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(CJ450) Week1 Assignment: Terrorism Defined




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Terrorism Defined 1
(CJ450) Week1 Assignment: Terrorism Defined

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Terrorism Defined 1
Terrorism, terrorists, and terrorist acts all elude the discretion of a single plausible definition.
With centuries of brilliant minds delineating the subject, there still remains no single and
identifiable definition of terrorism; confusion and the inability to produce such a definition is
concealed by the varying purposes in which terrorist acts are carried out. In the midst of such
confusion lay the double edged sword of hate crimes and the argument of relation; “hate crimes
refer to behaviors that are considered to be bias-motivated crimes but at the same time seem to fit
the definition of acts of terrorism.” (Martin, 2013, p. 29) The blurred line between hate crimes
and terrorism allows for plausible deniability; for centuries, acts of what we today might refer to
as terror or hate crimes was an acceptable and warranted means to initiate social understanding
of laws, religions, and other appropriately related perspectives. This paper will discuss several
variations of hate crimes and terrorist acts in an effort to gain a better understanding of how they
relate, how they differ, and most importantly how we as a society, government, and country can
identify such acts and develop in the end a single differential between terrorism, hate crimes, and

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Terrorism Defined 1
Terrorism Defined
Since the dawn of recorded time, “terrorism has been a dark feature of human behavior.”
(Martin, 2013, p. 9) To some, terrorism is simply an extreme portrayal of an individual’s or a
group’s beliefs through forms of punishing or disproportionate violence. To what avail does such
an ill-conceived notion become the way in which others are to be taught? Extremists and
terrorists are commonly grouped into the same category or definition, as each group warrants
such through their actions. Several definitions of terrorism have been implemented in a meager
endeavor to truly embrace all aspects of interrelated behaviors; to fully comprehend the
variances in which separate extremism from terrorism, a single word can resonate just that; style.
“Extremism is more an issue of style than of content…Most people can hold radical or
unorthodox views and still entertain them in a more, or less reasonable, rational, and
nondogmatic manner.” (Martin, 2013, pp. 10-11) Terrorists conversely are seemingly incapable
of reason, rationale, or expressing beliefs in such a way that does not provoke terror. “Terrorism
is primarily a conflict between adversaries who on one side are waging a self-described war
against terrorism and the other side is waging a self-described holy war in defense of their
religion.” (Martin, 2013, pp. 11-12) Though many beliefs and views result in terrorist acts, and
have for centuries, we can logically deduct that terrorism is piloted in the most extreme manners
and represent the most psychologically and emotionally inept person(s) within a community.
Regardless of reason, terrorists are markedly “those who engage in violent attacks,
which are intended or expected to cause death not only on individuals or groups, but also on the
state, and who use violence in pursuit of political or revolutionary gains.” (Duff, 2005, p. 2/7)
Determination of a single, valued definition of terrorism would ultimately encompass the

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