6 responses

A good response to others is not something like “I agree.” Please find something that you can analyze, add to, critique, explain, disagree with, or something. It should be a few cogent sentences. It should contain something that shows your knowledge of the subject, as well as additional materials you might bring from the web and elsewhere. Apply relevant professional, personal, or other real-world experiences. Supports position with applicable knowledge

You should create substantial responses to your peers. Think of this as your opportunity to teach. Create substantial responses which expand on a point and present information on the topic. Your responses should demonstrate your critical thinking on the topic

Respond to the following discussions (6X). Write how you would respond to their discussions. (No word count.) Be thoughtful and insightful and it must demonstrate critical thinking and analysis.

Read the following post by classmates and respond

1. Gender-selective political violence is the discriminate use of force purposely directed against males or females of a particular group. Throughout history, men and women have been specifically selected for rough treatment based on their gender. Men and boys have been subjects of massacres, and women and girls have been victims of mass rape. A cultural or political perspective can motivate extremists to engage in gender-selective terrorism. Individuals that choose to conduct this type of terrorism, their goals focus on the repression or cultural destruction of a selected group of people (Sage Publishing, 2018). For example, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the event that took place in Srebrenica in 1995 shows how one faction can seek to exterminate another group because of cultural differences. Being that Bosnian Serbs wanted to form a dominant Serbian state in the Balkans, they went on to commit horrible crimes. The four-day Srebrenica massacre resulted in over 8,000 men and teenage boys being killed, and many women being subjected to torture, rape, and other forms of sexual violence. The atrocities that were performed are considered to be the worst on European soil after the Holocaust (Endgenocide.org, 2016).

From a repressive standpoint, in many societies, severe cultural restrictions exist that downgrade women and girls to an inferior status. Some of these limitations control the behavior of females and the way they dress. Furthermore, the restrictions can regulate women and young girls from being independent of men by denying them access to essential services, education, and employment opportunities. In most cases, laws may officially impose gender-related restrictions, and constraints may also be unofficially enforced in compliance with tribal, clan or family customs. For example, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to vote. Additionally, they must obtain written permission to travel abroad from a significant male, and by custom should not walk in public unless accompanied by a male relative. They also are mandated to dress to a specific standard. The rules and regulations are enforced by a religious police force known as the Authority for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the Mutaween). These types of rules remind me of how American society once was, especially along the lines of women voting rights, their independence from men, and job opportunities. Over the last 100 years, women have continuously progressed within American society and have shown that when given opportunities they can be just as productive as men. I think as long as limitations are imposed on women it only detracts from the progressive advancement of society.

However, in some nations where women are found to have violated established cultural norms; sanctions can vary in degree of severity. It can include punishments that consist of public shaming, physical assaults, maiming, and even execution. Moreover, in some societies, violent enforcement of traditional customs is an acceptable practice. For example, female genital mutilation is a practice that occurs in some countries that are traditionally located in Middle Eastern, African, and Asian societies (Sage Publishing, 2018).

The culture, era, location, and religious preference of individuals in an area can determine whether societies, are or aren’t acceptable to abandon traditional customs. For example, in Middle Eastern countries the last thing that is expected is for them to adopt western civilization in ways of thinking and living. However, I believe a change in individuals and groups way of thinking is a start. There first has to be an acceptance that some old customs is a thing of the past, and that altering some traditions may serve as the betterment to society. Just recently, in Saudi Arabia, the decision to allow women to drive vehicles shows that changes can occur within those societies.

I think for governments and international organizations to respond to gender-based violence there first has to be a willingness to recognize and promote gender equality. There have to be visual examples that serve as guidelines to the rest of the population. There also has to be policies that are put in place that supports the empowerment and protection of women and their advancement in specific cultures. For example, in the U.S., foreign policies such as the U.S National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally, the United States Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity, and the U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls are blueprints oriented towards fighting gender-based violence (U.S. Department of State, 2018). These types of policies should be adopted globally, and partnered governments and international organizations should participate in key initiatives that focus on improving accountability, coordination, and innovation in cases where efforts are needed to combat gender-selective violence.

2. Governments and international organizations started to get involved in gender-selective terrorism in the late 20th century in response to gender-motivated war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. International organizations like the United Nations Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) started to convict people for their gender-motivated crimes. An example of a conviction was in 1998 when the ICTR convicted a former mayor for his actions during a genocide. In 2001, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) prosecuted many individuals that participated in selective killings of Bosnian males. Private organizations have even started to join in gender-selective terrorism investigations, but these investigations pose a massive danger for the investigators. An organization named Doctors without Borders (DWG) sought out to document gender-selective terrorism and violence. In 2005, two members of DWG were imprisoned by the Sudan government for their publishing of a sexual violence article. These two members were charged with publishing false information, but they were released three months after their arrest (Sage Publications, 2018).  It is apparent that gender-selective terrorism has improved over the years when looking back on the massive killings by the Ottoman Empire on Armenian males and the murders conducted by Nazi Germany. Culture and religion decide the role of gender-selective terrorism. There has not been any significant violence towards opposite genders in developed countries, but it is very prevalent in developing countries. Ideologies and perceptions of women based off of culture and religion are critical to how gender-selected terrorism. In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to vote, must obtain permission from a male to travel abroad and may require a male chaperone, not walk in public unless accompanied by a male relative, and must follow Saudia Arabia’s dress code (Sage Publications, 2018).

These efforts of documenting and realizing the limits of culture and religion help aid counterterrorism because it helps experts hold individuals accountable for their actions towards the genders that they committed violence towards given their views. The ICTR and ICTY were able to convict individuals for their efforts in the Rwanda Genocide and the Bosnia-Herzegovina conflict (Sage Publications, 2018). When it comes to how other nations operate, it is essential for the United States to support individuals and protests towards gender-selective violence to prevent future genocide. If these individuals can reform their government allows then it could pose a bright future and minimalize gender-selected terrorism and violence.

3. Throughout history, numerous terrorist attacks have occurred targeting a specific gender.  These attacks occur with the hope that a certain ideology, whether political or religious, will be implemented.  In a generic sense, these ideologies have predetermined roles for each gender and is the driving force behind these gender-selective terrorist activities.  Multiple factors contribute to gender-selective terrorism including culture and religion.  One specific example of gender-selective terrorism that targets females is that of honor killings.  According to Singh and Dailey (n.d.), “in some countries, such as Jordan, honor killings are either legal or minimally punished” (n.p.).  The justification for honor killings focuses on an act committed by a woman that is perceived to bring dishonor to her family.  These crimes are usually committed in patriarchal societies (Singh & Dailey, n.d.).  In some instances, these attacks are also influenced by religious ideologies.  Gender-selective terrorism does not exclusively target women.  In some instances, men are the targets of these attacks.  It is not uncommon for men to be targets of violence due to the perception that males are considered fighters.  In the Bosnia conflict, thousands of Muslim men were targeted (The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, 2002).

Proposing a response to gender-selective terrorism for governments and international organizations is a complicated issue.  The first solution I would propose is a strong international response against those that perpetrate gender-selective acts of terrorism.  Similar to how acts of genocide were prosecuted, I would recommend an international tribunal dedicated to bringing the perpetrators of these acts to justice (Ortbals & Poloni-Staudinger, 2018).  Even with tribunals in place, it is still difficult to effectively address this issue from an international standpoint.  According to Ortbals and Poloni-Staudinger (2018), “while international trials receive headlines, local efforts are more likely to help the sexually tortured and raped regain agency after political violence” (n.p.).  One possible solution to reduce the likelihood of terrorist acts being perpetuated by both men and women is to provide increased opportunities for women, such as education and/or employment (Ortbals & Poloni-Staudinger, 2018).  According to Ortbals and Poloni-Staudinger (2018), “counterterrorism measures must focus on limiting women’s radicalization because women have the ability to discourage men in their lives from terrorism” (n.p.).

4. One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist. I have heard this saying a few times in my life. My first dealings with it in the scholarly sense was when, I took International Terrorism through Excelsior College. Now I know he was not the one who coined the phrase, but when I hear it I think of Yasser Arafat, President of Palestine and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (Biography, n.d.). Some saw Yasser as a terrorist, but to the people of Palestine he was a freedom fighter. For decades Yasser Arafat fought for the independence of Palestine and the borders between them and Israel. During his teenage years he smuggled weapons to Palestine to fight the Israelis and the British and in later years took a leadership role in the lands of Palestine (Biography, n.d.). He started Fatah in 1958 and the in 1964 founded the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to bring together many organizations fighting for Palestine. Eventually there would be peace between the two warring nations and Yasser in 1993 at the Oslo Accords, helped to bring Palestine to self-rule and after he was elected as President.

Yasser Arafat can be seen in both roles. He can be seen as a terrorist because of the violent actions he took part in against Israel and he can be seen as a freedom fighter to the people of Palestine. A freedom fighter can be defined as an individual that takes part in a movement of resistance against those who wish to oppress them based on political or social motives (“Definition of FREEDOM FIGHTER,” n.d.). A terrorist can be defined as someone who practices terrorism (“Definition of TERRORIST,” n.d.). For me a terrorist can be a freedom fighter and a freedom fighter can be a terrorist. Regardless of what a person is fighting for, is an individual is using violent actions to strike fear into a general populous with the intent to bring about change, then can be a terrorist, regardless of the fact is they a fighting for the freedoms of their people. The actions may be justified by some, but by others they will be seen as threats or acts of terrorism.

5. Defining the statement “One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist” is not an easy as one might expect. I believe that freedom fighters and terrorist often appear to act the same, exhibit several differences. Freedom fighter or terrorist can merely depend on which side the observer is sitting on. When groups such as al-Qaeda commit violent acts against their enemies, they are seen as freedom fighters by their supports. However, the victims of their violence would call these groups terrorists. In favor of this belief is that both freedom fighters and terrorists use violence against civilians and governments to further their political goals. However, freedom fighters are sometimes described as being more focused on acquiring an objective such as land or political goal, whereas terrorists tend to be more focused on the destruction of things as their goal (Montiel & Shah, 2008). Terrorists will never be satisfied until the object of their hatred is destroyed and at that point a new object identified. Freedom fighters in theory would meet their objective and then seek to maintain (Montiel & Shah, 2008).

6. I believe that the meaning behind this phrase is to make individuals analyze multiple perspectives to a given cause. For example, an individual might carry out an attack in the name of a particular religion or political ideology. The individuals that carry out the attacks might view themselves as martyrs, revolutionaries, or freedom fighters. This viewpoint is likely attributed to the fact that the attackers view their actions as justified due to their active role in defending or promoting their specific ideology or cause. On the other hand, an individual with a differing ideology might view these actions as an act of terrorism.

Defining the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist is extremely difficult. As mentioned in the above paragraph, the perspective of an individual plays a significant role as to the definition of either term. Another point that makes these groups hard to differentiate is that each group might conduct their acts of violence similarly (shootings, bombings, etc.). Bolt (2001) illustrates this sentiment with the following statement, “when our guy kills in battle, he’s a freedom fighter; when our enemy does, he is a terrorist” (n.p.). Despite this common viewpoint, I do believe that there is a difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist. Freedom fighters typically conduct acts of violence with the intent to achieve something, such as land reclamation. Terrorists do not seek to gain anything from their actions other than to cause widespread panic, fear, and destruction. Therefore, according to Bolt (2001), “terrorism is thus qualitatively different from armed movement for freedom and liberty” (n.p.).