Once again, as he has done so many times before, Donald Trump has stirred up the hornet’s nest surrounding terrorism with his actions this week.
On Wednesday, he retweeted three anti-Islamic hate videos posted by the deputy leader of Britain First - naturally one of the videos turned out to be ‘fake news’ while the other two had no relevance to the UK or to any notion of ‘Muslim behaviour’.
British Prime Minister Theresa May then issued a mild condemnation of his actions in promoting, and effectively endorsing a far-right hate group, which led to a stinging rebuke from Trump against the leader of one of his country’s oldest allies:
Now, of course, you have to understand the actual motives behind Trump’s retweets.
He doesn’t care that the videos were either fake, unverified, or irrelevant; they merely played into his agenda of demonising a minority in order to gain easy support from his right-leaning base. As an added bonus, the furore caused by his actions acts as a convenient distraction away from his myriad other problems, such as managing to get any meaningful policies passed through Congress - a point made succinctly by Brendan Cox, the husband of the murdered Labour MP Jo Cox.
But what really illustrates the utter groundlessness of Trump’s war on Muslims are the actual statistics on how big a threat his ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ poses to the average citizen.
While there’s no doubt that it exists, it’s always worth putting into context just how - the cold light of day - insignificant a problem it is, compared to say, these things…
The average American is far more likely to be killed by a toddler than an Islamic terrorist - a stat fact-checked by Snopes.
The average American is far more likely to be killed by lightning (31 deaths annually) than an Islamic terrorist.
The average American is far more likely to be killed by a lawnmower (69 deaths annually) than an Islamic terrorist.
The average American is far, far more likely to be killed by falling out of bed (737 deaths annually) than an Islamic terrorist.
And, of course, the average American is far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far more likely to be killed by being shot by a fellow American (11,737 deaths annually) than an Islamic terrorist.
The graphic below is taken from the Huffington Post investigation into these factors in 2016:
Sadly, of course, none of this will make any difference to the agendas of Trump, or his anti-Muslim allies. They know full-well that there’s no justification for an attack on Muslims on the basis of terrorism, but stirring up divisive hatred is an easy, and quick, way to gain support from those who need something, and someone to blame for their problems.