Faulty Label: Why One Similar Act Is Terrorism For Muslim But Not For Non-Muslim

Labels play important role in marketing of a product and everyday shopping decisions. A label is affixed to a container or product with written or printed information or symbols about the product or item.

Labels have many uses, including providing information on a product’s origin, manufacturer, use, shelf-life and disposal, some or all of which may be governed by legislation in different countries worldwide and may also be subject to internationally recognized standards. In many countries, hazardous products such as poisons or flammable liquids must have a warning label.

So what’s our interest in label here. We already know that labels have an essential part in our daily life. Without label it would be difficult for us to select a product for our use as a label indicates what type of product are we acquiring or what its nutritional value is or use or best before date etc. Companies use these labels to make their product more attractive to consumers also.

So why labels matter?

The thing is that we humans don’t only label goods, products and items but other humans also. Labeling others is common in our society. This theory is rooted in the idea of the social construction of reality and is linked to the symbolic interactionist perspective.  But such type of labeling can be faulty in many sense.

By labeling people, we attribute some behavior to them which can lead to attribution bias. It is a cognitive bias that refers to the systematic errors made when people evaluate or try to find different reasons for their own and others behaviors which can be result of faulty labeling.

For example, many children engage in activities such as breaking or stealing or taking away things without permission or bunking from school. In affluent neighborhoods, these acts may be regarded by parents, teachers, and police as innocent aspects of the process of growing up. In poor areas, on the other hand, these same activities might be seen as tendencies towards juvenile delinquency, which suggests that differences of class and race play an important role in the process of assigning labels of deviance.

People constantly make attributions regarding the cause of their own and others’ behaviors; however, attributions do not always accurately reflect reality. Rather than operating as objective perceivers, people are prone to perceptual errors that lead to biased interpretations of the social world around us.

Once a person is labeled as deviant through this labeling process, it is extremely difficult to remove that label. The deviant person becomes stigmatized as a criminal or deviant and is likely to be considered, and treated, as nuisance by others even if he does not commit any such deviant act.

This is the same reason that promulgate an act perform by a Muslim person as terrorism and by a White non-Muslim person as anything besides act of terrorism.

The powerful western media and dominant anti-Islam groups in Western society create and apply deviant labels to the Muslims group as terrorist or supporters of terrorism while the other as some crazy white guy filled with rage.

Such type of labeling wrongly differentiate one group or person action from another group or person.

An action is that which is done by an agent. It has been common to motivate a central question about the nature of action by invoking a distinction between the things that merely happen to people and the various things they genuinely do. The latter events, the doings, are the acts or actions of the agent, and the problem about the nature of action is supposed to be: what distinguishes an action from a mere happening or occurrence?

Thus, things like running or throwing a ball is an instance of action; it involves intention, a goal, and a bodily movement guided by the agent.

And instance like, a person may cough, sneeze, blink, blush, and thrash about in a seizure, and these are all things the person has, in some minimal sense, ‘done,’ although in the usual cases, the agent will have been altogether passive throughout these ‘doings.’ It is natural to think that this is not the sense of “do” as we originally had in mind.

Therefore, we can describe action as an intentional, purposive, conscious and subjectively meaningful activity.

The significant word in the above meaning of action is intention as action arises from intention.  An intention is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future.

So, the action which is originally done by a person and which merely occur or happen to a person can be distinguished by intention or involvement. The first one resulted from a person’s intention and active involvement and second one is unintentional and passive.

This distinction is little bit confusing but is properly used by Western media through false labels in promoting Islamophobia environment where an horrendous aggressive act causing loss of life of many people if performed by a radical Muslim is labeled as terrorism (an act genuinely done by them) but same act is translated as mere shooting incidence when performed by a white supremacist (a thing that merely happened due to rage, mental illness or tough childhood etc in which agent was passive).

A deliberate act which results in life loss of innocent people done by anyone is in itself totally condemnable and evil as a terrorist act. But the distinction in labeling of this act for one group as terrorism and for other group as anything else but not terrorism is total hypocrisy and is deliberately and wrongly being imposed on consciousness of common public through labels.

That’s like an aggressive act performed by a radical Muslim is intentional and by a white supremacist is unintentional or the first one performed it consciously and second group unconsciously which is totally devoid of logic.

Such unjust labeling by Western media and their politicians will give wrong signals to terrorist like Brenton Harrison Tarrant involved in unjustifiable act of Christchurch mosque shootings that they are justified and right to carry such attacks in future also and give wrong motives and false justifications for black sheeps in Muslim community to materialize their wrong intentions also in form of horrendous act.

“Terrorism is considered the most important kind of crime,” said Jesse Norris, a criminal justice professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia. “It’s not a crime against some; it’s a crime against all. When you put people and crimes in that category, it places more importance on them. People take these crimes more seriously. That’s why it’s a problem that we have this double standard in classifying international terrorism violence as terrorism and domestic terrorism violence (terrorist act carried by white people) as not terrorism.”

Therefore, it is better to again analyze and repudiate any type of categorization or labeling of intentions, acts or people of one group as terrorist and other as none. As it would be beneficial for world peace and harmony and help in tackling and deterring in better manner the act of terrorism in long run.

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