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There is no Islamic Threat

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    The Islamic Threat to Europe: By the Numbers By KRISTOFFER LARSSON April 21 / 22, 2007 http://www.counterpunch.org/larsson04212007.html Some things interest
    Message 1 of 1 , May 3 12:26 PM
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      The Islamic Threat to Europe: By the Numbers
      By KRISTOFFER LARSSON
      April 21 / 22, 2007
      http://www.counterpunch.org/larsson04212007.html


      Some things interest the media, others don't. Since the fall of the
      USSR, the United States has sought another menace to designate as the
      ultimate evil, a world threat the Americans desperately need to take
      on. The 9/11 attacks gave them that enemy. And when the White House
      speaks, the media listens obediently.

      Over the last number of years the "Islamic threat" has become one of
      the favourite issues for media coverage. It's all over the
      news--Muslims leaders pronouncing threats against the countries
      participating in occupying Muslim land.

      While America is the Western country most succumbed to the fear of
      Islamism, things aren't much better in Europe. Its media is highly
      Americanised and thus eager to reiterate U.S. governmental positions
      towards the non-Western world. Islamic terrorism is subsequently a
      theme close to the hearts of European journalists as well.

      Following this, you might think the journalists would be beside
      themselves with joy when the European Police Office (Europol) releases
      its first report on terrorism in the EU. I can assure you they
      weren't. In fact, to my best knowledge, not a single Swedish paper or
      news-channel has paid any attention to it whatsoever. I haven't seen
      it receiving much attention in other EU countries either (kudos to the
      EUobserver for having the decency to report on it). The report is
      namely a grave disappointment for the anti-Islamic campaigners.

      There were 498 incidents in eleven EU countries last year labelled as
      "terrorist attacks." The Basque separatist group ETA did best (136
      terrorist attacks) and was responsible for the only deadly attack,
      killing two in Madrid. The remaining 497 fortunately cost no human lives.

      How about the Islamic terrorists then? Considering the perpetual
      warnings in our daily papers, the findings in the Europol report is,
      to say the least, surprising. The truth is that Islamists only carried
      out one out of the 498 terrorist attacks in the European Union in
      2006. Don't believe me? The entire report is available on Europol's
      website. Had Islamic fundamentalists been behind a higher number of
      attacks-say 136-it would have been front page news at every big daily.
      One attack is simply too few--it won't do if the image of an "Islamic
      threat" is to live on.

      The Europol report devotes several pages to Islamist terrorism,
      despite the low number. Except for the one attack in Germany this
      group was responsible for (which, by the way, failed and resulted in
      no victims), also Denmark and the United Kingdom reported that
      Islamists plotted to carry out one attack in each country respectively
      (incidentally, all three countries are accessory to the illegal
      occupation of Iraq). However, since these plans in both cases were
      exposed before they were set to work, they were not included among the
      498. Either way, even after taking these plots into account, the
      report proves the genuine magnitude of Islamic terrorism in
      Europe--it's not exactly a huge threat.

      If we look at the people arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences,
      the figures are rather disproportionate; about half of them arrested
      were Muslim. In plain English: Muslims are a group causing very little
      terrorism in Europe, while at the same time much more likely to be
      arrested on suspicion of it. The constant media coverage of Muslims
      being arrested creates the false image of a serious threat in order to
      benefit the imperialist world-view Washington wants us to adopt.
      Meanwhile the Americans and their accomplices are carrying out
      genocide in Iraq. Clearly, something needs to be done about the media.


      Kristoffer Larsson lives in Sweden. He can be reached at:
      kristoffer.larsson @ sobernet.nu

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