“Militant” vs. “Terrorist”


The term “militant” is problematic because it merely refers to an armed individual, which could easily describe partisans during World War Two fighting the Nazis, to individuals who strap bombs to themselves, murdering innocent civilians. Clearly, the term militant, while strictly accurate, serves to obscure, rather than clarify, the nature of these armed individuals. A terrorist, more accurately, is an individual who seeks to use violence primarily against civilians as a means to achieve a political end. Clearly, the term “terrorist” is far more descriptive and accurate than the catch-all “militant”.


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