Steve Emerson, Backing King Hearings, Pushes Misleading Statistic on Muslim Terrorism
The day before U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) convened the first round of his controversial hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims, the nonprofit Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) released what certainly seemed to be a sobering statistic. “More than 80 percent of all convictions tied to international terrorist groups and homegrown terrorism since 9/11 involved defendants driven by a radical Islamist agenda,” IPT said in the opening lines of the March 9 statement on its website. “Though Muslims represent about 1 percent of the American population, they constitute defendants in 186 of the 228 cases DOJ lists.”
These claims, while not exactly going viral, nevertheless were quickly picked up by the political right. Anti-Muslim firebrand Pamela Geller, executive director of Stop Islamization of America (which is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group), went on Eric Bolling’s FOX Business program “Follow the Money” on the evening of King’s hearings. “As we witnessed in the recent study released by [IPT Executive Director] Steve Emerson,” she said, “where we saw that over 80% of the attacks since 9/11 were Islamic in nature, so there is a problem.”
But it really isn’t so.
[…Here is the meaty middle that shows Emerson’s deception…]
Writing in the New York Daily News on March 10, under the headline “Muslim American groups, not Rep. Pete King, are the ones fomenting hysteria with hearings on tap,” Emerson wrote: “The figures confirm that there is a disproportionate problem of Islamic militancy and terrorism among the American Muslim population.”
Of course, the data show nothing of the sort. But Emerson clearly hopes that merely saying it will make it true.