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Why Is the Killer of British MP Jo Cox Not Being Called a “Terrorist”?


Why Is the Killer of British MP Jo Cox Not Being Called a “Terrorist”?

Glenn Greenwald

British Labour MP Jo Cox was brutally murdered yesterday. Although the motive is not yet proven, there is mounting evidence that the detained suspect, 52-year-old white male Thomas Mair, was motivated by political ideology. Cox was an outspoken advocate for refugees.


I've listened to some impressive women bringing a true Feminist argument into this discussion. Essentially, 40% of terrorist events involve males who also beat or intimidated their wives or girlfriends. The experts (on this topic) explain that if violence to women was recognized as a national epidemic and treated at that level, a lot of these attacks that escalate to mass violence could and would never occur.

The second point is that in any instance where the attacker is a white male (with the possible exception of Timothy McVeigh and the bombing of the Fed building in Oklahoma City), the event is NEVER termed Terrorism.

The Feminists point out that plenty of attacks on abortion clinics or abortion doctors never carry the designation of a hate crime or that of a terrorist event precisely because attacks on women are such a major part of U.S. (Mars-ruled, pro war, pro-guns, pro macho) culture, that this type of action is never characterized as terror. In other words, it's been normalized.

But as soon as it's a Muslim, all systems BLARE "terrorist!"

All of this fits the NRA-Donald Trump, Bush "with us or against us" narrow, narcissistic mindset.

If it's a white guy, he's "one of us" so give him a pass; but if he's darker skinned or Muslim, it's all guns blazing and loaded.

The world according to dominant baboons... a violent, vicious satire of itself!


This yet another example of the double standards of our Corporate media. That they all react the same way in response to such attacks (white males commit crimes they loners , Muslims commit crimes it terrorism) is one of the clearest examples that they collude and act in unison to sell a pre-set narrative.

They are all reading off the same script. They are part and parcel of the state of deception.


Two reasons: 1. He's not Muslim. 2. He does not fit the narrative needed to build support for the national security state and more war in the Middle East. He's just a useless, white supremacist, Nazi with no real political value for our political leaders or hawkish ideologues.


"Why Is the Killer of British MP Jo Cox Not Being Called a “Terrorist”? No brainer.

Because England is not one of the US States.

Because neither Obama, Clinton, nor Trump, all three of whom jumped the gun on their flaming " More War! More War! More War! fire breathing rhetoric - none of those fire breathers has any conscience & all of them make up their own facts.

Because there are not enough stupid people in England to tolerate the crap we call leadership in the US.

Because there are no critical opposition parties or media to speak of in the US. Even NPR parrots the party lines.


Yes, the corporate media all do that. But this time it was the Wall Street Puppets, Obama, Clinton, & Trump who took the lead in the war, more war, and expanding & never-ending war against "terrorists of convenience."


So this guy kills a strong supporter of keeping Britain in the Euro a week before the vote--when the vote was moving in the other direction-----nothing strange here?????


Agree with your sentiments, except that it not worded strongly enough. They are not part and parcel, they are the main protagonists of the deceptions.


The US-centrism in your comment is stunning. This article had nothing to do with the US or US attitudes or US leaders. Mr. Greenwald was writing about British attitudes - it is the British media which is not calling this fascist extremist murderer a "terrorist".


Well, it's certainly a logical question. But regarding the answer, only thing could be said is, it is impossible to characterize terrorism without the connection of a muslim person. White KKK or any disgruntled group killing several dozens in highway or subway won't be counted as an act of terrorism. But if there would be any muslim idiot doing the same heinous act then very quickly it would be counted as being a terrorist act. It's hard to say, how long it would be continued by the MSM for encouraging the wars but it is ceratin that the next White House occupant, the lady Killary will extend it much further possibly until the nation goes fully bankrupt and the citizens come out with pitchforks running after her or the corrupt representatives. So it's for sure that without the involvement of any muslim nothing is counted to be an act of terrorism.


Good points. An individual political assassination is a separate thing from terrorism.

However, as Greenwald discussed, why is the 2010 attempted murder of MP Stephen Timms by a lone woman, who happened to be a dark-complected Muslim Bangladeshi, called "terrorism"?

I pretty sure Greenwalds preference would be that neither of these murders/near-murders be called "terrorism" not that, for foolish consistency, both of them should be called terrorism.


Some good points here. Thanks too for citing those drones. I remember well the N Ireland troubles and the bombing campaigns, both in N Ireland and in mainland Britain - and I think there's still a lot of shooting and sometimes bombing going on even now in N Ireland.
In the past the media echoed the government line: the IRA were terrorists but other terms were used when similar horrific acts of indiscriminate violence were committed by the Unionist paramilitary groups, the UDA/UDF.etc.
Terrorism is a term used to indicate that the group responsible for use of force is illegitimate. And this depends on the interests and point of view of the government. When this is happening our language and our media are simply means of government propaganda.
Also, worth noting is the existence of other non-Muslim groups using terrorism, often in states where they have no chance of making a case via an independent media and some democratic norms. The West's obsession with the largely Muslim Middle East, the wars stirred up in recent decades, dividing communities, creating new cycles of bitterness and further violence: all this has led to the all-too easy identification of 'Muslim' with 'terrorist'.
The reality is that there have been, in modern times, terrorist movements from almost every religion you can think of:- e.g. the Zionist founders of Israel, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, etc - not to mention the Xtian terrorists with their armed drones, indiscriminately attacking those unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time - wedding parties, MSF hospitals, Red Cross refugee camps etc.
Truth is capitalism is a really violent system, prone to conflict, so divisiveness with inter-ethnic hatred and atrocities will be a consequence of this.


I recall Noam Chomsky arguing that the US - and its NATO allies - were "terrorist states".
I would also use that term to describe the state of Israel, established as it was by force by groups of terrorists, and acting since then consistently flouting international law.
If the distinction is between the legitimate/legal use of force, and illegal/illegitimate use of force, then it is clear that the debatable nature of this concept - terrorism - is due to its use as a tool of government propaganda. And that always depends on the government policy of the time, not on the facts.


By focusing on the issue of how the media report this brutal murder, we are leaving aside the fact that, during this divisive referendum campaign, both the 'Big Enders' and the 'Little Enders' have become increasingly hostile, increasingly intolerant. Also the Leave campaigners, official and unofficial, have used the rhetoric of nationalism and xenophobia, and even of racism. The atmosphere as well as the language of this 'debate' has become ever more heated and intolerant, ever more divisive.
In these circumstances, violence and murder become ever more likely.
The lasting legacy of this may well be the return to respectable mainstream politics of the late and unlamented thuggish and racist National Front, under other names such as Briitain First.