“The United States is not at war with Islam,” President Obama said last week at the National Defense University, in a speech that declared an end to America’s “wartime footing” in the fight against terrorism. President Bush said the same when he launched the war on terrorism in 2001: “We do not fight Islam, we fight against evil.”
But in America’s sprawling security establishment, not everyone has stayed on message. Until this week, the website of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) — the U.S. government’s primary counterterrorism clearinghouse — featured a map that appeared to identify the entire Muslim world as a terror zone.
All of North Africa, the coast of East Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East, the north of India, and much of Southeast Asia was shaded in red. Wherever Muslims are a majority, the map implied, terrorism lurks.
But this map misrepresented the geography of Islamic terrorism, which has been concentrated in only a handful of civil war zones and is rare or non-existent in most Muslim communities.
The map also misrepresented American policy, which has avoided a blanket association of all Muslims with terrorism. The NCTC map literally threw a red blanket of terrorism over the Muslim populations of Africa and Eurasia.
Plus, the map was half a millennium out of date. A month ago, I finally remembered where I had seen it before. It was almost identical to the boundaries of the Muslim world in 1500, as depicted in William Brice’s Historical Atlas of Islam (see below) . Professor Barbara von Schlegell’s webpage has long posted this and other maps as a teaching resource.
Phi Beta Iota: The alliance of interests in favor of demonizing all Muslims is very powerful. It is even capable of spawning US-based Muslim false flags seeded with instigators who spread the meme that all slaves that came to America were Muslim, and that therefore the USA is “majority” Muslim, never mind the facts.
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