Despite the fact that the following article speciously argues that western foreign policy isn’t a major contributing factor in violent extremism (a fact that even former MI-5 head acknowledged) it does a good job of relating professor M. Steven Fish’s study on whether “Muslims are more violent” than others.
This study obliterates the myth that Muslims are more violent
Updated by Zack Beauchamp
Whenever the subject of Islamist terrorism comes up, the national conversation almost always circles back to a somewhat bigoted question: are Muslims more violent than other kinds of people because of their religion?
What these conversations usually lack is data; that is, evidence that Muslim societies are actually more violent than other ones. And it turns out, according to UC-Berkeley Professor M. Steven Fish, that judging by murder rates, people in Muslim-majority countries actually tend to be significantly less violent (bolding is mine):
Predominantly, Muslim countries average 2.4 murders per annum per 100,000 people, compared to 7.5 in non-Muslim countries. The percentage of the society that is made up of Muslims is an extraordinarily good predictor of a country’s murder rate. More authoritarianism in Muslim countries does not account for the difference. I have found that controlling for political regime in statistical analysis does not change the findings. More Muslims, less homicide.
Fish further fleshed out these findings, for example by re-running the numbers to exclude non-Muslim-majority states with extraordinarily high murder rates (Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Lesotho, South Africa, and Venezuela). Countries with lots of Muslims were still less murder prone by a pretty large margin. You can read more details on Fish’s findings in his book, titled Are Muslims Distinctive?
If Islam itself were in fact the key cause of Islamist terrorism, you’d expect ordinary Muslims to be more violent than ordinary non-Muslims. There are over a billion believing Muslims globally; if their religion were intrinsically prone to violence, the data would bear that out. In fact, it does nothing of the sort.
Cenk Ugyur of the Young Turks ran a segment on the Fisher’s report.
Notice the comments are predominantly anti-Muslim and anti-Islam with Cenk even being called a “secret Muslim”: