Islamic Terrorism Threat May Be Overblown, Expert Says
By Yonat Shimron c. 2011 Religion News Service
(RNS) After a car bomb detonated on Wall Street one minute past the noon lunch hour killing 38 people, federal investigators came up with a possible link to an overseas group.
No, Italian anarchists.
The year was 1920, and in those days anarchists were the equivalent of today's terrorists, waging acts of mass destruction against Western capitalism.
Charles Kurzman, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, thinks the wave of 20th century anarchist violence bears a resemblance to the Islamic terrorism of the 21st century in one sense: Neither resulted in a spiraling escalation of violence.
"In many ways," said Kurzman, "Islamic terrorism is simply the latest form of transnational revolutionary violence to grab global attention."
Put another way: This too shall pass.
While mindful of the pain and suffering terrorism has caused, Kurzman has written a book challenging the dominant narrative that worldwide terrorism is out of control.
In the United States, for example, fewer than 40 people died at the hands of terrorists in the 10 years since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. That compares with about 140,000 other murders during the same time. (Read Full Article)