On Monday, Salman Abedi became one of the biggest cowards the world has ever seen. When he decided to blow himself up and kill 22 people, including children and parents waiting to collect children, he cemented his place in history as one of the weakest humans to have existed. Not as the martyr or hero he wanted to be, but as a stain on society.
For the most part, the reaction of the people was phenomenal: Strangers took the injured in, taxi drivers got people home for free and this coming weekend the tattoo artists of Manchester will be giving out Manchester’s Working Bee symbol for £50, with all proceeds going to the victims of the attack.
But, as happens with every attack on the West, there were the people that reverted to hating more than just the people responsible. Instead of hating Salman Abedi, these people hated Islam. With this hate came the calls for deportation and to stop accepting refugees. Which isn’t an unreasonable thing; it is completely reasonable to say “I don’t like danger, keep it away”. But is Islam the danger or is something else?
So let’s do it, let’s have that talk: Should The West shut their borders to all Muslims and Muslim countries?
First, let us have a chronological look at the recent terrorist attacks on Western society. On May 22 2017, Salman Abedi detonated an explosive device killing himself and 22 other people. Salman came from a Muslim family, but those close to him state that he was not a religious person While it is too early to confirm, ISIL have taken responsibility for the attack. On April 20 2017, Karim Cheurfi killed a policeman in Paris and was shot dead at the scene. Karim was Muslim and again ISIL claimed responsibility. Karim’s lawyer described him as “psychologically fragile”. On April 7 2017, Rakhmat Akilov drove a truck through a busy street and killed four people. Rakhmat was arrested and confessed to being a ISIL sympathiser, but he was not a religious person. Westminster, the Louvre and Berlin tell similar stories: non-religious individuals inspired by ISIL, who, in turn, claimed responsibilities for their actions.
Next, let’s check out some statistics. Of the over one thousand terrorist attacks that occurred in Europe between 2010 and 2015, less than 2% can be attributed to Muslims. Further, FBI data indicates that only 6% of terrorist attacks in the United States can be attributed to Muslims, with Jewish people being more likely to commit an act of terrorism (7%). Latinos make up 42% of these attacks while Extreme Left Wing Groups make up 24%. If these are just numbers to you, let us put it this way: You are more likely to be killed by your furniture than you are by a Muslim terrorist, so maybe deport your lounge suites first.
You are more likely to be killed by your furniture than you are by a Muslim terrorist
Let’s say that you don’t like statistics, you just want the Muslims to stay in Muslim countries or go back to where they came from. That will stop terrorism.
Firstly, no; read the above.
Secondly, Muslim countries are the countries most affected by terrorism in the world. All of the top 10 countries on the Global Terrorism Index contain a significant Muslim population, making them the biggest victims of terrorism. First placed Iraq, who has a 99% Muslim population, suffered 2,415 terrorist attacks in 2015, leaving 6,960 dead and 11,900 injured. That’s more deaths than the USA’s last 50 years (approximately 3000). 59% of these attacks were carried out by ISIL and 21% by al-Qa’ida. Second placed Afghanistan saw 5,312 die from terrorism in 2015, the majority of which occurred at the hands of the Taliban. Nigeria, too, were victims of extremists, with the Boko Haram claiming the majority of their 4,940 deaths from terrorism.
If your solution is to force Muslims to be sent to these countries, what kind of person are you? Everyone has the right to security and everyone has the right to move countries if they believe they are not safe. Similarly, we understand your want for security: “I don’t like danger, keep it away”. But it should be evident by now that Muslim people are not the danger, extremist groups such as ISIL, al-Qa’ida and Boko Haram are.
They don’t attack the West because they are Muslim, they attack the West because they are at war. The West has been winning the war against terror ever since 9/11, but the war isn’t over and until it is, there will be more terrorist attacks. When they occur, let’s make sure we blame the right people. For now, that is Salman Abedi and ISIL.