A couple of weeks ago, a few men launched an assault on a religious structure in Ayodhya. The security forces shot them dead. Call this Episode A.
In 1990, thousands of men launched an assault on a religious structure in Ayodhya. The security forces shot some of them dead. Call this Episode B.
In 1992, thousands of men launched another assault on that same religious structure in Ayodhya. The security forces did nothing, and the men destroyed that religious structure. Call this Episode C.
The men in Episode A, we call them terrorists. The men in Episode B and C, we don't call them terrorists.
Take this argument further.
A week ago, four men set off bombs in London, killing a few dozen people. Call this Episode D.
In March 1993, bombs went off in Bombay, killing about 260 people. Call this Episode E.
In December 1992 and January 1993, mobs killed about 1000 people in Bombay. Call this Episode F.
In November 1984, mobs killed about 3000 people in New Delhi. Call this Episode G.
The men in Episode D and E, we call them terrorists. The men responsible for Episodes F and G, we don't call them terrorists.
And if we are this selective about as basic an issue as who we call terrorist and who we do not, how will we ever fight and defeat terrorism?
Postscript: I forgot one part of the argument. To my knowledge, episodes B, C, F and G have never had that other non-sequitur applied to them, "this was an attack on our way of life."