Commonly used to describe an aggressive activist working for a cause; a person eager to engage in a struggle to achieve his or her goal; can be used to mean any individual engaged in warfare, a fight, combat, or generally serving as a solider. A militant view sometimes constitutes an extremist position. A militant state denotes being in a physically aggressive posture supporting an ideology or cause. Should not be used in place of terrorist. Militant is deemed to be a neutral term, whereas terrorist indicates reprehensible behavior by an individual or organization regardless of the motivations. Avoid using to describe a black person who is simply hostile, belligerent or controversial.
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REFERENCE: NABJ Style Guide