Muslim-American Involvement with Violent Extremism, 2016

A new report by Charles Kurzman, a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, documents a 40 percent drop in the number of Muslim-Americans associated with violent extremism in 2016, as compared with the previous year. This drop was overshadowed by the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016.

Only 20 percent of these individuals had family backgrounds from one of the seven Muslim-majority countries reportedly designated for immigrant bans by the Trump administration.

“Contrary to alarmist political rhetoric, the appeal of revolutionary violence has remained very limited among Muslim-Americans,” said Charles Kurzman, a professor of sociology in UNC-Chapel Hill’s College of Arts and Sciences and author of the report. “Let’s use this empirical evidence to guide our policy-making and public debates on violent extremism.”

David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, said, “The data in this report contradicts two common narratives in our polarized discourse about terrorism.  First, it is flatly untrue that America is deeply threatened by violent extremism by Muslim-Americans; attacks by Muslims accounted for only one third of one percent of all murders in America last year.”

Schanzer continued, “Second, it is also untrue that violent extremism can be ignored as a problem within the Muslim-American community. Collaborative efforts between government agencies and Muslim-Americans to address this problem are justified and needed.”

To read the full report, please click here.