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Sat, Nov. 21st, 2015, 09:18 am
Let's run some numbers.

As of the last year we have good data for, 2010, there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. In 2014, the worst year on record, there were, rounding up, around 14,000 terrorist attacks globally, or an average of 38 per day. So, assuming that every terrorist attack was perpetuated by a Muslim (which is very much not the case -- here in the U.S., Christian terrorists have killed more people than Muslim terrorists since 9/11/01), the odds that a Muslim you meet on any given day will be there to blow someone or something up is roughly 1 in 42 million.

This, of course, assumes an even distribution of terrorists, which is not the case. Terrorists emerge in far greater numbers in communities that encourage and endorse terrorism. Communities -- such as those actively seeking to get away from terrorists -- that do not encourage and endorse terrorism have significantly lower occurrence of actual terrorist attacks, since those communities generally detect and intervene before someone who is being radicalized can actually strike. So perhaps a better analog would be to look at the number of Muslims currently living in the United States, estimates put that at 5-12 million, divided by the number of terrorist attacks carried out in the U.S. by Muslims in 2014...

...uh, I found one...

That would be a total of 1/365 attack per day across a low-end population of 5 million and you end up with the odds of any given Muslim carrying out a terrorist attack on any given day in the U.S. as about one in 1.8 billion.

That can't possibly be right. Muslims are supposed to be scary, aren't they? With numbers like that, I need to be far more worried about lightning storms.