Thoughts on Peter Bergen’s Does Islam fuel terrorism?

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Peter Bergen: Does Islam fuel terrorism?

Peter Bergen knocks out a commentary on CNN that asks does Islam fuel terrorism? His response is somewhat measured in that the terrorists that carry out attacks such as the Paris massacre at Charlie Hebdo and the Porte de Vincennes supermarket or the Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria claim the Islamic faith and draw their inspiration from the Qu’ran. This is all technically factual as the groups themselves claim to be Muslims, they draw strength and motivation directly from the parts of the Qu’ran they deem appropriate and kill “in the name of Allah”.

However, there is a very significant “but” to be added into any reasonable assessment of the question: Does Islam fuel terrorist ideology and thus taint, by extension, the 1.7 billion worshipers in the greater Muslim world? Absolutely no.  Islam in the minds of the extremist terrorist is a convienent crutch to carry out a theopolitical agenda which, when compared to traditional Islam is cultist

Bergen tries to explain that terrorists operate by ideology, a set of beliefs that guide their mission and justify their own actions. He also explains that al-Qaeda followers

However, it appears that Bergen sees the al-Qaeda terror war being waged within Islam as one between Sunni ultra-orthodoxy and Shia doctrine as opposed to Bin Ladenism being what most experts in the intelligence community belive: al-Qaeda ideology (which Bin Laden himself called the Victorious Denomination ideology (AQ-VDI) ) is a lethal ideological virus that intends metastasize and corrode the Muslim world until the destruction of traditional Islam is effected. AQ’s main goal has always sought to convince or kill the Muslims they encounter with little choice in between. Reengineering the remains of traditional Islam is their often stated goal. Only then do they say they will take on the west.

Within this understanding Islam may be the stated reason that the bin Laden followers carry out their murderous acts but traditional Islam itself is the principle victim of this campaign.

Yet Islam itself does not fuel this form of terrorism. It is completely the desire of the human beings behind the bomb who choose to use murder and terror to do that. In my experience with religious and sevular terrorist groups the fuel is always human greed and the determination to achieve what society will not willingly give them that makes the mask, the slaughter and the visual excitement of terror the true heart of their cause.