White Supremacists More Dangerous To America Than Foreign Terrorists, Study Says

Nine people were added to a long list of lives taken by domestic terrorism when Dylann Roof allegedly began shooting inside a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17.
 
At least 48 people have been killed stateside by right-wing extremists in the 14 years since since the September 11 attacks — almost twice as many as were killed by self-identified jihadists in that time, according to a study released Wednesday by the New America Foundation, a Washington, D.C., research center. The study found that radical anti-government groups or white supremacists were responsible for most of the terror attacks.
 
The data counters many conventional thoughts on what terrorism is and isn’t. Since Sept. 11many Americans attribute terror attacks to Islamic extremists instead of those in the right wing. But the numbers don’t back up this popular conception, said Charles Kurzman, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kurzman is co-authoring a study with David Schanzer of Duke University, set to be published Thursday, that asks police departments to rank the three biggest threats from violent extremism in their jurisdiction.

For this Muslim scholar, the Chattanooga shooting brought a familiar sinking feeling

That was the first thought Omid Safi says went through his head when he saw news about the deadly shooting attack in Chattanooga on Thursday.

Mourners places flags at a growing memorial in front of the Armed Forces Career Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee on July 16, 2015. Four Marines were killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before being fatally shot himself in an attack officials called a brazen, brutal act of domestic terrorism.  Credit: Tami Chappell/Reuters
Mourners places flags at a growing memorial in front of the Armed Forces Career Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee on July 16, 2015. Four Marines were killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before being fatally shot himself in an attack officials called a brazen, brutal act of domestic terrorism. Credit: Tami Chappell/Reuters

Then came a familiar sinking feeling. “Not because the suspect is Muslim,” says Safi, who directs the Islamic Studies Center at Duke University. “When there is an act like this, it tends to undo all of the good work that has taken place in the community over the last years and months, and in particular in the month of Ramadan.”

Duke University at center of Call to Prayer controversy

Duke University found itself at the center of a national controversy last week after it granted permission, then revoked it, and finally re-granted permission for Muslim students on campus to use the chapel for the weekly call to prayer (adhan). (Photo: Duke University)
Duke University found itself at the center of a national controversy last week after it granted permission, then revoked it, and finally re-granted permission for Muslim students on campus to use the chapel for the weekly call to prayer (adhan). (Photo: Duke University)

Duke University found itself at the center of a national controversy last week after it granted permission, then revoked it, and finally re-granted permission for Muslim students on campus to use the chapel for the weekly call to prayer (adhan). Initially, a Duke student was to perform the call to prayer at a “moderate volume” from the chapel bell tower, but after non-Muslim, mostly Christian, groups protested the decision, the university decided to cancel the event altogether, citing “security concerns.”

Televangelist Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, led the opposition to the Call for Prayer writing on his Facebook page, “As Christianity is being excluded from the public square and followers of Islam are raping, butchering, and beheading Christians, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t submit to their Sharia Islamic law, Duke is promoting this in the name of religious pluralism. I call on the donors and alumni to withhold their support from Duke until this policy is reversed.” Meanwhile, Omid Safi, the director of Duke’s Islamic Studies program responded to Graham’s claims saying, “Every day from that same Duke chapel, church bells ring, and twice on Sunday,” he said. “The cross is on the emblem of Duke University. The entire quad, and the entire campus of Duke University is laid out as a cross. And the Christian chapel is the very symbol of Duke University. So the kind of fanatical proclamation that Christianity is being erased from Duke’s campus is frankly a poor indication of the intelligence of that argument.”

Last week, Duke reversed its position once-again after national media attention and protests by the student body in support of Muslim students on-campus. Permission to give the call to prayer was given to Muslim students on the quad in front of the university chapel. However, the decision was not without a caveat as the student will only be able to speak the adhan from the doorway of the chapel. Duke University’s Imam Adeel Zeb said that his students are “disappointed” with the administration’s decision and the lack of support from earlier allies. He advised his students to remain positive.