Jihad is spreading violence — and succeeding. “Of the last sixteen years,” notes Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her new book, The Challenge of Dawa, “the worst year for terrorism was 2014, with ninety-three countries experiencing attacks and 32,765 people killed.”
“The second worst was 2015, with 29,376 deaths. Last year, four radical Islamic groups were responsible for 74 percent of all deaths from terrorism: the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Boko Haram, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. Although the Muslim world itself bears the heaviest burden of jihadist violence, the West is increasingly under attack”.
Hirsi Ali’s research, supported by the Hoover Institution, is a summary of the war on terror since the extremist Muslim attacks on the United States in September 2001:
“Since 9/11, at least $1.7 trillion has been spent on combat and reconstruction costs in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The total budgetary cost of the wars and homeland security from 2001 through 2016 is more than $3.6 trillion. Yet in spite of the sacrifices of more than 5,000 armed service personnel who have lost their lives since 9/11, today political Islam is on the rise around the world”.
According to Hirsi Ali, the West is “obsessed” with terror and this makes it blind to the broader threat, dawa, outreach: the ideology behind the terror attacks.
How large is the worldwide jihadist movement? More than we thought.
“In Pakistan alone, where the population is almost entirely Muslim, 13 percent of Muslims surveyed—more than 20 million people—said that bombings and other forms of violence against civilian targets are often or sometimes justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies… According to one estimate, 10−15 percent of the world’s Muslims are Islamists. Out of well over 1.6 billion, or 23 percent of the globe’s population, that implies more than 160 million individuals”.
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