A widely touted study claiming right-wing extremism is more deadly than Islamic terrorism in the United States has been debunked by a history professor who shows that, in actuality, there have been 62 Americans killed by Islamic terrorists in the U.S. for every one American killed by right-wing extremists.
Professor Andrew Holt of Florida State College at Jacksonville recently published his analysis that discredits the widespread sentiment that right-wing attackers are the deadliest domestic terrorists in the U.S.
“If you include the death totals from 9/11 in such a calculation, then there have been around 62 people killed in the United States by Islamic extremists for every one American killed by a right wing terrorist,” Holt stated in his analysis.
Holt’s analysis points out numerous flaws in the highly cited study released in 2015 by New America Foundation, which claimed 48 deaths in the U.S. were due to “far right wing attacks” while only counting 45 deaths due to “violent jihadist attacks.”
The study’s findings were not only touted by many major news outlets across the nation as proof that fears over radical Islamic terror in the U.S. are overblown, but the findings are also used today in some college classrooms as an example of Islamophobia.
But, Holt points out the foundation’s findings are based on flawed data sets.
For one, the foundation did not count the deaths on Sept. 11. Secondly, it did not factor in extraordinary security measures, such as the Patriot Act and the creation of Homeland Security, put in place after 9/11 that prevented a large number of attempted attacks by Islamic terrorists on American soil.
Moreover, the foundation’s count does not recognize “the disproportionately high number of attacks by Islamic extremists in the United States, who, even after excluding the victims of 9/11, are still responsible for around 50 percent of the total number of deaths due to extremism, even though Muslims only account for around 1 percent of the total U.S. population,” Holt states.
Underscoring all that, Holt said the foundation’s count ignored more than a half-dozen examples of radical Islamic terrorism deaths in the U.S.
One of the most glaring omissions, he noted, is the 2002 D.C. Beltway snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, who admitted to authorities that they were inspired by Osama bin Laden and sought to set up a terrorist training camp.
“Indeed, on April 22, 2005, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed [the] death penalty on the basis that Muhammad had committed an act of terrorism,” Holt stated. “Together, Muhammad and Malvo killed at least ten people. Yet [the foundation] does not list their victims among those under the category of ‘violent jihadist attacks.’”