Terrorism, Colonial Violence, and Decolonization

While the likes of Evelyn Baring, who ruled Egypt as British Consul General there from 1882-1907, never used the term terrorist to describe his Arab and Muslim colonial subjects, those that participated in the anti-colonial revolts that erupted throughout the colonized world after World War II often drew the label “terrorist(s)” from from European commentators. To be sure, violence was central to many anti-colonial movements, but it was central to all colonial occupations, as Martinique-born psychiatrist Frantz Fanon argued in 1961 in his monumental The Wretched of the Earth). The primary sources assigned for lesson two reveal the ways in which the term “terrorist” was used to delegitimize anti-colonial movements while masking the terror of colonial violence that had defined African and Asian lives for decades