Tag Archives: Islamic Extremism

Right Wing Extremism vs. Islamic Extremism in the United States: A Look at the Numbers

Addendum- Special thanks to The College Fix for doing a story highlighting this blog post. Their story was reported on in a number of other publications, including the Wall Street Journal- See Notable & Quotable: Extremist Math.


Recently I have noticed a lot of friends and associates posting articles on social media that claim right wing extremism is more dangerous than Islamic extremism. For many, the claim is surprising, so I thought I would take a look at the numbers to see if it is justifiable. At the outset, let me acknowledge that extremist attacks by any person on behalf of any political ideology are disturbing and must be examined and condemned. Yet it is such an important issue that an open and honest accounting of such claims is necessary.

The now oft repeated claim that right wing extremism is more dangerous to Americans than Islamic extremism is based on total deaths and excludes casualties. Moreover, such accounts limit themselves to attacks in the United States (not worldwide), and purposefully exclude the nearly 3,000 deaths (as well as the over 6,000 survivors treated at hospitals) that took place on September 11, 2001. They don’t count the 9/11 deaths as then the numbers would be extraordinarily lopsided (in terms of total U.S. deaths due to Islamic extremism vs right wing extremism) and so such claims are careful to be based only on deaths in the United States AFTER the events of 9/11.

Indeed, 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 (a 62 to 1 ratio if you divide the slightly over 3000 deaths due to Islamic extremism by the 48 deaths attributed to right wing extremism).

62 to 1. Continue reading

Will the Real Extremists Stand Up Please?

Recently an article in the U.K. Independent came out with the headline “Al-Qaeda video shows public execution of woman accused of adultery – and has disgusted even Isis supporters.”

Previously, it was widely reported that one of the reasons ISIS developed independently from Al-Qaeda was that even Al-Qaeda saw their methods as too extreme– causing division.

Now ISIS is taking shots at Al Qaeda suggesting their methods are too extreme (in this case over something that is relatively minor compared to what ISIS has done).

Add to this the recent condemnation of the Pakistan version of the Taliban’s killing of 130 plus school children as too extreme by the Afghan version of the Taliban and it begins to get a bit ridiculous. Who knows what they all think of their fellow jihadists Boko Haram in Nigeria. They probably nit-pick about their mass killings and public executions as well.

Will the real extremists stand up please?

The fact is that they are all extreme, ruthless, and brutal in their methods of course, but perhaps this is a way to try to win points with potential jihadists looking to join an organization that provides the right fit for their extremism since they now have so many choices? With over 18,000 foreign fighters from all over the world drawn to ISIS’s wars in Iraq and Syria and who knows how many foreign recruits drawn to various Ai-Qaeda or Taliban manifestations around the Middle East and Africa, not to mention the apparent appeal of Boko Haram in Nigeria, recruiting must be very competitive in the jihadist world at the moment. This would all be great material for a Monty Python style sketch if the reality was not so serious.