo-chamber in terms of who reads it.
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Dez
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Arguably, any politically motivated attack can be considered terrorism. So it's a reasonable, if not entirely watertight conclusion that an attack on the Houses of Parliament is going to be terror-related.

That said, there's definitely been much more willingness to jump to that conclusion this time around. As I recall, when Jo Cox was murdered it was several days before the media started referring to the assailant as a terrorist, despite the fact that he deliberately targeted and murdered an incumbent politician.
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BigYoSpeck
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If a person is genuinely religious, yet commits an act the majority of people would find morally reprehensible, then they must have a way of aligning those actions with their own ideologies that isn't in conflict with their religious beliefs.

This man is a Muslim, he committed an act of violence towards people that rational, civilised people would consider innocent. It's logical to conclude from that that his motives would be in line with an extremist interpretation of his religious beliefs. That is an act of terrorism in any sane persons world view.
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She-Ra
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(Original post by Dez)
That said, there's definitely been much more willingness to jump to that conclusion this time around. As I recall, when Jo Cox was murdered it was several days before the media started referring to the assailant as a terrorist, despite the fact that he deliberately targeted and murdered an incumbent politician.
Feels like the media didn't have as much to gain in pointing the finger and calling 'terrorist' under those very sad set of circumstances. Are the media interested in sharing/ spinning a story or creating fear? Pushing fear-based headlines and speculating around mass-immigration and multiculturalism feels far more politically lucrative.
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Dez
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(Original post by She-Ra)
Feels like the media didn't have as much to gain in pointing the finger and calling 'terrorist' under those very sad set of circumstances. Are the media interested in sharing/ spinning a story or creating fear? Pushing fear-based headlines and speculating around mass-immigration and multiculturalism feels far more politically lucrative.
Media outlets are always going to serve their own interests ahead of those of the public. Controversy sells. Fear sells. Reasoned and nuanced debate does not sell. :sigh:
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astutehirstute
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This act had a really simple cause.

The guy converted to Islam in prison and became a Jihadist. As such, he believed that if he was killed in battle, fighting for the faith, allah would reward him as a martyr. That's all there is to it.

Why is this so hard for left wing lecturers at provincial universities or some posters on TSR to comprehend?
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notahypocrite
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(Original post by astutehirstute)
This act had a really simple cause.

The guy converted to Islam in prison and became a Jihadist. As such, he believed that if he was killed in battle, fighting for the faith, allah would reward him as a martyr. That's all there is to it.

Why is this so hard for left wing lecturers at provincial universities or some posters on TSR to comprehend?
How do you know that for sure?
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astutehirstute
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(Original post by notahypocrite)
How do you know that for sure?
I don't know anything for sure, I don't even know whether you even actually exist "for sure." :rolleyes:

But it is a realistic working assumption based on what we know of this case.
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queen-bee
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(Original post by rye_chew)
white = mentally ill

black = poverty/ anti-government

asian= terrorist
I feel this ain't the truth. It's a media trend. Terrorism isn't terrorism. It shouldn't depends in what's colour your skin is or what religion you follow. If you want to hurt people,kill,cause chaos in the name of something then you are a terrorist,end of
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troubadour.
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(Original post by Dez)
despite the fact that he deliberately targeted and murdered an incumbent politician.
There's already a word for that: assassination. That is the word that has always been used for the killing of leaders and other prominent people. This equivalence is nothing but a stupid reaction to the far-right's stupid reaction to Islamic terror attacks.
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She-Ra
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(Original post by astutehirstute)
I don't know anything for sure, I don't even know whether you even actually exist "for sure." :rolleyes:

But it is a realistic working assumption based on what we know of this case.
(Original post by notahypocrite)
How do you know that for sure?
But I think that's the whole point of this particular article - nothing is known for sure, most are working from the assumption you just mentioned.

Despite the lack of clear evidence on his motivation, there was no nuance in classifying Masood’s act. It was quickly, and widely accepted as terrorism. His religious faith seems to be the key factor in explaining such a definitive determination. After all, considering repeated examples of the reluctance to label violence by white men as terrorism even when a relevant motivation has been established, you have to wonder if this case would have been labelled differently had a non-Muslim carried out the attack.
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She-Ra
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http://www.newstatesman.com/politics...-white-man-gun

This is a really interesting article too....

That is why the term “terrorist” is guarded so jealously. It’s a restriction on who, and what, is allowed to terrify us.
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Airmed
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It's certainly an interesting article. :yep:

However, the human race isn't exactly known for patience. People don't like to wait around and see what investigating brings up. It's why we're so quick to scream 'terrorist' or 'terror attack' when such incidents like this happen, because that's easy to do and we know that many will get behind such an explanation.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Quantex)
From what had been reported in this press, this guy had serious issues with violence before converting to Islam. While I'm not convinced there isn't an Islamist motive, I do wonder if his commitment to cause was secondary to the guy simply being an utter c***.
You get this a lot. Weird violent thugs will latch onto a cause that lets them be voilant. The YPG in Rojava for example have to screen for these types.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Dez)
Arguably, any politically motivated attack can be considered terrorism. So it's a reasonable, if not entirely watertight conclusion that an attack on the Houses of Parliament is going to be terror-related.

That said, there's definitely been much more willingness to jump to that conclusion this time around. As I recall, when Jo Cox was murdered it was several days before the media started referring to the assailant as a terrorist, despite the fact that he deliberately targeted and murdered an incumbent politician.
Yeah and it was blatantly obvious he held fascist views.
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Dez
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(Original post by Hydeman)
There's already a word for that: assassination. That is the word that has always been used for the killing of leaders and other prominent people. This equivalence is nothing but a stupid reaction to the far-right's stupid reaction to Islamic terror attacks.
Assassination and terrorism are not mutually exclusive. Terrorist groups have committed (or attempted) many other assassinations before to try and get what they want.
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