If you listen to white-nationalist fearmongers and the sort of Americans susceptible to trash messaging from louche opportunists, radical Islam is to blame for the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, UK.
If that theory doesn’t quite grab or—or allow you to make the conclusions convenient to you and your worldview—an alternate narrative is emerging: terrorism isn’t caused by Islam, but by drugs.
“Islam is the problem” was the not-so-subtle message of the so-called “March Against Sharia” on Saturday, when Americans organized by the self-styled “NRA of national security” assembled across the country to “protest” a selective interpretation of the world’s second-largest religion, and provide the lunatic radicals in ISIS an ideal recruitment tool.
But a more nuanced look at the problem of terrorism—that is, an examination that spends longer than 10 seconds examining Islam—would suggest that something else is at play.
Consider the existence of 1.6 billion Muslims who are not terrorists, or the fact that only 11 of the 89 terrorist attacks carried out in America over a period of five years were perpetrated by Muslims.
(Muslims, in fact, are more likely to be the target of terrorist attacks, as Reason.com reported, and spectacles like a march against Muslims is likely to only encourage more tragedies like the unhinged man who, after mocking two women in headdresses, fatally stabbed two people on a Portland, Oregon train.)
For some people, religion isn’t an adequate explanation. So another bogeyman must be found.
Predictably, some people are turning to drugs—and, specifically, marijuana.
In the frenzied and hectic hours after a suicide bomber killed 22 people and wounded hundreds more at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, a national-security expert offered a snap theory: it’s not Islam, it’s drugs. The Boston marathon bombers, the Paris theater attackers, the Manchester bomber—all of them smoked weed, as Tom Nichols observed.
Nichols later insisted that his observation was only made to point out that any Muslim who kills innocents is a very bad Muslim—and probably not someone who observes Sharia—but the equally crackpot idea that drugs are to blame for terrorism is unfortunately gaining traction, and it’s being repeated on TV.
Last week, a few days before UK voters delivered more power to the country’s left-wing, television presenter Lauren Booth—a sister-in-law of former prime minister Tony Blair—was invited onto daytime television program This Morning to spout the “drug addict” theory.
Booth, Continue Reading
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