Critics of religion like to claim that the source of most of the world's ills can be traced to believers who wage wars in the name of their distorted fanatic faiths. Indeed, this thesis has led to a spate of new books advocating atheism and deriding religion in the past year.
Needless to say, critics of this trend have pointed out that the vast majority of the deaths incurred by conflicts in history's bloodiest century — the twentieth — were caused by fanatical non-believers in traditional faiths in the name of their Communist, Maoist and Nazi faiths.
But it must be admitted that violent religious extremists are, at this moment in time, the primary threat to the peace of the world. The only problem with this unpleasant fact is that the opprobrium rightly aimed at the perpetrators of this faith-based violence cannot be neatly distributed across the board to practitioners of the three major monotheistic religions.
Though present-day Jews and Christians are not all saints, there is no getting around the fact that neither of those religions has sprouted a contemporary movement aimed at world domination to be achieved by terror and war. That honor is reserved for the Muslim faith, among whose adherents Islamist terror movements have found a home in the mainstream of its culture.