I’m trying to recuperate and not brain too hard, so I’ll refer you to an article just posted by Heather Hastie, who clearly has brained hard: “It’s 15 years since 9/11—why did Bin-Laden attack.” It’s a long but readable piece, and considers the extent to which Islam played a role in the World Trade Center attacks. She concludes, after looking at the data (including Bin Laden’s own statement) that Islam indeed play a substantial role, something also concluded by Lawrence Wright in his Pulitzer-Prize-winning book: The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. (I always recommend that book to those who say that religion has nothing to do with terrorism committed by Muslims.)
At any rate, there’s a lively discussion going on in Heather’s comments section, and Neil Godfrey has shown up, arguing, as he always does, that the role of Islam in Islamic terrorism is much overrated. I’m just glad he’s inflicted himself on Heather and not me.
It baffles me that nearly every nonreligious ideology—Nazism, Stalinism, racism, and so on—can be seen without opposition as a source of horrible acts, but when you get to religion, well, nope, it never inspires anything bad. (Of course, those same folks will tell you about all the good it inspires.)