Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Moorthy Muthuswamy, an expert on terrorism in India. He grew up in India, where he had firsthand experience with political Islam and jihad. He moved to America in 1984 to pursue graduate studies. In 1992, he received a doctorate in nuclear physics from Stony Brook University, New York. Since 1999 he has extensively published ideas on neutralizing political Islam's terror war as it is imposed on unbelievers. His new book is Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War.
FP: Moorthy Muthuswamy, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Muthuswamy: Thank you for the opportunity, Jamie.
FP: We’re here today to talk about statistical Islam.
First, introduce for us the context of statistics in a scientific analysis.
Muthuswamy: Statistics is a tool of science.
In doing a scientific analysis of a large pool of data, statistical analysis is by and far the most effective way of interpreting or extracting useful information. Especially in the social context, data may often represent views or outlook in varying or even in opposing directions. The statistical synthesis consists of representation of data in certain percentages that clearly bring out the overall thrust of what should otherwise be a confusing set of information.
Statistics is especially powerful in exposing the intent of an entity that may cleverly camouflage itself. For instance, a mafia don’s ten percent of the activities may be geared toward charity, but an overwhelming seventy percent may involve illegal or criminal activities geared toward enriching himself and his cronies. The percentages reveal the don as a thug who invokes charity in order to camouflage his violent lawbreaking track record.
FP: Ok, so why statistical Islam?
Muthuswamy: Islam is a social phenomenon – and a complex one at that.
Let us start with Islamic scriptures. Portions of Islamic scriptures speak ill of unbelievers or their violent conquest, but also show benevolence toward humanity. There are Muslims who are violent terrorists and there are those who are genuine moderates. It must be clear that we have to invoke statistical tools to understand the nature and thrust of Islam and Muslims. Some very exciting new research has been conducted within the past few years on topics ranging from the Islamic doctrines to Muslim outlook.
I would like to address the often-overlooked but the central question in the war on terror: is the Muslim outlook vis-à-vis terror sponsorship driven by Islamic doctrines?
FP: Summarize for us statistical analysis of Islamic doctrines.
Muthuswamy: More than most religions or ancient ideologies, Islam’s foundational texts may be well-placed for a statistical analysis. These texts form Islam’s trilogy – the Koran, the Hadiths and the Sira. The Koran plays a unique and commanding role in the trilogy as it is seen to represent “revelations” from God, given through its messenger prophet Muhammed. The Hadiths represent sayings of Muhammed and the Sira is a biography of him. By most accounts, Muslims attach great deal of importance to the trilogy in guiding their life. Importantly, these texts, in particular the Koran, appear to have remained in just one form over a thousand years. Hence, these texts can be seen as a reliable and critical “data” upon which a useful statistical analysis can be carried out.
Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam has pioneered the statistical analysis of Islamic doctrines and has come up with some of the most incisive and groundbreaking results. Extensive discussion of his work is given in my book. But let me refer to a synthesis that stands out, and conclusively defines what we are up against: 61 percent of the Koran talks ills of unbelievers or calls for their violent conquest and subjugation, but only 2.6 percent of it talks about the overall good of humanity.
The above statistical analysis forms the basis not just for contesting but even for comprehensively discrediting the often quoted description of Islam as a “religion of peace.” In fact, an appropriate and statistically acceptable characterization is that Islamic doctrines overwhelmingly preach dislike, hatred and conquest of unbelievers and that this material constitutes the majority of the content in the Koran. Using this statistical basis, one may also interpret that the token “goodness” toward unbelievers is present in the Koran in order to camouflage the true intent of subjugating and conquering them. When this anti-unbeliever-rich Islamic doctrine is preached through mainstream mosques, one could justifiably claim that neither the mosques nor the people who deliver the sermons there nor those who listen to them are likely to develop a moderate outlook toward unbelievers.
FP: So expand on your observations on the Muslim outlook as derived from statistics.
Muthuswamy: It is one thing to have a theology with certain attributes, but the question is how well it is influencing its adherents and in what way.
During the past sixty years from every Muslim majority region of South Asia – without exception – upon gaining power Muslims have set about marginalizing and worse – expelled most non-Muslims to the neighboring non-Muslim majority areas. This occurred despite the people sharing everything – including ethnicity, culture, language, but excluding religion. Most of these expulsions occurred before 1975, when money from Saudi Arabia was starting to flow into the region to immerse the population with even more Islam. This region of Asia is home to about to a third of the worldwide population of 1.3 billion Muslims. This is significant.
Any non-Muslim majority region of the world with a higher local Muslim population growth rate has to worry about its very existence in the coming years.
There is also a strong correlation between the increased funding for the propagation of Islam and the worsening of Muslims’ uneasy relations with unbelievers – in the form of insurgencies, terrorism and riots that extend across the world. This is seen in India, the Philippines, Thailand, America, Russia, Europe, to name a few.
There is one and only common denominator in all of this: Islam. The statistics of hatred and conquest present in the Islamic doctrines must be the source of the conflicts.
We now reach important conclusion: increased exposure to Islamic doctrine is seen to propel Muslim populations to embrace jihad and sharia (a medieval repressive Islamic “law”) fervently.
FP: How do we let data drive policy in the ongoing war on terror?
Muthuswamy: The above scientific analysis points to a definite connection between Islamic doctrine and Muslim propensity for violence directed at unbelievers. Statistical Islam helps us, probably for the first time, comprehensively contest misinformed notions upon which flawed Western policies vis-à-vis Islam/Muslims have been based. Without statistics we didn’t have a case, only opinions. Policymakers and the pundits could ignore opinions, but would be hard-pressed to discount scientific assertions based upon statistics.
Before proceeding further, let me take care to note that misinformed notions of Islam are prevalent among both Republicans and Democrats and were also true of former President George W. Bush.
I am now going to single out President Obama as he is the one providing overall leadership to waging the war on terror:
Data analysis strongly discounts President Obama’s assertion given in the first interview of his presidency to the Saudi Arabian TV network, Al-Hurra: “[w]e cannot paint with a broad brush a faith [Islam] as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith’s name.”
The analysis – subject to data and statistics – suggests that Muslim populations strongly driven by Islamic doctrines find “mutual interest and mutual respect” vis-à-vis Western civilization rather elusive. In this context, President Barak Obama’s declaration in his inauguration is really a ticket to nowhere – “[t]o the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”
But we ought to read back to Mr. Obama the assertion he has made that data should drive policy – and take him and his administration to task.
FP: Moorthy Muthuswamy, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.