by on January 20, 2010 in Feature
CNN recently published an article entitled Study: Threat of Muslim-American terrorism in U.S. exaggerated; according to a study released by Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “the terrorist threat posed by radicalized Muslim-Americans has been exaggerated.”
Yet, Americans continue to live in mortal fear of radical Islam, a fear propagated and inflamed by right wing Islamophobes. If one follows the cable news networks, it seems as if all terrorists are Muslims. It has even become axiomatic in some circles to chant: “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but nearly all terrorists are Muslims.” Muslims and their “leftist dhimmi allies” respond feebly, mentioning Waco as the one counter example, unwittingly affirming the belief that “nearly all terrorists are Muslims.”
But perception is not reality. The data simply does not support such a hasty conclusion. On the FBI’s official website, there exists a chronological list of all terrorist attacks committed on U.S. soil from the year 1980 all the way to 2005. That list can be accessed here (scroll down all the way to the bottom).
Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil by Group, From 1980 to 2005, According to FBI Database
According to this data, there were more Jewish acts of terrorism within the United States than Islamic (7% vs 6%). These radical Jews committed acts of terrorism in the name of their religion. These were not terrorists who happened to be Jews; rather, they were extremist Jews who committed acts of terrorism based on their religious passions, just like Al-Qaeda and company.
Yet notice the disparity in media coverage between the two. It would indeed be very interesting to construct a corresponding pie chart that depicted the level of media coverage of each group. The reason that Muslim apologists and their “leftist dhimmi allies” cannot recall another non-Islamic act of terrorism other than Waco is due to the fact that the media gives menial (if any) coverage to such events. If a terrorist attack does not fit the “Islam is the perennial and existential threat of our times” narrative, it is simply not paid much attention to, which in a circuitous manner reinforces and “proves” the preconceived narrative. It is to such an extent that the average American cannot remember any Jewish or Latino terrorist; why should he when he has never even heard of the Jewish Defense League or the Ejercito Popular Boricua Macheteros? Surely what he does not know does not exist!
The Islamophobes claim that Islam is intrinsically a terrorist religion. The proof? Well, just about every terrorist attack is Islamic, they retort. Unfortunately for them, that’s not quite true. More like six percent. Using their defunct logic, these right wingers ought now to conclude that nearly all acts of terrorism are committed by Latinos (or Jews). Let them dare say it…they couldn’t; it would be political and social suicide to say such a thing. Most Americans would shut down such talk as bigoted; yet, similar statements continue to be said of Islam, without any repercussions.
The Islamophobes live in a fantasy world where everyone is supposedly too “politically correct” to criticize Islam and Muslims. Yet, the reality is the exact opposite: you can get away with saying anything against the crescent. Can you imagine the reaction if I said that Latinos should be profiled because after all they are the ones who commit the most terrorism in the country? (For the record: I don’t believe in such profiling, because I am–unlike the right wing nutters–a believer in American ideals.)
The moral of the story is that Americans ought to calm down when it comes to Islamic terrorism. Right wingers always live in mortal fear–or rather, they try to make you feel that way. In fact, Pamela Geller (the queen of internet Islamophobia) literally said her mission was to “scare the bejeezus outta ya.” Don’t be fooled, and don’t be a wuss. You don’t live in constant fear of radicalized Latinos (unless you’re Lou Dobbs), even though they commit seven times more acts of terrorism than Muslims in America. Why then are you wetting yourself over Islamic radicals? In the words of Cenk Uygur: you’re at a ten when you need to be at a four. Nobody is saying that Islamic terrorism is not a matter of concern, but it’s grossly exaggerated.
A reader by the name of Dima added:
The FBI Terrorism Report shows…[that] the highest number of terrorist incidents in the U.S. by region (90) took place in Puerto Rico.
An Islamophobe commented on this article, saying that the statistics are flawed because the FBI included small acts such as “stealing rats from a lab” as an act of terrorism. Of course, this is patently false. Here is a breakdown of the terrorist attacks by type (the pie chart is from the FBI’s official website and can be accessed here):