Many people use the terms interchangeably, however some are actually quite different. Still, there is a middle ground for overlap, such as terrorists showing themselves as militants and militants sometimes reporting to terrorism. The problem here is that nobody sees themselves as a terrorist or a militant. In their eyes the members of these groups are just fighters fighting for all the right reasons. Usually people on the other side label them terrorists or militants.
Another problem with this scenario is that to people on the other side even militants can appear to be terrorists, even though terrorists always claim they are militants at best. This has led to further confusion between the already confusing terms. Furthermore, the terms are often used frankly and rarely accurately by people for political purposes and to influence voters. In this regard, here is the real difference between a terrorist and a militant.
TERRORIST AND MILITANT
In dictionaries, a terrorist is described as “a person who uses illegal violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political goals.” On the other hand, a militant is described as someone “who favors confrontational or violent methods in support of a political or social cause”.
Now the definitions may seem very similar, however there is a major difference here. The term militant originally refers to someone in the military. However, today the term has developed other connotations. Now, it is used to refer to someone who uses aggressive or confrontational tactics to fight for something they believe in. This could be a political or social cause and may or may not use violence. In this context, the term has many diverse implications and can actually be used to refer to any Protestant and believe that they are aggressive in their approach.
However, many people who fit this definition never really believe that they are militants. Others will not name them as such either. Rather, they would be called activists. Today, the term refers to people who use violence to fight for their beliefs. Therefore, this would refer to the militant, revolutionary and guerrilla groups that are physically fighting against the army or other forces of the people who are oppressing them.
Now, technically, this definition can also refer to many groups that call themselves terrorists. The moment these militant groups begin to oppress other people in their so-called fight for justice is when they become terrorists. A classic example here would be ISIS. They claim that they are militants or revolutionaries fighting external forces like the United States that are invading their lands and oppressing their people. However, the truth of the matter is that they are not the victims, well no more anyway. They now have consolidated power in certain regions and instead of freeing the people there as they demand, they are oppressing it instead.
As you can see, there is some overlap between the two definitions, which are too subjective. Therefore, in reality the terms are meant to be used incorrectly, especially by people with political affiliations and especially the media, whose work seems to be only to scare the audience. The truth of the matter is that the only difference between a terrorist and a militantit is a matter of perception. People who see themselves as militants may appear terrorists to others. While terrorists will never admit that they are terrorists, but they will always present themselves as victims who have taken up arms from us to fight for their rights. The will calls itself militants, or often revolutionaries, but never terrorists; Mainly because nobody thinks they are wrong.