No, You’re Not More Likely to Be Killed by a Right-Wing Extremist than an Islamic Terrorist

| by Damion Daniels |

On 22nd May, 2017, a 22 year old jihadist named Salman Ramadan 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 U.K. soil since a group of jihadists murdered 52 commuters in the London transport attacks of 2005.

We are often told that in the wake of a large scale atrocity of this kind, we should defy the terrorists by simply carrying on as normal. Well, it just so happens that what I would normally be doing is writing about Islamic terrorism and berating the apologists who shamefully obfuscate the issue. Which is exactly what I intend to do now.

The fact that the two deadliest attacks upon the U.K. in recent memory were at the hands of Islamic terrorists is not simply pub trivia. I mention it because when these apologists for Islam get bored of claiming that jihadists are incessantly and inexplicably lying about their religious motivations, they invariably engage in the crass exercise of throwing around skewed data in a desperate attempt to deemphasize the danger posed by Islamic terror. As far as I can tell, this is not due to some well-meaning concern for people worrying unnecessarily, or to ensure that counter terrorism strategy is accurately focused upon the most serious threat, it seems rather to be a tactical attempt to prioritize the protection of odious 7th century folklore over the welfare of real human beings.

In the not uncommon event of an Islamic lunatic slaughtering a crowd of innocent people, Americentric articles and tweets lying about the likelihood of this happening to you, instantaneously begin to surface, like gunk from the ocean floor after a depth charge detonation.

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Each of these claims are variations on the assertion that right-wing or far-right terrorism poses a greater danger than Islamic 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 center New America.

I understand that a deconstruction of statistics may read as a little sterile and dispassionate, but I think it’s important to nip this particular line of obscurantism in the bud once and for all. And disappointingly, I’ve noticed that some high profile secularists and liberal atheists also appear to have been taken in by this propaganda which contains a multitude of errors and inconsistencies resulting in inaccurate figures and starkly misleading conclusions. For instance; the MSNBC article referenced above was published in the summer of 2015. And whilst the information contained within it is frozen at this point 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 U.S. are now almost double those attributable to far-right terrorists.

What’s more, this very same study that is routinely cited in order to downplay the threat of jihadism, shows not only that jihadists have claimed more fatalities in the U.S., but also that “most U.S. attacks are also carried out by individuals inspired by jihadism.”

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The practice of quoting outdated figures to further a false narrative is sloppy in some cases and outright disingenuous in others, but even when using the most up-to-date figures, there are a number of issues with the actual dataset this report relies on which further skew the statistics towards downplaying the Islamic threat. As John Sexton of Breitbart notes, the numbers here ostensibly focus on the threat to Americans, but do not take Americans killed abroad by Islamic 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 Islamic 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 MSNBC article that is routinely circulated as proof that Islamic terrorism is essentially a non-issue in comparison to “far-right” terrorism.

The lopsidedness of this report is also evident in the fact that, according to the article, it treats terrorists with an Islamist agenda as one dataset, and compares it to terrorists with a white supremacist agenda, terrorists with an anti-government agenda, and terrorist with a fundamentalist Christian agenda, by treating all three non-Islamic motivations as one dataset. This is not an apples to apples comparison. This is an apples to fruit bowl comparison.

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 thorough debunking of this report 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.”

Another more recent report created by the Government Accountability Office and promoted by the CATO Institute claims that since 12th September 2001 (there’s that date again) there have been 62 traditional right-wing extremist “incidents” that resulted in death, compared to only 23 attributed to radical Islamic violence. However, this report doesn’t focus on death toll, and instead concentrates solely on the number of incidents. This misleading way of determining threat is then spun by the CATO institute as 73 percent of attacks being committed by right-wing groups even though the report states that 52.8 percent of deaths were at the hands of jihadists:

“Attacks by domestic or ‘homegrown’ violent extremists in the United States resulted in 225 fatalities… Of these, 106 were killed by far right violent extremists in 62 separate incidents, and 119 were victims of radical Islamist violent extremists in 23 separate incidents.”

To reiterate; the threat level here is being determined by incident count rather than body count, so although jihadists killed more people, they are painted as being less of a risk. The ludicrousness of this methodology is inadvertently illustrated by Benjamin Dixon on the David Pakman Show:

They’re not counting the number of people killed, they’re counting the number of events. So technically they could throw in September 11th and still get about the same result” he says, and therefore “we have more of a reason to be fearful of Billy-Bob (if I can be stereotypical) than we do of Ahmed.”

Dixon can only make such a ludicrous statement if he treats one incident in which one person is killed, and another incident in which four airliners are hijacked and slammed into buildings causing 3000 deaths, as equal. Which he does. And his ridiculous way of measuring threat is in keeping with the same methodology used in the GOA report.

Furthermore, the proportionality of terror attacks attributable to Islamic extremism does not factor in the scarcity of Muslims in the U.S population.

Muslim adults comprise less than 1% of the U.S population, and yet according to this study, are responsible for a whopping 27% of the terrorism in the country. This is a significant overrepresentation among such a tiny minority and, as expected, is completely overlooked in this report.

One of the most common articles I see routinely bandied around in the aftermath of Islamic massacres is a 2015 piece by Ian Millhiser for the political news blog ThinkProgress with the startling headline: “You Are More Than 7 Times as Likely to Be Killed by a Right-Wing Extremist than by Muslim Terrorists.” Needless to say, this suspicious piece suffers from many of the same failures as the previous reports and articles. Additionally it gets its figures from two different source reports. The figure of 50 deaths that it claims resulted from Islamic terrorism comes from Charles Kurzman’s 2014 report which omits both 9/11 and the Orlando Nightclub shooting, whereas the figure of 254 deaths from far-right terrorism comes from a study by Arie Perliger which fails to provide any detail as to which attacks this figure is comprised of, and therefore prevents any kind of cross-checking of this dubious figure.

Oddly enough, the “7 times as likely” claim which Millhiser leads with is made nowhere in the New York Times article referenced in his piece, nor is it made anywhere in the Arie Perliger study which both articles cite as their source. In fact the actual figures quoted in Millhiser’s article refute his own headline.

Every time one of these articles crops up, a cursory glance at the source data it relies on reveals a myriad of flaws in its methods and therefore in its conclusions. It is highly likely that the next time you are confronted by someone claiming that “far-right terrorism” (or some variation of) is a greater threat than Islamic 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 Islamic terrorism.
  • A report which is not calibrated to consider the disproportionate number of attacks by Muslim extremists in relation to their 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 U.S. borders is particularly galling. According to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index published by Institute for Economics and Peace, 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. It’s likely that there has been some fluctuation in these figures since the publishing of this data, but the point remains that the overwhelming majority of terror attacks occur in countries outside of the West and that they are committed by Islamic extremists. And so the insistence that our gaze should never stray from terrorism within U.S. borders further skews that data and buries the victims of these attacks figuratively, often before they’ve even been buried literally.

It’s often said, that the biggest victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims. This is undoubtedly true. It’s odd then that those who claim to concern themselves with the welfare of Muslims should spend so much of their time smugly undermining threats to their safety. I’m sure the families of Shiite day laborers eviscerated in Baghdad marketplaces by Sunni suicide bombers are grateful to American “progressives” to be told that Islamic terrorism is far less of a problem in the United States and is therefore essentially irrelevant. I’m sure that the families of secular bloggers hacked to death with machetes and swords in Bangladesh are open to the idea that their lives are not as important as those of American abortion doctors, for instance.

Ironically, those of us concerned about the global impacts of Islam, are routinely accused of xenophobia and bigotry, often by the very same people who demand that we measure threat by ignoring Islamic terrorism in foreign states. They seem to be arguing that as long as jihadism is negligible in the good ole U.S. of A, then it’s as though the threat to “foreigners” in the rest of the world is of little to no concern. I must say, that sounds a lot like bigotry and xenophobia to me.

One of the peddlers of these chauvinistically selective figures is writer and professional Islamic apologist Nathan Lean. In response to the San Bernardino attack in which a jihadist couple massacred 14 people and injured another 22, Lean decided to wheel out a standard, tactlessly timed factoid once again in an attempt to downplay the threat.

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Lean came perilously close to learning the danger of his obfuscation the hard way when Istanbul airport in Turkey was the scene of an ISIS gun and bomb attack which left 41 people dead and over 230 injured the day after he had caught a flight from it.

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Many well-meaning people have been hoodwinked by these reports, seemingly due to a legitimate concern over a general increase in far-right sentiment. However, their circulation and citation by Islamic apologists like Lean, is a deliberate attempt to limit the problem of Islam solely to terrorism, then to further limit it to terrorism on U.S. soil, and then to extinguish even that concern with a firehose of deceitful nonsense.

None of which is to say that far-right terrorism is not an issue. Far-right sentiment is to be condemned, and any increase in its prevalence is a worry. But the prevalence and threat of Islamic terrorism is a perfectly legitimate area of concern and focus in its own right. Particularly, one would think, in the immediate aftermath of an Islamically 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 whataboutery, and it’s a response which is becoming infuriatingly endemic. 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 a disgraceful 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 Islam 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 Islamic terrorism, but also to divert focus away from Islam entirely, including scrutiny of its role in Female Genital Mutilation, honour violence, religiously mandated spousal abuse, blasphemy codes, the persecution of religious and sexual minorities, the subjugation of women, the grooming and sexual exploitation of girls, the murder of apostates, the dehumanization of unbelievers, the indoctrination of children, the contempt for liberalism, the surrender of critical thought, and the systematic bludgeoning to death of free expression. If we could solve the problem of Islamic terrorism tomorrow, or if it truly was the rare, barely perceptible inconvenience that the apologists claim, my concerns over the real-world effects of Islam would barely have taken a dent.

But it is simply a fact that Islamic terrorism is currently the deadliest form of terrorism on the global stage. I care about that for several reasons, but primarily because I care about the victims of Islamic terrorism. I care about the people who are routinely maimed and murdered as a result of the toxic influences of archaic superstition on a 21st Century world. And I care about these victims no matter where they reside globally, no matter what their race, no matter what their ethnicity, their nationality, their religion, or their skin color. I care about them whether they are Bangladeshi secularists pulled apart by Islamists blades, whether they are French cartoonists gunned down for defying Islamic 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. I care about them all and I want it to stop. I can’t for a second see how the people who make it their life’s work to obfuscate and dismiss this issue can even begin to say the same.

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Damion Daniels is a writer focusing on religion, secularism, and free expression with an emphasis on Islam and Islamic fundamentalism. You can connect with him on Twitter @concretemilk

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Comments

comments

105 Comments

  1. Black Romulan

    Well conveniently the rest of the world suffering most from “Islamist” terror are Muslims, so calm TF down. Meanwhile Interpol, just a couple of days ago, reports that less than 2% of terrorist attacks in Europe by Muslims, while over 98% by non-Muslims.

    So if Muslims are a greater target of radical Islamist terror attacks than non-Muslims, 98% of terrorist attack in Europe are committed by non-Muslims, and traditionally right wing terrorists (spanning back to the country’s inception; forget 9/11) have committed more acts of terror in the US than Muslims ever have, why are you so buttsore over Muslims? Statistical ignorance on your part, or simply willful ignorance borne out of ethnocentricism?

    BTW, unless you prepare yours in a blender, its literally physically impossible for one to “chug” a burger. I know you’re being hyperbolic, but get real.

  2. Black Romulan

    Everyone remembers Timothy McVeigh because he was a quasi-lone wolf type who blew up a federal building full of women and children. Like with Sandy Hook, mutilated dead children tend to leave a lasting impression; that’s also why people remember Anders Brevik.

    You should cherry-pick yourself a right-wing terrorist whose crimes weren’t as existentially horrifying to our social order as baby-killing, Turner Diaries-venerating militia men Tim McVey (and Terry Nichols) to make your case. How about Wade Michael Page or Dylan Roof or someone like that?

  3. Black Romulan

    Any statistical source that relies on Answers.com for its data is not a objective, reliable source for quantitative data. Sorry Hastings; you need to cite a more credible, non-biased source that openly publishes its data collection methodology for any data you cite from that source to be considered reliable.

  4. Black Romulan

    -According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the 10th-most common cause of death across all age groups; second most common among ages 15 and 34.

    -Over the last 15 years suicides have increased 24 percent.

    -The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention observed that men are 3.5 times more likely to commit suicide than women; white men accounted for 7 out of 10 suicides in 2015.

    – More than 60 percent of people in this country who die from guns die by suicide.

    -In 2013 there were 33,636 deaths due to “injury by firearms” according to the CDC:
    11,208 homicides, 21,175 suicides. Suicides among white males accounted for nearly half of the deaths from firearm violence during 2013

    -The vast majority (77 percent) of white gun deaths are suicides; less than one in five (19 percent) is a homicide. With blacks only 14 percent of gun deaths are suicides but 82 percent are homicides

    -88.7 percent of all deaths among black males aged 15 to 44 were caused by homicide and that 89.2 percent of deaths among white males aged 35 to 64 were from suicide. When corrected for population growth in both groups, the net rate of death among white males aged 35 to 64 had increased by 29.1 percent

    -According to the Suicide Prevention Center, the average cost to society of one suicide was $1,795,379.

    -According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the average per-offense cost to society was $1.28 million per murder

    -In 2014, there were 29,890 white suicides, according to the CDC Vital Statistics System

    -In 2014, there were 2,205 black intraracial homicides, according to the FBI’s Expanded Homicide Data Table 6 (2014)

  5. Black Romulan

    Number of white men who shot themselves to death in 2016? According to the CDC, over 30 thousand.
    Number of white men who overdosed themselves to death with opioids in 2016? According to the Kaiser Family Association, over 27 thousand. Blacks who OD’d in that same period? 2,700.
    Thus, by your own reasoning, Hastings, it is white men with guns and drugs that constitute our greatest threat by a gigantic margin

  6. Jefferyschein

    During the September 11 attacks in 2001, 2,996 people were killed. More than twice that have been killed in this country so far this year by guns. ( 6,922 ) with 146 mass shootings. The percentage killed by Muslim extremists is in the .0 something area.

  7. mandrewa

    What if it is actually more like a thousand dead by domestic terrorism? Maybe 750 of the murders that are attributed to crime actually aren’t.

    At first glance that would seem to make Islamic terrorism not so important. But is that true? I mean we already have one problem. A problem that is so bad that we can’t acknowledge what is happening for fear of making it even worse.

    Why in the world would we want to add another problem to the ones we already have?

  8. Robert Petersen

    it is hard to find good data on domestic terror vs Islamic, but one study was 254 dead by domestic and 50 by Islamic. Sounds good for Islamic? SInce only 1% of US are Muslim then the number should have been 2 or 3 by Islamic not 50. In this study Islamic terror 10X domestic

  9. Teed Rockwell

    This article is basically saying that If the people who originally cited this statistic had said something slightly different from what they actually said, they would have been lying. The obvious response to this is that they said what they actually said, therefore they weren’t lying.

  10. Teed Rockwell

    Mandrewa says “It seems to me people are responsible for what they do, not what their ancestors did. ” They are also not responsible for things their contemporaries did, just because their contemporaries share the same religion.

  11. Teed Rockwell

    I thought this site was supposed to be about progressives and leftists trying to find middle ground between the far left and the far right. If I wanted to read stuff like this I would go to Breitbart, which this article actually quotes as an authority.

  12. Author Sanguine

    Here are my issues: a few of your arguments contradict each other:
    You have a lot of redundancies. You are saying the same thing twice.

    “A tally which starts after the biggest terror attack committed on U.S. soil.” (I get the sour grapes here, but I don’t think this is fooling even the most gullible headline reader. Everyone knows and understands what ‘since 9/11’ implies and what it is conceding.)

    “A tally which ends before the deadliest mass shooting on U.S. soil.”

    “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”.” (This may be your most problematic statement. If you follow this line it opens your argument up to make the same claim about misrepresentations of Jihadist attacks. Omar Mateen was more of a douche who moonlit as a closet-case and used his religion as an excuse to extoll his homo insecurities, not an Islamic terrorist. Or something like that.)

    “A report which conflates several disparate ideological motivations for non-Islamic terrorism by lumping them all into the “far-right” bracket.” (This is similar as above. I don’t buy this “basket of fruit” argument one bit. I could say the exact same thing about the Jihadists. They don’t all share the exact same motivations any more than all the Far-Right extremists.)

    “A report which fails to include figures for Americans killed abroad.” (On one end, you are making the case that we should be paying attention to Americans killed overseas, while on the other end you make the claim regarding the disproportionate number of Muslims in the U.S. vs their share of attacks. We should either be disregarding the proportional argument or ignore the deaths outside of America. As American centric as it is, I would focus on the deaths within in order to give weight to the proportionality argument. Keeping both waters down your thesis.)

    “A report which is not calibrated to consider the disproportionate number of attacks by Muslim extremists in relation to their lack of prevalence as a minority group.”

    “A report which is not calibrated to consider the disproportionate focus of counter-terror analysis on Islamic terrorism.” (You are essentially rewording the same thing here)

    “A report which ignores all terror attacks outside of the United States.” (Saying this twice makes you look like you are reaching for extra stuff when in reality you don’t need to.)

    “A report which ignores foiled plots.” (Unless you are including both foiled plots of Far-Right and Jihadists, I would omit. It weakens your point about the amount of law enforcement dedicated toward Islamic extremism. I could argue there are more foiled plots because there is more focus on it – not to mention the fact that a lot of these “busts” are dubious to say the least and lean toward entrapment. If there were more forces dedicated toward busting Far-Right extremists, then I could all but guarantee more of these “busts”).

  13. Shalom Goldberg

    “There are plenty of other, more minor acts, such as burning crosses or spray painting hate filled words on someones house, in order to intimidate them.”
    Yeah, or the routine mass attacks by self described ‘anti-fascists’ against attendees of university events, the countless cases of blacks attacking and killing whites while explicitly giving their race as a reason, the wonderful joys such as that live broadcast torturing of a mentally handicapped white man because of his race, and all the other things you’d never mention nor likely hear of in your bubble.

    “And simple down home small town politics where letting your opinion be known gets you shunned by society. And those societies mostly claim to be christian and claim you deserve the abuse because you are not.”
    Yeah try letting your right wing opinion be known in the big city and see what happens. But I imagine you would dismiss that by claiming they ‘deserve the abuse because they are not’ supporters of whatever fad you choose.

  14. Martyn Cornell

    Not true. Right-wing extremist attacks are almost twice as common as islamic ones in the US since 2002, and the numbers of deaths and injuries are only higher because two of the Islamic attacks had very high numbers of deaths.

  15. Martyn Cornell

    “relative scarcity”? There have been 20 killings by right-wing extremists since 2001 on US soil, and 11 by Islamists. Now, without Googling, can you name more than five of those right-wing killers?

  16. JS

    What, do you think he condones that? Columbus was a Catholic Italian. Are you suggesting that massive Catholic Italian immigration today would result in precisely the same societal consequences as massive Muslim Arab/South Asian immigration?

  17. mandrewa

    So Martyn Cornell, what is your motivation?

    Do you want to kill or to harm the descendants of these Europeans that came to America?

    It seems to me people are responsible for what they do, not what their ancestors did. I don’t think we should be trying to terrorize you or shut you up or kill you or impose sharia law on you because your ancestors were slavers or murderers or who knows what.

    But a lot of your ancestors were bad people. Maybe you don’t know it. Everybody has bad ancestors and everybody has good ancestors.

    But I only hold you responsible for what you do.

  18. Martyn Cornell

    “It’s quite another thing to ask people to accept the immigration of a group that is historically violent, intolerant, and consistently wipes out other peoples. ” What, you mean like all the Europeans who came to America after Columbus and wiped out most of the people already living there?

  19. mandrewa

    The US averages 51 deaths a year from lightening. So you are mistaken about the relevant danger from lightening. But beyond that there is a huge difference being killed by some accident and being deliberately killed by another human being.

    Accidents are a part of life. Most of them we can’t really make less likely, and where we can do something we probably already have some significant effort going on to reduce the likelihood.

    It’s quite another thing to ask people to accept the immigration of a group that is historically violent, intolerant, and consistently wipes out other peoples. Everywhere you seem Muslims today there were once other people. And more to the point it’s not history, it’s happening right now, today, around the world.

    Anyone that is in favor of this needs to look in their heart and ask what really their motivation is.

  20. Winstonnine

    Victim count does is not statistically the same as NUMBER of attacks perpetrated. Can you claim you are more likely to be killed by a drunk driver vs. all other auto accidents? No you can’t because that is statistically not true. We are all more likely to be struck and killed by lightning than from a terrorist attack of any kind. Statistically there are MORE domestic terror groups originating in the US. Just because they haven’t killed as many victims as Jihadist groups have, does not mean you are safer or your odds are less. Number of victims/deaths is not equivalent to number of incidents. More victims are killed in this country by other crime. All it takes is one Timothy McVeigh or equally motivated domestic terrorist to perpetrate a horrendous attack causing mass casualties that will put domestic terror in the column of most likely group to be killed by. This theory is a false equivalency.

  21. KJ Ugrin

    “Charles Kurzman’s 2014 report which omits both 9/11 and the Orlando Nightclub shooting”

    How can a 2014 report OMIT a 2015 incident?
    #logic #irony #stupidity

  22. mandrewa

    Not really. If you ever get a chance to see National Socialist propaganda posters they just drips with hatred of capitalism. In the first year that they were in power I believe they nationalized something like one quarter of the German economy. Maybe much more if you count all of the control they had over nominally independent businesses.

    If they didn’t approve of you the government would strip you of your company or job and send you either to a re-education camp, and many people never came out of those, or to a government labor battalion.

    Every large business and probably most of the medium-sized businesses were required to have National Socialist representatives on their boards of directors. And practically speaking people jumped when the government said to do something. So the large companies became almost branches of the state.

    And whatever Ford and Carnegie may have said, the support in America that is important was from the American Communist Party and the American Socialist Party. In both of those parties, the bulk of the leadership and the bulk of the membership were almost in love with National Socialist Germany in the 1930s.

    If you really want to get at the truth of things like this its hard. When something like the National Socialists happens everybody that supported it tries to erase evidence of their support later. The joke in Germany is that you can’t find anybody that admits to having supported the National Socialists. But I read an account of a woman that in was the country at the time, and she couldn’t find any student that did not support the National Socialists. And she looked hard. Her account by the way was published before the World War II began.

  23. Anonymous

    Research on the difference between Conservatives and Liberals shows – Liberal are more likely to believe people are basically good and Conservatives are more likely to believe people are bad. That sums it up. That is the bias. All of the comments here confirm it.

  24. Anonymous

    Fascism is right wing if you want to use labels. Industrialists support Hitler. Hitler used the term “national socialist” which confused everyone. His government was supported by Ford and Carnegie in this country. The same was true under Italian Fascist Mussolini. .

  25. Pat Mitchell

    Don, it’s not about Republicans verses Democrats, or left verses right. When are you going to figure that out? The corporate/bank oligarchy has bought and paid for both political parties. Wake up. The media is also bought and paid for. You have been brain washed.

  26. Ralph Deeds

    Don, your comment about Obama and Clinton is so far off base that it doesn’t deserve a reply. However, it says much about where you’re coming from–NOWHERE.

  27. Don

    What will be the final body count for Clinton and Obama and their dysfunctional administrations?

    Giving nukes to North Korea counts as a Clinton accomplishment. Obama was working to give nukes to Iran.

  28. Don

    When you look at “right wing domestic terrorists” what you tend to find is lone nuts with a mix of left and right conspiracy theories. The media makes them “right wing” by cherry picking. Hence if they were part of the Bundy stand off they are right wing even if they also were part of the Occupy protests.

  29. Don

    No, it is just Islamic.

    And by far the left has done the most killing over the last 100 years. What modern American leftists call the “far right” didn’t start WW1 or WW2, either.

  30. B. Picardo

    Regarding the Irish Times article, the cognitive dissonance and level of brainwashing and or willful ignorance is astounding.

    “Of all the nations that might be in the crosshairs of terrorists, surely Sweden, which has taken in more refugees per capita than any country in Europe, would be way down the list?”

    “The far right will waste little time in making political capital out of Friday’s brutal events.” Projecting much?

    “Having sprung from the ashes of the neo-Nazi movement in 1989, the far-right Sweden Democrats have doubled their vote in recent elections..” Calling your opponents Nazi’s, check.

    “In truth, Sweden accepted 163,000 refugees in 2015 and the number of rapes actually went down.” Let’s not count sexual harassment, or the increasing atmosphere of intimidation.

  31. Mums

    Best discussion I have seen in a long time – no name calling but lots of unfortunate labels. Still, glad there is no swearing. Good points on both sides. I am tired of hearing the Left hates America. Silly claim because someone disagrees with you; I like the logic and reason I see in the discussion. Makes it worth reading and educational and thought provoking. Thanks for the input.

  32. Ben (the original)

    Most “right wing” terrorism is just vandalism and most of the rest is just regular crime. For instance if a member of the Aryan Nation kills his non-white cellmate because said cellmate was a sadistic rapist and pedophile who was going to murder the guy’s family then guess what: suddenly it’s a terrorist incident.

    The statistics on right wing terrorism themselves are complete horse leavings. Period. End of story.

  33. David Parry

    At the risk of sounding a pedant, it’s islamist not Islamic.

    As to the question, yes in the West and parts of Africa one is more likely to be murdered by an Islamist than by a far right winger / white supremacist. This will be a huge relief to the two black vets recently murdered by W S in the USA. Of course, in the past 100 years the far right has had a head start on the killing front and Western adventures in the Middle East haven’t been without casualties. But I digress. Few students I have taught/talked with take a black and white view. Their understanding is far more nuanced. If there is worry about the far right it may well be due to its appalling track record on the world war front.

  34. Ralph Deeds

    I watched the video. Here’s my comment on it: “nteresting, thoughtful commentary. Agree it’s a mistake to try to pigeon Christian. He appears to me to be a severely disturbed individual. Not likely that left, right or alt-right will claim him.”

  35. Neil Howard

    Ralph Deeds, You shouldn’t just take one or two liberally biased fake news media sources as gospel and totally trust it. The simple FACT IS that what they and you have said is NOT TRUE ! It’s a complete lie! You democrats/progs. need to do a little research of yo
    your own! I have. Using research sites and government records I did a side by side comparison and as i thought, Islamic terrorists have more than doubled the “white supremacist” in every way. Total number of attacks. Number of deaths, as well as total injured. Apologists like you don’t lessen the problem. You significantly increase the problem because instead of condemning and demanding accountability for these atrocities, you instead imply a diminished threat to society and deflect the need to focus our efforts on eliminating this Islamic terrorism. Burying your head in the sand
    I would pretending it’s not something to worry about or renaming it in order to make it sound more pc doesn’t change the reality of what it is. The fact is that all you apologists do yourselves and us all a dangerous disservice.

  36. mandrewa

    I found a commentary about Jeremy Christian and what the real story is.

    See Tim Pool at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GJNIjSxFtk

    Tim has several important things to say, but maybe the most interesting part is that it turns out that those pictures that Ralph Deeds displays above are not what they seem. Jeremy Christian set out to discredit the free speech movement and Trump supporters and he described his plan on his Facebook site ahead of time.

    He showed up at a free speech rally, dressed in an American flag, and giving Nazi salutes.
    He also shouted racial slurs. His intent was to “prove” what nasty people the right wing were by pretending to be one of them and doing ugly things.

    Although the free speech people are pretty tolerant of a variety of behaviors, he managed to offend people there enough that they actually tried to eject him from their rally.

    It seems like I see what might be similar behaviors a lot on the internet. Whenever I see something nasty coming from an allegedly right-wing person, and it’s really simple and stupid message, and in fact it’s like a left-wing cliche of what they fantasize the right to be about, I wonder if it’s real, or if instead it’s a left-wing person pretending to be right-wing to discredit the right. Of course, only occasionally do I really know.

    Anyway, here’s a prediction. I’m not going to actually track it down to see whether it happens or not. But I’ve seen the same thing so many times. Despite the fact that Ralph Deeds now has proof or good reason to doubt his story about Jeremy Christian, he is going to go on repeating this lie. Not here, but in other forums.

  37. mandrewa

    My God I despise the left. They pull this same trick over and over again. They make something ugly up. And they all eagerly believe it. They are all about hate and there is no truth in them.

    Here’s my subjective opinion based on an awareness of what’s going on and being informed about the world.

    Overwhelming most terrorism in the world today is done my Muslims. I would guess the percentage is close to 90%. They are the dominant terrorists in Africa, Asia, and Europe. It is a smaller percentage in the United States, but still amazingly high given that Muslims are only about 1% of the US population.

    There is a low-grade ethnic conflict going on in America and it has been all my life. Blacks are disproportionately killing whites, Asians, and Hispanics. The media covers it all up. They work hard at not reporting it. When they do report it they pretend it’s crime. It is usually quite difficult to prove any specific homicide is a hate crime, but if you use your head and reason it out based on the patterns that can be seen where black people kill black people that are not their relatives, one can figure out that a fairly significant proportion of the cross-ethnic homicides must be ethnic killings.

    Most homicides are within the family. That is it is relatives killing one another and it has nothing to do with the ethnic conflict or terrorism.

    When you exclude Muslims, the ethnic conflict in America, and killings inside the family in America, the mass murders that are left over are predominately left-wing. I think it is at least 4 out 5. If the media doesn’t identify a mass murder’s political leanings almost certainly they are left-wing. If the media claims that they are right-wing, there is a better than even chance they are actually left-wing.

  38. mandrewa

    Jeremy Christian is fanatically anti-Trump and fanatically pro-Bernie Sanders.

    I believe that means he’s left wing.

    And Ralph Deeds, he had a Facebook site where he expressed his political opinions at great length and if you can’t access Jeremy Christian’s Facebook site isn’t that the millionth example of the left airbrushing out the inconvenient truth?

  39. Ralph Deeds

    I doubt that Christian was a supporter of Sanders or Stein. I followed the story pretty closely and didn’t see that. He appears to be more of a right wing racist alt-right type and quite confused. (Show me a citation that he supported Sanders or Stein if you can.)

  40. Smegma

    Ok, so what I can surmise from this article and subsequent comments is that the word “terrorism” really sucks as a descriptor.

  41. papayasf

    Not quite. Progressives have huge disagreements with Islam about many things, but what appeals to them is that Islam is anti-Western civilization, so it’s more of a “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” thing. It will all end in tears for them, of course, but the leftist hatred for the West is too strong for them to see it.

  42. ElHombre

    Deeds: You appear to be a slow study. Read the article again. Then come back. Read the last paragraph, particularly the last sentence, several times.

    Statistics in America have been distorted by the Obama regime, well-funded Muslim propagandists and suicidal lefties. The world, however, is a testament to Muslim savagery.

  43. Tom Dean

    Ralph – why are you spreading blatantly fake information? What is in it for you? Do you do so to justify to yourself that your belief is such demented fantasy is real?

    Your assertions in this comment string are not just laughably wrong, but are lies, talking-points that have been fed to you that are designed to deflect from the very harsh, bloody realities of Islam-driven terrorism today and demonize the “Right”.

    What you are doing is colloquially called “WhatAbout-ism”. When confronted with inconvenient realities that disprove your closely held beliefs, you respond with “But what about Timothy McVeigh?”, etc.

    What you are doing is called “logical fallacy” in argument. It’s a tried and true tactic of the deluded who cling to an irrational belief system. You are threatened by the reality of Islamic terrorism vis-a-vis what it says about your ideology and hatred of those of us on the right.

    Show us proof of what you assert. Start with this steaming pile:

    “The fact is in the UNITED STATES the danger is greater from good old home grown nutbags running around with their military style weapons in camo uniforms, racist, trigger happy cops, drug gangs, etc. Islamic terrorist incidents are more common in Europe.”

    Show us proof. It should be easy – because only the weak minded would believe something they have not verified for themselves is actually true – or just Leftist propaganda. Right?

  44. Brian Lichner

    When you don’t like logic and numbers, simply accuse your enemies of racism! These people are so brainwashed that they yell “racism” when the doctor taps their knee with a rubber hammer.

  45. Brian Lichner

    God, what an incredible fucking idiot. How are you so dense that you do exactly what this article is accusing you disingenuous, deceptive liars of doing? You’re PROVING THE AUTHOR’S POINT.

  46. Hastings

    There is a website (The Religion of Peace) that keeps a running tally of Islamist terrorist acts worldwide since 2001. The current total is over 30,000. Those nut jobs in camo you referenced, what is their total?

  47. Hastings

    Good points. If we subtract mayhem perpetrated by Muslims worldwide from the statistical total, the world by more peaceful by how much? 90%?

  48. Denton

    Wasting your breathe, m’am. People like Deeds hate Christians and the US and will spread any lie to help destroy it, not realizing that both the Islamists and the Communists push useful idiots up against the wall first.

  49. Hastings

    If you include things like spray painting slogans as “terrorism”, then the word ceases to have any useful meaning. I now live in one of those Christian areas you reference, having spent my first 32 years in Philadelphia, and I can tell you that the Christians hereabouts are far more welcoming and tolerant than the “sophisticated” urban liberals from whence I came, who openly mock and ridicule “deplorables” in areas like mine. Lumping small town Christians in with terrorists is beyond absurd.

  50. Hastings

    You are right. I certainly could not have said it any better. Moreover, with regard to our national stats on gun violence, if you look solely at gun crime perpetrated by our “deplorables”, subtracting gun crime perpetrated by our two largest minority groups, who by definition are not “deplorables”, you will find that gun crime here is not markedly higher than in those EU nations that “progressives” usually cite as models. “Progressives” live in a fictional landscape of their own invention.

  51. Froggy (@FroggyRuminates)

    Sadly, this article doesn’t even attempt to give examples of “right wing terrorism” that could be used to compare and contrast with the islamic brand. To the extent that you wish to call abortion bombings (which are exceedingly rare) and racist murders as RWT, there is an important distinction to be made. These types of incidents should be categorized as murders rather than terror attacks as they are targeting specific people or groups. Islamic terror simply targets anyone in a crowded area regardless of affiliation. The randomness of these attacks make them not only more terrible, but more difficult to avoid. If you happen to be in a targeted group by RWT, there are countermeasures that can be taken to avoid harm. As a citizen of a western country, anyone is vulnerable to attack by islamic terrorists. So far, Christians have not targeted muslims anywhere in the world. Muslims have recently killed dozens of Christians in Egypt, and have been doing so throughout the middle east since the onset of the Iraq War. Proportionality differences are stark as well. RWT are not indiscriminate or using explosives in suicidal fashion while those are hallmarks of islamic terrorists.

  52. JKing

    Um, Ralph, Jeremy Christian was a supporter of Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein. So wouldn’t that make this an example of left wing terrorism?

  53. Hastings

    I live in a county that is more than 99% white, generally conservative, heavily Christian, with a lot of Mennonites, and Republican by three to one. Gun ownership, including “military-style” rifles, is something like 90% of households. Yet gun crime, and crime generally, is so rare that nobody gives it a thought. In fact, my zipcode reported zero crimes for the whole of 2016. Zero. Where is all this gun mayhem by white men being perpetrated. As Popeye would say, it’s a figmentation of your imagination. Gun mayhem is disproportionately perpetrated by Democratic constituents of color in Democratic constituencies, with Democratic leaders, and police forces that take their marching orders from Democratic officials.

  54. Michael W. Perry, Inkling Books

    Reading between the lines, it’s clear that many of those with a liberal, progressive or secular bent see Islamic terrorism as ‘their’ terrorism, as opposed to those often labeled ‘far right.’ You see that if their efforts to excuse and minimize the harm such people do. Why is that so?

    I can’t help but suspect that one reason is the ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ For all its flaws, Islam offers something progressives find most appealing, a rationale for dictating every aspect of society. You don’t find that in any other religion.

    Another reason lies in the hatred progressives have for ordinary people along with their feeling of superiority over them. This is their ‘deplorable’ syndrome. Since most Americans dislike Islamic extremists, progressives regard their defense of it as a mark of their superiority.

  55. GWB

    Actually, the number of abortion clinic bombings is relatively low (and some of them are hoaxes), and the burning of black churches is practically non-existent (when discounting the hoaxes). Almost all of the graffiti and such that has gone national has been hoax crimes. Famous anti-gay crimes have been hoaxes, as well. Even though the media does its best to mislay the blame for a lot of these incidents.

    Not a single one of the attacks claimed by the national media to be “Christian terrorism” has been such.

  56. Hastings

    Good point. I read recently that Polish leaders are defying the EU by not admitting their quota of Muslim refugees. They point out that western EU nations have lots of Muslim refugees and lots of Muslim terrorist attacks, while Poland takes in no Muslim refugees and suffers no Muslim terrorist attacks. The Poles are saying, duh, this is a no brainer. (How does one spell ‘duh’ in Polish.)

  57. GWB

    One bit you don’t note: in a listing I saw (attempting to support the “twice as likely” number) the “right-wing extremist” count was an awful lot of non-terrorist murders, and a lot of them were evidently classified as “right-wing” because they were racist murders. On top of that category error, many of them didn’t display any “terrorist” clues, such as a desire to commit more murders on the same basis.
    Nathan Lean’s tweet gives away the game, really, when he defines “right-wing terrorist” as “white man with a gun”.

    “It’s odd then that those who claim to concern themselves with the welfare of Muslims should spend so much of their time smugly undermining threats to their safety.”
    It’s the exact same mentality they demonstrate with regards to race. The largest group of victims of black violence is blacks themselves. But the activists only care about the minuscule number of white-on-black crimes. And they decry any attention focused on the more numerous (per capita) black-on-white crime as racist. You know, just like they do with Islamophobia.

    The fact is that islam is incompatible with civilized society in its fundamentalist version. The same is not true with any other religion. And, while “white supremacy” is a threat to a pluralist civilized society, it’s pretty dang small in influence and incidents of violence (despite the numbers put together by leftist organizations) when compared to islam. (Also, let’s be factual, here – NAZIs are leftists; white supremacists are only nominally rightist; most “NAZI”s in America are nothing of the sort; “anti-fascists” are uniformly fascists, which are leftists.)

  58. Maklodes

    I always find it strange to see “jihadist” terrorism contrasted with “far-right” terrorism. It seems to me to make far more sense to think of jihadist terrorism as being a particular subset (the largest subset) of far-right terrorism. (Far-left terrorism has at times been a threat in the past (e.g., Baader-Meinhoff gang), and may at some point be a threat in the future with the increasing prevalence of Antifa, etc, but seems fairly quiescent for now, leaving aside stuff like opening mink cages.)

  59. 938mev

    From where I sit the far-right, alt-right, and the extereme right are in reality so far to the left of what Americans think of as the center that you would need to have extreme depth perception to tell them apart from the communists, nazis or the democrat party. They are all pretty much socialists on a spectrum that’s way out there on the left.

    Left and right labels don’t mean anything.

  60. Hastings

    Number of black men shot to death in 2016 by the KKK? Zero. Number of black men shot to death in 2016 by black men? Over six thousand. By your “reasoning”, it is black men with guns that constitute our greatest terrorist threat by a gigantic margin.

  61. Hastings

    The Nathan Lane quote is absurd on its face. Every “white man with a gun” is a terrorist? Ridiculous. Imagine the SJW shitstorm that would have engulfed Lane had he described every “black man with a gun” as a terrorist and cited the wildly disproportionate mayhem perpetrated by black men with guns.

  62. SandyA

    I’d also be interested to know what criteria they use to identify an incident as ‘terrorist’. It seems to me that the term ‘terrorist’ is currently used very loosely to describe any politically motivated act of violence. ‘Terrorism’, to me, has always meant politically motivated acts of violence perpetrated with the explicit intention of spreading fear in order to undermine the stability of a society.

  63. Dean

    You seem to have missed out president Bush from your list of right wing Christian nutters. I’m pretty sure his body count dwarfs the atrocities from both sides of your thinly veiled racist rant added together.

  64. Speaker To Animals

    You seem to be confusing Christian terrorism with people who’s surname is Christian just as you confuse domestic terrorism with domestic disputes over child custody with domestic terrorism.

    It’s like arguing with some shitty search engine rather than a conscious entity.

  65. cgallaway

    So, in other words, the stats are skewed to avoid using the term terrorism when a hate crime is committed by christians that use religion to justify their attacks.

  66. cgallaway

    Since the tweets and info the author is rebutting and the info used is about the united states, the extrapolation to the rest of the world is a logical fallacy. So, my response is really about the united states. Well, one of the things i did not notice through the article is the idea that a lot of what can be considered “terrorism” is not actually classified as such. Christians bombing abortion clinics is but one example. The racist burnings of black churches is another. Those that have beaten or killed gay people just for being gay is another. There are plenty of other, more minor acts, such as burning crosses or spray painting hate filled words on someones house, in order to intimidate them. Those are also acts of terrorism. And simple down home small town politics where letting your opinion be known gets you shunned by society. And those societies mostly claim to be christian and claim you deserve the abuse because you are not.

  67. Ralph Deeds

    Okay, there are a number of different kinds of terrorists in the US–white racist terrorists, homophobic terrorists, Christian terrorists, Islamic terrorists, alt-right terrorists. The non-Islamic terrorists in this country apparently outnumber the Islamic terrorists. Not to mention criminals and crazies wandering around packing handguns.

  68. Ian Hamlett

    Ralph Deeds “Christian terrorism may well be a bigger problem in the U.S. than Islamic terrorism: ”
    Dude, did you even read the article?
    It’s not even close, and that’s in a country with 50x more Christians.

  69. Speaker To Animals

    Those ‘facts’ aren’t facts, as demonstrated in the OP above.

    And even if it were true, you can shove your America First rhetoric up your fat arse you ignorant fuck, the rest of the world is suffering from Islamist violence while you chug down your burgers.

  70. Ralph Deeds

    The fact is in the UNITED STATES the danger is greater from good old home grown nutbags running around with their military style weapons in camo uniforms, racist, trigger happy cops, drug gangs, etc. Islamic terrorist incidents are more common in Europe.

  71. Speaker To Animals

    Everyone remembers Timothy McVeigh.

    Now, without Googling, can you name those who carried out 9/11? Or the 7/7 attacks in London? Or the Charlie Henbo massacre? Or the other Paris attacks in 2015?

    That everyone can name the perpetrators of Right-wing attacks is testament to their relative scarcity and the prominence they are given by the media.

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