September 11, 2001, marks the day when the United States was shaken from its core due to a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Since then, the word “terrorist” has
invaded the lives; from television screens to social media, the word and its impersonator has been seen frequently. According to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr, “The federal government
had narrowly focused on Islamist threats and had lost sight of the ‘continued danger we face’ from violent far-right extremists” (Kindy et al. A.3). Consequently, the definition of the term “terrorism” has shifted more towards a political, ethnic, or religious ideology and has diverted from a serious threat that lies within the roots as Domestic Terrorism.
To begin with, a nation is able to combat foreign invasions or threats only if it is stronger within. Its strength is defined by its domestic institutions and condition. Domestic terrorism poses a serious threat to the prosperity of United States. The number of hate crimes and hate groups has had a significant increase in the recent years. The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 1,018 hate groups in 2012 alone (Potok 39). Fear is indicated as being the primary reason for increasing numbers of hate groups. There are several organizations that are directed towards a specific target with a motive to nnihilate. For example, Ku Klan Klux groups are responsible for mass genocides and crimes against African Americans since decades. In a similar manner, Native extremist groups seek to restrict immigration while harassing immigrants and people of color. There are also Anti-Muslim groups responsible for hate crimes against Islam and Muslims. Similarly, the list of such hate groups continues with Black Separatist groups, Anti- LGBT groups, Neo-Confederate, White Nationalist groups and many more. Shane Scott includesin New York Times, “Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims” (Scott A.1). For example, tragedies in recent years include the Las Vegas mass shooting with hundreds of casualties in 2017, killing of 9 African American children in Charleston Church in 2015, police shooting civilians, 14 people shot in Downtown Dallas in which 5 police officers died in 2016, and the Oklahoma City bombing; which is considered to be the second deadliest attack in the United States history, killing 168 people and hundreds of injured victims. These incidents are just a fraction of the domestic terrorist attacks conducted in the United States.
On the contrary, some people might argue that Left wing and radical Islamist organizations are the source of all terror attacks. As written in the Wall Street Journal by Maremont and Christopher, “U.S. investigators uncovered a global financial network run by a senior Islamic State official that funneled money to an alleged ISIS operative in the U.S. through fake eBay transactions, according to a recently unsealed FBI affidavit” ( Maremont and Christopher A.1). Furthermore, another incident is described in which an American ISIS pledged suspect was selling computer printers on eBay to cover for the payments that were used to fund terror acts. Likewise, the Gay club shooting in Orlando by Omar Mateen was another hot debate on domestic terrorism by where Islamic terrorism was implicated. However, the access of online media has made it very easy for perpetrators to influence their target. As- stated, “Andrew
Cuomo called the Internet ‘the training ground’ for violent attackers, echoing a frequent complaint by lawmakers that the major Internet platforms still make it too easy for extremists to learn and organize” (Wiese B.1). Although there are influences that give rise to such acts, the fact that it is domestic terrorism, remains unchanged. As by definition, these are perpetrators who commit acts of terror against their own citizens regardless of the faith or ethnicity.
As the political image intimates, domestic terrorism is promoted by hate fed by propaganda and biased media. While the cartoon is intended as humor, the message is that some media has played the crucial role in influencing bigoted minds. Even though news media is
supposed to be entirely unbiased and focused on objectivity, media bias stays present which misguides its viewers. In the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, some reporters were quick to label the offender to be a radical Islamic terrorist. However, when the attacker turned out to be a 64 year old white supremacist, named Stephen Paddock, the labels shifted from terrorist to “mentally ill, twisted gunman.” Muslim families often live in fear and oppression any time there is a terrorist attack. In “Shocking Tragedy that Terrorizes”, Shane Scott writes, “Muslim Americans pray that the attacker does not share their faith, for instance; conservatives and
liberals alike want the assailant to turn out to be a member of their political opposition” (Scott A.13). The reason for such prayer is because the entire faith of Islam and its followers arecharged with the crime committed by one small group or individual. If the entire White American community cannot be blamed for the horrifying terrorist act of Mr. Stephen Paddock, then how can all Muslims be labeled as terrorists on the basis of one individual? In the End, terrorism has no values, religion, or ethnicity. It is not to be categorized or targeted towards a specific group of people. Domestic terrorism is a serious issue that neither the citizens nor the US government should take lightly. Being ignorant about the problem will place the country in jeopardy. Terrorism has the potential to devour our homeland security, causing an economic failure and instability. The freedom and liberties that the country stands on can only be accomplished, if all stereotypes are put aside and progress is directed towards a common motive; to end all sorts of terrorism in the United States.
Work Cited Page
Fisher, Max. "Terrorism Label Shifts Depending on Attacker's Ideology." New York Times, 25
Jul, 2016, pp. A.6, SIRS Issues Researcher,
d 14 Nov. 2017.
Kindy, Kimberly,Sari Horwitz, and Devlin Barrett. "Far-Right Terrorism Gets Less
Scrutiny." Washington Post, 03 Sep, 2017, pp. A.3, SIRS Issues Researcher,
Accessed 14 Nov. 2017.
Potok, Mark. "The Year in Hate & Extremism." Intelligence Report, 2012, pp. 39, SIRS Issues
Accessed 10 Nov. 2017.
Mantri, Geneve. "Homegrown Terrorism: Is there an Islamic Wave?" Harvard International
Review, 2011, pp. 88, SIRS Issues Researcher,
sks.sirs.com.dcccd.idm.oclc.org/webapp/article?artno=340492&type=ART. Accessed 12
Maremont, Mark, and S. S. Christopher. "FBI Says ISIS used eBay to Send Terror Cash to
U.S." Wall Street Journal, 11 Aug, 2017, pp. A.1, SIRS Issues Researcher,
Accessed 14 Nov. 2017.
Scott, Shane. “Shocking Tragedy That Terrorizes, but Without an Obvious Terrorist.”New York
Times, 2017. SIRS Issues Researcher,
Accessed 14 Nov. 2017.
Scott, Shane. "Most U.S. Attacks are Homegrown and Not Jihadist." New York Times, 25 Jun,
2015, pp. A.1, SIRS Issues Researcher,
sks.sirs.com.dcccd.idm.oclc.org/webapp/article?artno=373092&type=ART. Accessed 10
Weise, Elizabeth. "Why would-be Terrorists can Still Radicalize Online." USA TODAY, 03 Nov,
2017, pp. B.1, SIRS Issues Researcher,
Accessed Nov 11. 2017.
“Political Cartoon Explanation – Klappakatie.” Google Sites, Dec. 2009,