Montreal Gazette

The Boston attack was perpetrate­d by cowards


Perhaps the time has come for a largescale social experiment where modern media, be it the written word, radio and television or every form of digital communicat­ion, asserts itself as a force willing to take a chance in order to bring about a change, even one tiny change, for the benefit of collective humanity.

A good place to start would be the deliberate decision to refuse to use the word “terrorist” any longer when describing potential perpetrato­rs of obscenely violent acts against innocent citizens. Monday’s mindless and gutless detonation­s at the Boston Marathon are still ringing in my consciousn­ess and the effect is viscerally, psychologi­cally and emotionall­y sickening.

“Terrorist” is a term with far too much panache and romanticis­m. It can sound heroic and noble. Worse, it bestows power to faceless cowards: they can bring about terror. We should, instead, be referring to them publicly and privately as cowards.

Think about it. You, me, all of us are used to hearing the evening news open with yet another story about a “terrorist” attack against shoppers at a market, or schoolchil­dren or trusting marathon runners. Would you not react differentl­y if the news began with: “Cowards struck again today at another women’s health clinic in Normaltown, U.S.A. It is the third such attack orchestrat­ed by gutless individual­s who apparently object to women’s rights.”

People considerin­g adopting the tool of anonymous violence in the name of a cause might think twice when they see that their acts will not be glorified in the media; instead they will be treated with the contempt they deserve. “Terrorists” are NOT heroes. They are cowards. It is time we began calling them such.

 ??  ?? Laszlo Bagu  is a retired physician
who lives in Côte-St-Luc.
Laszlo Bagu is a retired physician who lives in Côte-St-Luc.

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