Hi. This is a page of random links and notes I’m making. Some of it is about understanding the religion, scripture, history and sects of Islam. And some is about anti-Muslim bigotry, prejudice and discrimination. And some of it is about terrorism. I’m just learning, and I happily will take links, readings, suggestions and thought on these pages, thanks.
Muslims aren’t a major risk to safety or security
Probably neglect is related to the availability heuristic. Basically, it means that people suck at realizing what is a risk and how likely something is. Terrorists are very unlikely. And it’s very unlikely they will attack us. And here is the thing: most of the time, they will be white:
They and untold thousands… [of] extremists who hide among us, the right-wing militants who, since 2002, have killed more people in the United States than jihadis have. In that time, according to New America, a Washington think tank, Islamists launched nine attacks that murdered 45, while the right-wing extremists struck 18 times, leaving 48 dead.
Muslims have been responsible for only two out of the 487 “terrorism”-related deaths in Canada recorded in the Canadian Incident Database since 1960; that both of these casualties from “Muslim terrorism” were caused by white men born in Canada (Martin Couture-Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau); that extreme right-wing and white supremacist groups have murdered and assaulted several times more people than “Muslim terrorists” have.
For example, people are very concerned about refugees causing a terrorists attack. In the United States, it’s been over 40 years since a refugee killed any Americans, and that was by Cuban refugees. That is simply not assessing the risks properly.
In Canada, a rise in crimes targeting Muslims is driving an increase in total hate crimes. Jewish and Muslim citizens, residents and refugees are the main targets of hate crimes, according to Statistics Canada.
Police-reported crimes motivated by hate against the Muslim population rose 61% in 2015. That year, police-reported 159 incidents compared to 99 in 2014. Hate crimes against Catholics also increased from 35 to 55 incidents during the same period. In contrast, the number of crimes targeting the Jewish population declined from 213 to 178. Hate crimes targeting Jewish populations accounted for 13% of all hate crimes followed closely by hate crimes targeting Muslim populations (12%). Overall, 35% of hate-motivated crimes reported in 2015 were motivated by hatred of religion.
The Quran and Advocating Violence
Someone said to me that the Quran is deeply problematic because it advocates violence, like ‘smiting’ the heads off infidels (so most of us). He implied this was more problematic than the Christian Bible.
After a quick Google, I found Sura 8:12 which speaks of smiting off their heads. But it is my understanding that the verse in question is about the Battle of Badr. A specific command to a specific group of people about a specific battle.
If I’m right, the interpretation is the important part. The Old Testament, used by Jewish and Christian clergy, also has good commanding wiping out entire peoples. Some Christians take a militant view of the Bible, but most don’t. A higher percentage of Muslims take a militant view of the Quran , but still, most don’t.
A few verses later on Sura 8 it talks about accepting peace if the enemy is willing (Sura 8:60). So the same Sura, by the same author, near the same place says to give no quarter to your enemy, but also accept a peace deal. (I guess at that point they aren’t your enemy any more.) Such commands to peace are not present in the Old Testament.
They key, however, is modern interpretation. The vast majority of Christians do not interpret the Bible that way. However, the Saudi Royal family has been funding and exporting Wahhabism, which does take a dangerous interpretation of the Bible that can easily push people toward extremism.