Are Radical Muslims Really That Important?

A basic assumption of Fox News and American right wing pundits is that Muslim fanatics are powerful forces in the world and they inflame millions of people as part of their crusade against the Christian West. If one listened to Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, Muslim militants are behind all the terrorism in the world. The incident a few years ago of a Danish cartoonist drawing pictures of the Prophet Muhammad with a turban shaped like a bomb is often cited to prove that Muslims seek to stifle freedom of speech and the press. Yesterday, a group of Muslim protestors hauled down the Swedish flag in Malaysia and demanded censorship of such cartoons. Actually, the “crowd” consisted of 200 hundred men and another protest drew about 50.

A question to pose is whether the West had wildly exaggerated the influence or power of the so called “Muslim militants.” Were they ever as powerful as imagined in the West? Perhaps, inadvertently in giving notice to small groups the West has created the monster.