The Root Cause
You’ve heard the other theories: failing to alleviate their poverty, supporting Israel, robbing their oil, invading their countries, insulting their religion, corrupting their young, supporting their dictators, installing a democracy, etc. Islamic propaganda is rife with grievances to explain or justify jihadist terrorism. These pap explanations are regurgitated by leftists and the paleo-isolationist-right. However, the overriding factor that trumps them all, the distinctive mindset that is uniquely at play, the essence of the problem that is a prerequisite for what the world has endured these past decades is not hidden or obscure – it is simply Islam.
Let’s take poverty and ignore the fact that the jihadist planners are educated and well financed. Why poverty? Poverty is nothing new. Nor is it unique to Islamic countries. Why poverty? This excuse is standard in leftist mythology. It was common, until a few years ago, to call poverty the root cause of domestic common crime. However, we all get hungry and need to eat. Some of us will chose crime others will chose productive work. The key to that choice is character. Your idea of right and wrong – influenced by the philosophy or the religion that you choose to accept – is the determining factor of the character you create as you go about your life. You’re responsible for choosing a life of crime or becoming a productive citizen.
What’s true about an individual’s character is also true about a culture. The philosophy – religious or secular – that permeates the culture determines how people respond to life’s choices. Philosophy results in distinctive societies; it determines how a country weathers challenges – both natural and man-made. Islam is the overriding religious philosophy for over one billion people. And in it lies the key to understanding their souls.
Founded by a political and military leader, Mohammad, Islam is a supremacist ideology of conquest and rule. In the first century of its existence it conquered most of the known world. To the devout Muslim, their lowly status today is contrary to their self-image rooted in Islamic mythology. It is seen as an injustice for which the world – non-Muslims – must pay. By Allah’s will, Mohammad triumphed and his people conquered the world – Jesus achieved no such feats neither did the Jews. For Muslims being the bottom feeders of the world puts their religion in doubt. If it is not Islam, others are to blame.
The Muslim, according to Islam, should rule the earth. Non-Muslims, if they are allowed to live, must serve and grovel before their Islamic superiors. They must be constantly humiliated to inculcate the subservient character required as a dhmmis or second class citizen of the world. This has been the practice of Islam for most of its 1400 years history. Not all Muslims today stress the original intent of the religion. But some do.
In the last forty years, fuelled by Saudi wealth, an Islamic revival has spread worldwide teaching Muslims the original (salafi) religion. Muslims have once again taken up arms. From every corner of the Islamic world and from new converts within other societies, Muslims fuelled by the rage of their religion have dedicated their lives to the cause of jihad or Holy War.
Is poverty part of the problem? Yes, but not because of the obvious materialistic needs – these, Muslims scoff at – but because of the insult to Allah’s favored people. Is Israel important? Yes, but not because that sliver of land intrinsically matters for the 1 billion Muslims spread from Morocco to Indonesia. For a Muslim, to lose control of any previously conquered areas – Israel, Spain, the Balkans – is to be mistaken about Islam’s destiny. Are we robbing their oil? Look how poor Muslims are worldwide and how rich America is – this is proof to those who see wealth as a gift from Allah instead of the result of productive human effort.
Islam is the determining factor that explains the plight of Muslims, their need to scapegoat, and their violent response. By definition, an essence of anything is that which is central and best organizes the rest. For jihadist violence, Islam is the essence and thus the root cause.