The Republican Party is partially correct on the issue of terrorism. It is one of biggest threats we face as a country today. However, they are completely wrong when they single out just one source. To see what I mean, let’s start with a definition. defines “terrorism” as “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.”

Okay, so far this does nothing to repudiate the GOP’s position. Let’s see what happens when we put this in practice with some examples.

Extremists twist the words of a religion into an excuse to commit acts of violence against political foes. Yep, that’s terrorism all right, and, as long as Islam is the religion being twisted the GOP is ready to call this out as terrorism.

Yet, on November 27, 2015, when a police officer and two women are killed by a man who took hostages at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, the word terrorism is nowhere to be found. This example fits the definition perfectly, but because the perpetrator twisted the words of Christianity and not Islam, this terrorist is called a “gunman”.

A sniper kills police officers claiming it is in response to charges of police brutality. Guess what, the person is using violence for a political purpose. This is also a case of terrorism.

Why aren’t the police shooters in Dallas and Baton Rouge called what they are, “Terrorists”. — Note: Yes, I know the names of the shooters, but I’m not going to legitimize these terrorists by using their names.

My point is simple, our enemies are all terrorists—any person who would use illegal violence against innocent people to a political end— not just some subgroup. By using the names they call themselves, we are legitimizing their cause and giving them the publicity they seek. By just calling them terrorists, we are diluting their message and denying them victory.

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