Terrorist is a selectively applied label and ISIL is most definitely not one, let me explain.
The generally accepted academic definition of “terrorism” is “acts committed by non-state actors, targeting non-combatants for the express purposes of furthering or promoting a political agenda.” It’s pointless to classify terrorist groups in the first place. The reason there is no such thing as a terrorist group is because, especially in the case of insurgencies, there is no such thing as a non-terrorist group. Both sides often intentionally target non-combatants as a means of furthering their political goals. Although stronger sides tend to do it less since they can feasibly target actual combatants. The first reason to ditch the “terrorist group” label is because it isn’t a binary classification. All belligerents use terror to a greater or lesser degree. Because of this, it becomes deceptively easy to apply the terrorist label if it suits one’s particular purposes. Moreover, establishing a false dichotomy renders acts of terror from strong belligerents “unthinkable,” which forestalls accountability for things like targeting hospitals.
The second reason to ditch the terrorist label is because it distracts from and de-legitimizes the central ideologies of dissident groups. Think about how and when you use “ists” at the end of a word. Communist, rapist, extremist, lobbyist: it defines what you are and/or what you do. By labeling certain groups, normally fairly weak ones, you come to believe that these actors are just inherently evil beings who thrive on terror. This isn’t true, and ignoring the precipitating causes of dissident groups only gives rise to further misunderstanding.
So don’t say “terrorist” Say “dissident.” The ISIS dissidents are a group of poorly educated, dumb as fuck, religious assholes who don’t believe in equality, women’s rights, freedom of speech or our ability to co-exist. The faster they are eliminated from gods green earth the faster we can forget about their existence and condemn them to the back pages of history. God bless the free world. Fuck you ISIL.
Comments from a reddit user 12/4/2015
I’ve been thinking this for the longest time, but I’ve never taken the time to put it into words that would do my argument justice. I tried to a few times in debates, but people always took it the wrong way and thought I was sympathizing. When really I was trying to criticize the government/medias insistence on the word. Much like when they used to use the word “communist” back in earlier years. I’ll definitely be using this video in the future as a point of reference. Thanks.