What If: Radical Islamic Terrorism is Not Islam’s Fault

While it may seem contradictory on the surface, I do not believe that Islam and the Quran are the cause of Radical Islamic Terrorism.

I have not read or studied the Quran, so I cannot use the book’s text to make my point. However, the Quran’s content is probably irrelevant.

If every piece of literature that contained incendiary language or what may be interpreted as calls to violence (both of which I imagine are contained in the Quran) caused people to behave violently, our species would have never made it this far. The Bible, especially the Old Testament, contains similar language. Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings do too.

For kicks, why not read tweets from leftists any time an event takes place in the era of Donald Trump? I highly doubt the Quran is even remotely as repulsive, and you don’t see post-menopausal feminists suicide-bombing markets very often.

There is also an inconvenient truth about the Islamic World that makes blaming Islam for Radical Islamic Terrorism nearly impossible: the Islamic World is largely illiterate.

Take a look at the literacy rates (via UNESCO) of the world’s 29 nations with populations made up of 90% or more Muslims:

Nation Literacy Rate Nation Literacy Rate
Maldives 99.3% Sudan 75.9%
Mauritania 52.1% Azerbaijan 99.8%
Afghanistan 38.2% Tajikistan 99.8%
Tunisia 81.8% Libya 91%
Iran 86.8% Uzbekistan 99.6%
Iraq 79.7% Pakistan 56.4%
Morocco 72.4% Senegal 55.7%
Yemen 70.1% Kosovo 91.9%
Somalia No Data Gambia 55.5%
Turkey 95% Mali 38.7%
Comoros 77.8% Jordan 96.7%
Niger 19.1% Turkmenistan 99.7%
Algeria 80.2% Bangladesh 61.5%
Saudi Arabia 94.7% Egypt 75.2%
Djibouti No Data World 86.3%

As you can see:

  • 16 of the 27 nations that have available data are below the world average in literacy
  • Iran, Libya, and Kosovo are below 92% (lower than Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar)
  • Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Jordan are well below 99.2%, the average rate of the developed world

Now take a look at the same nations with an additional metric: their scores on the Global Terrorism Index (GTI):

Nation Literacy Rate GTI Nation Literacy Rate GTI
Maldives 99.3% No Data Sudan 75.9% 6.66
Mauritania 52.1% 0.07 Azerbaijan 99.8% 0.35
Afghanistan 38.2% 9.44 Tajikistan 99.8% 3.09
Tunisia 81.8% 4.96 Libya 91% 7.28
Iran 86.8% 3.95 Uzbekistan 99.6% 0.15
Iraq 79.7% 9.96 Pakistan 56.4% 8.61
Morocco 72.4% 0.89 Senegal 55.7% 2.6
Yemen 70.1% 8.07 Kosovo 91.9% 2.21
Somalia No Data 7.55 Gambia 55.5% 0
Turkey 95% 6.74 Mali 38.7% 6.03
Comoros 77.8% No Data Jordan 96.7% 2.86
Niger 19.1% 6.68 Turkmenistan 99.7% 0
Algeria 80.2% 4.28 Bangladesh 61.5% 6.48
Saudi Arabia 94.7% 5.4 Egypt 75.2% 7.32
Djibouti No Data 1.78 World 86.3%

After crunching the numbers:

  • The 4 high literacy nations with available data have an average GTI score of 1.27
  • The 15 below average literacy nations with available data have an average GTI score of 5.47
  • The six nations that are above average in literacy, but are still well below the developed world, have an average GTI score of 4.74

While correlation does not necessarily equal causation, this data suggests that being able to read at a high level is associated with lower levels of terrorism while low literacy rates are associated with higher levels of terrorism in the Muslim World.

If the Quran encourages terrorism, why would the best readers in the Muslim World commit the least amount of terror?

Additionally, consider the opinion polls often cited by the likes of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Bill Maher to show that Muslims are sympathetic to terrorism at alarmingly high rates. If such a great portion of Muslims are illiterate, how is it fair to 1) assume they understand the Quran and 2) assume they fully understand the survey questions they are being asked?

Beyond literacy, we must learn to hold individuals responsible for their actions instead of the words and environments that surround them.

After the Columbine Massacre in 1999, politicians, media pundits, advocacy groups, and others tried to blame the incident on the music the perpetrators listened to, namely the always controversial Marilyn Manson. But it wasn’t the music that made the killers kill. They made a decision on their own and could have found justification anywhere. As The Who’s Pete Townshend brilliantly put it, “If some shit head with a guitar tells you to go shoot up a school and you actually go do it, then that person is a shit head themselves and would’ve done it anyway.”

Stupid, weak, aimless, angry, and hateful people don’t need a reason to commit evil. It’s just a matter of time.

In the Muslim World, US foreign policy has provided low-hanging fruit for such individuals. By occupying and bombing their countries for decades on end, the federal government and its allies have come as close as one can come to legitimizing terrorist activity by Muslims. While it still comes down to the individual to do what’s right even in a world full of so much wrong, it’s not hard to imagine that some people will allow themselves to be driven over the edge when their families and nations are destroyed in combat and as byproducts of pointless and unrelenting warfare.

And for a nation that claims to value Democracy (though it shouldn’t), does the US imagine that killing and removing leaders of Muslim nations will not result in blowback? Putting your Trump Derangement Syndrome aside for a moment, how would you feel if a more powerful foreign nation forcibly removed your elected leader and used propaganda and force to elect someone easier to manipulate and profit from?

The only reason anyone should fear Islam is another likely cause for terrorism and other forms of violence in the Muslim World. That fear is political Islam. In a world or nation governed by Sharia Law, hatred, anger, idiocy, and poverty would fester.

But this is not unique to Islam or Sharia. Any people tyrannized by human enforcement of the supposed will of any so-called divine or faith-based tenets will respond negatively. This is why the Framers of the US Constitution used the first clause of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to say that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

Islam is not why terrorism exists, and it is not the enemy. Neither is Christianity, Scientology, Communism, Atheism, or whatever set of beliefs you can muster.

The enemy and the cause of terrorism is stupidity.

It is stupidity that allows you to blame words and books for the violence of the human animal. It is stupidity that allows you to be tricked into waging ‘Jihad’ while your tricksters sit on their gold. It is stupidity that allows you to initiate violent force for nonexistent ends. It is stupidity that allows you to think you know what is best for others. And it is stupidity that allows you to convince yourself that you have the power to fix the massive imperfections of the world without the world’s consent.


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  • One might opine that highly literate people won’t likely dwell over the Quran, but rather read more relevant stuff, as books like the Quran were created for the illiterate.
    Yes, the cause for all human strife is the stupidity of the self-domesticated ape, I agree. I also agree that in this case, political Islam is being used by our own elites as a nuisance force to weaken western culture into accepting the NWO, by enabling them to enforce full control through the pretense of fighting terror. But in doubt, they will also be happy if we accept Sharia, and therefore it still makes sense to sensitize the stupid 80% against Islam, because I do not intend to live under Sharia – I would rather live, in the coming Matrix world, under western norms.

  • Brannagyn says:

    I think you might be overlooking the fact that multiple causes are not mutually exclusive. Terrorism is largely driven by a combination of poverty, oppression and/or shame among the population that make up its foot soldiers. A lack of education makes them vulnerable to the middle class or political elite organisers who use them to carry out terrorist actions for ideological purposes that might be completely at odds with the goals the lower-class foot-soldiers espouse. At present Islam, due to of the failure of a truly liberal form to emerge in recent years + the inherent message of the texts (promoting reward in the afterlife for a wide variety of violent acts carried out against a diverse selection of potential targets) makes it an ideal tool for use in manipulating angry and disillusioned young people into militant violence. So yes, education is a key issue (that makes people vulnerable to manipulation), but so too are the underlying social causes of anger and resentment (that provide the spark that can grow into flames of violence), and so to is Islam itself because its basic interpretation of the world is deeply encased in messages where violence is a legitimate and effective means of achieving justice. Combatting this requires effort on the international level to prevent abuse of weaker societies, efforts within those societies to increase education and awareness of the benefits of living in a modern liberal democracy, and efforts within Islam itself to more forcefully reject violence as a means of salvation and open itself up to higher levels of liberal tolerance. Unfortunately only the latter two are likely to see even the possibility of any major change in the near future.

    • The only effort on the international level worth the pain is the simplest one that uses greed to motivate people, so that is what they’re employing. Does anyone believe that deciders care about “abuse” ? That’s a hilarious thought. Obviously, the pipe dream of everybody on the planet living in a “modern liberal democracy” has been given up by those with half a mind, many decades ago, while liberal tolerance is right now proving itself to be a lethal liability.

      • Brannagyn says:

        I’m not sure if you’ve misinterpreted what I said but I specifically stated that I thought action on the international level was extremely unlikely to occur and I certainly did not suggest that Western statesmen cared about the root causes of terrorism. You also seem to have mistaken a ‘modern liberal democracy’ for a some form of leftist political rule. Liberal Democracy, also frequently referred to as Western Democracy, is based upon classical liberalism, not whatever agenda Merkel and her ilk are attempting to currently push, and allows for the fair and relatively stable interaction of Conservative, Liberal and other political elements. The UK, USA, Poland, Japan and pretty much every other country we would think of as modern and egalitarian are all Liberal/Western Democracies based upon Classical Liberal values. Whether they have been corrupted by dangerous political views is something that needs to be judged on a case by case basis but if you have an alternative to the general underlying political system I would love to hear it.

  • dilberry says:

    This shit is so simple. The vast majority of the above countries are barren wastelands. The vast majority of westernised countries are rich fertile lands. They want your land.
    they don’t hate Capitalism or Democracy or Christianity, they hate YOUR capitalism, democracy and religion. they would happily trade place with you.
    All we have to do is not degenerate down to a level where the taking of our resources are enabled.

  • gwald says:

    Most of the Islamic terrorist leaders are intelligent people that can read books very well.
    They are perfect islamist.. Following the teaching of their books.. most of it is how to terrorise non believers.
    It is west that doesn’t understand nor wants to.

  • Matt says:

    This is the most stupid article I’ve read in a very long time.

    You haven’t read the Muslim sources, you posit some vague nonsense about the Old Testament being violent, without showing how it incites violence in modern believers and draw a false equivalence. You draw a correlation between literacy and violence, without any causation. This is an elementary error.

    You finally, and hilariously state that the enemy and cause of terrorism is stupidity, whereas it is your stupidity that is on full display.

    • TheSnorkeler says:

      You have to work on your reading comprehension, logical reasoning, or both. Nowhere does it say that the Old Testament incites violence in modern believers. Where is that written? You just hallucinated that.

      And where does it say that there is a correlation between literacy and violence? You hallucinated that too.

      The point being made is that books cannot be blamed for illiterate people causing terror because illiterate people can’t read!

      If you went out and committed an act of terror tomorrow, no one would blame what you were reading because, as you’ve just demonstrated, you can’t read. You have been fooled by your hallucinations. Maybe you’re stupid?

      • Matt says:

        1. I didn’t say that the Old Testament incites violence against unbelievers. Nor did I suggest the author said it. The Qu’ran does. If you’d read it you would know.

        2. The article itself draws a correlation. “While correlation does not necessarily equal causation” states that there is a correlation. I think you need to work on your comprehension.

        3. The idea that you need to be able to read to know what the Qu’ran says is asinine. In a mosque, the imam reads the book. That’s how people understand it.

        You’re clearly even more stupid than the author. I like BPS’ videos, but his website is populated with pond life.

        • TheSnorkeler says:

          1. You wrote this “you posit some vague nonsense about the Old Testament being violent, without showing how it incites violence in modern believers and draw a false equivalence.” Why would you ask for examples of how it incites violence if you understood that the author didn’t assert that it does?

          2. The writer is making a suggestion, not stating something as fact. Admitting that correlation does not equal causation is exactly that! And the point is not to associate literacy with violence. The point is to associate Muslim countries with higher reading abilities with lower levels of terrorism. The suggestion is that the better you are able to read the Quran, the less likely you are to be involved in terrorism. Therefore, the Quran is likely not the cause.

          3. This proves that I was right about you being stupid beyond a reasonable doubt. You don’t need to know how to read to know what’s inside a book? You are fake news! You cannot know what is inside a book until you read it. And regarding imams, the author says “It is stupidity that allows you to be tricked into waging ‘Jihad’ while your tricksters sit on their gold.” So you are too stupid to realize that you actually agree with the author. It’s the imams tricking dumb people, not literate people reading a book and committing insane acts of terror as a result.

          I wish you were smart enough to realize how stupid you are.

          • Matt says:

            This is like spoon feeding a retarded baby that won’t eat because it thinks it’s a genius. So, I’m gonna try one more time and stuff it all in. If you choke, that’s one less retarded baby to worry about.

            1. I did not say that the author didn’t assert that the Old Testament incites violence. The author writes: “language or what may be interpreted as calls to violence (both of which I imagine are contained in the Quran)… the Bible, especially the Old Testament, contains similar language.”

            No, it doesn’t. The Qu’ran incites its believers to fight the unbelievers “until all religion is for Allah”. The Old Testament is a chronicle of how the Jewish people took and held the Promised Land. There is nothing in the Old Testament which incites violence against unbelievers in the furtherance of religion.

            2. “The writer is making a suggestion, not stating something as fact”. Poppycock.

            The writer shows a correlation. Then admits that correlation does not equal causation, then proceeds to say:

            “Islam is not why terrorism exists, and it is not the enemy. Neither is Christianity, Scientology, Communism, Atheism, or whatever set of beliefs you can muster.

            The enemy and the cause of terrorism is stupidity.”

            This is a statement of fact, resulting from causation that the writer has not established, because he himself has written that correlation does not equal causation. That’s what makes this article so insufferable.

            3. I read this and wondered whether I should bother replying to someone so immature and incapable of critical thinking. How do you think knowledge gets passed down by largely illiterate cultures? Do you think that because they can’t read, they don’t know anything written? In these cultures they rely on a few learned people that can read to share the knowledge with the rest of them. The Qu’ran itself was not written down until 200 years after Muhammad’s death. It relied on oral tradition to preserve it.

            The idea that they are “tricked into waging jihad” is based in ignorance the author freely admits, but fatuously claims to know Islam well enough to know that tricksters are deceiving people about Islam and tricking them into waging jihad. Jihad is mentioned over 450 times in the Qu’ran, almost as much as Tawhid (belief in one God). There are entire chapters on war booty and sex slaves and how the unbelievers should be conquered, subjugated and a Caliphate established. Of all the people involved in or mentioned in this discussion, it’s you and the author that haven’t read the sources or had them read to you, yet you presume to be able to enter into a discussion about them.

            Anyway, I’ve had enough casting pearls before swine. You’ve got a bit of growing up to do. Or you can just stay the deluded, retarded baby you are.

          • TheSnorkeler says:

            I feel like some stupid want to be educated when they come across reasonably competent people, but others, like you, are just too stupid to understand the benefits. There’s not much use, but I’ll try to teach you once more for the sake of charity.

            1. “what may be interpreted as” does not mean “intentionally” or “undoubtedly.” Did you notice that the author also mentioned Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings? The point is that language can be interpreted subjectively, so books ought not be blamed for people’s violent actions. Americans like me have a First Amendment to protect us from Frenchmen (you’re French, right?) like you who blame words for actions.

            2. “Islam is not why terrorism exists” is probably the most accurate statement anyone has ever spoken. Every terrorist attack in history that is completely unrelated to Islam proves this. You are not smart, so you cannot see that:

            -A happens in relation to B
            -A also happens without relation to B
            -Therefore, A is not caused by B

            … is perfect logic.

            And you changed the goal posts on the bit about stupidity. Maybe you’re actually a liar and not stupid? I thought you were having hallucinations and being led by an extremely defective brain, but maybe you are a calculated liar who despises reality.

            I was referring to the correlation between illiteracy and terrorism as a “suggestion,” not the assertion about stupidity. You are either too stupid to have an orderly conversation, or you are a sick, twisted liar who intentionally corrupts people’s speech to try and win arguments. Wow. You suck either way.

            3. If you think that reading is the same as having something told to you, then I understand why you are having such a difficult time here. It’s kind or ironic because you struggle with reading, and you turned this piece into something it’s not. You are exactly what the writer says terrorists are: idiots who turn benign words into a reason to hate.

            P.S.- Please don’t bomb anyone. It’s wrong no matter what you think you’ve read!

            “Jihad” means struggle, and Islam was not even meant to be lead by clerics. It’s supposed to be a personal struggle. But illiterate people like you can’t understand these things, and that’s why we have terrorism and the other consequences of stupidity.

            I can’t believe I spent all this time teaching you when you’re just going to reject my lessons. There are so many young, retarded people who would appreciate what I’ve just done. You give retards a bad name!

            Well, at least I tried.

          • Matt says:

            What you’ve said is so deranged it barely deserves an answer, so I’ll be brief.

            1. Do you know what incitement means? If not, look it up. Telling someone they can go straight to Paradise and get 72 virgins if they blow themselves up, but go to Hell for eternity if they don’t, is incitement.

            2. Your logic is shit. Of course Islam isn’t the exclusive cause of terrorism. Out of 452 suicide attacks last year, 450 were Islamic. Islam causes a disproportionate amount of terror because of the incitement to violence in the text. It wasn’t that which I objected to. The author says the cause of terrorism is stupidity. This is so stupid it’s barely worth discussing. I’m not changing goalposts, you just don’t have the brains to comprehend what I’m saying.

            3. You haven’t dealt with my point here at all, because it clearly defeats yours and the subject of this article. The knowledge in the Qu’ran (which you clearly haven’t read or have any understanding of) survived for hundreds of years without being written down. It is spoken aloud in mosques across the Muslim world. Why would illiteracy stop someone from knowing what is in the book? This is so obvious you don’t even bother to continue the argument.

            Whenever I hear some tool say that jihad is an inner struggle I laugh my ass off. HuffPo bagged another idiot scalp! The myth that jihad is an inner struggle comes from a strongly contested Hadith in which Muhammad is reported to have come home from a jihad of war and raping the infidel to say “now we have done the Lesser Jihad, we must begin the Greater Jihad”. This is a weak Hadith and most scholars contest it. As I said, the Qu’ran alone contains over 450 mentions of jihad, killing, raping, subjugating the infidel. The Hadith has much more. Add that to the 1400 years of jihad in Islamic history. You are obviously talking about something you have no idea about.

            We’ve got to the stage where I would feel sorry for you if you weren’t such a waste of egg and sperm. Forget what I said before, please don’t grow up, just go to the nearest tall building and abort yourself.

          • TheSnorkeler says:

            I saddened that you are still talking. You need help. You need to find someone to help you.

            1. You don’t understand what incitement means because you are a stupid person. If you tell someone to jump off a bridge, and they do it, it’s their fault. Again, Americans protect ourselves from you barbarian Frenchmen with the First Amendment. If illiterate terrorists like you were in charge, we’d have the same blasphemy laws as Pakistan.

            Do you think “the book told me to do it” is an adequate legal defense for an adult? Terrorists like you are not victims of words and books. Those who you kill via your stupidity are your victims.

            You need help.

            2. You must not speak of logic. It is truly embarrassing. Someone closer to your level of intelligence needs to explain this to you. I fear that my words are causing you to be overwhelmed.

            Why are you ignoring all of the terrorist attacks throughout human history aside from the few hundred suicide attacks last year? Why are you ignoring the world and history? You need help, and you can’t read or think.

            I’ve never met someone as unintelligent as you, so I think you might be lying about all of this.

            3. You are doing an excellent job of demonstrating the author’s point. You, someone illiterate in his own language and completely unable to speak or read Arabic, are trying to explain what is in the Quran. You are a gorgeous specimen. You are the stupidity that causes terrorism. You are the problem. You need help.

            Get help. Soon. You are the source of terrorism.

  • toysandme says:

    Great article except for the conclusion: “The enemy and the cause of terrorism is stupidity.”
    I suppose your statement is actually right if you refer to the stupid & ignorant sheeple who are responsible for allowing the root cause of terrorism: The Military Industrial Complex (MIC), as outed by Eisenhower and widely reported since, e.g.:

    Eisenhower’s worst fears came true. We invent enemies to buy the bombs

  • Mike M says:

    What you didn’t account for is that the illiterates in these countries still have ears to hear the sermons the imams preach and those same sermons are distributed via recording. They may not be able to read the Quran, but they are able to hear it spoken to them. I’ve read it and there isn’t very much good in it at all and nothing good for “infidels”.

    1,000 years ago, the Bible was in Latin. Priests gave the mass in Latin and 90% or more of Christians had no idea what they were saying. The Pope and the clergy told the illiterate Christians that God and Jesus required them to “take up the cross”…or crusade for Christianity’s sake.

    It’s the same thing today. The Imams are telling Muslims what they are supposed to do, what Islam means and what “Allah” requires of them. The sad thing is, they are telling the truth about what Mohammad said they must do to enter heaven. Medieval priests lied and illiterate Christians went to war. Today the imams tell the Islamic truth and Muslims go to war.

    Look at the literacy rate for Pakistan^^^…Now, search for ‘Pakistan Protest images’ and what you’ll see is throngs of protestors carrying signs Printed in English. They’re illiterate, yet they have signs written in English…why?
    Find out where those signs came from and you’ll find out where the Jihad is coming from. I know, but I’m going to let you find out for yourself, so you’re revelation isn’t tainted by my POV.
    Learn the riddle of the signs in English and you will understand the origin of this modern Jihad…and yes…it’s Islam’s fault.

  • mark says:

    wow nothing like showing ignorance because they do not know much about islams actual teachings… quran, hadith and sunna.

    also shows a level of corruption, they cannot be bothered to check those books out, nor go to any of the many websites pointing out whats there, contrary to the muslims warfare lying.

  • Jen Werner says:

    I saw your video which was ok, however personally while i dont condone violence the man that did this is fed up with Islamic State and all the BS thereof, so i dont condemn him at all. As far i’m concerned an eye for an eye , its called karma. And i glanced at your article briefly and i couldn’t read it all, b/c basically it’s sickening to think that Islam or the Quran, Hadith or Suras are not responsible for the vile, hatred that comes from them. You at least need to read the koran. In the late 20/now21st centuries we have a TERRORIST problem and that problem is is Islam=Islamic State= Moslims. Regardless of whether they can read or not they go and follow the imams in those mosques that have study Islam and then follow what he says b/c Mohammad (PISS BE UPON HIM) was such an upstanding man. (smh, vomit). I mean you are entitled to your opinion but if you cannot see the correlation or cannot join the dots then people like you are part of the problem. In the video you say that to import people from the ME whose culture etc are vastly different from ours (ie the West) and then to say that we cannot blame Islam for the problem I smh in disbelief. It’s like saying we cannot blame Nazism for the millions of Jews that were killed in the holocaust. Nazism was the ideology Hitler was the leader and the stupid Germans followed. And no, It was ALL Germans, just like it is ALL moslims. Except the apostates who all have a fatwah on their heads of death. Similar to Germany in the 30’s when you were thrown into concentration camps and possibly killed if you went against the 3rd Reich. I appreciate what you are trying to convey, however Islam is very much responsible for the terrorists it is creating. “People of the Book, we all have fatwah on our heads, including you. To say that Islam or moslims are not responsible is extremely irresponsible.

  • Stephen Hooper says:

    Wow! I’m astounded that there are people still so blinkered and determined to make excuses for Islam! The US has pushed its weight around the world for decades against all kinds of people, not just Muslims. I recall a time when the west stood united in protecting the Muslims of Kosovo against Christian Serbia. Was there a spate of Orthodox atrocities against western cities in retaliation? I don’t think there was. Central and South American countries have long complained of US interference and underhand tactics. Have their people turned to exporting terrorism? I think that’s another NO. And when did the US start occupying or bombing Saudi Arabia? They are arguably the biggest exporter of radical jihadist nonsense. Last time I looked they were still getting fat on oil money.

  • Joe Blow says:

    The uneducated ones simply follow what the educated ones read about Islam.

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