Hysterical conservative rhetoric dictates that Americans should be more afraid of Muslim attacks than anything else. In reality, it’s the right-wing extremists that Americans should be fearful of.
Since September 11, 2001, non-Muslim extremists have carried 19 attacks and have killed nearly twice as many people as Muslim attacks, reported the New York Times. Forty-eight people have died at the hands of non-Muslim attackers, compared to 26 who were killed by Muslim attackers.
Three hundred eighty two police departments across the country were asked to list the three biggest threats from violent extremists in their respective jurisdictions. Seventy-four percent of those departments said right-wing, antigovernment violence was the biggest danger. Only 39 percent said “Al Qaeda-inspired” violence was the largest threat.
“Law enforcement agencies around the country have told us the threat from Muslim extremists is not as great as the threat from right-wing extremists,” said Dr. Charles Kurzman, a University of North Carolina researcher who helped conduct the survey.
Experts on terrorism have noted that there is widespread acceptance of the fear of Muslim attack in the United State. This is mostly perpetuated by conservative outlets like Fox News.
“There’s an acceptance now of the idea that the threat from jihadi terrorism in the United States has been overblown,” said Dr. John Horgan of the University of Massachusetts. “And there’s a belief that the threat of right-wing, antigovernment violence has been underestimated.”
Fox News is the bastion of Muslim hate and fearmongering. Hosts like Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and Jeanine Pirro fan the flames of Muslim hate and hysteria and foster ignorance among its viewers. Anytime there is an attack or perceived threat of a Muslim attack, conservative media sounds the alarm. Right-wing, antigovernment attackers get little coverage.
The likes of Fox News are the worst at fomenting Muslim hate, but other network media outlets are also guilty.
“With non-Muslims, the media bends over backward to identify some psychological traits that may have pushed them over the edge,” said Abdul Cader Asmal, spokesman for Boston’s Muslim community. “Whereas if it’s a Muslim, the assumption is that they must have done it because of their religion.”
Conservative violent attacks on America have existed before the fear of Muslim attacks. The far-right Christian group Army of God has killed dozens of people over the last 20 years. Most of the violence are “lone wolf” attacks that are motivated by Christian, antigovernment ideologies.
Creating hysteria on baseless assumptions that Muslims are planning on attacking America is poor reporting and ignorant. News outlets ignore the fact that most domestic attacks are committed by right-wing extremists. It’s time to get some perspective.