On June 21, CBC.ca 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 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.
Globalresearch.ca 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 globalresearch.ca 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!