Archive for terrorist

San Jose Man Punched, Called ‘Terrorist’ on Grocery Trip to Lucky

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2011 by loonwatch

San Jose man punched, called ‘terrorist’ on grocery trip to Lucky

By Lisa Fernandez

lfernandez@mercurynews.com

Just before Thanksgiving, a 32-year-old industrial designer was leaving a Lucky store in San Jose with some turkey broth and salt when he was assaulted by a group of men who broke his jaw and called him a “terrorist.”

This week, the man, who asked this his name not be used for fear of retaliation, underwent jaw surgery, and he is still in need of dental care for the six teeth that were knocked out about 9 p.m. Nov. 21 in the parking lot of the Lucky at 3270 S. White Road near Aborn Road.

“I believe they hit me with the tequila bottle,” he said. “Then they spit on me and called me a terrorist.”

None of the suspects, possibly three or four men, who were all wearing dark, hooded sweatshirts during the attack, have been arrested.

San Jose police confirmed the assault, but aren’t saying much more.

The victim’s family, originally from Calcutta, India, moved to Silicon Valley more than 30 years ago. They are Hindu, and the victim has no criminal record in Santa Clara County, according to a review of court records. He said he graduated from San Jose State with a degree in industrial design.

In 2010, FBI statistics show there were 24 hate crimes reported in San Jose, compared with about 140 hate crimes reported in Los Angeles, a city about four times the size.

A detective this week met the victim, police confirmed. The detective is trying to track down witnesses and find out whether the grocery store’s security camera documented.

Europol Reports Zero Deaths from Islamic Terrorism in Europe

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2011 by loonwatch

Europol tracks terrorist attacks in the European Union and publishes the data in an annual report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT).  The first such report was for the year 2006 and the most recently released one was for 2010.  Going through the data, I noted in my previous article (Updated Europol Data: Less Than 1% of Terrorist Attacks by Muslims) that less than 1% of terrorist attacks on European soil were committed by Muslims.

Anti-Muslim bigots were naturally very upset with these findings, and offered a couple flimsy counter-responses.  The most popular one was some variation of the following snarky remark:

Perhaps ‘scale’ rather than ‘quantity’ is the real issue here? ;)

But, is it?

I went back through the data, which revealed the following conclusion: there were zero deaths from Islamist terrorism for every single year the Europol reports were published, a span of five years.

Here is the data (all quotes are taken directly from that year’s Europol terrorism report):

In 2006, there were no successful terrorist attacks by Muslims, but only 1 “failed terrorist attack that took place in Germany” resulting in zero deaths.

In 2007, once again “[t]here were no successful Islamist terrorist attacks” with 1 “failed terrorist attack that took place in Germany” and 3 “attempted terrorist attack[s]” resulting in zero deaths.

In 2008, there was only 1 terrorist attack by Muslims, in which “only the attacker himself was injured.”  Again, zero deaths.  But, the scale of the Islamist terrorist attacks make up for the fact that 99+% of terrorist attacks were by non-Muslims!  (Note: there were no other attempted or foiled attacks in that year.)

In 2009, there was only 1 terrorist attack by Muslims, resulting in zero deaths but “[o]ne of the guards trying to stop [the terrorist] was slightly wounded.”  The scale!  The horror!

In 2010, “[t]he number of Islamist terrorist attacks actually carried out in the EU was limited to three attacks in 2010.  They caused minimal damage to the intended targets.”  The report notes further that “[t]he attacks shared some characteristics” including “lack of familiarity with explosives.”  But, be very afraid of these Mastermind Terrorists!  In the first attack, the victim “managed to save his life” by locking himself in a room.  In the second attack, the Mastermind Terrorist accidentally let the bomb explode while “in a hotel toilet,” resulting in zero fatalities.  In the last attack, ”the suspected suicide bomber himself was the only fatality.”  Once again, there were zero deaths from Islamist terrorism in that year.

This brings us to a grand total of zero deaths from Islamist terrorism from every year since Europol started keeping track of terrorism and publishing an annual report.  Amazingly, it seems that the only injuries sustained, in the entire five year period, was to one guard who “was slightly wounded.”

Yet, even though according to the data in their own reports Muslims were responsible for less than 1% of terrorist attacks and caused zero deaths, Europol ominously warns that “the threat [from Islamist terrorism] remains real and serious” and “the threat of Islamist terrorism by Al-Qaeda inspired groups and affiliates is high.”  Every year, without fail, Europol has reported these same findings, but never once did any of these reports note that the threat of Islamist terrorism is heavily exaggerated.  In fact, the data they provide is irrelevant to their conclusions and recommendations, which are actually predetermined long before any data is collected or analyzed.

In one of his recent articles, Glenn Greenwald notes that U.S. officials declared that they have defeated Al-Qaeda by rendering it “operationally ineffective” but at the same time warned that “the terrorist group will remain a major security threat for years.”  It seems that both the United States and the European Union are able to operate under such paradoxical premises.

Similarly, facts will not move Islamophobes.  Even as their main arguments fall apart, they will no doubt find some fall-back argument to rely upon.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Updated Europol Data: Less Than 1% of Terrorist Attacks by Muslims

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by loonwatch

The most popular article published on LoonWatch was released in January of 2010: that article showed that, according to the official FBI website, only 6% of terrorist attacks in the United States from 1980-2005 (the only years where data was available) were committed by Muslims.

I published a follow-up article to look at the picture across the pond: I cited official data from Europol, which releases an annual terrorism report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT). The first available such report was for the year 2006.  The data from 2006, 2007, and 2008 showed that about 0.4% of terrorist attacks in the European Union were committed by Muslims–less than 1% (actually, less than half of 1%).

Today, I’d like to update our readers with new Europol data: the data for 2009 and 2010 is now available.

Once again, a minuscule percentage of terrorist attacks in Europe were committed by Muslims.  In 2009 and 2010, there were a grand total of 543 terrorist attacks, of which only 4 were committed by Muslims.  This means that only 0.7% of terrorist attacks–again, less than 1%–were committed by Muslims.

Meanwhile, in that same time frame, separatist groups in Europe committed 397 terrorist attacks, or 73% of terrorist attacks overall.  In other words, separatist groups committed 99.2 times (almost 100 times) more terrorist attacks than Muslims.

Another 85 attacks were committed by left-wing groups, accounting for about 16% of terrorist attacks overall.

Here is the data for 2009:

And for 2010:

In the 2010 report, the annex contains a summary of the results from the previous and current years:

(Due to size constraints, the table is a bit difficult to read here; you can see the actual report here.)

This “mega-table” shows that from 2007 to 2009, out of 1,317 terrorist attacks only 3 of them were committed by Muslims.  From a percentage standpoint, that means only about 0.2% of terrorist attacks in Europe were committed by Muslims in those years–again, far less than 1%.

If we combine the data from the years Europol started keeping track of terrorist attacks–including 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010–we see that out of a grand total of 2,139 terrorist attacks only 10 of them were committed by Muslims.  You can count the number of terrorist attacks by Muslims on your fingertips.  Percentage wise, this means that 0.5% of terrorist attacks in Europe–half of 1%–were committed by Muslims.

In spite of this fact, all we ever hear about in the media and national discourse is the threat of “Islamist terrorism.” The data, however, does not support such fear-mongering.   Yet, it is amazing how many people will persist in the belief that “Islamist terrorism” is an existential threat to America and Europe.

What is more amazing, however, are the Europol reports themselves.  Year after year they report the same data, with terrorist attacks by Muslims numbering anywhere from zero to four incidents, always less than 1% of the total.  For example, the 2010 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report showed that only 1 Islamist terrorist attack took place in the entire previous year.  In that year (as in every year), separatist and leftist terrorism dwarfed Islamist terrorism by a magnitude of 237:1 and 40:1 respectively.  Nonetheless, the report notes that “Islamist terrorism is still perceived as the biggest threat to most Member States” and concludes that “the threat remains real and serious.”  No statement in the publication indicates that the perceived threat is exaggerated.

In 2010, there were 249 terrorist attacks; only 3 of these were committed by Islamists and the attacks themselves were described by the 2011 Europol report as “caus[ing] minimal damage.”  Yet, the same report ominously warns that “the threat of Islamist terrorism by Al-Qaeda inspired groups and affiliates is high.”  The report also includes xenophobic warnings about the threat of Muslim immigration to Europe, warning:

The current and future flow of immigrants originating from North Africa could have an influence on the EU’s security situation. Individuals with terrorist aims could easily enter Europe amongst the large numbers of immigrants.

So, three goons do something, and then the entire North African community is to be stigmatized?

Instead of drawing the obvious conclusion that the threat of “Islamic terrorism” is heavily exaggerated, the authors of these Europol reports continue to publish alarmist conclusions that simply do not match up with the data that they themselves provide.

*  *  *  *  *

When I published my previous article on terrorist attacks inside America and Europe, anti-Muslim critics giddily pointed out that the very same reports warned of the threat of Islamist terrorism.  The data also showed that a disproportionately large minority of suspects arrested, detained, or wanted for terrorism-related offenses were Muslims.

This is not something I dispute.  In fact, this finding supports my main argument: the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, the United States government, and their European counterparts are wrongfully targeting the Muslim community.  The disparity between actual terrorist attacks committed by Muslims on the one hand and the number of Muslims arrested on the other speaks to this grave injustice, blatant discrimination, and misguided policy.

The 2010 Europol report notes:

Reported court decisions related to separatist and left-wing terrorism have the highest acquittal rate (15 %).

Guess who has the lowest acquittal rate?  If your name is Abdallah ibn Masood al-Tamimi, you don’t stand a chance.

Furthermore, the report goes on to say (emphasis is mine):

Suspected membership of a terrorist organisation and the financing of terrorism were the two most common reasons for arrests related to Islamist terrorism.

In fact:

The majority of arrests were made on suspicion of membership of a terrorist organisation.

In other words, the most common reasons Muslims were arrested were not for actually planning or carrying out terrorist attacks…not even for being suspected of that.  Rather, it was for suspected membership of a terrorist organization.  But, here’s the real gem:

As in 2008, two-thirds of the individuals arrested on suspicion of involvement in Islamist terrorism could not be linked to specific terrorist organisations known to the authorities.

So, let me get this straight: Muslims were arrested for suspected links to terrorist groups, except the authorities didn’t even know to which ones?  How much evidence could these authorities possibly have if they didn’t even know the names of the supposed groups that these Muslims were allegedly affiliated to were suspected to be affiliated to?

As for financing terrorism, we all know how that works: there is the famous case of the highly-esteemed Islamic intellectual Dr. Tariq Ramadan who donated money to two Palestinian charities between 1998 and 2002.  In 2003, the United States designated both of these charities as “terrorist fundraising organizations” for their alleged support of Hamas.  Dr. Ramadan did not give any more money to these charities  after that.  Even so, the United States government accused Tariq Ramadan of “providing material support to a terrorist organization.”  They argued that he “reasonably should have known” that the charities provided money to Hamas.  Ramadan naturally responded: “How should I reasonably have known of their activities before the U.S. government itself knew?”

The same situation happens with other Muslims, to the point where now Muslim communities are too scared to donate to Islamic charities or to charities located in their ancestral countries.  Even President Barack Obama seemed to appreciate this problem in a speech he gave in Cairo.

Muslims are arrested at a rate that does not correlate with the actual number of terrorist acts committed by Muslims simply because the majority of them are arrested not for actual, attempted, or even planned terrorist attacks.  Rather, they are arrested for “providing material support for terrorism”–the absolutest vaguest of charges, one that I suspect a future generation will be smart enough to prohibit by law.  Using such Gestapo style laws, Muslims can be arrested for mere suspicion of being part of an unknown terrorist organization, with little or no proof needed to levy such charges; alternatively, they can be arrested for “financing terrorism,” which often just means donating to charities that even the government hasn’t banned yet.  Other offenses for which Muslims are arrested for include producing “propaganda”, which here in the U.S. would be considered Constitutionally protected freedom of speech (but is now prosecuted due to the curtailing of freedoms of speech in the War on of Terror) or even for merely expressing unpopular political views.

*  *  *  *  *

Clearly, the data proves that Islamist terrorism is not a major threat to the United States or Europe.  Anyone who believes it to be an existential threat should be considered alarmist and even a bit insane.

We’ve all heard the oft-repeated saying of Islamophobes that “all Muslims might not be terrorists, but (almost) all terrorists are Muslims!”  Without any shadow of doubt, this mantra is patently false.  Not just that, but certainly in the case of Europe it’s completely reversed from reality: all Muslims aren’t terrorists, and almost no terrorist attacks are committed by them–less than 1%.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Glenn Greenwald: The true definition of “Terrorist”

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , on June 22, 2011 by loonwatch

(cross-posted from Salon)

In late May, two Iraqi nationals, who were in the U.S. legally, were arrested in Kentucky and indicted on a variety of Terrorism crimes.  In The Washington Post today, GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — writing under the headline:  “Guantanamo is the place to try terrorists” –castigates Attorney General Eric Holder for planning to try the two defendants in a civilian court on U.S. soil rather than shipping them to Guantanamo.

To make his case, the war-loving-but-never-fighting McConnell waves the flag of cowardly manufactured fear that is both his hallmark and the hallmark of uniquely American political rhetoric on Terrorism (“my constituents do not think that civilian judges and jurors in their community should be subjected to the risk of reprisal for participating in a terrorist trial“); relies on the ignoble example of Chuck Schumer and other New York Democrats who demanded that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not be tried in Manhattan; and, as usual, issues vacant cries of war-uber-alles to justify abandonment of basic legal safeguards (“our top priority in battling terrorism should be to find, capture and detain or kill those who would do us harm”).  Along the way, McConnell — as most right-wing politicians are now forced to do given the continuity with Bush 43 — praises Obama’s overall national security approach:

The administration has shown admirable flexibility in making decisions concerning national security and has shown that it is willing, on occasion, to put safety over ideology. President Obama launched a counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, ignored calls to hastily withdraw from Iraq and recently agreed to extend the Patriot Act without weakening its provisions or making them harder to use.

Indeed, the Kentucky Republican ends his Op-Ed with an appeal to Obama’s “flexibility”; the President, he urges, should “let Holder know that our civilian courts are off-limits to foreign fighters captured in the war on terrorism.”

McConnell’s criticism of Holder is patently absurd; the very idea that we should start rounding up people who are legally on U.S. soil and shipping them to Guantanamo — rather than trying them in a real court — is menacing, and the fear he invokes (they’ll kill us if we put them on trial) is as fictitious as it is cowardly.  But far more interesting than McConnell’s trite fear-mongering is the notion that these two individuals are “Terrorists.”  Just as McConnell’s Op-Ed did, in all the reporting thus far on this case, the fact that their alleged acts constitutes Terrorism has been tacitly assumed (AP: ”2 Iraqis charged in Ky. with terrorism plotting”; ABC News: “Kentucky Terror Case”; PoliticoMcConnell:  Get Terror Case out of Kentucky”).

But look at what they’re actually accused of doing.  Those above-linked news reports as well as the unsealed indictment make clear that there are two separate categories of acts forming the basis for these allegations.  The first is that one of the men, Waad Ramadan Alwan, admitted to working with the “Iraqi insurgency” to attack American troops during the first three years of the war.  From the indictment:

It was that activity which the FBI trumpeted when announcing the indictments:

WASHINGTON—An Iraqi citizen who allegedly carried out numerous improvised explosive device (IED) attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and another Iraqi national alleged to have participated in the insurgency in Iraq have been arrested and indicted on federal terrorism charges in the Western District of Kentucky. . . .

According to the charging documents, the FBI has been able to identify two latent fingerprints belonging to Alwan on acomponent of an unexploded IED that was recovered by U.S. forces near Bayji, Iraq. . . . Alwan had also allegedly told the CHS how he had used a particular brand of cordless telephone base station in IEDs. Alwan’s fingerprints were allegedly found on this particular brand of cordless base station in the IED that was recovered in Iraq.

The second set of acts involves a plot apparently concocted by the FBI, and then presented to Alwan through the use of an informant, to ship weapons and money to “Al Qaeda in Iraq.”  I realize that the very mention of the phrase “Al Qaeda” is supposed to stop the brain of all Decent People, but as even AP acknowledges, that group is little more than an insurgency group specific to Iraq, devoted to attacking foreign troops in their country:

Neither is charged with plotting attacks within the United States . . . . Their arrests come after FBI Director Robert Mueller said in February that his agency was taking a fresh look at Iraqi nationals in the U.S. who had ties to al-Qaida’s offshoot in Iraq. The group had not previously been considered a threat in the U.S.

Indeed, the FBI — in touting the plot they created and induced Alwan to become part of — acknowledged that the plot was devoted exclusively to attacking U.S. troops in Iraq, not civilians:

Over the course of roughly eight years, Waad Ramadan Alwan allegedly supported efforts to kill U.S. troops in Iraq, first by participating in the construction and placement of improvised explosive devices in Iraq and, more recently, by attempting to ship money and weapons from the United States to insurgents in Iraq. His co-defendant, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, is accused of many of the same activities, said Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

According to the charging documents, beginning in September 2010, Alwan expressed interest in helping the [confidential human source] CHS provide support to terrorists in Iraq. The CHS explained that he shipped money and weapons to the mujahidin in Iraq by secreting them in vehicles sent from the United States. Thereafter, Alwan allegedly participated in operations with the CHS to provide money, weapons — including machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, Stinger missiles, and C4 plastic explosives — as well as IED diagrams and advice on the construction of IEDs to what he believed were the mujahidin attacking U.S. troops in Iraq.

There is no suggestion in any of these reports or documents, not even a hint, that either of the accused ever tried to stage any attacks in the U.S. or target civilians either in the U.S. or Iraq.  Leaving aside the fact that this seems to be yet another case where the FBI manufacturers its own plotswhich they entrap people into joining, and then praises itself for stopping them, the alleged crimes here are confined entirely to past attacks on U.S. invading forces in their country and current efforts to aid those waging such attacks now.

One can have a range of views about the morality and justifiability of Iraqi nationals attacking U.S. troops in their country.  One could say that it is the right of Iraqis to attack a foreign army brutally invading and occupying their nation, just as Americans would presumably do against a foreign army invading their country (at least those who don’t share Mitch McConnell’s paralyzing fears and cowardice).  Or one could say that it is inherently wrong and evil to attack U.S. troops no matter what they’re doing or where they are in the world, even when waging war in a foreign country that is killing large numbers of innocent civilians.  Or one could say that the American war in Iraq in particular was such a noble effort to spread Freedom and Democracy that only an evil person would fight against it.  Or one could say that it’s always wrong for a non-state actor to engage in violence (a very convenient standard for the U.S., given that very few nations around the world could resist U.S. force without reliance on such unconventional means).  And one can recognize that most nations, not only the U.S., would apprehend those engaged in attacks against their troops.

But whatever one’s views are on those moral questions, in what conceivable sense can it be called “Terrorism” for a citizen of a country to fight against foreign invading troops by attacking purely military targets?  This is hardly the first case where we have condemned as Terrorists citizens of countries we invaded for fighting back against invading American troops.  The U.S. shipped numerous people to Guantanamo, branded them Terrorists, and put them in cages for years without charges for doing exactly that (indeed, the Obama administration prosecuted at Guantanamo the first child soldier tried for war crimes, Omar Khadr, for throwing a grenade at U.S. troops in Afghanistan).

I’ve often written that Terrorism is the most meaningless, and thus most manipulated, term in American political discourse.  But while it lacks any objective meaning, it does have a functional one.  It means:  anyone — especially of the Muslim religion and/or Arab nationality — who fights against the United States and its allies or tries to impede their will.  That’s what “Terrorism” is; that’s all it means.  And it’s just extraordinary how we’ve created what we call ”law” that is intended to do nothing other than justify all acts of American violence while delegitimizing, criminalizing, and converting into Terrorism any acts of resistance to that violence.

Just consider:  in American political discourse, it’s not remotely criminal that the U.S. attacked Iraq, spent 7 years destroying the country, and left at least 100,000 people dead.  To even suggest that American officials responsible for that attack should be held criminally liable is to marginalize oneself as a fringe and unSerious radical.  It’s not an idea that’s even heard, let alone accepted.  After all, all Good Patriotic Americans were horrified that an Iraqi citizen would so much as throw a shoe at George Bush; what did he do to deserve such treatment?  The U.S. is endowed with the inalienable right to commit violence against anyone it wants without any consequences of any kind.

By contrast, any Iraqi who fights back in any way against the U.S. invasion — even by fighting against exclusively military targets — is not only a criminal, but a Terrorist: one who should be shipped to Guantanamo.  And this notion is so engrained that no media account discussing this case would dare question the application of the “Terrorism” label to what they’ve done, even though it applies in no conceivable way.

One sees the same manipulative dynamic at play in how the U.S. freely tries to kill foreign leaders of countries it attacks.  The U.S. repeatedly tried to kill Saddam at the start of the Iraq War, and — contrary to Obama’s early pledges — has done the same to Gadaffi in Libya. NATO has explicitly declared Gadaffi to be a “legitimate target.”  But just imagine if an Iraqi had come to the U.S. and attempted to bomb the White House or kill George Bush, or if a Libyan (or Afghan, Pakistani, or Yemeni) did the same to Obama.  Would anyone in American political circles be allowed to suggest that this was a legitimate act of war?  Of course not:  screaming “Terrorism!” would be the only acceptable reaction.

It’s hardly unusual that an empire declares that its violence and aggression are inherently legitimate, and that any resistance to it — or the very same acts aimed at it — are inherently illegitimate.  That double-standard decree, more or less, is a defining feature of an empire.  But the nationalistic conceit that all of that is justified by coherent, consistent principles of “law” — or can be resolved by meaningful application of terms such as “Terrorism” – is really too ludicrous to endure.

UPDATE:  Bolstering the definition of Terrorism I provided above, Jonathan Schwarz several years ago documented how establishment political and media circles in the U.S. routinely referred to the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Lebanon as “Terrorism.”   As Schwarz wrote:

Whatever else you might say about those bombings, they weren’t terrorism, at least if words have any meaning. They were attacks on military targets.

But this goes really, really deep in U.S. political culture. The basic idea is: we are allowed to send our military anywhere on earth to do anything to anyone. And if someone tries to fight back—even by targeting our military when it’s stationed in their country and killing them—that is fundamentally AGAINST THE RULES.

Propping up that warped mindset is the central purpose of the term Terrorism.

Justice Stevens voices support for NYC mosque

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2010 by loonwatch

hat tip: JustAFan.

Justice Stevens voices support for NYC mosque

WASHINGTON (AP) — Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said Thursday that Americans should be tolerant of plans to build an Islamic center and mosque near the site of the World Trade Center in New York.

The 90-year-old Stevens said it is wrong to lump all Muslims with the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks that killed 3,000 people. “Guilt by association is unfair,” he told a Japanese-American group in Washington.

The center’s location two blocks north of where the Twin Towers once stood has upset some relatives of Sept. 11 victims and stirred nationwide debate and angry demands that it be moved. Critics say the site of mass murder by Islamic extremists is no place for an Islamic institution, while supporters of the center say religious freedom should be protected.

But Stevens, a World War II veteran, compared the criticism of the mosque to the emotion he said he initially felt when he saw Japanese tourists at Pearl Harbor.

Among the thoughts that he said flashed through his mind during a 1994 visit to the memorial to the Japanese attack that brought the U.S. into World War II was, “These people don’t really belong here.”

He said many New Yorkers might have had a similar reaction to news about the mosque in lower Manhattan.

But Stevens said he realized he was drawing conclusions about a group of people that did not necessarily fit any one of the tourists he saw at Pearl Harbor.

“We should never pass judgment on barrels and barrels of apples just because one of them may be rotten,” said Stevens, who left the court in June. He commented on an issue of public debate in a way he most likely would have avoided had he still been serving as a justice.

He said that a nation built by people who fled religious persecution “should understand why American Muslims should enjoy the freedom to build their places of worship wherever permitted by local zoning laws.”

Stevens said the National Japanese American Memorial in Washington offers a similar message in its recognition that the internment of thousands of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent during World War II was wrong.

He called the monument a “a powerful reminder of the fact that ignorance — that is to say, fear of the unknown — is the source of most invidious prejudice.”

 

Europol Report: All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 99.6% that Aren’t

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2010 by loonwatch
Europol releases an annual study of terrorism; the results do not support claims that "(nearly) all Muslims are terrorists"Europol releases an annual study of terrorism; the results do not support claims that “(nearly) all Muslims are terrorists”

Islamophobes have been popularizing the claim that “not all Muslims are terrorists, but (nearly) all terrorists are Muslims.”  Despite this idea becoming axiomatic in some circles, it is quite simply not factual.  In my previous article entitled “All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 94% that Aren’t”, I usedofficial FBI records to show that only 6% of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by Islamic extremists.  The remaining 94% were from other groups (42% from Latinos, 24% from extreme left wing groups, 7% from extremist Jews, 5% from communists, and 16% from all other groups).

But what about across the pond?  The data gathered by Europol strengthens my argument even further. (hat tip: Koppe)  Europol publishes an annual report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report.  On their official website, you can access the reports from 20072008, and 2009.  (If anyone can find the reports from earlier than that, please let me know so we can include those as well.)

The results are stark, and prove decisively that not all terrorists are Muslims.  In fact, a whopping 99.6% of terrorist attacks in Europe were by non-Muslim groups; a good 84.8% of attacks were from separatist groups completely unrelated to Islam.  Leftist groups accounted for over sixteen times as much terrorism as radical Islamic groups.  Only a measly 0.4% of terrorist attacks from 2007 to 2009 could be attributed to extremist Muslims.

Here are the official tables provided in the reports…

For 2006:

20063b

For 2007:

2007b

For 2008:

20081b

(According to the report, there was 1 “Islamist attack” in the UK in 2008, which was omitted in the table above.  It has been included in the bar graph below.)

Just glancing at those tables is enough to know how absurd it is to claim that “all terrorists are Muslims.”  That statement is nowhere near the truth.  If we compile the data, it comes out to this:

barchart-copy

 

On p.7, the 2009 Europol report concludes:

Islamist terrorism is still perceived as being the biggest threat worldwide, despite the fact that the EU only faced one Islamist terrorist attack in 2008.  This bomb attack took place in the UK…Separatist terrorism remains the terrorism area which affects the EU most. This includes Basque separatist terrorism in Spain and France, and Corsican terrorism in France…Past contacts between ETA and the FARC illustrate the fact that also separatist terrorist organizations seek cooperation partners outside the EU on the basis of common interests.  In the UK, dissident Irish republican groups, principally the RIRA and the CIRA, and other paramilitary groups may continue to engage in crime and violence.

Perception is not reality.  Due to the right wing’s influence and propaganda, people mistakenly think that Islamic terrorism is the greatest threat to the Western world.  It is even a commonly held belief that Islamic terrorism poses an existential threat–that the very survival of the Western world is at stake.  Of course, the reality is that there are other groups that engage in terrorism on a much larger scale, yet these terrorist incidents are minimized.  Acts of terrorism committed by Muslims are purposefully sensationalized and focused upon, culminating in the idea that “(nearly) all terrorists are Muslims.”

Terrorism from Islamic extremists is certainly a cause for concern, but it need not be an issue that creates mass hysteria.  Nor should it be allowed to be such a critical issue that we are willing to sacrifice our ideals or civil rights for fear of it.  Neither should we be reduced to a status of absolute sissitude.  We have analyzed data from America and Europe (a good portion of the entire Western world), and the threat from Islamic terrorism is much more minimal than commonly assumed; in the U.S., it accounts for 6% of terrorist attacks, and in Europe not even half of a percent.

It is only through sensationalism and fear mongering that the topic of Islamic terrorism is allowed to be used to demonize a religious community that happens to be a minority in the West.  When confronted by such lunacy, we ought to respond with the facts and the truth.

In a future article, we shall analyze the data for terrorism on the world stage in order to further strengthen our argument…

 

Jihadist Tries to Kill the U.S. President

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2010 by loonwatch
Collin McKenzie-Gude of Bethesda, MdCollin McKenzie-Gude of Bethesda, Md

Muhammad Abdul Qasim, a 20-year-old man of Middle Eastern descent, was sentenced to life in prison for a plot to kill President Barack Obama. Qasim fashioned an attack plan inside his second-floor bedroom, where he stored chemicals for a bomb, along with three semiautomatic rifles, two shotguns, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, including armor-piercing rounds.  Police also found assault plans on a computer storage device in the bedroom.

Can you imagine if that had been the story of the day?  The media outlets would become frenetic, the Islamophobes would have a field day, and the right wing in general would be fear mongering about the looming Islamic threat.  The people would be panic stricken, the alert levels would be raised to florescent super red, and pregnant women would miscarry.  Muslims would react by saying “oh no, not another one…”  Fox “News” would begin debating the issue of racial profiling, and Robert Spencer would sign another book deal.

In case you are confused, the above story is fictitious.  The actual story is about a 20 year oldnon-Muslim man named Collin McKenzie-Gude who was sentenced to five years in prison for plotting to kill the president.  Why, we ask, is there no hullabaloo as there invariably would have been had it been a Muhammad, Ahmad, Abdul Qasim, or some other Arabic sounding name involved?  The sparse media coverage explains why it is that people erroneously think that 90% of terrorists are Muslims, when in fact only about 6% of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil are from Islamic extremists.

The Washington Post reports:

Bethesda man linked to Obama death plot sentenced to 5 years
By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A 20-year-old Bethesda man linked to a plot to try to kill Barack Obama was sentenced to 61 months in prison Tuesday by a federal judge who said he had gone well beyond innocent role-playing.

“Nobody was assassinated. Nobody was wounded. Nobody was injured. But you were on the cusp,” U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte told Collin McKenzie-Gude.

The judge technically sentenced McKenzie-Gude on his earlier guilty plea of storing bomb-making chemicals in his bedroom. But other factors came into play. Prosecutors convinced Messitte that McKenzie-Gude deserved additional prison time because he was plotting to kill Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, that he had fashioned an attack plan against another student who was possibly going to sell him untraceable guns, and that he had not accepted responsibility for his actions…

The judge also criticized McKenzie-Gude’s parents for giving their only child too much leeway. Inside his second-floor bedroom, in a house just outside the Capital Beltway, McKenzie-Gude stored the chemicals, three semiautomatic rifles, two shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, including armor-piercing rounds. Police also found assault plans on a computer storage device in the bedroom…

When a twenty year old Christian does something like this, then he’s just an immature child.  When a twenty year old Muslim does something like this, then he’s a diabolical terrorist scum bag.

(hat tip: Umer Sultan)