Imagine that a terrorist is attempting to board an airplane bound for a major city in Europe or the United States with a bomb strapped to the body of his four-year-old daughter. Let’s also assume that he is not some lone lunatic engaged in an inexplicable crime. Rather, he has a community of supporters behind him who have helped bring this terrible plot to fruition. A trained engineer made the bomb and showed him how to detonate it; another accomplice drove him and his daughter to the airport; even his wife gave her blessing and vowed to perform a similar act of terrorism with their son in the near future. The man has dozens of confederates who would have been willing, even eager, to take his place with a child of their own—and each of these people knows a score of others who fully support his aims. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of people, in dozens of countries, who would actively support this man’s actions, if given the chance, and perhaps millions who would do nothing to dissuade him, even if they could. What are the chances, in your view, that this terrorist is Muslim.
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