Make Mexico Pay for the Blog

Taking Terrorism Back To The Future?

If we were to imagine how terrorism experts would imagine 2030, it would be full of Islamic suicide bombers plaguing nearly every street of the United States, with ISIS militants running street corners and stopping traffic. While this is obviously a gross exaggeration, the threat of Islamic terrorism to the United States is also grossly exaggerated in today’s political atmosphere.

The odds of being killed by a terrorist here in the United States are probably roughly the same as traveling back to 1985 by getting an old DeLorean to 88mph (the latter of which admittedly would be awesome). Yet the “dangers of Islamic terrorism to the safety of the United States” remains one of the biggest political topics today. The moral panic of terrorism has gripped this nation beginning in the 1970’s, and has only gained traction since then. As opposed to riding around on hover boards and wearing…whatever this is (below), Back To The Future II had managed to rationally estimate how 2015 would have looked like in 1989.

Conversely, this shift in how terrorism was seen to American citizens changed from radical groups of politically charged individuals to irrational and “outside the realm of moral consideration entirely” (Stampnitzky 4). These notions of terrorism were largely opinion based, centering on bias rather than being fact based, almost entirely neglecting the history of terrorism up to then. By labeling terrorism as both unquestionably irrational and immoral, fears of terrorism expanded further, similarly pushing the moral panic of terrorism further into politics. Thus, the idea that “terrorism is socially constructed,” and that morally, terrorism was considered “unacceptable violence” (Stampnitzky 5, 8). Continuously building upon an ideology that strikes fear into citizens and taps into emotional discomfort has served only to exaggerate this threat of terrorism.

Contemporarily, those who believe in the threat of Islam terrorism have characterized this new variety of terrorism as one “that was irrational, that broke from predictable routines, and that held the potential for mass violence” (Stampnitzky 143). It is nearly impossible to deny that the heinous acts of terrorism on September 11, 2001 were frightening, but they are no basis to label an entire religion as violent and extremist; furthering the moral panic on terrorism.

Nick • October 27, 2016

Previous Post

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *