Monday, July 02, 2007

Five Years For A Terrorist Attack

A man douses the interior of his car with gasoline and drives it into a women's health clinic, planning to start a fire and to die in it himself. This sounds quite familiar in an odd way, given the failed attempt at Glasgow airport. It turns out that the clinic he chose doesn't actually perform abortions at all, and that he didn't manage to make much of a fire. But the intentions were there.

He was given a five-year prison sentence for this act.

What would he have gotten if his attempt had been motivated by radical Islam?

My point is not to argue that we should treat terrorist attacks in general like this example case, rather the reverse. But note that the workers and clients at that health clinic could have died because of someone else's religious beliefs. This is no different from the kinds of cases we usually regard as "real" terrorism.