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When Will the US Recognize Terrorism When It Happens?


How much longer are we willing in this country to ignore the facts that what we are witnessing at home and aboard, can only be described as terrorist attacks?

People hug each other outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's office, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (Image source: AP/Remy de la Mauviniere)

Earlier today, the world witnessed yet another act of terrorism, this time leveled against citizens of France.

More specifically, a French satirical newspaper’s journalists and others, who dared to publish satire about the Prophet Muhammad, paid the ultimate price in being attacked by what appears at this point to be Jihadist terrorists, who shot and killed 12 people and injured more than 15 others.

Witnesses of the attack allege that the attackers were shouting, “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad” and "Allahu Akbar" in Arabic which is translated to “God is great.”

The President of France Francois Hollande immediately condemned the act as terrorism and our president, Barack Obama, called it an “act of violence.”

"I would like to say directly to the people of Paris and of all of France that each and every American stands with you today — not just in horror or in anger or in outrage at this vicious act of violence — but we stand with you in solidarity and in commitment both to the cause of confronting extremism and in the cause which the extremists fear so much," he said.

President Barack Obama speaks to members of the media during his last news conference of the year in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House December 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama speaks to members of the media during his last news conference of the year in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House December 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. 

Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, had advised earlier when he appeared on CNN and MSNBC, that the attack was still in the initial stages of investigation, when he said, “We’re at the very early stages of what happened and who was responsible.”

He went on to state that there were “strong ties” between the Al Qaeda terrorist network and the Islamic State extremists. He continued, “We obviously are trying to monitor what we consider to be a very important threat.”

Earnest concluded by saying, “This is an attack on the basic freedoms of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”

What this amounts to is an attack on every one of us. Whether you are French, American, Israeli, Hindu or a citizen of some other country, it doesn’t really matter.

In this Sept.19, 2012 file photo, Stephane Charbonnier also known as Charb , the publishing director of the satyric weekly Charlie Hebdo, displays the front page of the newspaper as he poses for photographers in Paris. Masked gunmen shouting “Allahu akbar!” stormed the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper Wednesday Jan.7, 2015, killing 12 people including Charb, before escaping. It was France's deadliest terror attack in at least two decades. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File) 

If we don’t stop terrorism in its tracks it will continue to inflict itself upon the lives of every innocent person on the planet.

However, we can’t continue to refer to acts of terrorism as anything other than terrorism. If we do then we will never have a chance to extinguish it.

For far too long in America, for instance, our political correctness has kept us from dealing head-on with the problem.

The Fort Hood shooting is just one example of a terrorist attack at a military base on American soil that has never been labeled terrorism to my knowledge.

The convicted U.S. Army major and psychiatrist, Nidal Hasan, who fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 in 2009 while purportedly yelling “Allahu Akbar,” as was allegedly heard in today’s attack in France, was described by our Defense Department as a person merely involved in “workplace violence.”

The gunman would later write a letter to the Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, stating that he wanted to join the caliphate and become a citizen of the Islamic State. Does this sound like workplace violence? Of course, not.

Today, was also clearly an act of terrorism by a group who was offended and wanted to send a clear message that freedom of speech, when it was used to insult their Prophet, would not be tolerated.

While the newspaper’s message may have been offensive to a number of people from many religions, it certainly did not justify cold-blooded murder and must be labeled what it truly is, terrorism.

How much longer will our own government ignore the evidence of what constitutes terrorism? France is choosing not to ignore the truth.

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