The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

SC Pol Says ‘99%’ of Global Terrorism Comes From Muslims

By Ryan Lenz on May 20, 2011 - 10:59 am, Posted in Anti-Muslim

Terror is only terror when Muslims are responsible, according to South Carolina state Sen. Michael Fair (R-Greenville), who recently sponsored legislation that would ban Shariah law in the state’s courts.

That much was made clear again during a Hatewatch interview with Fair Thursday, a day after he told the Think Progress blog that “99%, probably” of all terror attacks worldwide in the last three decades was carried out by Islamic groups. That estimate isn’t even close to accurate, and serves no obvious purpose but to vilify hundreds of millions of people around the globe for political ends.

Obviously, the threat from radical Islamic terror groups such as Al Qaeda is very real. But terrorism is hardly limited to Muslims. The world has endured countless acts of terrorism committed by non-Muslim perpetrators in recent decades — from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka to Basque separatists in Spain to radical-right attacks in the United States, including the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building. In the United States alone, there have been scores of other terrorist plots and attacks since that Oklahoma attack left 168 men, women and children dead. Just this March, a neo-Nazi activist was charged with attempting to use a homemade bomb to murder hundreds of Martin Luther King Day parade marchers in Spokane, Wash.

Countless experts on terrorism have pointed out the large number of non-Islamic terror conspiracies and attacks. The FBI reportedly has said that two-thirds of all terrorism between 1980 and 2001 in the United States was conducted by non-Islamic American extremists; from 2002 to 2005, a period when anti-Islamic sentiment exploded in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, that percentage grew to 95%. Last year, FBI Director Robert Mueller testified to Congress that “home-grown and lone-wolf extremists,” including domestic jihadists, had come to constitute a threat as serious as Al Qaeda. More recently, Harper’s Magazine, citing the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said in its May 2011 issue that there had been 10 confirmed “terrorist plots against the United States perpetrated by Muslims in 2010,” while 25 came from non-Muslims.

So where did the senator from the Palmetto State come to believe that “99%” of all terrorism comes from Muslims? He said he has read enough books on the subject to make him an expert. “Jihad is an Islamic concept,” Fair told Hatewatch. “It comes from their books.” And anyway, he added, “I did not say that, I don’t think.” Reminded that his “99%” remark had been videotaped, he retreated. “Maybe I did say that, but what I thought I said was of any significance, large.”

In a bizarre moment, Fair told Hatewatch that Think Progress had misunderstood his comments. He wasn’t referring to Muslim terrorists but to “radical Islamic Middle Eastern men” — a distinction clear only to him.

Politically, it is understandable why Fair might feel comfortable painting terrorism as a purely Muslim phenomenon. In the last year, anti-Muslim sentiment has been burgeoning in the United States, where one state, Oklahoma, recently passed an anti-Shariah amendment to the state constitution (it is currently stayed by a federal judge). At least 13 other states have considered similar legislation to outlaw the use of Shariah, or Islamic religious law, in U.S. courts — even though legal experts agree that that would be impossible under the constitution. Several politicians, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, recently have bashed Muslims publicly as a way of building political support in certain quarters.

In his interview with Think Progress, Fair readily admitted his bill wouldn’t really change anything. “The bill we have is an affirmation. It would be an exclamation point behind the law. It says you will practice the law. If you need reminding, foreign law does not prevail over South Carolina law,” he said.

  • John

    and then, people end up pushing indish folks on metro tracks or shooting sikh because of 9/11. only in the land of the free

  • Scott

    It seems that Mr. Fair is not.

  • jerilyn kay miller


  • MrsCaptJack

    Ruslan, I’m worried that the Dark Side is gaining control. Use the force, Ruslan. ;-))

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “US Constitution and Bill of Rights
    Shariah Islam

    You must decide which system you want to live under and fight for it. May the most just governmental system ”

    No, it doesn’t really come down to this false dichotomy because there is no socialist or Islamic faction in the US which can overthrow the US Constitution any time in the foreseeable future. There is absolutely no threat of Shariah law being applied anywhere in the US.

  • Ken

    Unfortunately, most of the spectacular, publicized terrorism is related to the political and military operations currently and in the past which are and were conducted in Islamic Countries. However, most terrorism IS GOVERNMENT SPONSORED thorughout the world. Most of the terrorism on the African Continent, in Asia, South Asia, and past terrorist activity in Central America and South America is and was government backed or politically, NOT RELIGIOUSLY, motivated. The Killing Fields of Cambodia following the ouster of Prince Sihanouk by the US and our allies in order to pave the way for the Invasion of Cambodia and strategic bombing of the Ho Chi Minh Trail where it ran through eastern Cambodia and Laos then caused the former allies of the People’s Republic of Vietnam, the Khmer Rouge, to slaughter anyone who was literate or appeared to be in anyway connected or loyal to the government in Phnom Phen after the US departure from Vietnam in 1975. It was the Khmer Rouge’s own former Vietnamese allies who rescued the Cambodian People after 3+ years of bloody slaughter by Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge (Red Tigers or Red Cambodians). If you look at all of the conflicts in Latin America since Chile and the assassination of President Allende by General Pinochet, as well as the Death Squad Operations in Salvador, Nicauragua, the Senderista Luminismos vs. the Peruvian government, and all of the conflicts of a political, financial, and tribal nature on the African continent, particulary the Tutsi/Hutu conflict in Rwanda leading up to the present day situation in Kenya, the Congo, and the Western African nations of Liberia, the Ivory Coast et al you will note they are about power and position, about economic and social control, about wealth and tribal status vs. religion. It should be apparent that the misperception on the part of westerners regarding Islam’s role in the numerous current conflicts and terrorist attacks stems from the fact that, unlike the West and East Asia, the Islamic Religion IS their chosen form of government. The King of Saudi Arabia, the Emirs and the King of Jordan represent direct lineage from the Prophet in those Theocratic Monarchies. Where as, in the Shiia dominated nations Theocratic Democracies (Dictatorships) are the preferred regional forms of governance. Islamic law is derived from the Torah, WHICH IS THE FIRST 5 BOOKS OF THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE, from which all archiac Western Law evolved from The Catholic Church up until the various Protestant Reformations including Luther’s and Henry the VIII’s. We just don’t understand how they think and what they believe because we, by Constitutional Amendment, SEPARATE CHURCH FROM STATE. They do not, at this time, choose to do so and have not since the 6th century. I think it is all politics, money, power and Marx was correct when he said; “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” Religion is central to our belief systems and the organization of virtually every society since ancient times, BUT far too many Americans are laboring under the misconception that AMERICA IS A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY. AMERICA IS NOT A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY. THE FOUNDING FATHERS DID NOT DECLARE A STATE RELIGION FOR A VERY GOOD REASON. NORTH AMERICA WAS COLONIZED FOR OVER 150 YEARS BY VARIOUS EUROPEAN CITIZENS AND MANY RELIGIONS WERE ALREADY REPRESENTED HERE AND WELL ESTABLISHED. THE ORIGINAL SETTLEMENTS AT JAMESTOWN VA. THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY OF MA. AND THE HAMPTON BAY COLONY OF NY. SAT SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE FRENCH CATHOLICS TO THE NORTH AND THE WEST, AS WELL AS THE SPANISH IN THE SOUTH. THE OLDEST JEWISH TEMPLE IN THE US IS LOCATED IN MANHATTAN, AND IT WAS THE JEWS OF NEW ENGLAND WHO MADE THE SINGLE LARGEST ANONYMOUS DONATION BY TAKING UP A COLLECTION TO THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS AND THE CONTINENTAL ARMY DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. MANY FAITHS WERE REPRESENTED AND THE FOUNDING FATHERS CHOSE WISELY NOT TO ALIENATE OR DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THEM. DON’T YOU THINK WE SHOULD DO THE SAME? WE MUST DEFEND OURSELVES AND DO THE RIGHT THING BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OF ALL RACES AND BELIEFS, JUST AS WE AND THE UN MUST DO THE SAME BY ALL COUNTRIES, THEIR CITIZENS AND RESPECT THEIR CHOICES WHILE DEFENDING THE PEACE AND SECURITY OF THE PLANET.

  • Ishamel Royer

    This debate forces you to be judgmental about what Political System is best.

    US Constitution and Bill of Rights
    Shariah Islam

    You must decide which system you want to live under and fight for it. May the most just governmental system win.

    America Akbar

  • JOJO

    I think you all missed the point of the story including the author. We have the Constitution of the United States of America. Hello!
    This story points out what lamebrain Congressman we have in our Congress. Trying to pass a law banning Shariah is nonsense. We live by what’s in our Constitution and nothing else matters until we get rid of the US Constitution.

  • Lex

    I apologize i see that the Jtf has been added to the list of hate groups sorry my mistake , because they sure do belong on it, but has masada 2000 a california based hate group(extremist kachanist group in california , way worse then then the jdl)

  • Lex

    I dont get why jtf is not on the list of hate groups , a splinter group from Jdl that thought Jdl was too moderate and too pro Muslim , they engage in hardcore racism(the leader of jtf said once that it´s obvious that Obama parents were swining in the tree´s, hatred for Mlk) numerous articles on the site praising Milosevic

  • Tom Shelley

    In response to the question of the SPLC and israel, I would also quote part of an article at- :

    The author the article wrote:

    “…criticism of Israel does not typically amount to anti-Semitism — and many critics of the Jewish state are unfairly accused of bigotry…”

    So, they are certainly not pushing a Zionist agenda.


  • venomlash

    Seymore, you need to read up a little more. Ever heard of the Jewish Defense League? They’re a group of ultra-right-wing Zionist extremists who preach the advancement of Israel (their own idea of what Israel should be, by the way) by any means necessary. They’re also the only major Zionist hate group in the USA; please remember that the SPLC confines its activities to this particular country.
    The SPLC lists them as a hate group.
    You can take your ZOG blather elsewhere, thankyouverymuch.

  • Seymore

    There is a 1000 lb gorilla issue that nobody brings up here: Why are the Zionist organizations of Israel, Europe, and America curiously omitted from the “hatewatch” list of SPLC.

    These Zionist organizations demonize Arabs and Muslims with impunity and are tacitly tolerated (if not supported) by the USA and Europe, which prop up and support the Israeli apartheid state itself.

    Indeed, Hamas and Hizbollah arose as a response to the repression and outright aggression that Israel has repeatedly committed against the Palestinians and Lebanese respectively dating back decades.

    The silence about anti-Arab/Muslim hate peddled by Zionist organizations is, as they say, damning–but not surprising given the political agenda and leadership of the SPLC.

  • Deep Ecology

    It is certainly a noble effort to attempt to separate Islam from its myths and its realities, but the effort will likely come to naught. All peoples everywhere define themselves and their culture in opposition to the Other, and as the West continues in its drive to become multi-ethnic, these tensions will increase, not decrease.

    What is playing itself out is the inevitable conflict that arises when competing systems come into close and continuing contact, Samuel Huntington defined these as civilizational fault lines, and with the demise of ideological polarities that dominated the 20th century, and the triumph (broadly) of liberal, progressive humanism coupled with corporate-state capitalism, left people largely returning to their self-defining racial, cultural, spiritual, soil and language identities.

    Ruslan is usually quite correct (and very well informed I might add) when he points out the numerous absurdities, stereotypes and assumptions about Islam. Won’t matter in the least to the broad masses of Western peoples who see Islamists as a historic threat and otherworldly immigrant who practices a religion he doesn’t understand, doesn’t look like him and is just plain “not one of us”.

    Yes, it is absolute non-sense that Sharia will be imposed on the US and the honorable politician from SC probably knows this. He has his constituency and they lap it up, so don’t think for a moment he’ll stop it’s not true or ridiculous, because right now he has a good thing going and knows it.

    Muslims are as guilty of this as the West in their opposition to the “other”. Turkey versus Greece, Egyptian Christians versus Muslims, Everybody in the middle-east versus Israel, Pakistan versus India, southern Thailand, NE corner of Bangladesh (Asian Buddhist minority constantly oppressed by Bengali Muslim majority).

    As I have mentioned before, we have many African and SW Asian exchange and immigrant students on our campus, many more in fact than just two years ago. Two weeks ago, a very close friend who is a fellow academic and Reform Jew walked into her classroom to find “Filthy Jew” scrawled across her white board. She was devasted, not just because of the slur, but felt betrayed as a person who had openly advocated for the rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories. Security cams could not identify the culprits due to their hats and face coverings. So, this behavior goes both ways across the fault lines.

  • Gregory

    Presumably Sen. Fair was educated in SC. That would explain his poor grasp of math, amongst other things.

  • Jonas Rand

    “American taxpayer”, is there any evidence of “shariah religious law in America”, not already part of American law that has been in existence for decades? Answer: No.

    Religious arbitration courts are nothing new (nor are their decisions federal law); no one is complaining about the Halakha (Jewish) ones. And who, that poses any serious threat, is proposing a “United States of Islam”?

    As for “honor killing”, we already have murder laws on the books, and there is no reason to deal with supposed “honor killing” cases separately from ordinary murder cases.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    When are our congressmen going to wake up and sponsor a bill that will explicitly forbid the establishment of the Hindu caste system in America!? And what about the Jedi and their “codes”? We need to prevent the establishment of Jedi councils as well.

  • Reynardine

    So jihad is an Islamic concept, and crusade is a Christian concept, and neither has to be synonymous with vendetta, which is a Sicilian concept, or a-feudin’ and a fightin’, which has been a concept in certain parts here. You can engage in a crusade… or a jihad… against hunger, corruption, injustice, or disease, because your religion tells you it is wrong to leave your fellow human beings undefended against them. Crusade implies group effort; jihad does not always, because you can be in jihad against your own internal failings, but the idea is similar. You can even be in jihad against honor killings, or violence itself. So there.

    And yes, honor killings occur in many feudal societies, quite a few of them Christian.

  • Concerned Citizen

    This might be an interesting story, if this wasn’t so liberally biased. Mr. Fair seems to believe whatever he believes in about Muslins.y

  • Sam Molloy

    The terrors of no health coverage and no ability to form a union and being unable to have a legally recognized marriage mostly come from Republicans and spineless Democrats.

  • skinnyminny

    You’ve said it all in the last paragraph of your comments – meaning, you took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you, thank you, thank you. LOL.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Yeah “taxpayer”, they don’t have any place in America, that is to say these laws don’t exist in America. “Honor killings” do not come from Islam; they have been practiced by non-Muslim societies throughout history. Honor killings exist in places where feudal traditions still persist, and typically where there is little rule of law if any.

    Existing Shariah courts in Western nations are no different than Jewish courts. They do not sanction any kind of murder and what rulings they do have do not supersede the laws of the land.

    Anyone who thinks that there is even a remote possibility of Wahabbist Sharia law being imposed on the US is nothing more than a gullible, chicken-little imbecile.

  • James Hutchings

    We need a law to clearly state that the legal code of the civilization of advanced apes shown in Planet of the Apes HAS NO FORCE IN THIS COUNTRY. The Constitution says all *men* are created equal, not all monkeys!

  • Linnea

    American taxpayer,

    You’re missing the point. The strict form of Shariah HAS NO FORCE in America! If a Muslim family were to kill a daughter for an “honor crime,” they would be charged with murder and most likely convicted and sentenced to prison. Also, Shariah is taken by mainstream Muslims to mean the obligations of their faith… praying five times a day, pilgrimage to Mecca, etc. If laws against Shariah are passed, Muslims could be prosecuted simply for practicing their faith. That would be unconstitutional.

  • American taxpayer

    This is the United States of America, not the United States of Islam. There is nothing good to come out of “shariah religious law here in the United States. When a Muslim Father murders his own daughter, calling it an “honor killing” is outrageous. These kind of laws have no place in America.