The terrorism practiced by Al Qaeda and their Islamist extremist groups, and the enthusiastic welcome given by some Ameican Protestant fundamentalists to an American war they welcome as prelude to the Apocalypse, have made a heavy joint contribution to the disrepute in which religion is held today in many circles of the western world and beyond…
Nationalism is the fundamental cause of what is happening, religion the vehicle of this nationalism and its rationale. Islamic extremism is not directed to converting Christians or infidels to Islam, nor does it kill them because they are infidels. From the very start, with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, it has been a manifestation of nationalism, to expel the infidel Soviet enemy from Afghanistan, and then the infidel Americans from the holy places in Saudi Arabia.
Al Qaeda wants to defeat the United States, as military revenge for its having built bases and waged wars in the Islamic countries. It does not conceivably imagine taking over the United States to impose Islamic religion.
The American Christian Zionists who think the Last Days are nigh have a religious vision of the Apocalypse to come, but nationalism drives them as well, since they are convinced that their own country, the United States, is Gods chosen instrument (Gods Own Country!) in the divine plan to drive Moslems out of the Christian Holy Land, drive out the Jews too, except for those who see the light and convert to Christianity (completing their own religion, the Christian Zionists tell them) and welcome the second coming of the Messiah, who will no doubt arrive wrapped in an American flag, to confirm Americas righteous rule, as Gods agent, over a beatified creation.