LONDON -- Five thousand killed.
In one month.
That is the toll jihadist violence took around the world in just 30 days, from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, 2014.
There were 664 jihadist attacks in 14 countries across the world last month, according to a detailed study done by King’s College London in collaboration with the BBC.
And 5,042 people were killed in them.
That’s 168 deaths a day. Seven killed every hour.
And civilians in all the countries bore the brunt of the violence, with a total of 2,079 civilians killed, almost 700 in Nigeria alone, including 57 children.
The authors of the study say it shows that global jihadism is again on the rise.
“The overall picture is that of an increasingly ambitious, complex, sophisticated and far-reaching movement,” says Peter Neuman, who headed the study. “Though comparisons are difficult, it seems obvious that the jihadist movement - which, only three years ago, everyone expected to be in a state of terminal decline - are stronger than ever, and that countering them will be a generational challenge.”
But there is something else, something deeper in this truly frightening statistical look at the torrents of blood spilled in the name of jihad around the world.
A harsh truth emerges from the data, and it is this:
The great war of our time is primarily a war in Muslim countries, among Muslim peoples of differing faith traditions and the minorities who live in those lands.
They are the ones dying in such shocking numbers. They are the ones doing nearly all of the fighting now. They are the ones who must win or lose.
In this great war, Westerners are mostly secondary targets, collateral damage.
It is hard to imagine: All the horrors visited in the West by jihadist terror since 9/11 are actually little more than a sideshow to the crucial contest over the future of Islam that is being waged across great swathes of the planet.