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Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

As usual, each year, we give away an informative booklet to thank you for your generous donations. This year, our free booklet examines whether terrorism is an “existential threat” to our way of life or even to our survival.

The Rise of the Use of the Term “Existential Threat”

Top 10 Myths of Terrorism (page 1 of free booklet)

Click image to enlarge. The historic 60-inch telescope at the Mt. Wilson Observatory. We will be using this, or perhaps the even larger 100-inch telescope. (Photo by Heven729 (own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Is terrorism really an “existential threat” to our way of life? Tracking the phrase with a Google Ngram search shows that it didn’t come into use until the late 1950s, most likely for describing the growing threat of global thermonuclear war. It crawls along the bottom of the curve through the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. Then, around 1983, its use takes off in a steady upward trend line to 2001, after which it spikes dramatically upward in a hockey-stick like increase, clearly in response to 9/11. If ISIS or any of the other terrorist organizations grounded in Islamism were successful in their global jihad to bring about Sharia law, terrorism could become an existential threat. But will they succeed? No. Here are 10 myths about terrorism that explain why. Feel free to download, print and share this 4-page booklet.

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