When condemning terrorism is wrong.

Condemning terrorist acts by independent groups/ individuals is pointless because it should be assumed that law abiding citizens are against such acts by default. Most non-violent criminals are probably also against such acts. So words of condemnation might make us feel good, but they don’t reveal an unknown morality, unless you’re a violent criminal or think people think you are.

Furthermore, these independent terrorists aren’t accountable to anyone but their demagogue leaders, so condemnation isn’t going to make them stop. Indeed, it can be argued they thrive on bad publicity and condemnation.

Condemning government sponsored terrorism is another matter. Governments aren't supposed to terrorise so condemnation reveals that we see what isn't supposed to there.

And governments are in fact, or at least supposedly, accountable to a population. Condemning their actions might bring about change. At least that’s how the system is supposed to work.

So next time you condemn someone for not condemning terrorism, know that the type of terrorism is key. If it’s state terrorism then condemn them, being silent about it is part of the problem.

If it’s the other kind of terrorism then we should be outraged by the act, but if we’re outraged by others being silent, then it’s probably because we’re bigotted or racist. Why else would we assume a law abiding citizen, that hasn’t made hate speech before, is not anti-terrorism unless we harbour suspicion they’re secretly in favour of violence simply because of their race or religion or political stance?

Who we condemn says just as much about us as it does about the other.