Terrorism in the Age of Polarization

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Media Outlet: CNN

Peter Bergen wrote for CNN about the recent terror attack in London that targeted Muslims:

The attack early on Monday morning near a mosque in North London targeting Muslims who were celebrating the holy month of Ramadan reminds us that terrorism comes in many shapes and forms.
Because of the 9/11 attacks, the framing of terrorism by politicians, the media and the public too often in the past decade and a half has been that it is Islamist political violence that is the terrorism we need to be concerned about.
But a spate of recent attacks underline that this framing is too narrow in scope. The commonly accepted definition of terrorism is that it is politically motivated violence directed at civilians by entities other than a state. These kind of attacks can come from the far right, the far left, racists of every stripe, as well as jihadists.
Monday's attack at the mosque in London, for instance, was clearly an act of anti-Muslim terrorism. A 48-year-old man was arrested after a van ploughed into worshippers near the mosque; one man was killed and 10 were hurt. British Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack "every bit as sickening" as the London Bridge and Manchester jihadist attacks. And London Mayor Sadiq Khan said anti-Muslim crimes have increased sharply since the London Bridge killings.

    Author:

    Peter Bergen is a journalist, documentary producer, vice president at New America, CNN national security analyst, professor of practice at Arizona State University, and the author or editor of seven books, three of which were New York Times bestsellers and four of which were named among the best non-fiction books of the year by The Washington Post.