I wonder if actually listening to those who are in love with guns and knives might be worthwhile.
When a hiker is beheaded because his country of origin will not stop fighting ISIS, I don’t confuse the beheading with ISIS wanting to spread Islam, or decimate competing religions, or even being enraged because “the West” is an overly permissive society.
Looking hard and long, I can’t find “religion” anywhere within the beheading. What I can easily find is an overwhelming desire for land, for wealth, for power, for position, for influence, and for immunity when it comes to atrocious acts.
Arguing that “religious extremists” are the problem ignores not only the present, but history as well.
Stalin also had an overwhelming desire for land, for wealth, for power, for position, for influence, and for immunity when it came to atrocious acts. As did Hitler. Yet we seldom hear talk of “secular extremism.” We recognize that violence was less a “symptom” of either Communism or Nazism, and rather more a means to an end.
Followers of ISIS are not in the least interested in “evangelizing” – they have already killed more Muslims than non-Muslims.
And, sadly, ISIS takes great pleasure and satisfaction in using violence as a means to an end.