We are going through a turbulent period. Hatred, animosity, division, parochiality are constantly encouraging terrorists to launch attacks on humanity and to challenge the state. The states, too, are choosing the path of hatred, animosity and division in order to deal with terrorism. Today’s statesmen want to identify the colours of terrorism before taking any action against the terrorists.

Terror attack once again rocked New York on October 31 in which eight people lost their lives. Several others received serious injuries when prime suspect Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov ploughed down pedestrians and cyclists on a New York bike path with a truck. Any attack on humanity is condemnable and the October 31 attack is no exception. No word is enough to condemn such brutal killings of innocent civilians by hard-line radical people. When there is a need for global solidarity against this type of cruelty, President Donald Trump has (once again) failed to handle the situation properly. A large section of American people has expressed dissatisfaction over the president’s ‘behavioural disorder’.

Any attack on humanity is condemnable. The president’s message should have been like this. Yes, Trump issued such a statement after the terror attack on the last day of October. President Trump not only expressed serious concern over the increase in number of terrorist activities in recent times, but also warned terrorists, saying that America would never compromise with them. After the New York terror attack, he further assured his countrymen that the government would strengthen security across the country to ‘protect’ common people.

However, he had sent a completely different message after the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1. In fact, the number of casualties in Las Vegas (59) was much higher. But, the president had only offered ‘condolences’ and expressed ‘sympathy’ at that time. In the wake of the New York terror attack, it has become the contrast that some claim speaks volumes about Trump.

The global community is discussing the two different responses of President Trump on the social media, as people have noticed that the president appeared happy to rush to make political gains by stirring up hatred against Muslims and immigrants after the New York attack. People are trying to analyse the reason behind the two different reactions. And the reason is simple: the Las Vegas attacker was a white, Christian and an American national, while the New York attacker is a Muslim and an Uzbek national.

It’s a fact that the Las Vegas attack was not an example of ‘terrorism’ technically. Stephen Paddock, who had used a semi-automatic rifle to kill 59 people and wound more than 500 in Las Vegas, can’t be called a terrorist. But, is there any difference between characters of two killers? Perhaps, the answer is ‘no’. Hatred and animosity encouraged both Paddock and Saipov to kill innocent people. It is really difficult to believe that the ‘all powerful’ state fails to understand this simple truth.

It is unbelievable and that’s why the international community is worried. When it becomes important to get rid of the global menace, we are busy with identifying the real cause of the crisis. If the state tries to make a distinction between ‘good terrorism’ and ‘bad terrorism’ despite knowing the actual fact, then the crisis will definitely aggravate.

Koushik Das, based in the Indian capital of New Delhi, is a senior news editor with more than 15 years of experience. He also runs a blog - Boundless Ocean of Politics. E-Mail: [email protected]