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Friday, 14 November 2008

image for Dictionaries to redefine the word 'terrorist'

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) & Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary jointly announced today that the word 'terrorist' and its derivative 'terrorism' would be redefined to make it more narrower in its scope in view of general public sentiments.

Michael Palin, publisher of Oxford English Dictionary said that in the next edition of Oxford Dictionary the word 'terrorist' would be defined as 'a Muslim who uses violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary would also modify its current definition and change it as 'systematic use of terror by Muslims as a means of coercion'.

Presently, the word 'terrorist' is defined by OED as 'a person who uses violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims'. while Webster defines the word 'terrorism' as 'the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion'

This change has been prompted by general wide-spread belief all over the world that only Muslims can be terrorists, despite countless evidence to the contrary. John Morse, President and Publisher of Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary said that the decision to redefine the word was taken after the company's working committee on redefinition learned about the unwillingness of Indians, mostly Hindus, to accept that Hindus can also be capable of terrorism.

Yesterday, Times of India, India's leading newspaper published a report on the support that Sadhvi Pragya SIngh Thakur, a women belonging to a right-wing group and accused of terrorism, has been receiving from thousands of her online well-wishers. According to this report, she has thousands of fans on social networking sites who consider her an "idol" Indian women and justify her acts in no uncertain terms.

"This is the last straw! If Indians who have been the biggest victims of terrorism in the last hundred years are unable to recognize terrorism originating from non-Muslims, then there must be certainly something wrong with our definition of terrorism!" exclaimed Morse.

Morse explained further the reasons for changing the definition of the controversial word "Since the start of World War II, we have identified thousands of acts of terror using our old definition - 'violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims' which have resulted in the death of millions of people worldwide. There have been several genocides by political leaders, communal rioting, illegal wars in pursuit of political aims, use of nuclear weapons, all of which have caused widespread terror and resulted in death of countless millions. But in none of these cases, the perpetuaters of the acts have been identified as terrorists either by people or by media." said John Morse

"Lets face it! Last century was a pretty bloody century, the bloodiest century in the history of mankind. Nearly 185 million people died of acts that according to our previous definition constituted terrorism. Commies butchered 85-100 million, 130-140 million died from wars and conflicts. Tyrannical dictators killed 44 millions through state-sponsored genocide while over 15 million were killed due to US foreign policy. But does the world recognize communists, war-mongers/profiteers, tyrannical dictators or American presidents as terrorists?

"The outgoing US president George W Bush had reportedly said that Jesus instructed him to invade Iraq & Afghanistan. That should have qualified him as a Christian terrorist! But was he ever identified as a Christian terrorist by Christians? Nope. Israeli armed forces have shelled Palestinian villages and indiscriminately killed and maimed thousands of Palestinians. Yet, Israeli politicians who have ordered terror attacks on Palestinians and military men who have carried out the terror attacks have never been called Jew terrorists by Jews. And now even Hindus have refused to recognize those accused of plotting and planning Malegaon blasts as Hindu terrorists."

"Except for Muslims, no other religious group has acknowledged the presence of terrorism within its own ranks or spoken out against terrorism perpetuated by members of their own group. Rightly or wrongly, the general population too believes that while 'not all Muslims are terrorists, all terrorists are muslims'."

"It is very obvious to us that our older definition of terrorism which identifies all forms of violence and intimidation for political aims as terrorism is not accepted by the majority of the population." added John Morse.

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