Today's terrorist is yesterday's "freedom fighter". Just look in your history books. Before the American Revolution a bunch of citizens in the colonies got together and tarred-and-feathered a bunch of tax collectors. Is that rebellion or terrorism? Tar isn't like the cute stuff you see in cartoons, like when Bugs Bunny was tarred. Real tar and feathering burns flesh and usually kills people. So is the act of murdering simple tax collectors an act of freedomfighting or is it terrorism? And just to show that I'm not picking on Americans, we also pick and choose who we call terrorists overseas. The South-African government considered Nelson Mandela a terrorist, a man who believed that he was "freedom fighting" long before he became the peace-loving super president that he later became. Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder. If you like what they are fighting for then they are a rebel, if not, then they are a terrorist.
Terrorism is never justified, or else we would just call it justice.
Terrorism is never justified! Consider some of the factors behind the violent acts of terrorists such as: Hatred, Oppression, Frustration, and Injustice. Terrorism is systematic, premeditated, and calculated. The resulting toll in deaths and injuries is not the primary objective. Such carnage is a means to an end, part of the atmosphere of shock and fear that the terrorist wishes to create in order to undermine authority and gain a hearing for his specific cause. The causes and history of terrorism have proved the truth of the Biblical statement: “Man has dominated man to his injury.” (Ecclesiastes 8:9)
You have two views when it comes to terrorism. The one committing the horrible acts will certainly justify to himself. The bible truth is in fact applicable at Proverbs 21:2 "the way of a man is upright in his own eyes". Unfortunately, without any accepted standard of right and wrong this will continue until our Creator corrects it.
Terrorism is whats known as a blanket word. American indians were called terrorists when they were protecting what was theirs. The act can be justified sometimes but the word criminalizes it. The french resistance fighting nazis were called terrorists.
It seams these days if your not politically correct your a terrorist. I was doing some campaigning in a town outside houston ten yrs ago when I was arrested for having signs I made about. This lady running for city council. The charges were dropped but it shows not being politically correct will get you in jail for some bogus charge
Terrorism is never justified. Violence/murder to further a cause is simply not right. If you're talking about the terrorism going on in the world today then I'd say it's people who have lost their conscience and are able to justify, in their minds, the degrading of other human beings, rape, cruelty and mass murder.
To those of us with a conscience it's sickening!
Good question---and I am late to make a comment that would have been more useful if presented much sooner.
The comment is a quote from a link. It points out what I consider to be a useful distinction between "just" and "justified" when discussing a topic like this. (I have added the bold font.)
".... Want to comment briefly on the title in light of an insight I gained from George Hunsinger in my current course with him on a theology of nonviolence. The insight is this: There is a significant difference between “just” and “justified” which we must keep in mind in order to understand the term “Just War.” To call an action “just” is to say that this action contributes to justice—i.e., something positive is ascribed to this action. A just act is one that contributes to the right ordering of the world; it moves society towards a positive, peaceful telos. To call an action “justified,” however, is to affirm that there is a legitimate reason for carrying out this action. A “justified” action is not a positive contribution to the world but rather, at best, a necessary action. Such an action may be negative, in fact, though still necessary according to the particular historical circumstances. Something may be “justified” with being “just”—there may be rational, legitimate reasons for acting thusly, even though the action itself may not be one that contributes toward the realization of “the best of all possible worlds.”