Recent events - such as the killing of Theo Van Gogh in Holland - as well as older events - Pim Fortuyn for instance - got me thinking. Has anyone ever given any thought to the fact that referring to terrorists as (for instance) muslim terrorists, or in the Cold War period talking about Commies doesn't solve a thing?

The only thing it accomplishes - if you ask me - is to make sure that even those who are not involved in any "illegal" activities (of course always depending on what side you're on) are tossed into the same corner as those who think violence and armed resistance will result in a solution. Imagine being called "insert derogative description here" for extended periods of time, while you as a single person have got nothing to do with it. You are a victim of generalization and thus will sooner or later take a them-vs-us stance, willingly or not.

No one stands up to prolonged exposure of such behaviour and that is exactly what more extreme forces in any culture or movement feed on. That's the tiny spark they need to convince otherwise very sane and realistic people to join their "cause".

Don't you think it would be better to just talk about terrorists instead? It may only be a very small change, but the step from it towards the generalization of a complete religion, race or group is less likely to happen. I think fear has proven to be a bad advisor, yet it is a very powerful emotion that is (too) easily exploited by others.

Well, the more I think about it, the less I recall what my point was. This is just a confused post by a confused mind I suppose, although somewhere hidden deep inside, a valuable point has to reside. If you spot it, let me know...

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This page contains a single entry by ServMe published on November 9, 2004 3:05 PM.

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