Issues in Terrorism and Administrative Justice
The concept of terrorism is controversial, particularly when it comes to administrative justice. International terrorism emanated from ideological movements and progressed as various religious sects that used their movements to intimidate others. The revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries fought basing on ideologies, while the Jihadists continue to use various religious movements to intimidate civilians and governments. The universality of international terrorism delineates the administrative issues with domestic terrorism. In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for protecting its citizens from domestic terrorism. Although international and domestic terrorism are closely related, the enforcement of laws against terrorism in some states, such as America, leads to serious constitutional issues. The paper aims at critically reviewing the chapter 3 and 4, as well as criticizing the position of the author of the book Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Role of Ideological Movements in Terror
According to White (2014, p. 223), international terrorism is the most significant form of terrorism that America and the entire world face today. International terrorism, also known as global terrorism, is the kind of terrorism that spreads across countries and continents. Although terrorism may have a single or multiple hotspots where they emanate from, they are not confined to geographical boundaries. Although terrorism was an ambiguous subject in the early 20th century, the concept has grown progressively over the years. Globalization has played a key role in the spread of terrorism across the world. Unlike the past when the Middle East was the hub of terrorism, the free movement and interaction of people has indirectly propagated terrorism. Modern terrorism is more advanced than it was in the 20th century in terms of propagation, techniques, and ideologies. Accordingly, it is worth tracing the origin and categories of terrorism between the 18th and 20th centuries.
Terrorism can be traced back to the period of the French Revolution, when the concept was based on competing political ideologies rather than fundamental religious doctrines. In the past, ideological movements took the center stage as far as the political directions of various jurisdictions were concerned. For instance, France, Russia, China, and Hungary committed various kinds of terrorist acts against opposing forces supporting different ideologies. Ideological terrorism was based purely on the political progress of nation rather than sectorial ambitions. Revolutionary terrorism was one of the popular forms of terrorism in the 18th century when most States were beginning to industrialize. However, it is worth noting that ancient terror came in two major forms, namely the ‘red’ terror and the ‘white terror’, which were popularly known as revolutionary and counterrevolutionary terrorisms Respectively (White, 2014, p. 223).
Revolutionary and Counterrevolutionary Terrorism
White (2014, p. 224) claims that revolutionary terrorism entails the use of institutional force to suppress the actions and ambitions of counterrevolutionaries. This kind of terror was prominent over a century ago although some states apply this concept in the contemporary political landscape. The French Revolution that started in 1789 witnessed a significant application of revolutionary terrorism. This form of terrorism is also referred to as the red terror primarily because the key actor is the ruling authority. In essence, the battle between communists and capitalists led to the revolutionary terror that encompassed many other jurisdictions, such as the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) between 1918 and 1922. The revolutionaries supported radical transformations, while those who opposed the concept engaged their opponents in counterrevolutionary tactics.
Commonly known as the white terror, counterrevolutionary terrorism appeared during the 18th and 20th centuries, when various sects attempted to resist the radicalism proposed by the revolutionaries. Counterrevolutionaries spearheaded terror campaigns in Russia for three years beginning from 1917, while other movements used similar tactics in Hungary and Spain during the same period. However, the counterrevolutionary terrorism in the 18th century was the most notable one because of the French Revolution that provoked similar movements in many regions of Eastern Europe. Both revolutionary and counterrevolutionary terror occurred in the pre-modern era, when political ideologies governed industrialization paths. However, the uprising of various religious movements across the globe has given terrorism a new twist, especially in recent past (White, 2014, p. 226-34).
Role of Religious Movements in Terror
White (2014, p. 50) attributes the proliferation of contemporary terrorist activities to the mushrooming of religious movements, some of which hold fundamental doctrines. Although religion has been in existence for many centuries, various terror organizations have taken control of some religious groups to propagate their terrorist activities. In essence, the contemporary global terrorism uses religion as a tool of achieving political goals. The key controversy of modern terrorism is between the Muslims and the Christians. Some terrorist groups have used the Islam faith to further their political ambitions. Unlike the past when revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries fought for and against radical changes, the modern global terrorism uses fear to intimidate civilians and authorities. The Jihadists are a classical example of terrorists hiding behind religion to propagate political ideologies.
White (2014, p. 251-63) explains that Jihad has spread over the years from the Middle East to cover most parts of the world, particularly those adjacent to the Arab world. Fundamentally, Jihadists use the Islamic religion to spread extremist propaganda. Frequently, such terrorists use violence against innocent people and governmental establishments with the intention of causing fear and intimidating authorities to make them heed their demands. The use of religion to perpetrate and spread terrorist ideals is rampant in the Arab world and countries with Muslim majorities. Although the Jihadists misuse and misinterpret Islam, which is a peaceful religion, they gain supporters and sympathizers across the globe, which are willing to join their networks. The global perspective of modern terrorism is anchored in the networks created by various Jihadist fighters. The Jihadists recruit, indoctrinate, and train their followers to be intolerant to non-Muslims. Thus, as it was mentioned above, globalization is a major factor in the spread of both international and domestic terrorism.
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Unlike international terrorism that is universal, domestic terrorism is defined by the United States under the Patriot Act that the Congress passed in 2001. Fundamentally, domestic terrorism entails all the criminal and terrorist activities that are specific to the American people in their land or other citizens in their countries. According to the USA Patriot Act, which was prompted by the September 11 attacks, there are two dimensions of domestic terrorism. All dangerous activities that are hazardous to human life constitute domestic terrorism, particularly if they violate the criminal laws in their respective jurisdictions. Conversely, any activity aimed at intimidating citizens may constitute domestic terrorism, especially if the activity is coercive in nature. The primary aims of domestic terrorism are to intimidate civilians and to prevail upon government policies.
According to White (2014, p. 302-328), the United States Department of Homeland Security, which is reminiscent of interior ministry of some countries, has the responsibility to secure the public from all forms of threats, including domestic terrorism. Homeland Security exists to promote American aspirations and interests in secure and safe environments. Although Homeland Security has been in existence for a long time, its applicability in relation to domestic terrorism raises a number of controversies. The vast majority of the issues surrounding Homeland Security have to do with the American Constitution.
Although Homeland Security ought to be in tandem with the American Constitution in terms of its applicability, the enforcement of the Patriot Act raises a number of constitutional issues. For example, the USA Patriot Act, which the Department of Homeland Security uses to fight domestic terrorism, infringes on some fundamental human rights. For instance, the upholding of Homeland Security necessitates the infringement on the privacy rights of all American citizens and representatives of other nations living in America. The situation contravenes the Bill of Rights as stipulated under the United States Constitution. Accordingly, the enforcement of law, especially the USA Patriot Act, works in favor of America’s Homeland Security although it is marred with critical rights infringements (White, 2014, p. 353-359).
Critics and Suggestions
Although the two chapters focus on domestic and international terrorism, they do not suggest ways of curbing global terrorism. The author also regards global terrorism as a significant issue that requires coordination of all security organs across the globe and states that nothing has been done to curb it. However, the author tackles the issue of terrorism from an American perspective, which compromises the veracity of the content. Even though terrorism is rampant in other parts of the world, such as the Middle East and North Africa, the author opted to concentrate on America. The two chapters address the issue of terrorism from an American perspective, which denies the possibility to view the problem from other dimensions. The third chapter focuses on the religious and ideological perspectives of international terrorism. In essence, the ideological movements of the 18th and 20th centuries were distinct from modern terrorism, where Jihadists use religion to propagate their ideologies (White, 2014, p. 223-250). The fourth chapter addresses the interconnection between Homeland Security and domestic terrorism. Fundamentally, chapter 3 sheds light on chapter 4 by delineating the origins and tenets of terrorism. On the other hand, the author deals with fighting domestic terrorism, especially with regard to the United States security networks. I think fighting international terrorism is very significant because it necessitates universal collaboration and the fight against domestic terrorism in the United States oversteps the mandate of the Department of Homeland Security with regard to privacy rights (White, 2014, p. 302-355). Since terrorism is probably the biggest threat that the world is currently facing, especially in the matters of security, I would encourage people to tackle the issue of terrorism globally rather than nationally.
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In conclusion, international terrorism has been progressive over the last century although domestic terrorism poses a significant threat to such developed countries as the United States. Terrorism originated from confrontations between various ideological movements in the pre-modern era although some religious movements took it to a new level. Jihadists are responsible for both domestic and international terrorism. In America, Homeland Security deals with all threats against Americans, including domestic terrorism. The two readings interlink in that one explains the circumstances of terrorism, while the other attempts to eradicate the menace at the domestic level.