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Does Islam Really Promote Terrorism?

            In 1972, the world met in Munich, Germany for the Olympic Games. The world was shocked at the terrorist attack against Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village resulting in the deaths of all 11 team members. This was the first time the western world was, in real time, really exposed to an Islamic threat, in living color on their television sets. World media headlines suggest that a predominant number of terrorist attackers are followers of the Islamic faith. "Are countries with large Muslim populations more likely to experience or produce transnational terrorist attacks than countries with fewer Muslims?" (Gellar, 318). The question of whether Islam promotes violence and terrorism has been studied extensively since 1972. Everyday more people of the Muslim faith immigrate to the United States and bring this question into the forefront for American people. Women are now frequently seen in the United States wearing a hijab, the traditional Islamic head wrap for women, that marks them as Muslim. After the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, many Americans treat Muslims with suspicion and mistrust. Muslims are sometimes feared as possible terrorists and shunned for their religious beliefs and observances. Muslim clothing attire marks them as different. This prejudice is known as "Islamaphobia." Society fears the different and unknown. Islamic religious practices promote peace rather than violence.
             "There are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making Islam the world's second-largest religious tradition after Christianity. There are an estimated 3,480,000 people of Islamic faith living in the United States today" (Desilver). "Study results suggest that Muslim states do not systematically produce more terrorism than non-Muslim states once state repression, human rights abuses, and discrimination against minorities are taken into account" (Conrad 326).

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