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These are not militants

On using neutral language to describe those who murdered more than a hundred Pakistani schoolchildren

The tragic truth is that we really don’t care enough. We might shake our heads and lament the indescribable horror of close to 130 children being murdered whilst at school in Pakistan today, but the fact that most international news agents are unable to use a word other than “militant” to describe the assailants should fill us with despair.

I read CNN’s coverage of the incident and I didn’t understand it. It reduces the death of the children to the fall-out of a complex political chess game. Nowhere as far as I could see did they mentioned that they were Jihadists and that they screamed “Allahu Akbar!” as they searched for petrified children who were hiding in unimaginable fear beneath the desks. And when they found them, they pumped bullets into them so that they could kill and maim as many as possible. So I went to BBC and read the same innocuous history and it became clear to me that until such time that we care about our children more than we care about political correctness, that lives will be lost and the innocent will continue to die.

There is an adage that says, “If you name it you can tame it” and how true this is in the current circumstances. How is it possible for radical Islam to be dealt with, as it should be, if we don’t even have the guts to call it what it is. These are not “militants”. These are child-murdering cowards who do so in the name of Islam. That’s what it is and, if I were a God fearing Moslem, I sure would not want them doing it in my name or the name of my religion. I would protest their actions, I would distance myself and I would join the cause to eradicate them. I would educate my brothers and my sisters and my children and I would shout from the highest point in my loudest voice that this is not what my religion dictates. That my religion does not kill the innocent.

But if the world media continues to collude with these murderers and allow them to hide behind their “militant” status and political agendas, and they continue to confuse us with talk of border conflicts and history and discord, then no one need condemn them and no one needs to associate with them and they will continue as they have done. Whether it is in Pakistan or in Australia or in the USA. Whilst we are afraid to name it, we will never tame it.

The cynical amongst will wonder when the worldwide protest and marches will begin. It’s only been a few months since there was a united campaign against Israel during the war against Hamas terror. We haven’t forgotten the streets of Paris and Cape Town and every other major city where marches and protest took place. Where Israel was named and shamed and where real damage was done. And we know deep down that the streets will remain silent. There will be no protests against the “militants” and there will be no outcry, and sadly by Friday, the world will have forgotten the children who died today beneath their desks.

And maybe it is simply because the enemy has not been named. It is not a country or a religion but it is “militants” which is in fact no one at all. It is innocuous and nondescript. It is faceless and country-less and it has no shape.

It is really as simple as this. There is little hope we will never tame it if the world won’t name it.

About the Author
Howard Feldman is a lawyer, a physical commodity trader by industry and a writer by obsession. He is very active in the Jewish community and passionate about our world.