After the recent and tragic death of Jo Cox I feel that terrorism in the media is an important topic to discuss.
To begin with I would like you to read the definition of terrorism. Terrorism is “The unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.” I believe it is extremely important that we go by this definition and not the media’s often bias ideas.
For example, daesh (aka Isis) are a terrorist organisation as they commit acts of violence with a political agenda. The media (and most people) will imagine daesh members first when thinking of a terrorist group. This is dangerous. Yes daesh are terrorists but by seeing them as the only terrorist group causes unnecessary racial and religious prejudice.
This prejudice is encouraged by the media who are quick to post headlines about “Jihadi John” and other scary daesh figure heads. “Jihadi John” is a terrorist. He is not the only terrorist and daesh are not the only terrorist group.
Going back to the tragic death of Jo Cox. This wonderful woman was killed by a white supremacist who was alleged to shout “Britain first” before killing her in the street. He admitted in court he target Jo for her beliefs on immigration. This incident is terrorism as it is an act of violence with a political aim. Did the media see it this way? Did the newspapers talk of the recent terror attack? No. They talked of a “mentally ill man” who “liked gardening.” How many times did the newspapers tell you Jihadi John loved football? Or was a fan of reading? They didn’t because it would be insane to try and counteract terrorism with statements of a killer’s ‘nice’ side. Yet this wasn’t the case for Jo Cox’s murderer. I don’t disagree with the man’s illness (aren’t all terrorists mentally ill to commit the acts they do?) however the media’s approach was completely different than it would have been if the man was black and a member of daesh.
These differences give people a false, often racially oriented view of Terrorism. Terrorism is not a black man with a turban and a gun, terrorism is groups of people who uses violence to gain power. These people come in all forms (the IRA, The KKK, American’s against abortion organisation and many more) and do not fit into any stereotypical terrorist image.
So please remember, when you hear about terrorism remember what terrorism actually is and not what the media wants you to believe.