Saturday, July 23, 2011

NYTimes goes with style that terrorism by definition depends on whether Muslims involved

The NYT has this in the version of the Norway story online at the moment:
Initial reports focused on the possibility of Islamic militants, in particular Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or Helpers of the Global Jihad, cited by some analysts as claiming responsibility for the attacks. American officials said the group was previously unknown and might not even exist.

There was ample reason for concern that terrorists might be responsible.
In previous cases the NYTimes has used "terrorist" and "terrorism" inconsistently. In this case, the article is outright saying that it doesn't consider the acts of a Norwegian right-wing dude -- capable of killing 80 people! -- as being "terrorist". But if an Islamic group is linked to the crime, than "terrorists" will indeed have been responsible.

Not a good day for the Times.

Lots more on this from Glenn Greenwald.


At 1:41 AM, Blogger amanda said...

I really wish we could have one of those long Campus Center lunch discussions about this one, but here are some things I'm mulling over...

But where do you draw the line?

I think of terrorism as being something done by a group of people with political goals, where as the dude in Norway acted alone.

Then again, the Unabomber also acted alone, and that was terrorism.

But part of the tactic of terrorism is the idea that people are afraid of the same thing happening again. The Norwegian guy has been arrested, so there isn't all that much to worry about (at least, given that he acted alone).

Or is there new evidence that his actions were planned/incited by a larger group?

I know that he had political aims, but he also seemed kind of crazy. Not that I'm sure anyone who does that much violence is ever sane, but it seemed a bit delusional to think that he was about to start a revolution by doing all of this.

I would like to discuss this more.


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