Muslims Being Unfairly Singled Out Over Islamic Terrorism
And just to be clear: Yes, of course all religions have their nuts. That is a given. It’s the kind of given that’s so patently obvious that only those with an agenda would point it out.
But as a social scientist I have to be honest about what the statistics point out. And these statistics are kind of hard to ignore.
I’m just not sure how you have an honest debate when you start with the empirically falsifiable premise that all religions lead to the same behavioral outcomes. This is clearly not the case.
It is just as wrong of me to declare the version of Islam I like (or which serves my self interest) to be “authentic” and the version of Islam that I don’t like (or which is against my self interest) a “perversion” as it is for the so-called Islamophobes to declare what Muslims “really” believe.
The truth of the matter is that Muslims believe a lot of different things about their own religion. All of which beliefs are equally valid because they are subjective. It is not up to outsiders to declare which theologies are orthodox and which aren’t.
Can you imagine Muslims deciding that Protestants are real Christians but not Catholics? Or that Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t real Christians because they deny the authority of the Nicene Creed? Or that the Amish are true Christians because of their stance on serving in the military?
It boggles the mind that so many so-called enlightened, educated, and generally secular non-Muslims could stick their noses into what is clearly an internal theological debate between Muslims. These same people would never declare which Christian sects were authentic and which were not.
In the end what matters is only what Muslims think Islam teaches. If Muslims believe Islam teaches that violence in the defense of religion is sanctioned by God then that is a problem for me. Not because I have theological objections to this but because I have self interested reasons for why such a proposition is dangerous. Namely, I want to preserve the life of my family and myself from those who would do them harm in the name of their God and their religion.
For us outside of the internal theological debate what matters are numbers. And the numbers do not bode well for Islam.
Statistically speaking, very few people in the world are in any danger of being harmed by a Christian, Jew, Hindu, or Buddhist who thinks their religion compels acts of violence.
For every Christian terrorist group you name I can name fifty terrorist organizations that claim to be inspired by Islam. Give me The Lord’s Resistance Army and I’ll give you al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizbollah, Lashkar e Taiba, Jaish Mohammad, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Abu Sayyaf, etc, etc, etc, etc. The list really does go on and on and on and on.
For every person killed by a Christian or Jew in the name of their religion I’ll give you one thousand people killed in the name of Allah or Islam.
The statistics simply do not lie. There are enough Muslims in the world who believes Islam demands violence that we are all threatened.