The establishment media is seemingly obsessed with “grim milestones” in the War on Terror, as the Associated Press reminds us this past weekend. But in the next week those same establishment media outlets will probably stand mute when yet another “grim milestone” is reached – the10,000th attack by Islamic terrorists and militants since 9/11, which is responsible for approximately 60,000 dead and 90,000 injured.
The chronicler of this bloody tally is Glen Reinsford, editor of TheReligionofPeace.com, who began compiling and updating daily a detailed list of reported incidents of violence and terrorism around the world targeting non-Muslims and Muslims alike. Because of space limitations he only posts the past two months worth of attacks on his websites main page, though he has archived all of the incidents from past years (2001-2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007). He also maintains a banner graphic with the updated number of attacks, which people can post on their own websites.
When asked what prompted him to begin such a labor-intensive undertaking, Reinsford identifies the tepid response to Islamic terrorism by otherwise outspoken Muslim groups, with one organization particularly in mind:
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). After 9/11, I kept an eye on them and was quite disgusted by their lack of moral perspective. They complain about issues that affect Muslims which are quite trivial, on average, compared to what is happening in the name of their religion. They do occasionally denounce terror in a general, somewhat ambiguous, sense but there is an obvious lack of passion. Their real interest is themselves.
Reviewing the list of recent incidents, it is surprising how many “smaller” attacks occur daily, which the establishment media pass with only a casual mention. While high profile attacks, like the one last week in Baghlan Province, Afghanistan that killed 75 and wounded at least 100 (many of them school children), receive plenty of attention, smaller incidents, such as the attack last week on a hotel in Baramulla, India that killed one, rarely register with the Western media.
Because Reinsford relies on the establishment media for his numbers, the true number of attacks and their victims are underreported:
In my case, I use published media reports from reputable sources on the Internet, such as the Associated Press. None of the information comes from rumor or word of mouth. Every bit of it can be verified through publicly-available sources. If anything, I undercount the attacks.
In his explanation of his methodology, he notes that he doesn’t include combat-related statistics, and acknowledges that the death toll may increase in the days and months following the attack as victims die from their injuries, which almost never get reported. The list also doesn’t account for the genocide in Darfur committed by the Islamist government in Sudan and their Janjaweed marauding militias, which the UN estimated last year had resulted in 400,000 dead and 2 million displaced.
With such seemingly incomprehensible carnage, I ask Reinsford if there were any particular incidents that stand out, and he identified three (qualifying that he could easily identify 15 more):
Nadimarg, India (3/23/03), dozens of Hindu villagers roused out of their beds and machine-gunned by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) Islamists.
Beslan, Russia (9/3/04), some 350 people slaughtered by Islamic militants - half of them children.
Malatya, Turkey (4/18/07), three Christian Bible distributors are tied up, tortured for hours then gruesomely murdered by men who acted explicitly in the name of Islam.
For me, a September 2006 Washington Post article stands out concerning an attack targeting Shi’ite women and children stands out, when a Sunni suicide bomber detonated a kerosene fuel bomb filled with ball bearings (for added effect) ripped through a crowd waiting in line to buy fuel. The Post described the horrific scene:
The horrific blast sent women engulfed in flames screaming through the streets. Two preteen girls embraced each other as they burned to death, witnesses said. Later, wailing mourners thronged the scene of the blast, which was strewn with the shoes of victims and a woman's bloodied cloak, and voiced doubt that the reprisal violence would ever end.
While many Muslim organizations in the West expend considerable effort portraying themselves as victims of Western “Islamophobia”, very little is said by those groups about the fact that many of the countless victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims themselves. There are certainly no public protests by organizations like CAIR in recognition of those Muslims murdered and maimed by Muslims, though they are quick to cite the number of civilians accidentally killed by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan (though Reinsford notes that while 225 Iraqis were killed in collateral damage incidents in 2006, there were 16,791 Iraqi civilians killed by Islamic terrorists that same year).
Reinsford says that the skewed perspective of ignoring the toll Islamic terrorism takes on Muslims stems from a failure by Muslim leaders to recognize the glaring problems that are resident in the heart of their own community:
Yes, most of the victims of Islamic terror are Muslim, yet there is very little outrage on the part of the Islamic world to terror, relative to, say, a Muhammad cartoon or an "insult to Islam" by a public figure. What does this tell us about the priorities of Islam? In fact, sympathies for terrorists run much higher than many people realize. Even those that do truly disagree with violence (and there are many) somehow avoid taking any sort of responsibility for ending it by convincing themselves that it has nothing to do with Islam. Obviously it has everything to do with Islam, and the unwillingness on the part of Muslims in the West to provide moral leadership against Islamic extremism will ensure that the terror continues for a long time.
With some of the biggest figures in the Islamic religious establishment preaching jihad beamed around the globe on Islamic satellite networks, and countless websites offering jihadist tracts, YouTube hosting a veritable smorgasbord of videos documenting terrorist incidents, and Internet forums dedicated to networking would-be jihadists and encouraging violence, it might be that Islamic extremists are a minority, but they clearly have dominated the conversation. And it is doubtful that the situation will change as long as that remains the case.
Fortunately, there are some Islamic leaders willing to speak out consistently and forcefully against Islamic extremism and the non-stop acts of terrorism, but the establishment media rarely gives them notice, let alone a hearing, preferring instead the cacophony of CAIR and those extremists who offer weak condemnations of terrorism, yet defending its justification and denying its true causes.
Meanwhile, the deadly toll continues to roll unnoticed by the establishment media. But Glen Reinsford is still there continuing his grim task keeping us all aware of how pervasive and unrelenting the problem of Islamic terrorism really is.