2005 — A Muslim man was beaten to death in Nottingham, England, by a gang of youth 2009 — An Egyptian woman was stabbed to death in the court room after testifying against the attacker who verbally abused her for wearing a headscarf. 2015 — An unidentified man opened fire at an Islamic centre in Central Zurich. 2016 — A gang tried to bomb Syrian refugees in Garden City. 2017 — A bomb was detonated in a mosque in Minnesota, US. But none of this was called terrorism. Ironic as it may sound, a phenomenon as barbaric as terrorism, which has plagued human race globally, has no global definitions. The world strongly agrees on rooting out terrorism off the face of the earth, but disagrees on how to define it. Lack of agreement over these hate-spewing episodes of terror is not only appalling but also exposes the fault lines in our strategy to deal with the problem wherein lies the danger — application of contradictory rules. Civilisations have forever bore the brunt of failed policies of World’s Greatest powers which more often have resulted in severe retaliation by a group of people, named freedom fighters by some and terrorists by others. Who is the victim and who is the perpetrator has always been left upon the will of the mightiest to decide. On June28, 2018, Secretary General of the United Nations gave his remarks at the first-ever global high-level conference on counter-terrorism. The need for cooperation in the international community was once again reiterated, vapid resolves to counter the growing menace of terrorism were once again brought to attention, and once again the world was shown the seriousness of an impeding threat. If the skin colour is brown then call a man a terrorist, but if his skin is white, tell him he has mental health issues. Bashing a particular group and giving a clean chit to another is hampering our apparently strong and genuine resolves against terrorism Building strategies and narratives over these loosely constructed ideas is nothing but a pure unrewarding act of sciamachy, which is bound to strike back. Where poverty, lack of education and resources are the apparent causes of a rise in terrorism, the other less discussed causes with even higher implications, such as highly controversial intervention of Western regimes in civil conflicts creating havocs around the world, also demand our genuine and impartial attention. With 288 incidents, the USA tops the list of The Spectator Index in terms of number of school shootings since 2009, followed by five in India, four in Pakistan, four in Nigeria, and three in Afghanistan. The recent Santa Fe shooting dubbed as a mass murder once again sheds light on a biased and imposed-at-will criterion for calling a spade a spade. Had there been (God forbid) an American student injured, let alone killed in Pakistan or any other Muslim majority State, the situation would have been entirely different. Sabika Sheikh, a girl hailing from a supposed safe haven for terrorists was killed in a terrorist attack — no, not in her own country, Pakistan. She was killed at a school in one of the most developed and, apparently, safest countries of the world. She was killed by a fellow student; an American. According to New York Times, “Born to Kill appeared on a T-shirt he (the attacker) posted on his Facebook page, along with images of the trench coat and an explanation of its decorations.” Such attackers are at times called a lone wolf, and at times the authorities decide that there was no motive behind the attack. At times we forget about it after repeatedly hearing about investigations that are underway, or we see that is has been classified a hate crime and we move on. After 9/11, the word terrorism connotes prejudice where the acts of terror are seen largely through the lens of region and religions. While some definitions include religious and political goals as the only determinative elements of an attack to be called a terrorist attack, others include ideological and social goals as well. These varying standards make it all the more difficult to curb this practice of right away stereotyping an ethnic group as terrorists while giving clear white privilege to others. The idea of winning a war over an unidentified and randomly chosen enemy is as absurd as the idea of selectivity in calling a rose a rose. Expecting anything but openness from other nation-states is equivalent to living in Utopia, and living in denial is not worth the stake. The monopoly of the West and the tryst of Muslim countries with sectarianism have failed to invite the due attention of world towards much ignored but looming combination of partiality in a matter that is threatening our existence as humans without any discrimination. It is time to shed our cocoons and at least start a healthy and meaningful debate over the heavy costs of initiating a war on terrorism that is heavily flawed in its operation. Bashing a particular group and giving a clean chit to another is hurting our apparently strong and genuine resolves to fight terrorism. But it will simply not be able to conceal the double standards of the world for long — a rose is a rose is a rose, after all. The writer is a Lawyer Published in Daily Times, July 16th 2018.