The below will not be pretty. No gory details but neither a rosy picture. And, we’ll talk in generalities. Exceptions exist — to confirm the rules.
The Randomness of Terrorism and Hate Crimes
The media have called the murder of the Paris teacher who allegedly showed his students caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed ‘terrorism.’ If to the murderer he symbolized those despicable infidels, also a hate crime. The murderer sent a picture to the French president, so, he was a terrorist.
But I hesitate to qualify that as terrorism. Terrorism has an element of randomness in it. Wanting to kill [any] Jew, American, etc. Murder of the Israeli Olympic athletes was terrorism. It didn’t matter who they were. They were murdered as symbols of all Jewish Israelis, who should all die.
But, executing a specific person is plain murder. It can still be a hate crime. You hate your neighbor, who is always so friendly to you, because she is a Jew, so you kill her. Murder and a hate crime but not terrorism. Unless his murder is part of a plan (alone or with others) to kill some more Jews.
Not every murder is a hate crime. Surely, murder is seldom a labor of love. Even a ‘crime passionelle,’ to kill someone in an attack of jealousy, is not a love crime. But to be a hate crime, the hate must be for a whole group. Again this element of randomness.
Rape of a random woman. You can safely say that the rapist hates all women or all women who look like that. No questions asked: hate crime and terrorism. Because of men like that, all women are less safe.
Political extremists who see everyone else as the enemy. Terrorists.
Is it Really so Personal?
A stranger killing the head of government. It is never personal. He or she is a symbol of the state and thereby that is always terrorism. Even if the murderer would say: But he specifically was a danger to the country.
Murder of a spouse. I would say that it’s definitely not plain murder. These men are violent, see their spouses as their property, and their abuse is not caused by the relationship. They hate all sensitive and normal women. (The bulldozers they respect.) Although it happened specifically to his wife, it’s an assault on all partnered women: terrorism and a hate crime.
Honor killings. Murders of specific young women and gay men. The same possessiveness as in the previous example of the wife torturer. It is an assault on all young people who want to go a different way than the family tradition. It is terrorism and a hate crime—not murder alone.
Woman kills her abusive husband who promised her paradise but gave her hell, ruined her life. She doesn’t hate all men. She’s not making all men scared of their wives. If we’re lucky, all abusive men get scared and divorce their wives the same week. No terrorism and no hate crime. Plain murder.
A woman who hates all men can be nasty and even try to kill her husband or try to move him to suicide. Very hurtful. If she kills: a murderer. But not a terrorist. Doesn’t make all men cringe. Doesn’t convey that any woman can be dangerous. Crazy ones may exist. But I would consider calling it a hate crime because she would terrorize any man she’d marry.
Uncomfortable stuff, no?