Friday, 24 February 2012

What's driving Miss Daisy.... crazy?

Islamophobia, that's what.
Daisy Khan penned a piece in The Guardian, claiming that "Islamophobia is America's real enemy".
Yup, that's the headline.  Despite the fact that Muslim-American terrorist attempts have risen steadily since 911.
Part of her absurd claim is based on a report from Duke University, which shows an average number of terrorist attempts thwarted in the US about 20 per year, a trend that the Duke report says is "declining", gleefully reported by Ms Khan, but which is in fact steadily increasing (point 4 below).
A couple of comments:
1.  "Only" 20 terrorist attempts per year is not cause for celebration: in 2001 there were not many thwarted attempts, just one successful one, that killed 3,000 and brought down two skyscrapers.  It needs only one of these attacks to succeed and the results could be devastating. Bearing in mind that they've tried to bring down planes, blow up bridges, flood the Hudson tunnel, use a car bomb in Times square... and so it goes. Imagine if just one of these had succeeded.  As one of the commenters noted, these sorts of attempted murders are attacking the nation; the 14,000 recorded murders last year are the result of domestic and other disputes, not relevant to the issue of terror against the state.
2.  Nowhere in the report, nor in the comments that I've read (not all), is the cost of thwarting these attempts mentioned: the metropolitan police departments, with their beefed up anti-terrorism units, the FBI focus on terrorists, the cost to airlines and passengers of the burdensome security screenings. All of these are a cost both mentally and financially, to keep what Ms Khan calls the "fabric of US civil society" safe from her correligionists.
3.  She doesn't mention the daily killings of Muslims by other Muslims around the world.  Understandable, as she's focussed on the US.  But surely these are part and parcel of her religion and valid cause for concern for those who she dismisses as "Islamophobes".
4.  The Duke University report, "Muslim-American Terrorism in the Decade since 911", says in its first paragraphs that "Muslim-American terrorism is down".  But that's only true if you take 2011 vs 2010, a "fallacy of range", which I'll presume is deliberate.
If you look at the numbers since 9/11 -- which the report claims in its title to be about --  and add a trendline, it's steadily, and rather strongly up. It doesn't matter what trend-line you use: I've put the figures into Excel and tested the following trend-lines: linear, logarithmic, polynomial, power, exponential and moving average (3 year).  No matter which one I use, the trend for Muslim-American terrorism is UP in the decade since 911.
But that would have been a different headline: "US Muslims' attemps to commit mass murder on the increase: Daisy Khan focusses on 'Islamophobia'".  Not such a congenial headline, that.
The commenters that I've read aren't having any of her tendentious contumely.  They tackle her direct and that's interesting because of the left-leangingness of The Guardian. Like the commenters in response to Karen Armstrong's ridiculous article on the Hajj: they tore into her apologia as well.
In that sense, it seems that the left is maybe "getting it" and is not afraid to come out in critique of the egregious elements of Islam, even if it means being labelled "Islamophobe" by the likes of a Daisy Khan.