“The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women's rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Center and Pentagon and kill thousands of people: um, I'm against that. But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list -- yes, even the short skirts and the dancing -- are worth dying for?
The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing. In his world-view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences. To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong. We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world's resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them.
How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.”
― Salman Rushdie, Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002
quotations about terrorism
We do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them.
GEORGE W. BUSH, speech, December 18, 2005
Tags: George W. Bush
Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism.
NOAM CHOMSKY, 9-11
Tags: Noam Chomsky
Like slavery and piracy, terrorism has no place in the modern world.
GEORGE W. BUSH, Address to the United Nations General Assembly, September 23, 2008
It's much, much harder to terrorise a population into submission than official and unofficial purveyors of mass violence always think it is. Normality isn't a fixed state but a spectrum with a remarkably wide range. Terrorists are contemptible for many reasons, but one of them is the stupidity of not knowing this. They try to magnify themselves with epic acts of cruelty. In the end they are diminished and defeated by the strange ability of human beings to step around the pools of blood, keep going and forget.
FINTAN O'TOOLE, "Terrorism is becoming normal, and that will be its undoing", Irish Times, June 4, 2017
The big threat to America is the way we react to terrorism by throwing away what everybody values about our country--a commitment to human rights. America is a great nation because we are a good nation. When we stop being a good nation, we stop being great.
BOBBY KENNEDY, O Magazine, February 2007
Tags: Bobby Kennedy
Terrorism has become the systematic weapon of a war that knows no borders or seldom has a face.
JACQUES CHIRAC, speech, September 24, 1986
Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint.
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, "Terrorism: Notes Toward a Definition"
Tags: Christopher Hitchens
Fighting terrorism is like being a goalkeeper. You can make a hundred brilliant saves but the only shot that people remember is the one that gets past you.
PAUL WILKINSON, London Daily Telegraph, September 1, 1992
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A "war against terrorism" is an impracticable conception if it means fighting terrorism with terrorism.
JOHN MORTIMER, Where There's a Will...
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The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation -- the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism -- the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest. As veterans, you have seen this kind of enemy before. They're successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists, and other totalitarians of the 20th century. And history shows what the outcome will be: This war will be difficult; this war will be long; and this war will end in the defeat of the terrorists and totalitarians, and a victory for the cause of freedom and liberty.
GEORGE W. BUSH, speech at the American Legion National Convention in Salt Lake City, UT, August 31, 2006
The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?
GEORGE ORWELL, 1984
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Terrorism is the price of empire. If you do not wish to pay the price, you must give up the empire.
PAT BUCHANAN, Where the Right Went Wrong
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When I say that terrorism is war against civilization, I may be met by the objection that terrorists are often idealists pursuing worthy ultimate aims -- national or regional independence, and so forth. I do not accept this argument. I cannot agree that a terrorist can ever be an idealist, or that the objects sought can ever justify terrorism. The impact of terrorism, not merely on individual nations, but on humanity as a whole, is intrinsically evil, necessarily evil and wholly evil.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, International Terrorism
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If inciting people to do that [9/11] is terrorism, and if killing those who kill our sons is terrorism, then let history be witness that we are terrorists.
OSAMA BIN LADEN, interview, October 2001
Tags: Osama bin Laden
Every leader, and every regime, and every movement, and every organization that steps across the line to terrorism must be banished from the discourse of civilized human life.
ALAN KEYES, speech, April 21, 2002
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What distinguishes terrorism is the willful and calculated choice of innocents as targets.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Terrorism: How the West Can Win
Terrorism [takes] us back to ages we thought were long gone if we allow it a free hand to corrupt democratic societies and destroy the basic rules of international life.
JACQUES CHIRAC, speech, September 24, 1986
Tags: Jacques Chirac
We live in a time of terror, and contrary to what we see on television and allow ourselves to believe, the real goal of terror is not to kill people but to kill thought; to so demoralize a society that it implodes from within.
JOHN LAHR, "Questions for John Lahr", The New Yorker, January 23, 2009
Tags: John Lahr
We can't accommodate terrorism. When someone uses the slaughter of innocent people to advance a so-called political cause, at that point the political cause becomes immoral and unjust and they should be eliminated from any serious discussion, any serious debate.
RUDOLPH GIULIANI, interview, CNN, September 11, 2002
Tags: Rudolph Giuliani
Terrorism, like viruses, is everywhere. There is a global perfusion of terrorism, which accompanies any system of domination as though it were its shadow, ready to activate itself anywhere, like a double agent.
JEAN BAUDRILLARD, The Spirit of Terrorism and Other Essays
Tags: Jean Baudrillard