Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York City, told Fox News' Neil Cavuto on Thursday that "hundreds of millions" of Muslims are terrorists.


Taking up the now-standard conservative political talking point, in the wake of the Christmas Day bombing attempt, that political correctness prevents the US from identifying Muslim terrorists as such, Koch said:

We're afraid of calling them Muslim, Islamist terrorists. We'll call them anything but. Because we don't want to alienate Muslim countries. That's ridiculous. Of course the vast majority of Muslims -- there are a billion, four hundred million -- are not terrorists, but there are hundreds of millions who are. They want to kill every Christian, every Jew, every Hindu who won't convert. And we ought to put it on the table.

Host Neil Cavuto did not attempt to correct or even question Koch's claim.

Joshua Holland at AlertNet gives Koch "the benefit of the doubt" and assumes Koch meant to say "hundreds of thousands" of Muslim terrorists. Even so, Holland argues, that suggests Muslim terrorists aren't doing their job very well.

"Given that there were a total of around 9,000 fatalities worldwide resulting from Islamic terrorism in 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available), those hundreds of thousands must have been pretty damn incompetent," he quips.

Koch was a Democratic member of Congress in the 1960s and 1970s, and was the Democratic mayor of New York for much of the 1980s. But in recent years he has taken to endorsing Republican candidates, including endorsing George W. Bush for president in 2004, although he endorsed Barack Obama in the general election in 2008. In his interview with Cavuto, Koch said he would fire National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter over the Christmas Day bomb attempt.

The following video was broadcast on Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, January 7, 2010, and uploaded to YouTube by user therightscoop.