December 31, 1999
The Wisdom Fund

Facts Belie Hype About "Islamic Terrorism"

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The decade ended with the media hyping "Islamic terrorism" while mass murder of Muslims by national governments goes unpunished, and in the guise of helping Muslims, their resources and people are exploited -- just review what's been happening in Bosnia, Chechnya, Indonesia, Kosovo, and the Middle East.

In Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1998, the Department of State says, "the number of international terrorist attacks actually fell again in 1998, continuing a downward trend that began several years ago." But talk of terrorism, and the budget for the war against terrorism has been on an upward trend.

According to the State Department report the "Total U.S. Citizen Casualties Caused by International Attacks" are as follows:
   1993  1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
 Dead  7 6 10 25 6 12
 Wounded  1004 5 60 510 21 11

Another useful statistic is "Total International Attacks by Region" which states as follows:
   1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
 Africa  6 25 10 11 11 21
 Asia  37 24 16 11 21 49
 Eurasia  5 11 5 24 42 14
 Latin America  97 58 92 84 128 110
 Middle East  100 116 45 45 37 31
 North America  1 0 0 0 13 0
 West Europe  185 88 272 121 52 48

Perhaps, the more interesting statistic, as far as "Islamic terrorism" is concerned, is "Total Anti-U.S. Attacks" which lists attacks by region as follows: Africa--3, Europe--3, West Europe--13, Middle East--5, and Latin America--87.

From these statistics, it is evident that Americans have little to fear from terrorism in the U.S., and even less from "Islamic terrorism." And, given the statistics for the Middle East and Latin America, one wonders why one doesn't hear about "Christian terrorism," at least as often as one hears about "Islamic terrorism."

According to John Mueller and Karl Mueller ("Sanctions of Mass Destruction," Foreign Affairs, May/June 1999, p. 43), "On average far fewer Americans are killed each year by terrorists than are killed by lightning, deer accidents, or peanut allergies. To call terrorism a threat to national security is scarcely plausible." The Muellers add that "Economic sanctions may well have been a necessary cause of the deaths of more people in Iraq than have been slain by all so-called weapons of mass destruction throughout history."

Graham E. Fuller, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, says ("Airstrikes Aren't the Endgame," Los Angeles Times, August 24, 1998), "it is dangerous to divorce terrorism from politics, yet the U.S. media continue to talk about an abstract war against terrorism without mention of the issues or context that lie behind them."

"Patterns of Global Terrorism - 2003," U.S. Department of State, April 29, 2004

Karen Armstrong, "The label of Catholic terror was never used about the IRA: Fundamentalism is often a form of nationalism in religious disguise," U.S. Guardian, July 11, 2005

[The number of terrorist attacks recorded in the European Union last year dropped 21.2 percent to 249 compared with the previous year, the Europol police organisation said Tuesday. . . .

Most of these attacks, 160, were carried out by separatist groups and only three by Islamic groups, it added."Only 3 out of 249 EU terrorist attacks were carried out by Muslims,", April 20, 2011]

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