December 12th, 2010
02:30 PM ET

Fareed Zakaria: Glenn Beck wrong about 10 percent of Muslims being terrorists

Glenn Beck says ten percent of Muslims are terrorists.  CNN's Fareed Zakaria breaks down the numbers.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam

soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. ndmain3

    There isn't anything wrong with Muslims, the media takes the less than 0.1% of Muslims who are terrorists and expands them to seem like they're the whole 100%. Anyone who thinks Muslims are all terrorists, please go visit a Muslim cultural center and think openly while your there. If you can walk out of that building and still think Muslims are all terrorists then you've proved me wrong. Also, have you ever heard of the five pillars of Islam? All Muslims must complete them in there life time if able.
    Here, I'll list them:
    1. Saying "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his prophet." -It's harmless.
    2. Praying five times a day. -Also harmless.
    3. Giving to the poor and needy. -Think, over 1.5 billion people doing that. more people than are in America, all giving to the less fortunate.
    4. Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. -Yet again, harmless.
    5. Traveling to Mecca at least once on a hajj. -Mecca is considered a holy city in Islamic culture.

    March 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  2. point

    Every religion has it's faults. When it comes right down to it, people will always kill people in the name of their god, whatever the name may be. The Crusades are the best example, and that was a western religion asserting dominance over Islam. How is that any different from what is happening over in the Middle East? People are drawn to war, and religion just gives them a figurehead to fight for. Islam isn't a fractured Warmongering religion, humanity is simply fractured and Warmonging by habit.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Mayeen

      I really appreciate your comment. Awesome insight and I laud you for your display of calm reason and intellect in a situation where tolerance and logic have seemed to have vanished. :)))))))))))))))

      April 29, 2011 at 2:00 am |
    • Robert Hunter

      Christianity is NOT a Western religion! All the Abrahamic religions came from the East.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:23 am |
  3. kjhygtyuijhgtfyujhgfredfghu

    The muslims want all non muslims dead, so why should I not wish the same on them! Look what they did on 911, see them on tv shouting death to the americans! Demanding we accomodate them, but refuse to accomodate us! Now they have infiltrated and hijacked the presidency! We have a foreign born muslim in the white house who is the sworn enemy of America, and that makes him my enemy!

    February 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • bassbonesteve


      July 31, 2011 at 2:30 am |
    • ^ThisGuyIsOurProblem

      You are the world's problem. You're filled with nothing but hate, ignorance, and intolorance. What is wrong with you? You're insane.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Taco


      December 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Charles Davis

      Glenn Beck is the only terrorist we have here. And Obama is not a Muslim terrorist, what white supremist idiot through that comment out, I swear the ignorance of people in America today is shocking, I think that guy and Glenn Beck both need to go back to school to learn math, ethics, and how not to be a retard

      December 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Aaron

      I would have to say sir that you are wrong so much on this one. In all only 6% of all acts of terror in the USA are committed by Muslims and if you had done any research (if you can do research) you will see that it is less likely a Muslim is a terrorist than an American system. Please take you islamaphobia else where

      March 19, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Reality Please.

      Please, think in reality for a momment. Only 6% of Mulims are terrorist. Thats like saying that since Timothy McVeigh, all Catholics are terrorists, which is not true in the least bit. You need to understand that 9/11 was done by a group of Muslims called Al Queda, which is a group of extremists. This were not everyday people, they were bad, and not like the regular people of the Islamic faith. Please either keep your opinion to yourself and dont be rude about things that you dont even know about, or just think clearly for 5 seconds.

      April 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  4. Jack

    There is something seriously wrong with this comments page

    December 22, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
  5. Wyatt Bush

    First of all, Glenn Beck is a problem for a vast majority of modern conservatives/libertarians such as myself. His "importance" also stereotypes members of the aforementioned groups, which results in many left winged or even moderate individuals believing all "right wingers" to be akin to Glenn Beck (or some variation thereof). Whether one agrees with other right winged commentators such as Levin or Hannity, it must be admitted that at least they cite evidence for their claims and rarely say something idiotic (which really, if one is in the public's eye, is going to happen eventually). But instead, the fool who can't spell oligarchy is archetyped among the masses. I would rather listen to Alan Colmes than the vile Beck spews forth.

    Also, it should be noted that he never said that 10 percent of all Muslims were terrorists, but rather "closer to ten" percent. So, he was likely suggesting a number such as 6 percent. Either way, Beck is the equivalent to a half-wit (maybe fourth wit) Chris Matthews.

    PS: Stephen Colbert and Cracked.com are the greatest!

    December 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  6. Harold

    Glenn Beck is a child molester.

    But wait! Before you get upset, according to the dictionary, the first definition of "molest" is:

    1. To disturb, interfere with, or annoy.

    I know several children who are annoyed by Glenn Beck, so it's perfectly fine to say that Glenn Beck is a child molester!

    Dear Glenn Beck's publicist/apologist: You cannot hide behind the dictionary definition of a word. No matter what they technically mean, words have connotations. I'd bet that most of Glenn Beck's listeners did not automatically think that Glenn Beck was referring to 'advocates of terrorism' when he gave that 10% number. Please stop hurting America.

    December 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
    • Ptk

      I love you. 🙂

      January 17, 2012 at 7:52 am |
  7. Bruce

    People are passionate about their brand of religion and politics and it increases with opposition they experience toward their belief. There is no room for tolerance, as it is described, and muslims cannot deal with it like any other legalistic group. Whether I agree with Beck or not, and I do not follow him, if I was a Muslim I would have to be a terrorist in some form or another based upon what they beleive. They follow a self-proclaimed prophet that terrorized people who were not devoted. As long as you follow a certain list of rules and "show" a high level of committement you are considered moderate. The thing is, when someone else takes the literacy of "killing infidels" to the point of killing them, moderates and, if there are any, liberal muslims they would have to agree too. They just wouldn't do it. So, by agreeing the whole group of Muslims would be considered terrorist, not just 10%. That is the way we better look at them or soon it will be too late.

    December 15, 2010 at 10:01 am |
    • Ratib

      Too late... BOO! 😛


      December 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  8. BruceGee

    Did anyone else notice that the "guest expert on Muslims" quoted here seemed to have his math off? He said Beck was 1000% off. Then he said that the actual figure was closer to .1%. It's been a while since my pre-Algebra course, but I'm pretty sure that .1% is 1/100 of 10%, not 1/1000. Am I right?

    Anyway, even if Beck was right, I'm not sure what his point is besides FEAR FEAR FEAR! If, as the State Department and our own military says, the terrorists have relatively little support among the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, then there's a slight chance our strategy of trying to kill them all while simultaneously making friends with the rest of the natives might work. Whereas if Beck is right, then it's abundantly clear that we're doomed to lose in both countries and should get out now.

    What's he really advocating, I wonder? Mass deportations, maybe?

    December 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
  9. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    I believe Glenn Beck is way off the mark here!!!!!
    If you consider a terrorist as anyone who directly or indirectly supports a terroristic act, or violence in the name of religion possibly the actual percentage is close to 90% , with barely 10% of Muslims ready to condemn all acts of terror UNEQUIVOCALLY, OR UNAMIBiGUOSLY.
    While I have several Muslim friends, I haven't come across a SINGLE MUSLIM who after condemning terror will NOT dilute the condemnation with the US role in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Kashmir etc., along with “PERCIEVED” discrimination against Muslims, or even backwardness of the Muslims (including oppression by their own rulers!!!). NOT EVEN MY FORMER COUNTRYMAN FAREED ZAKARIA WILL STAND UPTO THAT TEST!!!!!
    BTW, I do read almost everyone of Mr. Zakaria's articles, interviews pertaining to the Islamic world, and I have never seen any call from him to EXPUNGE HIS RELIGION OF ALL THE HATE THAT IS PRESENT IN THEIR HOLY KORAN. Until Islam re-invents itself, there is no stopping the extremists from deriving inspiration for violent acts from Islam’s own holy texts. There is no hope that will ever happen, as the Holy Koran is the word from Allah and nobody can change that……and neither can they reform Islam……PERIOD!!!!

    December 14, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      If would be a fantastic display of leadership if the "elder" religion (christianity) would set an example by doing what you requested to their book of silliness.

      December 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Ratib

      Excuse me Amitji, but have you read the Quran? I know now you're just gonna google up the violent lines, but don't. Instead, read around the lines, i.e. those before and after that, and then come to a conclusion.

      I know of a faith in Bengal that worships, among other things, a woman with ten hands and an elephant. Do I call for reform? No. Neither should you.

      December 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  10. emmzee

    Glenn Beck is wrong? Shocker. He's an idiot.

    As a Christian, I just want to note and clarify that some of us care about truth and facts. Not all Christians are Glenn Beck fans. Probably only about 10% watch his show. 😉

    December 14, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  11. Justice

    "Two years ago the Centre for Social Cohesion think tank warned in a report called Islam on Campus that radical Islam was increasingly taking hold in British universities, with a third of Muslim students who were questioned saying killing in the name of religion was justified.

    Police and the security services have been concerned for years that British universities have become a breeding ground for terrorists. " Todays Telegraph paper.
    Sounds more like 33% than 10% Beck underestimated.

    December 14, 2010 at 10:21 am |
    • Frankie D.

      If you're going to quote the Torygraph, then you've already lost....

      December 21, 2010 at 4:59 am |
  12. John G.

    I think Fareed's logic is flawed (as is Beck's). The number of terrorists in the world does not equal the number of terrorist attacks in a year. If every terrorist attacked in a single year, then they would be extinct. For example, I eat ice cream, but on any given night, I will not likely be eating it.

    December 13, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
    • legoman

      you have a point there; but he was more showing the logical flaw in Beck's reasoning than making an actual estimation.
      There are roughly 1.57 billion muslims world wide.
      there are 157,000,000 (roughly) Muslim terrorists as Beck's statistic suggested.
      11,000 attacks as published by the US govt in 2009
      and hypothetically (since Fareed clarifies that most terrorists attacks only consist of 2-3 individuals) 100 individuals for each terrorist attacks.
      so according to beck, there would've been 1,100,000 active terrorists in the world during 2009.
      if you subtract this sum from Beck's suggested total number of muslim terrorists, there would be about 156,000,000 'inactive' terrorists in 2009.

      I'm not saying that it's not completely false; but surely IF there were that many terrorists in the world then there would be much much more acts of terrorism world wide annually.

      Fareed isn't giving objective truth here, but I would argue that his response towards Beck is certainly reasonable, viable and much stronger both logically and statistically.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  13. Bruce

    Why don't you follow the money and how Muslims react when Americans are hurt or killed. Most of the media forget how the moderate Muslims reacted in joyful celebration when 9/11 hit. I know if Jesus said in the Bible that it was ok to kill the infidel and I was a moderate Christian I would silently and financially support Christian terrorist. I know how strongly I believe in what I believe and so would anyone else. Of course, that would go against everything Christ taught, too.

    December 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Bruce: " I know if Jesus said in the Bible that it was ok to kill the infidel and I was a moderate Christian I would silently and financially support Christian terrorist. "

      Really, Bruce? Don't you see anything wrong with that? And you blame the muslims, when you would do the same?
      That's the best argument against religion, I've ever heard.

      December 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
    • Ratib

      Come again? Celebrate? Hell I have family in the US! How do you expect me to celebrate?

      December 21, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  14. GSA

    They should ask the rest of the world what they think of Americans and if America being in so many countries and the middle of so many wars is actually making any positive difference in the world. Now ask Americans the same question and you will see a big difference.

    December 13, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
    • Muneef

      Wonder if that means American and the NATO since i thought they are always together?

      December 13, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  15. jj

    Well here we see the argument around the statistics and not around the root causes of the problem. Clearly there are over 11,000 reasons why we should be concerned about Islamic terrorism in the world. We are currently paying a kings ransom for wars around the world in Islamic countries but are unable or unwilling to admit that the root cause of what is happening is written for all to see in the Koran with regard to how Islam treats non-believers.

    December 13, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • Muneef

      The Quran tells stories of nations that extended in the past ages and tells about the period of when Islam started surrounded by many enemies that did not want it to exist since it was going to cause them to change their life and risk losses of their vast interests. So Quran is not here to blame but the mentalities that reads it but do not understand it's message well or those named as Muslims but never in life the read the Quran but found who misguided them to the extreme that made even true or moderate Muslims to be concerned and afraid of their acts that has developed to the extent of calling other true or moderate Muslims as infidels and harassing them all the way? Such of those were not there before nor they are the result of the Holy Quran but they are more the result of brainwash prepared by some agents of international inelegance to weaken the Islam from within that made it be divided in to many branches and few become to do such things to damage the reputation of Islam and to finally to have the exuse to dismantle the whole islamic belief just on the exuse of those of their own preparations and doings!? But as it seems and as when they say "The Sorcery act turned and reversed on the Sorcerer" !?

      December 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • Muneef

      Although the Quran says these verses but are they listening to it and do as it says? Read it:

      Al-Baqara Sura 02:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Tâghût[] and believes in Allâh, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower. (256) Allâh is the Walî (Protector or Guardian) of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light. But as for those who disbelieve, their Auliyâ (supporters and helpers) are Tâghût [false deities and false leaders], they bring them out from light into darkness. Those are the dwellers of the Fire, and they will abide therein forever. (see v.2:81,82) (257)

      December 13, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  16. ERB

    Mr. Zakaria, Glenn Beck's math is irrelevant and, frankly, so was yours yesterday. The equation you might want to work out and then explain is what percentage of terrorists are Muslim or cohorts of Islam.

    December 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • Frogist

      @ERB: Damm good point.

      December 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
    • Jackie

      TRUE THAT someone actually makes some sense and thinks before they run their mouth off about something.

      April 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  17. JohnQuest

    I don't think either defined what terrorism is, without an agreement on terms they are talking about two different concepts. Depends how one defines terrorism, our great country could be considered a terrorist state. Is terrorism the act or the idea,? You can punish those that commit the act but you can't defeat an idea with bombs or jail. Unless we come to terms with what terrorism is there will terrorist under our beds, in our schools and in our neighborhood.

    December 13, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  18. Frogist

    Does he ever give reference to where he gets that number? I didn't see it. He makes it up to promote fear. I'm with Fareed Zakaria on this. Glen Beck and his t p-er 2nd ammendment people are terrorists themselves. Of course that matters not to him. It's one definition for him and his people and another definition for others who are different. Let's see... what's that called? Oh yeah. A double standard. You're a hypocrite, Glenn Beck.

    December 13, 2010 at 8:40 am |
    • Jackie

      dude i totally agree with what ur saying this guys got no proof to back up what hes saying

      April 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
  19. Doc

    Let's accept the terrorism expert's estimate that only .1% of Muslims worldwide are jihadist terrorists. One tenth of one percent of 1.57 billion equals 1.57 million. That's not a small number.

    December 13, 2010 at 7:38 am |
    • Jackie

      You have no proof whatsoever that there are that many Muslims whom are terrorists, if that statistic was true there would be so many terrorist attacks in the US alone proven to be caused by Muslims. Just because that Glenn guy that has some blog stating that there are that many terrorists doesnt mean that he's got any proof at all that it's true. I suggest that next time you look for your evidence and state it in your theory before you say things. I asked some Muslims in my grade, whom I know (from different school districts) whether or not they’ve been called a terrorist and they answered yes. This is not only because of the September 11 attack, but also because of the Islamic belief known as Jihad, or an inner struggle. Many people get this confused with terrorism, because violence is included. But according to the Quran or the Holy book which Muslims follow, Muslims are to believe that this struggle can only be used to defend themselves and for the sake of God. The word Islam means peace in English, and this religion promotes peace. Muslims whom are terrorists are not following the correct teachings of Islam. Muslims who follow the correct customs of their religion would not want to hurt other citizens.

      April 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.