I should be working right now. I am about 30k words into a new novel that is, IMHO, awesome.
But before I get to work today, I wish to perform a public service. I need to help the various news agencies with a bit of editing. As a writer, and before that as a pastor/theologian, I learned that putting the right label on a thing is vital to comprehension about what is really happening. If I label something as hate, it communicates something different from labeling it as misplaced emotions. One word hardens the situation into a very well know feeling, while the other phrase softens it into something almost incomprehensible. What exactly is a misplaced emotion? Likewise, labeling something as crazy means one thing, labeling it as extreme is something else.
Now to the point at hand. Many of you, like myself, were no doubt horrified at the recent news of the American journalist named James Foley being beheaded yesterday by ISIS (Or is it ISIL now, or just Islamic State? it seems like it keeps changing) and then the video was posted on Youtube. I refuse to watch the video, and will certainly not post it here, but I have heard video outtakes and seen the photograph of Foley kneeling, wearing orange beside a man dressed in black.
I have read several news reports, television reports, and radio bulletins on the incident, and I have found a mistake. In each of these, the media continues to use the words militant, jihadist, or fighter to describe the man standing beside Foley. One report (BBC) indicated that the ‘fighter’ was British and spoke with a ‘London’ accent.
Please be advised, the correct word is not militant. If the individual was militant, he would be a part of a military and therefore would properly be called a soldier. Jihadist is a better word, but still not quite right for this situation. A Jihadist does what he or she does for religious reasons. ISIS, though Muslim in the extreme, is operating as a political endeavor. I believe the first S in ISIS stands for state. Nation-states, though sometimes motivated by religion, are usually understood as political entities seeking to exert control of geography and resources. Fighter is even a worse label. Fighter is so ambiguous it could also be used to describe someone in a MMA event or a brawler on the school playground.
No, the correct word you are looking for is terrorist. Please use the correct word, even if our political leaders don’t want the world thinking that terrorists are still a threat.
This has been a public service provided by Pastor Greenbean. The More You know.