You may have seen the stats currently circulating on social media that would lead us to believe that Islam is responsible for only 2% of terror attacks. Of course, we all know this is ridiculous.
Admittedly, “far-right terrorism” does happen, but it’s rare for a day to go by nowadays when we don’t hear of someone being blown up or stabbed in the name of Islam. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not writing this in an attempt to blame all terror attacks on Muslims, but if people are going to push the “it’s only 2% so it’s not an issue!” line down our throats, it’s only fair that we make sure the stats are right. The problem is; they’re not right.
The report that we are looking at is a 190-page document from 2014, created by Europol (part of the EU). I have identified three main issues with Europol’s report. They are: classification, timeframe and population consideration.
It’s important to note, that this report is incredibly hard to make sense of. The stats aren’t provided in a logical manner and you have to delve in and out of paragraphs to get the information that you want. The report also classifies their statistics by “attacks” rather than “deaths”. There are both positives and negatives to this. A positive is that it doesn’t overlook the injuries of mass-scale Islamic terror attacks (America’s Boston Marathon bombing is a great example of this; where only 3 people were killed, but an additional 280 people were injured). A negative is; what do they actually classify as an “attack”?
Issue No. 1: Classification
The report claims: “EU Member States did not report any terrorist attacks specifically classified as right-wing or religiously inspired terrorism for the period 2013.” Now, we know straight away that this isn’t true. To highlight one example; the murder of Lee Rigby took place in May 2013. After the attack, Michael Adebolajo (one of the murderers), was filmed on camera saying: “We swear by the almighty Allah that we will never stop fighting you.” Clearly, this attack was religiously inspired.
By looking at this example alone, we can tell straight away that this report isn’t classifying obvious, religious attacks; as religious. Clearly, if they’re missing out specific religious attacks from their figures, the figures aren’t going to be correct.
What Type of Attacks Does the Report Include?
What is perhaps even more audacious than the report ‘conveniently’ leaving out certain religious attacks, is that it also classes acts such as handing out propaganda leaflets or smashing a building’s windows as an act of terrorism. That’s right; criminal damage is in the same league as chopping someone up with a machete, apparently!
I mentioned previously that Europol’s report is very difficult to make sense of. Unfortunately, it doesn’t correlate all the attacks by year, and by whether they were considered violent, or deadly, or neither. Since Europol is an EU organisation, I would suggest that this is done on purpose to direct the attention away from Islamic-motivated attacks. What we do know, however, is that around 70% of the attacks in the report were targeted towards business sector or private sector properties. They also include further attacks which are targeted towards public sector properties. Bearing this in mind, it must be a very small percentage of attacks in the report that are actually classified as causing death or injury to people.
This report isn’t a report on the number of violent and deadly attacks that have taken place in Europe. This is a report on criminal damage.
Issue No. 2: Timeframe
Another major concern that I have with the “2%” figure is that is comes from the 2014 Europol report. There is a 2016 report, but this shows more Islamic terror attacks, so people tend to shy away from it.
Below I have shown two graphs. The first is “terrorist attacks” in EU countries from 2009 to 2013. The second is “terrorist attacks” in Western Europe from 1970 to 2016. Remember, many of these attacks are simply acts of propaganda or criminal damage, but even by Europol’s ridiculous classification standards, they can’t hide the impact that Islamic terrorism has had on us over the last few years.
Issue No. 3: Population Consideration
Let’s remember that, as an average in EU countries, Muslims make up around 6% of the population. People seem to forget this when they’re comparing the number of Islamic terror attacks, to non-Islamic terror attacks. If we look at the statistics in red on the above graph over the last few years, we seriously need to ask ourselves; how are such a small percentage of the population causing so much terror?
The Muslim population is currently growing at a rapid rate in EU countries. What can we expect those figures to look like in five years’ time, or even ten years’ time?
A Summarisation of Europol’s Report
Unfortunately, as Europol’s report doesn’t give us details of what each “attack” was, and who carried it out, I can’t tell you from the report what percentage of violent attacks were carried out by Muslims. We do, however, now have a few responses to try out each time someone quotes us the 2% figure:
- Your report classifies handing out leaflets and smashing windows as “acts of terrorism”.
- Your report doesn’t include the last three years, where Muslims have been responsible for 80%+ of terror attacks.
- Muslims only make up around 6% of the population in EU countries, yet they’re carrying out an extremely high percentage of attacks. Does this not concern you?
Some More Accurate Statistics, For You
There have been 21 Islamic terror attacks in France since January 2015. This is more than the past 100 years combined.
There have been 407 terror attacks across the globe so far in 2017. These have resulted in the murder of 2835 people. Islamic State have claimed responsibility for 140 of these attacks. 130 of the attacks were accredited to “lone wolves” (like, for example, Khalid Masood).
Islam is responsible for at least 300 terror attacks in Europe since 9/11; killing approximately 1700 people, and injuring thousands more. This is an extremely high figure to say that they only make up 6% of the population.
Islam is responsible for 44 terror attacks in Europe since 2014. This time period in Europe is known as the “Wave of Terror” and has been linked to the Syrian Civil War and the rise of Islamic State. These terror attacks have been responsible for 362 murders, and many additional injuries.
Islam is responsible for over 30,000 terror attacks worldwide since 9/11, resulting in tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of deaths and injuries.
Why I Have Written This Report
You may remember a recent Huff Post article where the author claimed he was tired of defending Islam every time another terror attack happened. Well, I’m tired too.
I’m tired that every time another Muslim kills someone in the name of Islam, the media put out their usual hat trick of “lone wolf”, “mentally ill individual” and “nothing to do with Islam”.
I’m tired of people denying that the Quran promotes the murder of non-believers; although they’ve never read it.
I’m tired of the fact that, every time I try to talk about my concerns, I’m met with the phrase; “But not all Muslims are terrorists.” Yes, we know this. And nobody is saying they are. This response is in fact a direct refusal to deal with the issue at hand by responding to a claim that nobody has made. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but an usually high amount of attacks are carried out in the name of Islam. Why aren’t we questioning this?
I’m tired of those that ignore the majority of attacks, but say “What about Thomas Mair and Anders Breivik?” or “What about the IRA?” Those attacks are awful too, but please look at the figures above which show the scale of Islamic terrorism in recent years and realise what a silly comparison this is.
Most importantly, I’m tired of the people who prioritise defending Islam over questioning the reasons why an 11-year old deaf girl was run over and disembowelled in Sweden last month, or why a British police officer gave his life in March to protect his citizens outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Ebba and PC Keith Palmer died for a reason, and that reason was Islam.
Why Are People in Denial?
Why are so many people in denial about the figures above? Is it because they’re scared to face the truth, or scared to go against the majority and face backlash, perhaps?
Defend Europa readers; I would love to get your feedback on this. Please feel free to comment below, or tweet us at @DefendEvropa.