Militant Islam: some thoughts on its causes

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This page was created 2008/01/04, it was last edited on 2020/12/01
Contact: David K. Clarke – ©

Why has there been a marked rise in militant Islam over the last several decades? Could it be connected to the one-eyed support of Israel by the world's only super power, the USA? Could it be connected to the US-lead 'Gulf War', the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq?


Bombing and indiscriminate killing

Islam is generally a peaceful religion. It does not normally allow killing anyone, but particularly it does not allow the intentional killing of a believer. The kill indescriminately, not knowing who you are killing, is intentional killing. The Koran clearly states that someone who intentionally kills a believer will go to hell.

Koran: 4.93 "And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell; he shall abide in it, and Allah will send His wrath on him and curse him and prepare for him a painful chastisement."

Where are the most terrorist attacks?

The USA National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism provide an Annex of Statistical Information. The figures in the table below were taken from that source; they are for 2015.

Ten countries with the most terrorist attacks
NationTotal attacksTotal deaths

It is notable that most of these nations have a Muslim majority; the others have a substantial Muslim minority. It also needs to be mentioned that if nations suffering from terrorist attacks were ranked in per-capita order there would be a very different list.

If I was a Muslim, I think I would feel that Islam is being targeted by the increasingly militant and fundamentalist Christian establishment in the USA. Try to imagine how you would feel if you were a Middle Eastern Muslim. Bush has mentioned the word Crusade in has speeches attempting to justify his various military adventures and his 'War Against Terror'.

The Iraq War lacked any of the justification claimed by Bush based on Iraq being a threat to the US. Bush claimed that the invasion was all about 'Weapons of mass destruction', while none were found; and the USA has far more WoMDs than any other country. The US-lead invasion of Iraq was illegal under international law which, since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, has held that one nation must not invade another except in the case of an undisputable and immediate threat from the invaded nation. Iraq was never a threat to the USA, nor, I believe, was any credible evidence ever brought forward linking Iraq to terrorist attacks on the USA.

The Muslim nations are militarily weak. Many are economically weak, those that deny equal rights to women are stupidly neglecting the abilities of half their population. They are certainly no match for the USA. The Muslims who are fodder for terrorist attacks are, like the US Christian fundamentalists, blinded by religious bigotry and unable to think rationally. Is it surprising that some of the believers see terrorism as the only way of fighting back against a perceived threat to their misbegotten belief system?

The following is quoted from the book 'Advance Australia Where' by Hugh Mackay:

"In his 2007 Manning Clark Lecture, 'Restoring the Primacy of Reason', Barry Jones (one-time Science minister in the Australian Parliament, long-time member of Parliament, and well known media personality) noted several similarities between the religious motivations of US President George W. Bush and the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden: 'Both are on a divine mission, fundamentalists, punitive, monocultural, prefer faith over evidence, believe in pre-emptive strikes and that necessity overrides the rule of law, manipulate fear, confuse revenge with justice...'"
Both men are a danger to world peace, and for very similar reasons. Why Bush is a far greater danger to peace than is Osama is that Bush has the weapons that Osama would love to have.

For myself, I say "a pox on both your houses". Religion is a dangerous delusion that has passed its use-by-date. There is no evidence for the existence of the God of the Christians or the God of the Muslims and the concept of an immortal soul is against all scientific knowledge.

Could a part of the answer be to try for a bit more moderation on both sides? A little less bombast, a little less "God is on our side", a little more reason?