The Faces of Terrorism

This post was written by a student in Susan Schuyler’s Narrative, Rhetoric, and Identity class at Stanford University. Each student in this class will complete a research-based argument related to the course topic.

In my research paper I will be discussing how world powers or entities (e.g. the United States, NATO and Israel) in an authoritative or dominant position label various militant or resistant groups as terrorist organizations.  The definition of terrorism or what constitutes a terrorist will be thoroughly explored.  My research will reveal some of the reasoning behind why world powers stamp these groups as terrorist organizations, what political, economic, or military objectives they are trying to achieve by labeling these groups as terrorists and how effective it is in accomplishing these objectives.  The term “terrorist” has been thrown around so incredibly loosely that the term “terrorist” has lost all its meaning and significance. Furthermore, I will examine the actions of these world powers and show that their actions actually constitute terrorism, as well.  The racial and cultural stereotyping of certain groups of people will also be of main focus, particularly Arabs and the Muslim world.  To further understand this issue, I will discuss the reactions and perceptions of the groups of people that are usually grouped together as terrorists.  Additionally, I will analyze how this liberal labeling of various groups or peoples, as terrorists has affected the U.S.’s and other powers’ relationship with the Muslim world and how it has affected foreign policy and the war on “terrorism”.  Such examples include the U.S.’s current conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will also be a large part of this research paper. The paper, however, is not restricted to just the Middle East. The paper will also examine the U.S.’s history of using military force and economic intervention to install governments that appease our interests in foreign nations; governments that prove to be harsh and oppressive dictatorships backed by the United States and other Western powers.

Josh Schott

Stanford University

This entry was posted in CCR exchange: Stanford-CCNY, Fall 2010: Humanities, Identity, and Social Justice. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Faces of Terrorism

  1. ccrvisitor says:

    I couldn’t agree more on your view of the word terrorism. It seems that every time you put on the television and listen to the news, the nation that does not agree with United States views and has a good military, could be said to have terrorist affiliations.

    In addition to your definition of a terrorist, you should interview others to see exactly how they view a terrorist and why is it they hold this view. This way you can properly see the media’s role in people’s lives. The paper has great potential. Good Luck!

    Zaheer Nooredeen

  2. ccrvisitor says:

    I like your purposal ,Excellent topic. Terrorism is going to be a hard concept to define. Many people have different views on terrorism. In my opinion,there are various degrees of terrorism. Are you going to talk about the behavior that is associated with terrorism when people see bearded Muslims? They are blamed for what the extremist in their country are doing? Do you believe that it is right for the people or government in a America or any other country to take away the civil liberties of Muslims or any other culture in general due to the behavior and actions of extremist? Can you call that a safety precaution?

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