- Published: November 18, 2022
- Updated: November 18, 2022
- Level: Undergraduate
- Language: English
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Sociology 16 July A Dis on “ Terrorism” in Australia When the former United s President George W. Bushmade his State Union speech, he addressed the nation, and perhaps even the whole world for that matter, with his polarizing “ with us or against us” declaration. In his rhetoric, former President Bush (2001) asked, ‘ Why do they hate us?’ While the word “ they” was originally pertaining to certain Islamic extremist groups, it came to a point that in the minds and opinions of the average citizens of the Western societies that such judgment fell on the Muslim people and culture as a whole. The word “ us” identifies the Western society, which is believed to be under violent aggression from radical Islamic groups who are going against the ideals of liberty and democracy. In Australia, the bombing in Bali that happened nearly a year after the World Trade Center Bombing left Australian society with a picture and lay image of the word “ terrorism”. When Australia passed its Anti-Terror Act of 2005, Australian Prime Minister John Howard (2002) ‘ reaffirms Australia’s commitment to continue the war against terrorism in our region and in the rest of the world’. This of course went in line with the wishes and intent of the strong nations of the Western world led by the United States and the United Kingdom, in pursuit of freedom against terrorism. Therefore, this created a sort of world order wherein the Muslim world and supporters of radical Islamic terrorist elements are clearly distinguished as the opposite of the order. On the other side, the Western society reaffirms its stand for the democratic way of life and freedom. This is where the word “ terrorism” plays as a catalyst. It should be first understood that terrorism denotes a sign of conflict or an act of war. According to Greene (2006, 435), ‘ Terror is the ultimate way to paralyze a people’s will to resist and destroy their ability to plan a strategic response. Such power is gained through sporadic acts of violence that create constant feeling of threat, incubating a fear that spreads throughout the public sphere.’ To that extent, acts of terrorism done by radical Islamic organizations have negatively altered the social views about Muslim people and culture as a whole through the use of shock and fear. This should not be the case. As a matter of fact, it should be noted that most Muslims are not in line or in agreement to acts of terrorism because it is not part of their tenets of religion, which are so embedded in their culture. It should be appropriate to remember that one should not discuss the matters of terrorism at all with Muslims. Such sensitive topics should be set aside. If discussion is in unavoidable, it is always best to speak things as a matter of fact, not merely by opinion. The speeches made by President Bush and Prime Minister Howard placed the boundaries on those who are responsible for acts of terrorism. However, regardless of that, the hysteria of fear tends to overlook things from a rational point of view, leading to needless discrimination and cruelty towards Muslim people. Looking at it historically, there is hardly any shift from the rhetoric with regards to the eurocentric out of terrorism that is found in Australia, as well as other Western nations. The point is to use the rhetoric and the threatening image of terror as a legitimate excuse to exercise power so that order may be kept and that the status quo of a eurocentric hegemony remains steady and working. References Brown, J 2002, ‘ Lecture 9’, Address to parliament, Learning Materials, viewed 12 July 2011. Bush, GH 2001, ‘ Lecture 9’, State of union, Learning Materials, viewed 12 July 2011. Greene, R 2006, 33 strategies of war. New York: Penguin Group.
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