Monday, September 16, 2019

Confusing Narratives 18 Years After 9/11

Word substitution can be a fun parlor game, but when it comes to defining terrorism it can be both confusing and dangerous. As we remember that dreadful day 18 years ago on September 11th, some have attempted to change the story of what happened and who was responsible.  Conflicting narratives harm the public's perception of what motivates terrorist acts. It obscures the lines that differentiate between violent acts in which the motives remain undetermined, like the Las Vegas shooting, and directed attacks with specific agendas. On 9-11 our nation was attacked and we know who did it.                                       
Think about December 7th, 1941, "a day that will live in infamy." To this day we still acknowledge that it was the Japanese who attacked Pearl Harbor. We don't say, "Well maybe this offends the people of Japan, so let's change the narrative to a more palatable term."

September 11th should be the same. We were attacked by radical Islamic terrorists, not violent extremists.

Words matter when it comes to countering the threat and assigning responsibility.

Changing the name accomplishes nothing other than dishonoring the memory of the victims.
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