The events of 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terrorism is primarily the result of a clash between three groups of religious fundamentalists. By fundamentalists, I mean religious people who view themselves as superior to all others in the eyes of God. All such fundamentalists demand that others conform to the tenets of their particular religious understanding or suffer the consequences. The three groups are the fundamentalist sects of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
In the eyes of fundamentalists, they are warriors in a holy war, opposing the forces of evil. As in warfare in general, necessary evil is employed and ruthlessness becomes one of those necessities. When God is on your side, whatever you do becomes sacred by definition. Thus atrocities are committed and justified as God’s will.
This religiously driven strife has made the whole world a little crazy. The fear generated across the entire world by these fundamentalists has created anxiety, irrationality, and rampant partisanship in numerous countries. Indonesia, the Philippines, Russia, China, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and our own country has been profoundly affected. Our own political discord is a direct result of trying to deal with the ill effects of religious fundamentalism in all these various forms.
Ironically own native fundamentalists never recognize their poisonous contribution to the insanity that engulfs us. Instead they piously point outward toward the other fundamentalists as the evil which needs to be eradicated, usually by military force.
Partisan intolerance under the banner of any religion is a prescription for violence. History is replete with examples. There will be no end to our current national angst until we move beyond the idea of righteous religious wars and necessary evils.