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Reasserting my point that adjectives are useless

Reader comment on item: Figuring out Radical Islam
in response to reader comment: Adjectives are useless and hide the facts

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Jul 19, 2016 at 03:04

Dear Dr Pipes,

I would like to reassert my points that adjectives like radical, fundamentalists, jihadi, salafi etc are useless when it comes to discussing the current Islamic problem. I am not saying that all Muslims are same and equally fundamentalists. All I am saying --and statistics prove me correct-- is that in the current world a terrorist is more likely to be a Muslim than anything else on and a Muslim is more likely to be a terrorist than a follower of any other religion. Further more, there is no way for us to predict which Muslim will become a terrorist. Each one of the recent killers was a normal human being until they launched their attack.

The Dhaka killers were a private school educated privileged kids. The Paris killers were immigrants. The killer in Orlando had a background in law enforcement. The killer in Nice was "not very intelligent". Afsiya Sidddiqi and Abu Nidal were rich professionals. It is not that some Muslims carry an adjective that makes them more likely to be terrorist. What it is that on a given day any Muslims can turn a terrorist with a bigger probability that anyone else turning a terrorist. And once a person turns a terrorist, we throw in an adjective --after the fact-- to describe him and differentiate him for the rest. Unless an adjective can be assigned to a human "before the act", it is useless.


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