On Wednesday, a 21-year-old white man gunned down six black women and three black men in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Charleston, South Carolina. What do you call this act? Murder? An act of desperation? A mental illness that prevails? I have read it all in the past few days. The only word that the media avoid to use in order to describe what happened is the same word that is now massively repeated on Facebook and Twitter: Terrorism.
It’s the same old story. A Muslim kills and he’s labeled a terrorist, a white man does the same thing and somehow the T-word vanished from the dictionaries of global media companies and is nowhere to be found. And so the idea that terrorism can only be linked with Muslims lives on. This media discourse is based on nothing, no statistics or research. It’s simply the reflection of the ideology that Islam is deemed to cause victims and terrorize society. A non-Muslim killing 9 black churchgoers can therefore not be called terrorism. Thank God there are reporters who see it differently.
‘By any reasonable standard, this is terrorism, which is generally defined as an act of violence against civilians by individuals or organizations for political purposes. But do the thought experiment: If this attack on the church in Charleston had been conducted by a Muslim man shouting “Allahu akbar,” what is already a big news story would have become even bigger, as it would appear to fit so well into the political and media narrative that Muslim militants are the major terrorist problem in the United States,’ CNN’s Peter Berger stated.