Definition of Terrorism



UK Government – Definition of Terrorism
September 2001

Outside the condition of a ‘declared war’

the use of action or threat of action, for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause, which: –

a) involves serious violence against any person or property,

b) endangers the life of any person, or

c) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public.



Fifth Islamic Summit – Definition of Terrorism
Islam (Resolution 20/5-P (1.5) of the Fifth Islamic Summit) attempts to legitimize & differentiate as separate from terrorism:-

‘the struggle of peoples for their acknowledged national causes and the liberation of their territories. ‘

Summary Extract of Islamic Definition of Terrorism

We shall confirm that the definition of Terrorism does not apply to the following:

a. acts of national resistance exercised against occupying forces, colonizers and usurpers;
b. resistance of peoples against cliques imposed on them by the force of arms;
c. rejection of dictatorships and other forms of despotism and efforts to undermine their institutions;
d. resistance against racial discrimination and attacks on the latter’s strongholds;
e. retaliation against any aggression if there is no other alternative.

The above definition of Terrorism, however, does apply to the following:

a. acts of piracy on land, air and sea;

b. all colonialist operations including wars and military expeditions;
c. all dictatorial acts against peoples and all forms of protection of dictatorships, not to mention their imposition on nations;
d. all military methods contrary to human practice, such as the use of chemical weapons, the shelling of civilian populated areas, the blowing up of homes, the displacement of civilians, etc.;
e. all types of pollution of geographical, cultural and informational environment. Indeed, intellectual terrorism may be one of the most dangerous types of terrorism;
f. all moves that undermine adversely affect the condition of international or national economy, adversely affect the condition of the poor and the deprived, deepen up nations with the shackles of socioeconomic gaps, and chain up nations with the shackles of exorbitant debts;
g. all conspiratorial acts aimed at crushing the determination of nations for liberation and independence, and imposing disgraceful pacts on them.
The list of examples that fit in with the suggested definition is almost endless.

Islamic nations must make their position clear about whether they support:-

international law or
international terrorism

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