How activists become terrorists

How activists become terrorists




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At what point does activists become terrorists?

Activists are people who campaign in organizations or in a country to bring about some sort of change. The change may be political or social. Activists are strongly devoted to implement change in whatever area they feel that there is need for change. To start activists journey, one has to have a passion, be motivated and strong enough to persevere all the obstacles that may hinder them in their journey of liberation. A terrorist is a person who uses unlawful means to intimidate the public (Oates, Owen & Gibson, 2010). Terrorists in most cases apply terror to people with the name of religion. They use violence to invoke civilians to attain their own goals. When activists incorporate violence in their actions of enforcing change, they have no difference with the terrorists. For instance, a political leader may invoke a certain group of people to perform some unlawful actions to other people.

In most cases activists are based on political issues of government opposition in the aim of creating a form of disruption in the normal running of a country. Terrorists have two main targets. One aim is influencing people as well as creating violence. When activists adopt these two aim aims then there is no difference between them and the terrorists. Another circumstance is when the activists’ grievances are not addressed by the government (Horgan, 2011). Activists are concerned with bringing change to the existing form of governance. When the administrators do not listen to them they may turn to more noticeable ways like setting up terrorists’ attacks to government or organizational properties. Conclusively, activists become terrorists when they inflict fear to individuals to attain their goals. Their activities are as chaotic as those of the terrorists.


Oates, S., Owen, D., & Gibson, R. K. (Eds.). (2010). The Internet and politics: citizens, voters and activists. Routledge.

Horgan, J. (2011). From profiles to pathways and roots to routes: Perspectives from psychology on radicalization into terrorism. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 618(1), 80-94.

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