Are All Muslims Extremists?

A commentary on “Islamic or Muslim Extremists”.

On June 21, reported that a Muslim woman was attacked in a shopping mall. The article says a Muslim woman shopping with her four-month-old son was attacked in a London, Ontario supermarket and according to police the fourth reported event against visible minorities in the city in the past eight months. The day before, CBC reported A pig’s head left outside a Quebec City mosque was the latest in a string of incidents pointing to a rising tide of Islamophobia across Quebec. This is just days after the horrific attack in Orlando, Florida when a gunman massacred 49 people in a nightclub.

On June 12, the night of the attack, Donald. Trump, GOP presidential nominee tweeted: What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called rtx1gzco (1)it and asked for the ban. Must be tough. In other words, his view is to ban all Muslims from entering the USA, a position he put forth during the primaries.

On June 13 Donald Trump gave an address on terrorism, immigration and nation security. During that address he said;

The immigration laws of the United States give the President the power to suspend entry into the country of any class of persons that the President deems detrimental to the interests or security of the United States, as he deems appropriate. I will use this power to protect the American people. When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.

It’s no secret that Mr. Trump plans to ban Muslims from entering the United States. So what is happening? Is Mr. Trump, along with many other individuals, stereotyping Muslims, that is, categorizing them as potential “radical Islamists”? So I have to ask the questions: Is it fair to lump all Muslims together and label them potential “radical Islamists”? Should we fear Muslims because they might be terrorists? To answer these questions I did some research. is a Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). It is an independent research and media organization based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Since the CRG is a registered non-profit organization and was created to do research on global issues, I would then conclude that it is a credible source. This organization has concluded that non-Muslims carried out more than 90% of all terrorist attacks in the United States. (see Non-Muslims…) The article cites a graph that provides statistics from 1980 to 2005 from the FBI Database. According to this data, there were more Jewish acts of terrorism (7%) within the United States than Islamic (6%).  The article also says the U.S. News and World Report noted in February 2013: Of the more than 300 American deaths from political violence and mass shootings since 9/11, only 33 have come at the hands of Muslim-Americans, according to the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. 

The Economist’s article, The plague of global terrorism reports:

Last year (2014) 32,700 people were killed in attacks worldwide, nearly twice as many as in 2013… Most of the deaths last year (and every year) are in the Middle East and Africa, not the West. Iraq, Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan together account for three-quarters of the global total. Western countries suffered under 3% of all deaths in the past 15 years…The Paris attacks and the downing of a Russian airliner in Egypt killed more than 100 people each. Such lethal attacks are rare but are increasing. Last year, there were 26 compared with a handful in 2013. Most were carried out by ISIS, and most occurred in Iraq. And terrorism is spreading. 67 countries saw at least one death last year compared with 59 the year before.

So according to the Economist, less than 3% of all deaths in the West in the past 15 years were due to terrorist attacks. According to article, The Terrorism Statistics Every American Needs to Hear, the leading cause of deaths for Americans traveling abroad is not terrorism or murder or even a crime of any sort; it’s car crashes. With the exception of the Philippines, more Americans died from road crashes in all of the 160 countries surveyed than from homicides. The article also claims, you are 35,079 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack It too says you are 33,842 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack.

The World Post has an article titled, Muslims Are Not Terrorists: A Factual Look at Terrorism and Islam, which makes some interesting points. One of their points is: Even if all terrorist attacks were carried out by Muslims, you still could not associate terrorism with Islam. It supports that statement with the fact that there have been 140,000 terror attacks committed worldwide since 1970. Even if Muslims carried out all of these attacks, those terrorists would represent less than 0.00009 percent of all Muslims. To put things into perspective, this means that you are more likely to be struck by lightning in your lifetime than a Muslim is likely to commit a terrorist attack during that same time span.

This article also says that if you’re going to claim that all Muslims are terrorists, then  you must also claim all Muslims are peacemakers. The article says that the same statistical assumptions being used to falsely portray Muslims as violent people can be used more accurately to portray Muslims as peaceful people. If all Muslims are terrorists because a single digit percentage of terrorists happen to be Muslim, then all Muslims are peacemakers because 5 out of the past 12 Nobel Peace Prize winners (42%) have been Muslims.

So what are my conclusions? My take on things is that the media has perpetrated the belief that most or even all terrorism is due to “Muslim extremists”. I say this because as typical of the news media, terrorist attacks, especially those carried out by “Muslim extremists”, get sensationalized in the media.. This myth perpetrated by the media is contrary to the evidence I sited earlier. It is blatantly unethical to group all believers of Islam as potential terrorists. That is why Donald Trump’s call for the Untied States to ban all Muslims for entering the States is unmerited and is based on misconceptions. Besides, banning Muslim immigrants does not guarantee a nation’s safety from terrorism since the latest incident in Orlando, Florida was carried out by an American born, non-practicing Muslim. I do not believe all Muslims are potential terrorists. I believe that most Muslims are peaceful, law-abiding people. Mr. Trump has used the phrase “Islamic Extremists” numerous times as have others. To think there is only extremism in Islam is naïve. The Christian religion has had its share as well. One of the latest, according to Wikipedia, was in November of 2015 when Robert Lewis Dear killed three and injured nine at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Christian terrorist voiced on several occasions his support for radical Christian views and interpretations of the Bible, and praised people who attacked abortion providers, saying they were doing “God’s work.” It’s interesting to note that this incident was not talked about for numerous days afterward.

Is our world less safe than it once was because of extremism? Yes it is. But should we be fearful of Muslims and Islamic terrorists? No. If we become a culture of fear then terrorists groups, such as ISIS, have succeeded in their mission which is to instill terror. Besides you’re more likely to be killed in a vehicle accident than in a terror attack.

Many Islamic leaders have condemned attacks carried out by “Muslim extremists”. I believe they will continue to do so and I have heard of many Muslims working to change the image people have of their religion. An ad campaign was launched in the United Kingdom to improve the image of Muslims. (see U.K. ad campaign). To quote the late Muhammad Ali, Terrorists are not following Islam. Killing people and blowing up people and dropping bombs in places and all this is not the way to spread the word of Islam. So people realize now that all Muslims are not terrorists. I say it is time to stop the senseless attacks on Muslims. Not all Muslims are a threat!actions do

Orlando: Hate or Terrorism?

A commentary regarding the massacre that occurred in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, June 12.

USA Today headlines June 13, 2016

I was horrified to learn that on Sunday, June 12, 2016, a gunman pledging allegiance to the Islamic State opened fire inside a crowded gay bar and dance club in Orlando, Florida, leaving 49 people dead and 53 injured. This sickening event is being called the deadliest mass shooting in the history of United States.

President Obama, once again commenting on a mass shooting, said it was “an act of terror and an act of hate.” So that begs the question: Was the Orlando massacre an act of terrorism or was it a hate crime? defines a hate crime as a crime, usually violent, motivated by prejudice or intolerance toward an individual’s national origin, ethnicity, colour, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. defines an act of terrorism as the calculated use of violence against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature. Now if we consider the two definitions, the answer to the question would be it is both an act of terror and a hate crime. Violence in the form of gun shooting was carried out against civilians, specifically the LGBT community, and was motivated or at least inspired by the terrorist group known as ISIS so it is an act of terror. Even more, it was a hate crime. It was a hate crime clearly directed towards the LGBT community. Omar Mateen, a man previously investigated by the FBI, was allegedly motivated when he witnessed two men kissing. Seeing the two men together apparently angered him enough to commit this horrendous act.

To me, this is much more a hate crime as opposed to an act of terrorism. There is no evidence that ISIS or any other terrorist organization directed Mateen to act. I was moved by the words of Tom Walters from Canada’s CTV news station. On the night of the shooting, Tom Walters closed the newscast with these words. I wish I could say these are my words because Mr. Walters captures the essence of the problem so brilliantly.

“In simple terms, the motive for the Orlando massacre is not mystery, it was hate. And finding out what kind will explain little because every reason to hate a stranger is just as senseless. Colour, religion, sexual orientation, these are mere fragments of a human being, not the summation of who a person is or the basis to judge what a person is worth. Consigning people to categories denies them their individuality and robs them of their humanity. This is what makes hate possible…only a handful [of individuals] could do this. Now in the aftermath, some would still put individuals into categories and ask us to fear and reject whole groups. Society will never be perfectly safe from the deranged few, but when they are fed the rhetoric of hate and have access to the tools of murder, common sense would say we are less safe. Now facing the monstrous evil of terrorism, a future with less hate may seem distant…and if hate itself is the poison, that future is out of reach until people everywhere reject the ideas that diminish the individual and enable hate. That could include any doctrine that says I belong here more than you or that my love for someone is more valid than yours or I am among the chosen and you are not…but in a world of individuals we can each make a choice to reject those ideas that would add another drop of poison to the common cup.”

As Tom Walters says, “consigning people to categories denies them their individuality…and makes hate possible”. The Orlando mass shooting is clearly an act of hate directed towards the LGBT community; a community who just want to be treated as equals and live their lives happily.

The mass shooting in Orlando is but a familiar story in the United States. It was the third mass shooting in 2016 that left at least three victims dead, following shootings in Hesston, Kansas. and Kalamazoo, Michigan in February. Six months earlier 14 people were killed in a rage in San Bernardino, California. Time magazine has complied a list of mass shooting since 1984. (see 34 years of mass shootings). Wikipedia lists the United States’ firearm-related death rate as 10.44 per 100,000 people per year. Canada’s firearm-related death rate is 1.97 per 100,000 people per year. That is a significant difference. The article Gun violence by the numbers by Global News lists the USA as having 90 firearms per 100 people whereas Canada’s rate is 30 firearms per 100 people. The American Medical Association called gun violence a “public health crisis” on June 14th and urged Congress to fund research into the problem.The association pleaded that a long-standing ban on federal government research into gun violence must be lifted to better understand and tackle the problem. It astounds me that researching the gun problem is forbidden. Does that make sense?

Now this information raises a second question: Why haven’t Americans realized that there is a connection between mass shootings and the amount of guns. Canada has always had tighter controls on guns. I am convinced that is why Canada’s firearm-related death rate is much lower than USA’s. The Global News article sited earlier says you’re more likely to be shot to death in the United States than you are to die in a car accident in Canada. It seems obvious to me that the more guns a society has the more gun related deaths there will be. Americans always cite the second amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted on December 15, 1791, as a defence to owning guns. This amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms.  An amendment is a change or addition to a legal or statutory document so if Americans wanted to change their relationship with guns they could change (amend) their Constitution.

Donald Trump, GOP presidential nominee tweeted on the night of the shooting, “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!” He later tweeted, “What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough.” In other words, his view is that radical Islamic terrorists are to blame and so his answer is to ban all Muslims from entering the USA. Now that leads to a third question: Should we fear all Muslims because they might be terrorists? My answer to that is a resounding NO. To use the words of Tom Walters, what Mr. Trump is doing is putting “individuals into categories and ask[ing] us to fear and reject” Muslims.

Slate, an online magazine, has an article called, The Truth About Islam. The article says Muslim societies are among the least violent in the world. It goes on to say,

The reality is that Islam—like Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and other major world religions—is neither inherently violent nor inherently peaceful. Like every other great religion, the history of Islam is darkened by periods of violent bloodletting. And the holy texts of all religions can be mined for quotes to legitimize terrorism—or indeed principled nonviolence.

The Christian and Jewish religions have had their share of “darkened periods of violent bloodletting”. In 1095 the Christian crusades began. This was when armies responded to Pope Urban II’s plea to go to war against Muslim forces in the Holy Land. The inquisition was the Catholic churches attempt to remove heresy. Both were filled with bloodletting. Judaism has a history of radical Zionism, a movement for the re-establishment of a Jewish nation. Zionism promoted aggressive war justified with biblical texts.

To categorize all Muslims as terrorists is stereotyping and that makes it wrong. There are many peaceful Muslims just as there are Christians and Jews. The Islamic Society of Wichita condemned the attack, as did many Islamic leaders. The group issued the following statement Sunday.

“Along with our fellow Americans, the Islamic Society of Wichita condemns the hateful act of violence in Orlando, Florida. In this holy month of Ramadan, we will be offering special prayers for the victims and their families. As people of faith, we stand unified against acts of terrorism and violence and will continue our work to defend all people against hatred and brutality. We urge local Muslims…to donate blood for the victims of this heinous act.” 

I would like to reiterate Tom Walters’ words to reject “any doctrine that says I belong here more than you or that my love for someone is more valid than yours or I am among the chosen and you are not.” Mr. Trump is saying that Muslims do not belong in America because they are potential terrorists. Trump is stereotyping. That is why he is calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. “Consigning people to categories” such as all Muslims are potential terrorists, “is what makes hate possible”. It is time to stop the labelling of groups because it “makes hate possible”. Not all Muslims are radical Islamic terrorists! The lifestyle of the LGBT community is not sinful!  Is a heterosexual’s love for another more valid than homosexual’s love? Who are we to judge? Guns kill when they fall into the hands of people who stereotype and hate. America, it’s time to decrease gun availability so they don’t fall into the hands of those who hate. After all, authorities tell us that the Orlando killer purchased guns a few days before he went on his rampage. So long as a person doesn’t have a criminal record or has no history of mental illness they can purchase a gun. Guns were created for one purpose only and that is to kill. Guns are just too plentiful and much too easy to obtain in the USA.

“Trump This”

As I mentioned in one of my earlier blog posts, Political Bullying, I have always had an interest in politics. I taught social studies in high school for many years and I would passionately discuss politics with my students and give projects to them when election campaigns were on. It is because of this keen interest in politics that I watch the election campaign in the United States whereby the Republican and Democrat Parties select their presidential nominees. What I find both “mind blowing” and perplexing is the fact that Republicans have selected Donald Trump as their nominee. Granted it makes for good entertainment for us Canadians, I  just can’t wrap my head around the psyche of the people who think he is a good choice. Trump has been referred to as a modern-day Hitler and according to the article, 9 times Donald Trump has been compared to Hitler, in the Jerusalem Post he has been compared to Hitler on nine different occasions.

Now one might ask, why should we Canadians care about what is happening politically in the United States? The reality is that because the Americans are our largest trading partners and our closest neighbour, everything they do influences us. Former prime minster and father of our present prime minister, Pierre Trudeau once said,

“Living next to you [the United States] is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

In September Donald Trump spoke these words about Carly Fiorina, then a 09-donald-trump-bully.w536.h357.2xpresidential candidate. “Look at that face. Would anybody vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? ! I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious? ” Now defines sexism as, The belief that one gender is superior to the other, especially that men are superior to women. Trump’s words, “she’a a woman” sounds to me that he thinks women are lesser than men. That sounds like  sexism to me. In fact, the Telegraph has a Donald Trump sexism tracker listing many of the sexist remarks he has made and trust me, there are many.

Donald Trump, during his presidential announcement speech, June 16, 2015 said “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re sending people who have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” defines a racist as a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that one’s own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like racism to me. The fact that Trump has said he intends to build a wall along the US-Mexican border to keep Mexicans out of the United States, plus he wants to ban all Muslims from entering that country insinuates to me that he thinks Muslims and Mexicans are lesser races or groups. And then there is the fact that Mr. Trump claimed not to “know enough” about the KKK to distance him self from a David Duke endorsement. David Duke is an American white nationalist, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Is Mr. Trump a white supremacist too? (see 10 Examples Of Donald Trump Being Racist)

Judge Gonzalo Curiel, is the judge presiding over the case against Trump University. A federal judge unsealed court documents in a fraud lawsuit against Donald Trump’s now defunct real estate school, known as Trump University LLC. Mr. Trump said,

“The judge should have thrown the case out on summary judgment. But because it was me and because there’s a hostility toward me by the judge, tremendous hostility, beyond belief––I believe he happens to be Spanish, which is fine, he’s Hispanic, which is fine, and we haven’t asked for a recusal, which we may do, but we have a judge who’s very hostile.”

rtx1gzco (1)On a CNN program, speaking with Jake Tapper, Mr. Trump specifically attacked the “Mexican heritage” of the judge. Mr. Curiel is a man who was born in Indiana, who battled Mexican drug cartels as a federal prosecutor and was appointed to the bench by a Republican. “This judge is of Mexican heritage,” Trump said in the interview. He went on to say, “I’m building a wall, OK? I’m building a wall. … He’s a member of a society where, you know, very pro-Mexico. And that’s fine. But I think he should recuse himself.” When asked on CBS’ “Face the Nation” if a Muslim judge would treat him unfairly because he has vowed to ban Muslims from entering America, the potential president said: “It’s possible, yes. That would be possible, absolutely.” (see Donald Trump amplifies racist attacks). defines a bigot as a person who is utterly intolerant of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s  own. Now that sounds like bigotry to me. It certainly is racism.

On May 31st, Trump called a Press Conference to bash the press. During the press conference he rambled saying, “Instead of being like, ‘Thank you very much, Mr. Trump,’ or ‘Trump did a good job…you make me look very bad. I have never received such bad publicity for doing such a good job.” Trump even called a reporter for ABC News, Tom Llamas, a “sleaze”. Essentially, Mr. Trump’s pattern is to insult people who disagrees with him. The NY Times has article, The 224 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter outlining many of those insults. According to, a bully uses superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something. Mr. Trump’s antics sound an awfully lot like bullying tactics to me.

In an exchange with former presidential rival Jeb Bush back in February, Trump insisted that he’d never gone bankrupt, and that claims to the contrary are a lie.  According to the National Review’s article, Trump, Lies, and Bankruptcy, Trump has gone bankrupt at least four times. Not only that, he has had numerous business failures. lists Top 10 Donald Trump Failures. Oxford Dictionary defines a lie as an intentionally false statement. It sounds to me like Trump is a liar as well.

So what should a person conclude from this information? My conclusion is that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist, a bigot, a liar, and a bully. I think I am pretty safe in saying that most Canadians do not want the leader of their closest neighbour to be a sexist, a racist, a bigot, a liar, and a bully. I can’t imagine that the American people would either. I just cannot comprehend how Mr. Trump has secured the GOP nomination. I’ve heard it said that the American voters are angry. Now I understand voter unrest and anger. We’ve experienced this in Canada recently when the New Democratic Party was elected in the province of Alberta after a 40-year reign of the Progressive Conservative Party. No one in the country thought such an event could ever happen yet it did. We also saw the Federal Conservative Party lose to the Liberal Party of Canada. This can only be explained by voter dissatisfaction. But what is happening with our neighbour to the south makes no logical sense. Why would the people of the United States (I realize it isn’t all Americans) want to elect a president who is a sexist, a racist, a bigot, a liar, and a bully? Has there has ever been a president in the past who was sexist,  racist,  bigot, a liar, and/or a bully? Probably not but to my knowledge there has never been a potential president who was so blatantly a sexist, a racist, a bigot, a liar, and a bully.  That is a recipe for disaster; a disaster for the United States and potentially a disaster for the world. I just hope the American electorate will eventually see the Republican candidate for who he truly is; a sexist, a racist, a bigot, a liar, and a bully.