We should, says Dan Gardner:
Islamists? They were behind a grand total of one attack. Yes, one. Out of 294 attacks [in Europe]. In a population of half a billion people. To put that in perspective, the same number of attacks was committed by the Comite d'Action Viticole, a French group that wants to stop the importation of foreign wine.
Obviously the trend is similar in the U.S. We've just had an act of domestic terrorism that (apparently) had nothing to do with Islam. And despite several feeble, failed attempts, we've had almost zero attacks from Islamist groups in nearly a decade. This does not match with the rhetoric we often here.
Gardner also gets a good one in on Mark Steyn:
But half a decade has passed since Steyn declared the outbreak of the "Eurabian civil war."
And yet, there are no waves of bombings. No armies of bug-eyed jihadis. No pale-faced boat people bobbing about the North Atlantic in rusty scows. ...
Mark Steyn has a new book in the works, apparently. Something to do with the end of civilization. Given his track record, this is grounds for optimism.
Contrast that with the ongoing drug wars in Latin America. Twenty-seven people were killed in Acapulco just yesterday, including fourteen beheadings. Since 2006, there have been more than 30,000 drug killings in Mexico alone. And of course that doesn't include other countries where illicit drug activity is high, especially Columbia.
As for ETA... they've officially laid down their arms.
Obviously many more people die from Islamist groups in the Middle East and Asia than in the Americas or Europe, but that fact does not bode well for "clash of civilizations" hypotheses like Steyn's.
The point is not to minimize real threats, or to ignore problems of assimilation in Europe (and the U.S.). The point is to have a more realistic understanding of what's going on. Despite many warnings, a wave of Islamist violence has just not infected the West.