Terrorism has been described generally as the use of violence, or the threat of violence, to accomplish a political, religious, or ideological purpose. The World Health Organization defines violence rather broadly as:
the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.”
Over the past couple of decades, the term “terrorist” has come into widespread use to describe acts of terror perpetrated primarily by members of groups who use their distorted and corrupted interpretations of Islam as their justification. These groups include al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boco Haram, Hamas, and Hezbollah, among others.
Throughout our current presidential election cycle, major Republican leaders and candidates have routinely criticized and condemned President Obama and the Democratic candidates for not referring to these violent extremists as “Islamic extremists” or as “radical Islamic terrorists.” For example, Donald Trump slammed the President for being so politically correct that “you’d almost think they have the terrorists coming out from Sweden.”
People who advocate and inflict injury and murder of innocent non-combatants, young people, women, people adhering to other religious backgrounds, and people of the same religion to which they themselves claim to follow, we must define them for what they are: “evil,” “criminals,” “barbarians,” “thugs,” “savages,” “monsters,” and yes, “terrorists.”