pigeon-holing terrorists

Ziauddin Sardar in Newstatesman:

Ziasardar We take it for granted that the terrorists stalking Europe are all Muslims. Hardly surprising, given that major terrorist atrocities in Europe from the Madrid bombings to the 7 July attacks were carried out by young Muslim men. Add daily headlines of “Muslim threats”, routine revelations of “terrorist plots” foiled or around the corner, and it all begins to appear a self-evident truth. But self-evident truths, I know from experience, often turn out to be false under cursory scrutiny.

These are facts. In 2006, there were 498 incidents described as “terrorist attacks” across the European Union. Exactly 424 of these attacks were carried out by “separatist terrorists” such as the Basque group Eta, operating in Spain and France, and were limited to the Basque region and Corsica. Eta itself was responsible for 136 of these. Left-wing and anarchist groups, active in Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain, carried out 55 attacks. The vast majority of these resulted in lim ited material damage and were not designed to kill. Only one, carried out by Eta in Madrid, was deadly, producing two fatalities.

More here.