Gallery: Muslim students discuss use of the word terrorist following New Zealand attacks

In the U.S. Emily Peña said the label “terrorist” holds a different weight than “shooter” because of the more frequent exposure Americans have to mass shootings. “But when you say terrorism, people in the U.S. always associate 9/11,” Peña said. “So what happens when they use 9/11 to justify being anti-Muslim, what do they say when the attack is against Muslims?”

The use of the word “terrorist” was a point of discussion both in an interview with members of the Muslim Student Association and during Friday’s discussion and vigil. Members of MSA agreed the word choice between “terrorist” and “shooter” is a significant one and said there is a double standard when it comes to terrorism committed by Muslim extremists versus other groups such as white nationalists.

Acts involving Muslims perceived to be acting in the name of Islam saw 770 more media coverage than those acting in the name of white supremacy, according to a study by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, an organization that focuses on research of American Muslims.