About Me

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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Friday, January 10, 2014

Who and what is a terrorist?

The label "terrorist" is one of the most exploited and hypocritical political terms used in our modern time. 

It is regularly used by our government to describe the targets of our CIA's drone attacks (who mostly turned out to be innocent civilians) or those who oppose our foreign invasions. It is used by Israel to describe Palestinians who oppose its illegal and brutal occupation of their land. It was used by the psychotic Qaddafi to describe brave Libyans who demanded freedom. It is used by the butcher Assad to describe and slaughter Syrians who revolted against his dictatorship for freedom and democracy. It is what Al-Sisi calls pro-democracy Egyptians who oppose his military coup. It is how Bahrain labels Bahrainis who demand equal rights and democracy. It is what China calls persecuted Uighurs and Tibetans who demand basic human rights. It is what India calls the occupied people of Kashmir for demanding freedom...

There are certainly groups such as Al Qaeda, Jewish Defense League, KKK, Neo-Nazis, and many others which have engaged in terrorism and deserve to be labeled "terrorist". However, by falsely accusing their legitimate opponents of being terrorists, governments that are actually engaging in terrorist-like behavior seek to dehumanize those opponents in order to justify human rights violations and murder against them and their communities. The manipulation of the term also leads to the trivialization and normalization of real acts of terror committed by such governments or actual terrorist groups and individuals. 

Therefore, next time you hear the term "terrorist", remember that it could be about a real terrorist, a freedom fighter, a pro-democracy activist, or some browned-skinned collateral damage.

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