HuffPo: ‘Is Islam Really the Religion of Violence?’

AFP Photo / HO / Al-Furqan Media
AFP Photo / HO / Al-Furqan Media

In an fascinating exercise in selective data use, the Huffington Post has published a remarkable essay suggesting that the vast majority of terrorists have nothing to do with Islam and that Islam itself has nothing to do with encouraging violence.

In his article Monday, “Is Islam Really the Religion of Violence? Here Are the Facts,” Saudi-born writer Hanzala Bin Aman tiptoes through an FBI study on terrorism to cull the statistics that seem to justify his thesis that Islamic terrorism only makes up a tiny percentage of all terrorist acts, and therefore shouldn’t be singled out as a source of particular concern.

For example, Aman declares that a mere 6% of all terrorist attacks on US soil between 1980 and 2012 were carried out by Muslims. What he fails to mention is that 94% of the deaths due to terrorist acts in the United States during the same period were carried out by Islamic terrorists. The FBI data include a series of amateurish acts of “terror” that claimed no lives and produced very little in the way of terror because of their ineffectiveness, whereas several of the Muslim attacks—notably 9/11—were absolutely devastating.

Between 1980 and 2005, 3,178 Americans died as victims of terrorist attacks carried out on American soil. Of these more than 3,000 victims, all but 189 were killed by Muslim terrorists. The 2,989 represent 94% of all terrorist deaths on American territory.

And these statistics don’t include the horrendous Islamist Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 that killed 3 civilians and injured some 264 others

Even if one factors out the two attacks responsible for killing the vast majority of Americans—the 9/11 al-Qaeda attack and the Timothy McVeigh bombing of 1995—Muslim terrorist killings still represent 45% of the deaths due to terrorism in that period, meaning that Islamists are tremendously overrepresented in terror.

But even if one were to simply take Aman’s statistic that 6% of discrete terrorist attacks in the U.S. were perpetrated by Muslim extremists, we still come upon a significant piece of information. Since Muslims make up only 1% of the U.S. population, Muslims are six times more likely to commit acts of terror than their numbers would suggest.

Aman also studiously avoids looking at the phenomenon of global terrorism outside the United States, where Islamic extremists hold absolute predominance.

For example, during the year 2014—the last year for which we have complete statistics—a total of 24 U.S. citizens were killed in 17 separate terrorist attacks outside of the United States. The attacks took place in six different countries and the only thing connecting all 17 attacks was that each was perpetrated by Islamist extremists, whether from Taliban, Hamas, Al Shabaab or Islamic State. Not a single terrorist attack claiming U.S. lives on foreign soil was carried out by any group other than Muslim jihadists.

Moreover, as Breitbart News has reported earlier this year, of the ten countries with the highest rate of persecution of Christians, nine—or 90%—are majority Muslim countries. The only non-Muslim country in the group is North Korea.

As a recent report concluded: “When Islamic forces or Islamic ideology are generating the greatest number of deaths in the greatest number of conflicts in the world,” we have a serious problem.

“The science is settled,” it asserted, according to the numbers “Islam is not a religion of peace.”

Rather than try to persuade uninformed readers that Muslim terrorism isn’t an urgent problem in the world today or that Islamic extremists are not the single greatest perpetrators of lethal terrorist attacks, perhaps concerned Muslims should be trying to convince their coreligionists that murdering innocent civilians and spreading terror throughout the world is in no one’s best interest.

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