College Instructor Says Right-Wing Terrorism More Threatening Than Islamic Terrorism

Rob Shimshock | Education Reporter

An American University instructor told students that right-wing terrorism constituted a greater threat than Islamic terrorism, according to a Monday report.

“I would guess that a handful of you are probably like, ‘Oh, it’s some radical of Islam, people who are using that to justify their violence,'” instructor Erin Kearns said in a May “Policing Terrorism” lecture, opining on what she would expect to be students’ initial reaction to a terrorist attack.

“That is a common, common assumption,” Kearns said in audio obtained by The College Fix. “In reality, if we look at the past 10 years, only about 12 percent of terrorist attacks in the U.S. have been committed by Muslims.”

Islamic terrorist attacks, however, “get more coverage, politicians talk about them more, media talks about them more, according to Kearns. “So it is understandable why the average American has this frankly inaccurate view of what the threat is. When we actually look at it, over half the attacks in the past 10 years have been committed by some right-wing extremist group.”

Lives lost, not the identity of the terrorist, constituted the greatest determinant of media coverage, according to a College Fix analysis of Kearns’ study. Both sources used research from the Global Terrorism Database. But while Kearns acknowledges the key role the number of lives lost plays in accumulation of media coverage, her study still ends by asking for more “representative media coverage” with the goal of bringing “public perception of terrorism in line with reality.”

Kearns made the remarks while serving as a graduate student at American University. She is now a professor at the University of Alabama.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Kearns for comment, but received none in time for press.

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