Culture and Opinion
Why Are There So Few Muslim Terrorists?
September 26, 2011
NOTE: This is NOT Church History - these are my personal views and should be read as such - this is why it is under the label Culture and Opinion.
The Boston Marathon Bombing and the London Terrorist Attack
May 25, 2013
Since the original posting of this page we have seen:
- the U.S. embassy/consulate attacked in Libya, 4 members of the U.S. diplomatic team killed
- the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Again, not many deaths, but many more with limbs lost.
- London military man hacked to death in the street in broad daylight
Again, I admit that MOST Muslims do not want to kill innocent people. The overwhelming majority of Muslims never commit terrorism.
What should be clear to everyone, however, is that a small minority of Muslims have been convinced (or convinced themselves) that they should attack and kill innocent people.
I think the London attack of May 22, 2013 is most instructive for a few reasons.
1. It happened in broad daylight (like the Boston bombing).
2. It happened not in Iraq or Afghanistan, but on a public street IN an Allied nation (allies in the "War Against Terrorism").
Perhaps THE most troubling thing is the reporting of the event follows the same pattern as the thrust of the criticism on this page: our hesitation to call Muslim terrorism by name.
In the immediate reporting of this attack in London ABC News and Brian Williams could not bring themselves to give an accurate account. One attacker, who seems anxious to be the subject of a video, clearly states that he has killed this man for Allah: "By Allah we swear by the almighty Allah and we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone."
NBC never mentions this fact. This should not surprise as President Obama has not called this terrorism either. As of three days post attack, the President has not clearly mentioned the incident.
Then we have Islamic clerics, speaking of the attacker on video as "a normal, practicing Muslim...a family man, a very calm and non-violent man...even from the clip yesterday he was concerned and apologizing to any women and children who were there." [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zvbt3os7fY">]
Yes, it is quite important that we not hack, stab and kill someone in front of our women and children. Now, it could be that this cleric did say something to denounce the violent attack, but I doubt it. Typical news reports are certainly going to publish such an admission.
I hear some claiming that we are subject to such violence because we have troops in Muslim countries. Does anyone really believe that Muslim terrorism will stop as soon as our troops are removed from the Middle East?
What is amazing is that I will be verbally attacked by my statements here as if I have called for violence against Muslims. The PC environment we inhabit now refuses to call Islamic terrorism by what it is AND condemns those who simply name the reality.
There are not millions of Muslim terrorists.
But it only takes two to put incite terror such as what happened in Boston.
A few days ago I posted these comments below on another site (http://www.patheos.com//Resources/Additional-Resources/Are-There-So-Few-Muslim-Terrorists-Thomas-Kidd-07-29-2011.html) where Prof. Thomas Kidd answers his own rhetorical question: Why Are There So Few Muslim Terrorists?
Paul Marshall's article, "Blasphemy and Free Speech" appeared in the February issue of Imprimis and gives the same general augments as my rebuttal of Prof. Kidd.
It bothers me that I even have to say this: I am NOT suggesting that ALL Muslims are terrorists. I am NOT denying that many Muslims in America are proud citizens. I think I am fairly clear about what I AM saying - please do not write me with accusations that are not warranted by what I DO say.
My point is actually fairly simple: I believe the PC environment and the "progressive" Left want to minimize the radical element of Islam. If you say anything like I have written here you are immediately accused of being closed-minded and bigoted. Yet here a scholar is being disingenuous OR is so clouded by his PC surroundings that he does not even realize that he is misleading his audience. I actually think it could be either of these and BOTH are very concerning for me.
In his short article Mr. Kidd makes a few critical errors in his argumentation that cause me to wonder if his research is sloppy, or is it his writing? First, he correctly cites the Pew Research which asked respondents if "the Islamic religion is more likely than others to encourage violence." He then paints the broad picture with statistics indicating that conservatives were more likely to answer "yes" to the above question. Then in his fourth paragraph, he asks a rhetorical question, "If Islam did indeed require violence by its adherents..." What? This is Mr. Kidd's first obvious mistake. How did the question change from "encourage violence" MORE than other religions, to Islam "requires" violence? Later he repeats, "If Islam commands..." I guess Mr. Kidd hopes his readers will be as lazy as his writing and fail to notice this leap of non-logic.
While doing my Ph.D. at the University of St Andrews we had a young man from Iran in the divinity school working on his Ph.D. I will not give his name because his life was under constant threat. I am unsure of where he lives now. As a "moderate" Muslim, this young man was working on a thesis that pointed to the errors of Muslim clerics who misinterpret the Koran to say that Allah commands violence against infidel Christians and Jews. This young man knew he might not ever be able to return to Iran because of his thesis. Is it absurd to answer "yes" to the Pew question?
And what about Kidd's comment in this sentence: "It is not entirely clear how Kurzman accounts for Muslims involved with paramilitary insurgent movements throughout the Middle East and Asia, who may not technically be terrorists, but who often engage in indiscriminate violence." What? Wait a minute! How is it possible that someone who "engages in indiscriminate violence" - "may not technically be [a] terrorist[s]?" I am glad that Kidd at least admits that Kurzman was not "entirely clear."
By the way, did the Pew study address the stoning of young women and "honor killing" as part of "more likely than others to encourage violence?" To me it is quite violent when a father kills his daughter for dating a non-Muslim and thus bringing dishonor on the family. And did I mention how homosexuals are treated in Iran? Oh, I forgot, Ahmad Dinejad says there are no homosexuals in his nation. Now, I admit that I am probably more knowledgeable of such things from teaching Ethics at the university level, but these things come into my mind if I am asked the Pew question.
Does Kidd acknowledge that the general public opinion on this matter has changed? Almost twice as many people now think "the Islamic religion is more likely than others to encourage violence." From 25% to 40%. No, Kidd does not mention this fact. Nor does he feel any need to ask the question, "Why has the public opinion changed?" Does Kidd blame this rise of suspicion only on white Evangelicals? Could it have anything to do with recurring Islamic violence? Let's just take a quick survey:
- Feb 2004 - Philippines - 186 killed on a ferry. Abu Sayyaf claimed responsibility
- Mar 2004 - Spain - 201 killed in coordinated al-Qaeda bomb blasts on commuter trains
- Aug 2004 - Chechnya - 66 killed in several terrorist attacks by Muslim separatists
- Sep 2004 - Russia - 344 children and teachers killed with nail-packed bombs by Islamic militants
- Jan 2005 - Sudan - 105 killed by the Islamic government bombing a village in Darfur
- July 2005 - England - 52 killed in by Islamic terrorists bombing commuters on the subway
- Oct 2005 - India - 62 killed in coordinated blasts of Hindus, Islamic group claims responsibility
I have only taken the big attacks and only those in 2004 and 2005. There have been hundreds of terrorist attacks all around the world since 9-11. Is it absurd to answer "yes" to the Pew question?
You also MUST keep in mind that the question includes "more likely than others [religions]." This is critical IF you are going to make comments about this topic. Think about it: do you think Islam is more likely to encourage violence than the Hindu faith? than Taoism? than the Bahá'í Faith?
Another mistake Kidd makes, and I cannot decide if this is his most critical error or not: he never states a clear thesis for his article. What exactly is he saying? I do not know what his primary message is in this article.
The title gives me some hint: "Why Are There So Few Muslim Terrorists?" And then his subtitle: "Evangelicals are suspicious that Islam encourages violence. But if that is so, why are there so few Muslim terrorists?" In this subtitle Kidd begins with his obvious mistake by summarizing Evangelicals simply as "suspicious that Islam encourages violence" leaving out the critically important part of the Pew study "more likely than others." I have changed my mind, THIS IS his most egregious error because it comes at the beginning of his article and sets the stage for the reader to be misled.
So I think his thesis is to say that white, middle-aged Evangelicals are bigoted, or at least unfair in their opinions about Islam. If I am incorrect, I apologize to Mr. Kidd, but he did not clearly lead me in this article and his lack of precision made it difficult for me to "read between the lines."
So few Muslim terrorists? There were over 6 million Japanese soldiers in WWII and only 2800 Kamikazi pilots, yet the suicide pilots sunk 34 Navy ships, damaged a few hundred more and killed or wounded close to 10,000 sailors. You do not need millions of suicide bombers to bring about a great loss of life.
Comment from Steve
I conclude from listening to multiple Islamist clerics on Video that Islam is out to destroy anything that is NOT Islam. It's not hard to discern this after listening to at least 30 video taped Islamist "sermons". These clerics knew they were in front of Video cameras. They want us to know what they believe. Thank you YouTube and thank you Glenn Beck...instead of TELLING me what these guys say, you played the tapes so I could hear for myself. I have had a belly full of these nut jobs. You can have all my share of "Islam". I want no part of it. My "tolerance" has run out.
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