Bias caused by fear of Islamic extremists

Imagine you are a jury member in a Mafia trial. You know that some prosecution witnesses have been intimidated into not testifying. You should think that the defendants are more likely to be guilty than you would if you looked at just the evidence presented to you.

Some undergraduates at Cambridge University published an article mocking Islamic extremists. Predictably, the students have had to go into hiding and face prosecution from their school and the UK government.

Many Western European academics and journalists no doubt fear expressing negative opinions about Islam.  Some critics of Islam are being intimidated into “not testifying” against the faith and its followers.  Readers of academic and journalistic writings will understand that many potential critics of Islam are censoring themselves.  Thus, people should figure that there are probably some convincing negative critiques of Islam that are not being made because of this censorship. Western Europeans, therefore, should have a more negative view of Islam and its followers than would be justified by looking at just the evidence presented to them.

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