An Activist or a Terrorist?

Response to Chicago Tribune’s “Jewish Activist Jailed for Role in Bomb Plot Killed in Prison”

I read your news piece titled “Jewish activist jailed for role in bomb plot killed in prison”, published on page 12 on your Sunday edition November 6.

I was surprised and troubled for the selection of the term “activist” to describe a criminal who, according to your same article piece, has admitted to conspire to “bomb King Fahd Mosque in Culvar City, California and a field office of Republican Rep. Darrell Issa.

I had to wonder, whether you would have used the same term, “an activist”, to describe a Muslim criminal who plotted to bomb a Synagogue and an office of a Jewish congressman? And would you have placed that same news, if the culprit is a Muslim “activist” in page 12 or as a first page major article?

With my limited legal and journalistic expertise, I believe that the better term to use to describe Mr. Krugel or any other criminal “of any faith” would be a “Terrorist” or a “Fanatic” or a “criminal”.

Your use of the term “activist” is a misleading statement that undermines the seriousness of the crime plotted by Mr. Krugel, especially when published in page 12 as a small piece of news.

The same standard and terminology should be applied to describe similar crimes, no matter what is the faith of the criminal. Thanks.

Zaher Sahloul
(CAIR-Chicago Board Member)