Any discussion on terrorism, almost always circles back to the widespread belief that Muslims are more violent because of their religion, Vox reported.
Although these conversations may always circle back to the bigoted question of whether religion makes Muslims more violent, they lack data and evidence to attribute violent behavior to Muslims.
According to UC-Berkeley Professor M Steven Fish, people in Muslim majority countries actually tend to be significantly less violent, judging by murder rates.
Statistics show that Muslim countries have an average of 2.4 murders per annum per 100,000 people in stark contrast to 7.5 murders in non-Muslim countries.
The percentage of Muslims is an extraordinarily good predictor of a country’s murder rate, the professor found.
To provide some concrete evidence, Fish used his findings and re-run the numbers to exclude non-Muslim majority states -such as Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, South Africa and Venezuela-with extraordinarily high murder rates. Those countries with many Muslim inhabitants were still less prone to murders by a large margin.
If Islam was the key factor in the cause of religiously motivated terrorism then it could be expected that ordinary Muslims too would be more violent than ordinary non-Muslims. However, there are over a billion believing Muslims globally and if Islam was intrinsically prone to violence then the data would suggest that. The data however, is quite contrary.
Despite this study, it goes without saying that religiously motivated terrorism is indeed a real phenomenon and a global problem. Fish argued that such terrorism could be a reaction to the Western foreign policy.
The data provided by Fish should be an important reminde,r that just like other religions, Islam too prohibits violence. Although it is dependent on who is interpreting Islam, it can be said that Islam is not intrinsically violent.