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?
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?