Posted: October 1, 2016 in Buddhism, Christians, Hindu, Islam, Islamic Radicals, Terrorist, The Daily Beast
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Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims. How many times have you heard that one? And that comment is often followed up by the question: Why don’t we see Christian, Buddhist, or Jewish terrorists? Or Hindu?

However, and this will probably shock many, so you might want to take a breath: Overwhelmingly, those who have committed terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe aren’t Muslims. Let’s give that a moment to sink in.

Are All Terrorists Muslims? It’s Not Even Close

By Dean Obeidallah


What percentage of terror attacks in the United States and Europe are committed by Muslims? Guess. Nope. Guess again. And again…

“Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.” How many times have you heard that one? Sure, we heard Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade say it, but to me, that was simply part of the Fox News plan to make their viewers dumber, as we saw again this past weekend when its terrorism “expert” Steve Emerson was caught fabricating the story that Birmingham, England, is closed to non-Muslims. But more alarmingly, even some reasonable people have uttered this statement.

And that comment is often followed up by the question: Why don’t we see Christian, Buddhist, or Jewish terrorists?

Obviously, there are people who sincerely view themselves as Muslims who have committed horrible acts in the name of Islam. We Muslims can make the case that their actions are not based on any part of the faith but on their own political agenda. But they are Muslims, no denying that.

However, and this will probably shock many, so you might want to take a breath: Overwhelmingly, those who have committed terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe aren’t Muslims. Let’s give that a moment to sink in.

Now, it’s not your fault if you aren’t aware of that fact. You can blame the media. (Yes, Sarah Palin and I actually agree on one thing: The mainstream media sucks.)

So here are some statistics for those interested. Let’s start with Europe. Want to guess what percent of the terrorist attacks there were committed by Muslims over the past five years? Wrong. That is, unless you said less than 2 percent.

As Europol, the European Union’s law-enforcement agency, noted in its report released last year, the vast majority of terror attacks in Europe were perpetrated by separatist groups. For example, in 2013, there were 152 terror attacks in Europe. Only two of them were “religiously motivated,” while 84 were predicated upon ethno-nationalist or separatist beliefs.

We are talking about groups like France’s FLNC, which advocates an independent nation for the island of Corsica. In December 2013, FLNC terrorists carried out simultaneous rocket attacks against police stations in two French cities. And in Greece in late 2013, the left-wing Militant Popular Revolutionary Forces shot and killed two members of the right-wing political party Golden Dawn. While over in Italy, the anarchist group FAI engaged in numerous terror attacks including sending a bomb to a journalist. And the list goes on and on.

Have you heard of these incidents? Probably not. But if Muslims had committed them do you think you our media would’ve covered it? No need to answer, that’s a rhetorical question.

Even after one of the worst terror attacks ever in Europe in 2011, when Anders Breivik slaughtered 77 people in Norway to further his anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and pro-“Christian Europe” agenda as he stated in his manifesto, how much press did we see in the United States? Yes, it was covered, but not the way we see when a Muslim terrorist is involved. Plus we didn’t see terrorism experts fill the cable news sphere asking how we can stop future Christian terrorists. In fact, even the suggestion that Breivik was a “Christian terrorist” was met with outrage by many, including Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly.

Have you heard about the Buddhist terrorists? Well, extremist Buddhists have killed many Muslim civilians in Burma, and just a few months ago in Sri Lanka, some went on a violent rampage burning down Muslim homes and businesses and slaughtering four Muslims.

Or what about the (dare I mention them) Jewish terrorists? Per the 2013 State Department’s report on terrorism, there were 399 acts of terror committed by Israeli settlers in what are known as “price tag” attacks. These Jewish terrorists attacked Palestinian civilians causing physical injuries to 93 of them and also vandalized scores of mosques and Christian churches.

Back in the United States, the percentage of terror attacks committed by Muslims is almost as miniscule as in Europe. An FBI study looking at terrorism committed on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 found that 94 percent of the terror attacks were committed by non-Muslims. In actuality, 42 percent of terror attacks were carried out by Latino-related groups, followed by 24 percent perpetrated by extreme left-wing actors.

And as a 2014 study by University of North Carolina found, since the 9/11 attacks, Muslim-linked terrorism has claimed the lives of 37 Americans. In that same time period, more than 190,000 Americans were murdered (PDF).

In fact in 2013, it was actually more likely Americans would be killed by a toddler than a terrorist. In that year, three Americans were killed in the Boston Marathon bombing. How many people did toddlers kill in 2013? Five, all by accidentally shooting a gun.

But our media simply do not cover the non-Muslim terror attacks with same gusto. Why? It’s a business decision. Stories about scary “others” play better. It’s a story that can simply be framed as good versus evil with Americans being the good guy and the brown Muslim as the bad.

Honestly, when is the last time we heard the media refer to those who attack abortion clinics as “Christian terrorists,” even though these attacks occur at one of every five reproductive health-care facilities? That doesn’t sell as well. After all we are a so-called Christian nation, so that would require us to look at the enemy within our country, and that makes many uncomfortable. Or worse, it makes them change the channel.

That’s the same reason we don’t see many stories about how to reduce the 30 Americans killed each day by gun violence or the three women per day killed by domestic violence. But the media will have on expert after expert discussing how can we stop these scary brown Muslims from killing any more Americans despite the fact you actually have a better chance of being killed by a refrigerator falling on you.

Look, this article is not going to change the media’s business model. But what I hope it does is cause some to realize that not all terrorists are Muslims. In fact, they are actually a very small percent of those that are. Now, I’m not saying to ignore the dangers posed by Islamic radicals. I’m just saying look out for those refrigerators.

  1. Anand says:

    I doubt it – 2% out of 1.6Billion makes it 32Million – it is more like 0.2% or 3.2Million; the Hardcore are 0.1% or 1.6M !! According to article below “That means that there are 1.8 million actual Islamic jihadists on the planet today”


  2. James says:

    what about state terrorism – which denominational affiliation will that classify?


  3. James says:

    One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.


  4. Arun says:

    Now the American victim of 9/11 will take Saudi govt to court clearing way for innocent victims of Hiroshima, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan etc taking Americans to court. Closer home I hope someone takes Putajaya for killing young children and women in the MEMALI INCIDENT in Kedah. There has to be a difference between law enforcer and the law breaker. You can’t use a hammer to kill a fly. Sum total is might is right. The poor week and minority will fight the rich powerful and majority thru asymmetrical methods as they are incapable to take them head on. The powerful will cry foul calling unfair and label it terrorism thru controlled media and other instruments of propaganda. The week will call it fight for justice and honour. Elected govt thru democracy wield so much power and control resources that they will not be held accountable for acts of state terrorism.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Good question Gani. Let me correct my definition to insert “deliberate” before attack. This would exclude “Collateral damage”. However, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have clearly been terrorist attacks and Truman, Macarthur et al would have been prosecuted as war criminals if USA had lost the war.


  6. sikandar gani says:

    Would you then call civilians killed in Iraq Vietnam Afghanistan etc thru airstrikes especially, carpet bombing, drone attacks,collateral damage from missiles, napalm etc killing children, women and elderly as act of terrorism.


  7. Pradeep Singh says:

    There is (only) a grain of truth in the writer’s assertion. There are killings going on around the world, however if we look at the terrorism across the globe, a picture does emerge. To do that, First of all, we need to see how the terrorism is defined….secondly, we also need to see if it is linked with the terrritorial fight…..thirdly, we need to see how the dots are connected around the globe. With this perspective in mind, it would become clear that the current spate of atrocities have been committed by the folks influenced by the extremist ideology.


  8. Imtiyaz says:

    Robert, your mind is polluted with the Hatred on Muslims purify it brother


  9. Robert says:

    Here’s some statics my friend…. don’t peddle lies…Most terrorists are Muslims because they want the world to be a Caliphate


  10. While journalism is about bad news, it’s a fact that only stories on Muslim terrorism sells in the West. It’s the bottomline that counts.

    Also, Muslim terrorists tend to go for headline grabbing news like kidnappings, beheadings, 911 and the incidents in London, Paris, Spain and elsewhere in the West.

    So, western media will continue to demonise Muslims as terrorists as long as there’s even one incident involving them.


  11. Siraj Ahmad Khan says:

    Most interesting. I always find your views and analysis very interesting and scholarly even if i do not agree. There is a dearth of people these days who can look at the world with an open mind and are not victims to their pre conceived notions of religious and nationalistic superiority.

    Coming back to the article, assuming the statistics are correct ( you never know how someone uses and chooses to use these damn statistics especially on social media), it does suggest and show that Islamophobia sells very well especially in the post 9/11 world. However, political islam or islamism is also a reality and i don’t think that other Abrahamic religions, which have been toned down over the last few centuries, or non abrahamic religions, such as hinduism and buddhism, despite their regressive content have the deep resources which Islam has as a political system.

    While Islamic terrorism may be an exaggerated phenomenon, Islamism or political islam is a crude reality whose biggest victims are and going to be muslims themselves for the next many decades. Terrorism is often a hyped up and easy to sell byproduct of religious backwardness. The real and more potent result of choosing to adhere and live mentally in medieval times in the 21st century is the economic, political and social backwardness which comes with this choice. And in that aspect the subcontinent and most of the third world is a victim of it.


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