On 22nd May, 2017, a 22 year old jihadist named Salman Abedi wandered into the Manchester Arena during a concert populated primarily by young teens and their parents, and detonated a suicide bomb, killing 22 people including an 8 year old girl, and injuring approximately 120 others. This was the deadliest terror attack on the UK, the other notable one being the 52 commuters killed in the London transport attacks of 2005.
We are often told that we should defy the terrorists by simply carrying on as normal.
The fact that the two deadliest attacks upon the UK in recent memory were at the hands of Islamist terrorists is not simply pub trivia.
When the apologists for Islamofascism get bored of claiming that jihadists are lying about their religious motivations, (“It is nothing to do with Islam” may sound familiar at this point) they invariably engage in the exercise of throwing around skewed data to minimise the danger posed by Islamist terror.
In the now not uncommon event of an Islamist jihadi slaughtering a crowd of innocent people, articles and tweets lying about the remote likelihood of this happening to you, instantaneously begin to surface. Each of these claims are variations on the theme that right-wing or far-right terrorism poses a greater danger than Islamofascist terrorism, and they are based on several studies which attempt to make the same claims.
“Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, nearly twice as many Americans have been killed by non-Muslim extremists than by jihadists,” insists this MSNBC article based on this report by research centre New America.
This article was published in the summer of 2015. And whilst the information contained within it is frozen in time, the source report that it cites is not. The report has since been updated, and so anyone citing the article now, is citing statistics that do not include the 49 Orlando clubbers murdered the following year by ISIS-inspired gunman Omar Mateen in the deadliest mass shooting in American history. The updated statistics which now include this attack, along with other attacks in 2016, show that deaths from jihadist terror attacks in the US are now almost double those attributable to far-right terrorists.
The practice of quoting outdated figures to further a false narrative is a common ruse.
John Sexton of Breitbart notes, the numbers here ostensibly focus on the threat to Americans, but do not take Americans killed abroad by Islamist terrorists into account. The beheading of Daniel Pearl by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the 7 Americans killed in the 2002 Bali Bombing, the 6 Americans killed in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the 4 Americans killed in the 2016 Brussels bombings, the American killed in the Zamboanga City bombing, the American killed in the 2015 Bamako hotel attack, the 22 year old American student killed in the 2015 Paris attacks, for example, are all absent from these figures. Nor do the figures take into account the number of Islamofascist plots foiled as a result of the asymmetric counter-terrorism focus placed upon jihadism as a result of 9/11. As former counter-terrorism analyst Daryl Johnson acknowledges:
“The U.S. government currently employs hundreds of analysts focused on Islamic extremism, but only a couple dozen who monitor domestic terror.”
Fortunately I didn’t need to undertake a great deal of arduous research to find this quote. Why? Because it’s mentioned in the very same report (MSNBC) that is routinely circulated as proof that Islamic terrorism is essentially a non-issue in comparison to “far-right” terrorism.
But surely, the most blatant and deliberate skewing of the numbers here is in the fact that the biggest terror attack in the history of the United States is discounted by beginning the tally on 12th September 2001.
Florida State College Professor Andrew Holt issued a statement debunking this and the methods it uses. In it he points out that if one were to start the clock a day earlier and therefore include the approximately three thousand innocent lives taken on 9/11, then “there have been around 62 people killed in the United States by Islamic extremists for every one American killed by a right wing terrorist.”
Also, the proportionality of terror attacks attributable to Islamist extremism does not factor in the scarcity of Muslims in western population.
Muslim adults comprise less than 1% of the U.S population, and yet according to data, persons claiming to follow Islam are responsible for a whopping 27% of the terrorism in that country. This is a significant over-representation among such a tiny minority and, as expected, is completely overlooked in this report. 5.2% in the UK are Muslim and yet those claiming to be of said faith have been responsible for 316 woundings or deaths since 2000. In Europe since 2004 the figure is 5103. This figure is starkly drawn into relief when we note that this violence said by perpetrators to be from, or inspired by, the Qur’an, and the Qur’an alone.
The number of “far-right”, Jewish or Christian inspired attacks is currently zero. That figure is unlikely to change any time soon.
And the next time you are confronted by someone claiming that “far-right terrorism” (or some variation of) is a greater threat than Islamofascist terrorism, they will be citing a report or article that contains most, if not all, of the below errors:
- A tally which starts after the biggest terror attack committed on U.S. soil.
- A tally which ends before the deadliest mass shooting on U.S. soil. (Both of these attacks were committed by jihadists.)
- A tally which fails to include certain other jihadist and right-wing attacks.
- A tally which misreports certain attacks as “right-wing” or “far-right”.
- A report which fails to include figures for Americans killed abroad.
- A report which ignores foiled plots.
- A report which ignores the number of non-fatal casualties.
- A report which is not calibrated to consider the disproportionate focus of counter-terror analysis on Islamist terrorism.
- A report which is not calibrated to consider the disproportionate number of attacks by Islamofascists in relation to Muslim’s lack of prevalence as a minority group.
- A report which conflates several disparate ideological motivations for non-Islamic terrorism by lumping them all into the “far-right” bracket.
- A report which ignores all terror attacks outside of the United States.
This narrow focus on terrorism committed within Western borders is particularly galling. According to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, only 2.6 percent of terror-related deaths occur in the West (for accuracy, this figure includes the September 11th attacks.) Furthermore, just 4 groups (Islamic State, Boko Haram, the Taliban, and al Qaeda) were responsible for 74% of the world’s terror related deaths in 2015 — and Islamic State and Boko Haram were responsible for over half of the world’s terrorism fatalities between them.
Ironically, those of us concerned about the global impacts of Islamism are routinely accused of xenophobia and bigotry by the very same people who demand that we measure this threat by ignoring Islamist terrorism in foreign states. They seem to be arguing that as long as jihadism is negligible in the West then it’s as though the threat to “foreigners” in the rest of the world is of no concern. That sounds a lot like bigotry and xenophobia to me.
None of this is to say that far-right terrorism is not an issue. But the prevalence and threat of Islamist terrorism is a perfectly legitimate area of concern and focus in its own right. Particularly, one would think, in the immediate aftermath of an Islamist inspired bloodbath.
And this insistence on changing the subject to the far-right in response to it is not dissimilar to mounting a sustained campaign of vocal objection to cancer research on the basis that diabetes kills people too. It’s a textbook example of ‘Yes but whatabout’.
Many well-meaning people have been taken in by these reports, seemingly due to a legitimate concern over a general increase in far-right sentiment. However, their circulation and citation by Islamism apologists is a deliberate attempt to limit the problem of Islamofascism solely to terrorism, then to further limit it to terrorism on Western soil, and then to dismiss even that concern with deceitful nonsense.
Scarcely a few hours after a Muslim refugee in Stockholm ploughed a truck through crowds of pedestrians killing 5 people including an 11 year old girl who was literally ripped in half, and injuring 15 others, The Irish Times published an article worrying about how this ISIS inspired butchery would be used as political capital by the Swedish far-right.
Immediately hijacking any conversation on the detrimental impacts of Islamism as an ideology, and redirecting it towards the likes of Anders Breivik and Thomas Mair is often intended not only to whitewash the global phenomenon of Islamist terrorism, but also to divert focus away from Islam entirely.
It’s like saying right wing ideology causes someone to be a Nazi, but this argument is not extended to Islamofascism. You will often hear the ‘Nothing to do with Islam’ chant, usually after an attack.
There are other parts of the Qur’an to be considered in this as well as jihad and terrorism. This will include Female Genital Mutilation, honour killing, blasphemy, the persecution of the LBGT community, the subjugation of women, and the grooming and sexual exploitation of children, Rotherham being just one case in point.
It is simply a fact that Islamist terrorism is currently the deadliest form of terrorism on the global stage: whether they are Bangladeshi secularists pulled apart by Islamofascists’ blades, whether they are French cartoonists gunned down for defying Sharia blasphemy laws, whether they are Pakistani Sufis incinerated in Lahore for being the wrong kind of Muslims, or whether they are British children blown to pieces and lacerated by shrapnel in a Manchester concert hall.
As if to underscore this, The Telegraph ran the story here on 26th October of Madihah Taheer, who bought her husband to be a wedding gift of a hunting knife and a plastic dummy so he could practice for killing the so called ‘right wing’ columnist Katie Hopkins! The groom to be wanted to stab someone 27 times. I wonder if Katie Hopkins would be accused of Islamophobia here.
Almost as if to justify the narrative, in the same week the alleged head of the proscribed organisation National Action Christopher Lythgoe has been charged with ‘encouragement to commit murder’ of a Labour MP. As far as I know he is the only member of the far right to be charged with such, which is dwarfed by the relentless Islamic threat.
It is obvious which ideology presents the greatest problem.
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)