UN chief says vast majority of ‘extremism’ victims are Muslims

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says vast majority of ‘extremism’ victims are Muslims and also announces plan to create new UN system-wide action group to curb violence

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Conference on the Prevention of Violent Extremism at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on April 8, 2016.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday that a vast majority of violent “extremism” victims worldwide are Muslims and announced plans to create a new UN system-wide action group to cope with terror threats.

"While it is inevitable that our discussions today may draw on examples such as DAESH or Boko Haram, let us be absolutely clear from the outset: the phenomenon of violent extremism conducive to terrorism is not rooted or confined to any religion, region, nationality or ethnic group," Ban said during a conference in Geneva.

“Let us also recognize that today, the vast majority of victims worldwide are Muslims," he stated.

Ban said that millions of people are fleeing their homes in horror and fear in a desperate search for safety for their families.

"This challenge is all the more imperative because of the growing threat that chemical, biological, radiological or even nuclear materials could be acquired and used by violent extremists. This is a clear and present danger and the UN is working to prevent such a complex emergency," Ban said.

"Violent extremism is clearly a transnational threat that requires urgent international cooperation," he said.

"I plan to create a UN system-wide High-Level Preventing Violent Extremism Action Group."

Ban' remarks came during a high-level Geneva conference on preventing violent extremism along with ministers from 32 countries.

Delegates arrive for the Conference on the Prevention of Violent Extremism at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on April 8, 2016. (Reuters)

The UN reported last year that Muslims are the largest victims of DAESH in Iraq.

According to a United Nations report in September 2014, at least 24,015 Iraqi civilians, the vast majority of whom were Muslim had been killed or injured by DAESH terrorist organisation in the first eight months of 2014.

The report did not include deaths from causes such as lack of access to basic food, water or medicine, after fleeing their homes or who remained trapped in areas under DAESH control or in areas of conflict. Therefore, the number may be higher.

In 2013, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism’s Global Terrorism Database, a joint government-university program, hosted at the University of Maryland noted that between 2004 and 2013, about half of all terrorist attacks, and 60% of fatalities due to terrorist attacks, took place in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, all of which have a mostly Muslim population.

In 2011, another report was released by the US government’s National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC) saying, "In cases where the religious affiliation of terrorism casualties could be determined, Muslims suffered between 82 and 97% of terrorism-related fatalities over the past five years."

The numbers of people killed by DAESH show that the terrorist group has killed more Muslims than certainly members of any other religion.

Sunni Muslims who had fled the DAESH strongholds arrive at a refugee centre in Makhmour, south of Mosul, Iraq on March 13, 2016. (Reuters)


TRTWorld and agencies