I’m not armed with stats, or anything like that for this, beyond what google can quickly equip me with and having read through many, many articles on how people become terrorists for an MUN conference where I was representing Russia in the Security Council last year. I am going to do my best to afford rambling or ranting- that doesn’t help the case, and it doesn’t help my attempts to store mostly pure fact, even here.
It’s been on my mind quite intensely the last week or so, thanks to the result of a certain election.
Deporting people for being Muslim is EXACTLY what terrorists want.
If I could remember where I found it, I would use the actual quotes of the psychologist who said the fuller version of this, but essentially people don’t become angry at their society unless their society gives them something to be angry at.
The general plan of ISIS, from what I read then, is to be so intimidating to everyone that non-Muslims make the assumption that all Muslims are like that. They would then start to act in slight prejudiced manners, which would eventually lead to conscious prejudice. After that, it would become institutionalised, so that the public role itself was attacking Muslims. ISIS then assumed that the marginalised Muslims would turn by default to them due to hopes of being more included.
We skipped right past slight prejudice: One of the girls in my form at school described how just the day after the Paris attacks, a young Muslim woman had been at a tube station and been pushed into the path of an oncoming train very deliberately by a fellow passenger, which my classmate’s mother had witnessed. She’d survived, due to hitting the train at a very fortunate angle, and rebounded onto the platform, but she was definitely hurt. This was not reported in any major newspapers, which is somewhat understandable due to wanting to focus on the attacks in the short term, but I really doubt that it was the only incident, and I feel any incident that may have been an attempted hate-related killing should be known, even if it were a few weeks later.
The Leave campaign is a good demonstration of institutionalising prejudice too. The actual campaign wasn’t anywhere near as racist as I was anticipating, but at least in the area I live, the only reasons for people voting out seemed to be that they hadn’t fact checked data, that they hadn’t thought critically about data or, seemingly overwhelmingly, that they just didn’t want Muslim people diluting the culture, or even worse statements about Islam (The amount of people over 20 who respond like that is terrifying). The EU parliament is actually more representative than the UK parliament (The UK has 19% women, the EU has 37% women, just for starters), with a closer representation of what people would vote as well, and no good politician would sign up to a deal where £350 million was being spent daily on something not in direct national interest. So I don’t think the campaign was racist- just really poorly fact checked- but a lot (not all) of the votes were racist.
And a lot of the most popular ideas from Brexit campaigners went along the lines of forcibly removing migrants from our country. Many people got called racist terms used against them over the first few weeks after the vote- including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who got called the “p” word numerous times. Clearly a lot of people saw the Brexit vote as an excuse to increase our openness to racist attitudes. I’m not saying don’t express your views- I’m saying consider your views and if they’re justified, which racism is not.
Meanwhile we started increasing paranoia thoroughly throughout society. France had good reason to- I’d be concerned if France wasn’t paranoid right now- but everyone increasing their fear is exactly what terrorists want. It’s in the name. A terrorist is someone who aims to achieve their goals through means such as mass murder to induce a state of terror among the population. The very worst thing you can do after a terrorist act is to be overly terrified, and to act on the terror to be prejudiced. Terrorists thrive under oppression.
President-elect Donald Trump stated in many of his speeches that he plans to stop Muslims coming into the country full stop. Far beyond the sheer logistical issues of a complete ban (and the question of what happens if one of the few Muslim senators (I can find two) had a holiday abroad during their term and the rule meant they couldn’t return, then senate couldn’t enter session?), the pressure this will put on Muslim people will be tremendous. Quite apart from shutting them really going to have no impact on migration rates, the hatred this will cause among Muslim populations could be enormous. Tightening up immigration controls tends to increase migration as people rush through to reach family they won’t see otherwise. I know that a minute proportion of people are ever radicals, but if anything is going to raise hatred, and therefore radicalism, making people feel imprisoned and hated by the general population is going to do it.
The US has been responsible for, by conservative estimates, 10 million Muslims’ deaths in the Middle East just since 1990, whilst the total deaths to terrorism in this time has been, judging from graphs, possibly around 390,000 worldwide, and Europe has a figure at scale of 10 around 20,600 deaths in this time. I’m not saying any of those deaths are justifiable- just that they are nothing compared to 10 million deaths.
graph source: http://www.datagraver.com/case/worldwide-terrorism-1970-2015
Even just Trump’s current pleas of removal of 2 million undocumented migrants are unrealistic- the official estimate is 168,000 undocumented migrants in total in the USA, which is absolutely minute and really not enough people, in a population of 324,600,000 for it to be worth worrying over if they’re contributing to the economy- which they are. Trump claims that immigration control does not know who Middle Eastern refugees are when they come in, despite current legislation meaning that about 2 years are spent checking out every single potential migrant, which should be plenty to work out if they’re a likely terrorist.
Prejudice breeds contempt, and contempt spawns radicals.
The best figures I can find for how many British ISIS members there are is about 1,600. There are 2,660,116 Muslim people in the United Kingdom. That means that 0.0006015% of Muslims are ISIS sympathisers, let alone actual ISIS agents. Given the amount of hatred aimed at Muslim people, that’s pretty low. The chances of being murdered in the UK are 0.0062%, including by terrorist attack. You are 100x less likely to even meet an ISIS agent as to be murdered. The UK has a 2.9 per 100,000 death rate from car crashes, amounting to a 0.0029% chance. You have a 10% chance of being sexually assaulted in the UK in your life time, which is 16,625x more likely than meeting a terrorist. Basically, if you’re willing enough to take risks of walking out into the street, you should be willing to admit that terrorism can’t be that likely to affect you-as the statistics prove.
So basically, please, please, stop trying to fight terrorism by hating on Muslim people. All the Muslims I know are perfectly reasonable human beings, with perfectly reasonable sets of opinions and views. US attacks on the Middle East for, let’s face it, oil, have killed far more people than terrorist attacks- at least 20x as many. People only start practicing terrorism if their society has driven them to it, and I can see why just the US war record would do it.
Hatred never solved anything. If Russia (where, from what I could find, the 10% Muslim population seems to be treated reasonably fairly) is being more inclusive than your supposedly highly liberal society towards a religious group, you might want to check out why that is and consider it critically.