Friday, April 19, 2013

So the Boston terrorists were Muslim. Is anyone shocked?

Many people were fervently hoping that the Boston Marathon terrorists were not Muslim. Some actually hoped they would be white Americans,  apparently afraid that if they were Muslim, it would stoke Islamophobia in America.

Just a reminder: A Gallup survey done a few years back, that was heavily spun to make it look like the vast majority of Muslims are moderate, in fact showed that 36.6% of Muslims worldwide thought that the 9/11 terror attacks were partially or wholly justified.

Which comes out to nearly half a billion Muslims who have no problem with terrorism against innocents.

Obviously, only a small percentage of those would actually perform terror acts. But that is a huge pool of potential jihadists. In fact, there are more Muslims who find justification for terror then there are people in South America.

Plus Canada.

Plus Australia.

That is a lot of people who want to cause harm to the West.

In this case, apparently, they were motivated enough to act on their jihadist terrorist indoctrination.

Naysayers like to say that most terror attacks on American soil since 9/11 were not performed by Muslims. David Sirota, linked to above, says that "FBI data show fewer terrorist plots involving Muslims than terrorist plots involving non-Muslims," although if you follow his links you see that the FBI said no such thing and the statistics come from the Muslim Public Affairs Council. But even if the numbers are accurate (and a glance at that report shows some spinning), that does not negate the huge number of Muslims who hate America, period. Most do not have easy access to the nation they hate so nothing will be done - but some will be motivated. Identifying that threat and being aware of it is not something to be ashamed of.

But, the argument goes, if Muslims are proven to have been behind the attack, then the US might decide to bomb a Muslim country in response. Um, why - because it happened after 9/11? Can you really generalize from that? Indeed, are people in Chechnya now building bomb shelters in fear that the US is going to attack?

These analysts think it is better policy for Americans to close their eyes to the dangers rather than be aware of them.

No one serious is saying that Muslims should be discriminated against in the US. But believing in radical interpretations of Islam is a factor in finding potential terror threats, as is an Internet history of researching explosives or of buying unusual amounts of fertilizer. The existence of non-Muslim terrorists doesn't mean that US law enforcement officials should discard anything they find that indicates radical Islam - it means that they need to add another category of potential murderers and treat people in any high risk radical demographic the same way.

The fact that these terrorists were Muslim is not something to celebrate. But it does prove that closing our eyes to the fact that hundreds of millions of people want us dead is not smart policy. Closing our eyes and hoping that the problem isn't with the millions of radical Muslims who want us dead is not very bright.