How We Should Look At Terrorism

When a terrorist attack occurs, and people are killed brutally and sometimes even creatively, both parties react; but how they react is much different. The Republican response is stricter immigration restrictions, the Democratic response is that the event is evidence of why we need stricter gun regulations. I’m not going to comment on which response is better than the other, or which one has more truth to it, but rather the response that is contained inside the Republican response to terrorism. That response is not policy, that response is prejudice. The idea that all Muslims are terrorists and if not terrorists that than supporters of terrorism is perpetuated when we start talking about a “Muslim ban” or having immigrants take a test to see if they align with our “values”.

What we think of when a Muslim commits and act of terror is that Muslims did it. We think that Muslims as a




whole committed the act of terror. But how we should think about it, how we should look at these acts of terror on a philosophical level, is that not a Muslim committed the crime, but a person who is many things, being Muslim one of them, committed a crime. This is a scientific principle that the scientists know that many people do not know. They know that correlation does not equal causation. This principle is a great one that we should apply to many things. We are probably all guilty of this fallacy, because it is human nature. For example, when someone says “My baby got a vaccine and than my baby got Autism, so vaccines must cause Autism.” When someone says that They get headaches when they read, so reading must cause headaches. When people eat an expensive steak and they like it, they may think mistakably that all expensive steak is good.
So when we turn on the news and we see that a terror attack has been committed, and we thereafter find out that the person who committed the act of terror was Muslim, even if they were, lets say the United States and carried the attack out on the United States. We look at Muslims nows, we as a society, as what the Muslim terrorists on TV are. We think that Muslims are extremists, that they don’t think women should work or that they should listen to their husbands assuming they have one. And that is true for some Muslims, but it is certainly not true for all Muslims.
I also think that part of the reason that we as Americans are more likely to quickly judge Muslims as terrorists is because we as Americans are majority Christians. Its easy to judge someone as something negative when they are “the other”. If you don’t know many Muslim people or don’t know or have talked to many Muslim people, and then suddenly you see your Fox News alert that there has been a terrorist attack and then another one that the terrorist was Muslim, that is all you know about Muslims and that is all you have to go off of.

But what we seem to miss is that all types of people in religion. Whether they be Muslim or Christian or Catholic or Jewish or Buddhist or Scientologists or something else, someone in that religion has committed a crime in the name of their respective religion.
Dive Into The Data

crime and religious beliefs

The chart above titled “crime and religious beliefs”, which analyzes crime by country and then shows that country’s dominant religion. As you can see, the country with the highest crime rate is Venezuela, and the dominant religion of Venezuela is Catholic.
Non-Muslims make up the majority of terrorism in the United States.

According to the FBI, 94% of terrorist attacks between the years 1980-2005 were committed by non-Muslims. The same report states that there were more terrorist attacks carried about by people who were Jewish than by Muslims. Once more, it says nothing about Jewish people as a whole, but what it does prove is that there were more terrorist attacks committed by another religion, but when was the last time you heard people talking about how we need to be placing restrictions on Jewish people or how Jewish people are terrorists.

Terrorism in Europe

In the past five years there have been over one thousand terrorist attacks in Europe. The percent of Muslims who committed those one thousand terrorist attacks was 2. Thats right, 2%.
Even if all terrorist attacks were carried out by Muslims, you couldn’t blame it on Islam

Since 1970, there have been 170,000 terrorist attacks globally. Even if all of these attacks were committed by Muslims, those terrorists would represent less than 0.00009 percent of all Muslims. You have to remember that Islam is one of the world’s largest religions, and is on track to be the largest religion in the next few decades. Statistically speaking, it is more likely that you will be struck by lightening in your lifetime than a Muslim is to commit a terrorist attack during the same timespan.

If we’re going off of what we read in the news, then all Muslims are also peacemakers

Not only have less than a percent of Muslims commit terrorist attacks, but 5 out of the last 12 Nobel Peace Prize winners have been Muslims (42 percent).

More on correlation and causation

To expand on the later point that correlation does not equal causation, I would like to present a few more examples. When a drunk driver gets in an accident, you can’t and don’t blame the car company that manufactured the car the driver was driving because we understand that we can’t blame a large car manufacturer that makes millions of cars used by millions of people on one person who used the perfectly fine car and hijacked it for a negative purpose.


I am not trying to look down on or defame a certain religion so that I can boost up one religion. What I am trying to say is that we cannot take the actions of a select number of people, some of which are Muslim some of which aren’t, and take that terrorist to generalize an entire religion. There are over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world; if all Muslims were terrorists, our world would be destroyed and broken to pieces by now. My other point was that every religion and every race and every sexual orientation and every gender identity and every ethic group has bad people within them. We should not look at a Muslim committing a terrorist attack as only a Muslim. It seems that whenever a terrorist attack occurs, the only part of the story that anyone cares about is if the person was Muslim. The most recent incident transpired in London. The terrorist attacked people near British Parliament, and ended up being a joint citizen of Israel and England. They were born in Kent, England. The only issue up for debate in terms of policy is allowing immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, with the intention of preventing terrorist attacks. The facts are clear: Even if England had adopted the same law that President Trump signed, the first travel ban, the England terrorist attack would haven not been prevented because of that law. Let us stop wondering what people are, but who people are.


One thought on “How We Should Look At Terrorism

  1. Interesting FBI statistics! I love your plea for religious tolerance and also the last sentence: “Let us stop wondering what people are, but who people are.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s