History shows us that many of the bloodiest conflicts and most vicious acts of genocide have been committed in the name of religion.
Rulers and leaders have used terms like heretic, infidel, blasphemer or non-believer to demonize groups and incite their forces or followers. I need not list these as it has been going on for centuries.
What we often fail to recognize is that defending the faith is rarely the real objective. This is merely an excuse or motivator used to further the real agenda which might be gaining or retaining power, economics or suppressing any challenge to a rulers authority.
In the Arab world, over the last 150 years, we have seen foreign powers (Europeans and Russians initially, the U.S. and China more recently) become involved in this area to further their own agendas.
Muslims are not just the victims of these conflicts, they have been active participants in them often pitting Shi'ites vs. Sunnis or other groups. If there is a war on Islam, most of it is being fought by Muslims against other Muslims to advance agendas that have nothing to do with religion.
Only when the disenfranchised masses of young Muslims set aside their differences will they be able to pursue an agenda which benefits them rather than the powers that be, whether foreign or local.
Note: The author is not an adherent of any religion
[B. Kimball is a long time friend and contributor to 121Contact]