white man’s terrorist

i have a question: can a white man be a terrorist?
in my mind i already see several of my friends jump up in outrage. of course! what a horrible thing for me to bring up such a backward concept like “race”. the word is no longer “salonfähig” (a german way of saying “socially acceptable” with a connotation of something being “chic”/ accepted by the ‘civilized’ aristocratic class). welcome to the 21st century. our longing for equality is so prominent that certain concepts are not to be addressed anymore. i would like to clarify something right here and now, though: just because “race” is a term non-grata, it does not mean that the concept has left our thinking.

a friend of mine recently asked me a questioned that continued bothering me. why is the germanwings pilot not a terrorist? my initial reaction was an analytical approach, declaring that terrorism has a political aspect about it. it is used as a tool to send a message. but the germanwings pilot killed 150 people not because of a political statement. instead he organized “the most egoistic suicide of all times”, as it was called on reddit and 9gag. but my friend did not seem entirely convinced about my analysis. what if the pilot had been muslim? even, she argued, if there had been the same motive for crashing the plane on purpose, a muslim pilot would have been called a terrorist. i cannot help but share her suspicion.

the germanwings pilot killed 150 people “out of a desperate attempt to end his own life”. some news reports hint towards an illness. breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 attacks in norway, “was a madman and got offered phycological help”. but how often have you read about either being termed a “terrorist”? and how often have you read about reasonings explaining why a muslim decided to conduct an act termed “terrorist”? (except for the ever so repetitive pseudo-analysis of “oh yeah, religious lunatic, what else!”) i cannot help but wonder, why there seems to be a preference for muslims on the job description of “terrorist”.

the thing that bothers me the most, however, is that people seem to be largely ignorant to history repeating itself in front of our eyes. here we are, seventy years after the end of the second world war, still condemning nazi-germany for their targeted murder of the jewish community to an extent that one german born still has large problems today just criticizing israel; and yet at the same time we have absolutely no problem with automatically assuming terrorism to be islamic.
islam is the perfect combination of both anti-semitism and anti-communism, really. anti-semitism announces the hatred towards one particular faith, and anti-communism declares the dislike towards a certain form of social, economical, and political arrangement of society. islam provides both: a religion, and a unique form of societal organization. what a wonderful coincidence!
furthermore, islam is so manyfold and the terminologies of terrorism are so flexible, that one can easily generalize the faith and its people as “inherently undemocratic, un-enlightened, and un-educated” while still maintaining fabulous trade relations to many of the islamic countries. what a marvelous hypocrisy!
and yet again it is for the white man to bring civilization to the savages. oh the burden on the white man’s shoulder. s’horrifying, s’terrifying.

___

on a different note, i have yet again found myself surprised about the way marketing and labeling is done in public media. let me ask you: do you know which airline it was whos planes crushed into the world trade center? it is too long ago for me to remember whether that information was ever consciously hidden (or “coincidentally not mentioned”) in media, or whether it has just been forgotten over time, but i sure had to google for an answer on this question.
it was two airlines: united airlines and american airlines. (fabulous irony that 911 united the united states and the airlines that caused 911 are called “united”-“american”!) but that is besides the point. the thing i find curious is that we refer to the plane that got lost as “malaysian airlines” and we know the pilot that took 150 others into his personal suicide as “the germanwings pilot”. both times it is the name of the airline that made the headline. and yet we do not refer to the 911 incident in any reference to the airlines at all. the reason this is fascinating to me is the resulting consequences on the markets that arise for the airlines when repeatedly associated with such a tragic incident. coincidence? marketing? i am not a fan of conspiracy. but i sure like to post questions.

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