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Can terrorism ever be justified research paper

University of South Florida, 200429. Simultaneously, with enemy creation, identity creation takes places. A new sense of community is created for the discontented group, in which the opponent is used to provide counteraction. Dramatised glorification and references to myths, legends and made-up communal history are commonly used to create a feeling of historical pride, on the one hand, and guilt and responsibility towards past and future generations on the other.

With new identity creation, the group focuses on the construction of a different type of communal awareness, new norms and moral standards that are believed to be higher than those of others and have new semantic connotations. The more a discontented group loses connection and grows enmity towards the system and society, the higher would be the likelihood of tolerating violence against this system and society. Use of violence is portrayed as a sine qua non.

Utilitarian justification of violence Utilitarian justification has as its source the value-enhancing potential of violence. The likelihood, frequency and intensity of utilitarian violence depend on the gap between the costs and benefits and the gap between desired value position and actual value position.

On the strategic level, the logic of utilitarian violence is based on the assumption that violence has a deterrent effect and the exaggerated conviction that the use of violence has been the decisive factor in past events.

This makes it more difficult for scholars to investigate utilitarian justification, but still not impossible. Interviews with defectors or arrested terrorists give important insights into the internal working and reasoning of these organisations. Moreover, seized organisational documentation can be valuable if accessible. PKK is an internationally recognised terrorist organisation based on Marxist—Leninist ideology coupled with a separatist agenda.

It has to be noted that a dichotomy exists inside these groups, with both advocates and opponents of violence. An example where this selective perception is visible is the following: Nevertheless, these messages were not echoed in the decisions and behaviour of leading cadres at Qandil, which shows the division inside the PKK structure.

Adapted doctrinal trainings are given according to grade in hierarchy. Its doctrine is based on extreme interpretations 43 of selected parts of Quranic verses and hadiths, ignoring Islamic protocols and limits to violence. The current situation is interpreted as dar el-harb state of war and thus no trial or discussion is believed necessary. Indoctrination starts before joining ISIS, mostly online and through mosques, schools, conversation groups and even penitentiary institutions.

Former Central Intelligence Agency operations officer and academic Marc Sageman supports this finding with the following words: To give themselves a bit more legitimacy, they use Islam as their justification.

The Turkish state is seen as colonial, and the legality of the system is rejected. Besides genocide accusations, PKK also believes that can terrorism ever be justified research paper is an international conspiracy going on against them. Namely, they diagnosed all these features of us, and dared to launch such an offensive against us, and by the strength, self-confidence acquired from this [our state] they effected this fearless aggression against the Leadership.

Turkey is specifically seen as a Trojan horse and is blamed for the deformation of Islam and of Muslim identity. In targeting these states, ISIS explicitly refers to the Sykes-Picot Agreement that has shaped the region and, thus, the consequent problems.

In a video message, an ISIS militant states the following: Insha-Allah, this is not the first border we will break; Insha-Allah, we will break all the borders also.

Until we reach Quds [Jeruzalem], Insha-Allah. Amude is Nusaybin, Cizre, Diyarbakir. We will abolish the rotten borders. Kurdish and leftist groups not supporting PKK are marked as agent provocateurs, collaborators, traitors, and thus as legitimate targets. Both organisations benefit from depicting each other as an enemy.

Identity politics Where PKK tries to create an identity primarily based on revolutionary resistance, ISIS spotlights the Muslim collective identity and the honour of fighting for Islam and to fall martyr on the path of Allah. Lost individuals become one community bound with religious ties fighting for a higher cause, reaching the highest religious level possible if they fall during battle.

Recruits vary from local discontented civilians and military to foreign converts to Islam or radicalised young people with a criminal background. The Islamic State offers all that and empowers the individual within a collective. It does not judge and accepts all with no concern about their past.

This can be very appealing for people who think they washed up on the wrong shore. This process starts with PKK defining itself. Members are convinced by rational argumentation that violence is necessary to satisfy organisational needs, achieve tactical and strategic objectives or block the adversary from implementing certain policies.

This section briefly discusses the needs, objectives and methods used related to utilitarian justification. First, there is the aspect of satisfying certain feelings such as revenge can terrorism ever be justified research paper anger. Additionally, former ISIS members state that brutal violence is believed to be necessary in order to minimise casualties later. We have helicopters, we have planes, we have cameras.

The same magazines also include references to the necessity of armed control of regions for food security and availability of commodities. A tragic example is the carjacking attempt by PKK on 20 September 2011, in Siirt, where four Kurdish young women were executed because they refused to stop. Weapons are also used for the extortion of civilians to provide money and support. Besides using violence for their own economic benefits, these groups see the use of violence as a legitimate tool to create economic damage.

Whether they are successful or not in achieving these objectives is a matter that needs further exploration. However, certain trends of polarisation and overreaction are observable in European states and Turkey.

Is Terrorism Ever Justified?

It is generally known that one of the main objectives of terrorists is propaganda. PKK attack evaluation reports show that attacks are organised in such a way so that propaganda can be made at the maximum level. Exhibition of dead bodies and destructed enemy assets serves this goal partially.

Besides these, PKK has a more particular utilitarian tactic of damaging infrastructure with specific objectives. There are thousands of examples in which PKK tries to disrupt daily life and the implementation of government policies by damaging infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads, energy infrastructure, factories and work sites. Another reason why hospitals are targeted is to provide injured PKK militants with medical care.

Disrupting education by attacking schools makes it easier for PKK to recruit new members and prevent the government from implementing antiradicalisation policies. Most terrorist organisations accept violence as the only reliable option to push their political agenda.

This can be because of the lack of democratic representation or the lack of public support for the cause and, in extreme situations, even the rejection of the democratic governance system. The two organisations analysed reject the Western model of the nation-state and democratic governance and opt for an independent state under their total control, namely, the Islamic State under the control of the caliphate and an independent Marxist—Leninist state, Kurdistan, under the total control of PKK.

The need for justification arises from the fact that most people have to be persuaded to accept the use of violence as an acceptable method. In these days especially when Muslim scholars and Kurdish intellectuals reject violence, both organisations feel the need for a stronger justification of their acts.

  1. Nothing was accomplished and therefore it is useless to kill innocent civilians because of a religious or political cause. When pronouncing moral judgments, he wants to know who is speaking, and how is he justified to do so.
  2. Nocella, Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?
  3. The definition is similar to the one found above except for the fact that these violent acts are being committed outside the United States. This leads him to reflect on those mechanisms in society which exclude texts from the public.
  4. The pipe bomb used was assembled by Eric Robert Rudolph, a white supremacist and member of a homegrown terror group whose main goal is to advance right-wing ideals such as the destruction of abortion clinics and gay bars Juergensmeyer, 2003, p.
  5. Not only is their tactics not working to make the world aware of their plight — as of recent history Afghanistan and Iraq were reduced to rubble by incessant fighting — they are also killing those who have nothing to do with Middle East politics. The link to the innocence of victims of terrorism permitted on the one hand whole nations to be accused of terrorism, and on the other hand an ability to be more precise about how morally wrong it was.

Doctrinal justification plays a crucial role in shaping the opinions of members, sympathisers and the broader public, and makes the rightfulness of violence unquestionable. Remarkably, where the internal and external communication of doctrinal justifications by ISIS is the same, PKK — depending on the situation — prefers to make a distinction.

Fundamental to doctrinal justification for both organisations is the enemy creation aspect, according to which an external enemy is blamed for everything, put forward in the form of conspiracy theories.

Simultaneously, a process of identity creation takes place, enabling a new group identity to be created by the organisation, in order to hold people together and to make them more susceptible to justify violence. During both processes, existing social, economic, and political disgruntlement is utilised.

Additionally, in-group justification for utilitarian purposes takes place, mainly in the form of economic damage and disruption of daily life in order to damage and block the implementation of government policies. The danger of accepting the justification of violence for a certain purpose is that it increases the susceptibility to enlarge the scope of justification. This brings us to the current situation wherein ISIS justifies sexual violence and slavery and PKK sees drug trafficking and providing illegal weapons to other terrorist groups as acceptable.

Keeping this in mind, lobbying attempts to tolerate certain types of violence or exempt certain organisations from the definition of terrorism should be dealt cautiously, as it will have a much larger effect than intended on the likelihood of terrorist attacks and international counterterrorism efforts.

Furthermore, it could give the wrong message that some political objectives can justify the killing of innocents, whereas others do not. Conflict of Interests Emin Daskin declares that he has no conflict of interest.