TP writes: Would you flesh out why war has recently taken on a religious theme?
I think there are two reasons. First, the decline of Communism as an overtly expansionary force has removed the ideological impetus for many of the wars of the last seventy years. I haven’t taken the time to sit down and count, but there were probably between 50 – 75 Soviet-sponsored wars throughout the world during that period. While there were some religious clashes, such as India-Pakistan or possibly the Arab-Israeli wars – although this strikes me more as ethnic conflict, since Israel has been secular since its founding – the ideological Cold War dominated the globe. Now, other forces are coming to the fore.
Second, the world is witnessing the second wave of violent Islamic expansion, which began with the ripples in Kashmir. To understand this better, you must read more about the first wave, which started from an even smaller disturbance. Egypt, for example, would never have become Islamic and its culture might have proven much more similar to that of Greece were it not for its conquest in the first wave. I strongly believe that some form of religous conflict in Western Europe will begin in the next fifty years, and quite possibly in twenty. An Islamic France or Holland may sound impossible today, but it is quite thinkable, if not necessarily probable. In any case, it is certain that there are those who are working hard to make it so.
Attempting to convert the United States to Islam sounds like a gnat trying to swallow an elephant, but consider how Christianity has been systematically, if only partially, eradicated from society in the last fifty years. Rest assured that the jihadists have taken note of this, and hope to do likewise to the secular inheritors. The vaccuum, as they see it, only makes their task easier.