Militants. Radicals. Fundamentalists. Extremists. Insurgents.
When did the word terrorist disappear from the lexicon of adjectives used to describe the heinous and violent acts that torture and rob people of their lives? In our attempts to be politically correct have we diluted the description of people who fly planes into buildings, hold civilians under siege in shopping malls (if they have not slaughtered them mercilessly), blow up buses, and restaurants, launch rockets at civilians, blow up trains and churches, kidnap, torture and behead?
They become the rock stars of their community, their evil intentions cloaked in ideological fervour. Their posters are hung on the walls of teenagers who are taught to idolise them and live on in infamy through the naming of streets and sports stadiums in their honour.
Let’s call a spade a spade. These are terrorists. They inspire terror and fear. The word “militant” or “radical” implies that they are just a bunch of really pissed of folks with guns and toys that explode. They are TERROR-ISTS! Their intentions are to instil as much fear with absolute impunity. Their legacy is trauma.
The eye-witness accounts coming in from the horrific terror attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya are horrendous. Victims speak of the incredible acts of torture perpetrated by the Al- Shabaab terrorists, how nobody, not even the children were immune. The translation of Al Shabaab mean “the Youth”. Couldn’t the youth far better serve their communities by focusing on education and nation building?
This brings me to the subject of children. Educating children to become homicide bombers or dying in the name of Holy War is nothing short of child abuse. And boy, how summer camp has changed! There is no more kumbaya by the campfire, instead a healthy dose of “Death to Israel” coupled with firing of ubiquitous AK47’s are activities the children can look forward to. Graduates of summer camp Hamas or Al Qaeda style go on to commit the atrocities we see becoming more and more endemic around the world. Al Shabaab is a youth movement – terror stylie.
Here is the reality: no outstretched hand and unclenched fist is going to change their minds. Whether it is Mumbai, Madrid, Nairobi or Netanya, the results are the same. Death, mayhem and trauma. Terrorists do not understand subtleties or the language of political correctness that pepper our modern day discourse. They are not going to suddenly beat their chests in a collective mea culpa because we have decided to soften the language of new reporting and sound bites. There is only one language they understand – a show of strength.
It is time to call a spade a shovel and end this culture of cow towing to terrorists.
After all, we owe it to the victims. They are the ones we should really be talking about.