Obama’s “Countering Violent Extremism” Initiative Reproduces the Myth that Muslims Are More Inclined to “Terrorism”

Source: Class Central
Source: Class Central

In a press conference yesterday, President Obama revealed the “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) initiative. Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths, describes the initiative in the following way:

These [CVE] meetings target the Muslim community almost exclusively, though the overwhelming majority of domestic acts of extremist violence does not involve Muslims. Also, as explained more fully below, they rely on a debunked theory of “radicalization” and call into question Muslims’ religious activities and the exercise of other basic American freedoms.

Muslim Advocates also states that Obama’s initiative reproduces the “false perception” that Muslims are the biggest threat to American security. As I discussed in “Threats From “Islamic Terrorism” Have Been Exaggerated Once Again,” the “argument” that contemporary terrorism is disproportionately Islamist does not stand up to the reality of contemporary “terrorism” and carelessly suggests that Muslims are the “boogeymen.” Here are two passages from my blog which shed more light on “contemporary terrorism:”

Analysis from Global Research shows that of the approximately 2,400 terrorist attacks on US soil that are documented in the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, Muslims accounted for only 60 “terrorist” attacks. In other words, roughly 2.5% of all terrorist attacks on US soil between 1970 and 2012 were carried out by Muslims.

Research carried out by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security showed similar statistics. Their report notes that only 33 out of the more than 300 deaths from political violence and mass shootings since 9/11 were carried out by Muslims. Charles Kurzman of the Triangle Center adds that “Islamic terrorism” does not even count for 1% of the 180,000 murders in the US since 9/11.

In summary, the CVE sends “a dangerous signal to members of the public that their Muslim neighbors are a threat, worsening the environment of anti-Muslim bigotry and hate crimes,” as noted by Muslim Advocates.

Once again, the US government construes the concept of terrorism as a weapon to be exploited in the service of systems of power. Muslim Americans are the victims of an initiative that the government claims is good for their well-being and future. Go figure.

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