Terrorism, no matter the perpetrator or target, needs to be condemned immediately and vehemently on all fronts. No form of of this despicable act should be acceptable. It is then necessary to assess the attack and find motives that may potentially lend themselves to a means to fight terrorism.
Killing others because of a self-contrived moral superiority or in the name of some ridiculous higher purpose isn’t just limited to the bombings in the Middle East and Sept. 11. They can be shootings at religious sites like the synagogues near San Diego and Pittsburgh, mosques in New Zealand or the explosive devices at churches in Sri Lanka. These acts should receive no leeway because a perpetrator was a Muslim over a white supremacist, or because the target was a synagogue over a temple.
It is easy to condemn terrorism at face value and when talking about it with others. After an attack, saying “yes it’s bad, regardless of who does it and the aftermath is extremely horrific,” is standard, but how do we combat it? Surely we shouldn’t skirt around the issue, we should name the problem and face it head on.
President Trump has a habit of beating around the bush and giving a lackluster response when an exact one would be appropriate and necessary, and will more likely than not, keep him out of trouble.
Following the Christchurch mosque shootings perpetrated by a self-declared white supremacist — which were the inspiration for the Chabad of Poway synagogue shootings also perpetrated by a self-declared white supremacist — President Trump was asked if he thought the rise of white supremacy was a growing concern in the world, the usual response followed and he was not as strict or concise as he should have been.
“I don’t really,” the president stated. “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”
It should be a concern to him. If it exists, it is a problem that needs to be dealt with and the magnitude of this particular problem may have grave results for our future, if we want to avoid a chaotic world and intend to keep peacefully coexisting.
Trump then quickly segued into talking about the shooter and stated that “…they’re just learning about the person, and people involved.”
It’s not just in precise rhetoric that we need to fight terrorism, but also in the streets or wherever terrorism may hit.
Terror attacks, domestic and otherwise, have been on the rise following the Sept. 11 attacks. The United States has several federal agencies to deal with and fight terrorism, but how do smaller municipalities, local governments and law enforcement agencies (LEO) help in the fight against terrorism both at home and abroad?
The OSLLE plays an intermediary role in the training and assistance in fighting domestic terrorism between the DHS and LEO’s. The DHS also has a Terrorism Prevention Partnership (TPP) program which assists local police forces in identifying and reducing terrorism on the homefront.
It is especially imperative that local law enforcement take a primary and important role in combating domestic terrorism, as they will deal with and see the aftermath of such attacks. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), for the purpose of readiness and preparedness, created the Office for State and Local Law Enforcement (OSLLE) to help smaller LEO’s deal with terrorism.
However, there is something unique to terrorism committed by a white supremacist compared to an attack done by a Muslim. There is a certain air floating in the minds of people around the world, the notion that somehow Islamic terrorism is worse than terrorism in the name if white supremacy.
The justice system along with law enforcement agencies need to fairly investigate, handle and prosecute suspects of every type of terrorism. Islamic terrorists are often charged with worse crimes than white supremacists and others, leading to shorter prison sentences for non-Muslims.
White supremacist domestic terrorists like Buford “Bucky” Rogers received an extremely lenient prison sentence of just under three and a half years. He was charged after the FBI raided his trailer park home and found weapons and explosives that were to be used locally. Rogers, at the time of this articles publication, will have already been out of prison for three years.
Here in America, perhaps it’s our post-9/11 culture that has compelled some to differentiate between terrorist demographics. To some, it may be considered patriotic to oppose Islamic attacks more vocally compared to others. While this view is understandable, it is more patriotic to condemn all attacks, to view them as equally negative. It is a sad day in your country when citizens are dying in terrorist attacks, which is why the ones responsible for attacks should not have influence over the event nor should their identity affect the justice they receive.
This needs to change. There should be an equal and just playing field in sentencing for these terrorists. The leniency in sentencing to non-Muslims allows domestic terrorists to walk free in the streets much earlier than they should, if they ever should. This in lieu with a much needed mental shift into realizing that terrorism is terrorism no matter the form, will lead us towards a better and safer future.