In the 1960’s, when jet hijackings and other acts of terror became more common, it took a while for newscasters to learn how to report these events. It’s hard to believe that, initially, reports of such evil acts were described that a certain terror group was “claiming credit” for their crimes. This was eventually changed to “claiming responsibility” which we hear to this day.
But is this accurate? Those claiming to be truly responsible must have several qualities as listed in http://www.dictionary.com/browse/responsible. One is to be answerable or accountable to someone. Some terrorists claim to be answerable to a god, they believe, who wants torture and destruction for those who won’t discard their beliefs and submit to Islam (the meaning of Islam is “submission”).1 Interesting view of the Deity.
Being “responsible” also means “having the power to control and manage” along with being the cause of something. Terrorists would qualify here.
But the similarities between terrorists and being responsible spiral downward with “having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable” plus “able to discharge obligations or pay debts.” Terrorists may believe they are able to distinguish between right and wrong. If so, then they had better hope their displays of ignorance regarding true virtue were caused by their upbringing and forces beyond their control. Otherwise, their eternity is in severe jeopardy.
As far as paying debts are concerned, there is no doubt that they feel no obligation to atone for their crimes. In fact, they believe acting heinously is somehow glorious.
The use of the word “responsibility” gives Islamic jihadists an undeserved air of decency.
Jihadists are not preoccupied in the civil spreading of spiritual good news. For fourteen centuries, they have put a lot of energy in destroying all who disagree with them and establishing a worldwide caliphate.
Recommendation: to avoid giving the slightest respect to terrorists, we should simply report that a specific group claims “involvement” with the atrocities. Unfortunately, that word leaves out the horrible immorality of their acts and is too dignified for them. There ought to be a more appropriate word.
1 – “The root word for Islam is “al-Silm,” which means “submission” or “surrender.” There is no disagreement about this among Islamic scholars. al-Silm (submission) does not mean the same thing as al-Salaam (peace), otherwise they would be the same word.” https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110819104302AA2UHLT