There will no doubt be a lot of Islam bashing on many right wing blogs this week because of the Suicide bomb in Sweden and the subsequent revelation that the bomber was educated at a British University. Indeed, the well known moderate voice of David Vance has applied his usual considered and reasoned perspective in this post.
My problem with this is that as with so many other problems, the main focus is on the symptoms of the disease and not the cause. Muslims are not born thinking their religion is superior to everyone else's and they are not born with a belief that religious governance is the only correct form of governance. It is taught. It is the tolerance and in some cases, promotions of such teachings that, in my opinion, make a government evil. Whilst we have suffered homegrown islamic terror attacks here, make no mistake; those attacks are intrinsically linked with the Islamic regimes that govern certain countries. The conditions that led to 7/7 and the bombings in Madrid were not created in Europe but in the Middle East.
Islam is not all that far removed from Christianity, it's just that Islam has failed to reform and move on. Those who have been charged with it's protection have done a fantastic job. When vast swathes of the world were fighting for the right to democratic governance free from religious influence, Muslim states stayed well out of it. Unrest was quickly put down and those at the top made sure their subjects stayed poor and ill educated, always the key to maintaining power.
Little has changed today. The most powerful and rich Muslim state, Saudi Arabia, is also one of the most brutal in it's application of Islam. It is no coincidence that the majority of Islamic terror receives it's funding from within Saudi. It may not be direct but there is little doubt about the origin of the money. That's not to say that the Saudi Government are funding terrorists but they don't and won't do enough to prevent it, and for good reason. They have spent so long enforcing the teachings of Islam to their people that it has backfired on them. They have created a nation of fanatical muslims who, with little to lose, could easily overrun and take down the ruling classes should they displease them too much. Any crackdown on islamic terror in Saudi is a fine balancing act for the authorities.
So, in order to keep a hold of power, Saudi Arabia continue to allow the teaching and promotion of fanatical Islam and other Muslim countries follow their lead. Of course, the West can do little to stop it. We will never attack Saudi Arabia. It was a Saudi who masterminded 9/11 and the majority of hijackers were Saudis. If that isn't enough to provoke the West into action then I can't imagine what will.
I'm a big fan of the West Wing and there is a great line from Leo McGarry when discussing this particular problem - "It's that I don't know what winning looks like. What does it look like? Is it...I mean is it honestly the U.S. flag flying over Mecca? Is that what's gonna straighten this out? And if that's the case, why are we postponing that? What are we hoping's gonna happen in the meantime?"
I think that accurately sums up the problem of Islamic terror. There is no simple solution or answer, but to focus almost solely on the symptoms means we are unlikely to ever find that elusive cure.