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Terrorism - Fourth Point

In the light of the above, we can arrive at a comprehensive definition of terrorist acts, a definition which is unanimously acceptable and on which we can base our positions. Yet before putting forth our suggested definition, we may recall that we should note therein the following elements:

- intimidation and violation of security of any kind;
- presence of inhuman intention and motive;
- unacceptability of the end and purpose and the act itself by humanity.

Accordingly, our definition may be as follows:

Terrorism is an act carried out to achieve an inhuman and corrupt (mufsid) objective, and involving threat to security of any kind, and violation of rights acknowledged by religion and mankind.
For the sake of clarity, we may add the following points:

1. We have used the term 'human' instead of 'international' for the sake of wider consensus, official or otherwise, so as to emphasize the general human character of the statement.

2. We have introduced the epithet 'corrupt' (mufsid) to connote the attribute accompanying inhuman objectives, i.e. the spreading of corruption in the land, and to include the imperative to avoid such objectives.

3. We have referred to various types of terrorism with the phrase; "security of any kind".

4. We have mentioned the two criteria, i.e. religious and human, first to be consistent with our belief and then to generalize the criterion.

5. As may be noticed, the fact that an operation is violent does not constitute a condition for considering it a case of terrorism. In the light of the above definition, we shall be able to ascertain the nature of one act or another and determine whether it is a case of terrorism. We shall confirm that the definition does not apply to the following:

    a. acts of national resistance exercised against occupying forces, colonizers and usurpers;

    b. resistance of peoples against cliques imposed on them by the force of arms;

    c. rejection of dictatorships and other forms of despotism and efforts to undermine their institutions;

    d. resistance against racial discrimination and attacks on the latter's strongholds;

    e. retaliation against any aggression if there is no other alternative.

Similarly, the definition does not apply to any democratic action unaccompanied by terrorism even if it does not have a humane objective. Nor does it apply to individual destructive acts if they have no social effects.

The above definition, however, does apply to the following:

    a. acts of piracy on land, air and sea;

    b. all colonialist operations including wars and military expeditions;

    c. all dictatorial acts against peoples and all forms of protection of dictatorships, not to mention their imposition on nations;

    d. all military methods contrary to human practice, such as the use of chemical weapons, the shelling of civilian populated areas, the blowing up of homes, the displacement of civilians, etc.;

    e. all types of pollution of geographical, cultural and informational environment. Indeed, intellectual terrorism may be one of the most dangerous types of terrorism;

    f. all moves that undermine adversely affect the condition of international or national economy, adversely affect the condition of the poor and the deprived, deepen up nations with the shackles of socio-economic gaps, and chain up nations with the shackles of exorbitant debts;

    g. all conspiratorial acts aimed at crushing the determination of nations for liberation and independence, and imposing disgraceful pacts on them.

The list of examples that fit in with the suggested definition is almost endless.

Adapted from: "Towards a Definition of Terrorism" by: "Ayatullah Taskhiri"

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