In the aftermath of the terrible events in London, we try to make sense of those who are driven to mass murder.
It's not an easy task - especially if the motivations are so alien from ones own.
The Director of the Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism, Professor Robert Pape, has studied every single suicide attack in the world between 1980 and 2003 and has come to some 'worrying conclusions' about the way in which Western democracies are pursuing the fight against terrorists.
Worrying indeed as the crux of his argument is something like this: "All Muslims are not terrorists". So far so good.
"In fact the most radical and fundamentalist of them are in Iran and the Sudan and no jahist terrorist has ever come from there." Okaaaaay.
Therefore: "(T)he strategic logic which holds these attacks together is not religion but a specific strategic goal - to compel the United States and other Western states with forces on the Arabian peninsula to pull those forces out."
Right. Just give in, give the terrorists what they want - pull out of Iraq, Afganistan and Saudi Arabia and everything will be peachy keen because the Islamic religion is not the driving force. Indeedy.
"The occupations where there was a religious difference between the foreign occupier and the local community - those are the ones that have escalated to suicide terrorism," says the good professor. "Once you have the physical presence of foreign combat forces plus a religious difference, that allows the terrorist leaders to demonise the occupier in an especially stark way."
I'm sure it was the geopolitical struggle of Arabs that compelled four young Englishmen to lose their heads (literally).
No, according to distressed friends and family, they were quite happy-go-lucky, normal chappies who developed a newfound devotion to Islam in the 18 months prior.
If religion has little to do with the action of these suicide bombers then why:
1. Did the notion to blow themselves to pieces come only after they became 'devoutly religious'? And
2. Have Al Q'aida hit countries where there is no 'foreign occupation' such as Turkey, Morocco, Bali to name a few?
While possessing many skills - cocktail drinking amongst them - a professor I am not, so I do have to wonder why such plain observations are beyond such a man of learning.
Obviously not all Muslims are terrorists, but in this case all terrorists are Muslim and we should not be afraid to say so. I especially like the common sense approach of Tony Blankley and Michelle Malkin.
Sadly, I fear the equivocation of the Islamic community whose response to the carnage has been muted at best. Is it that they secretly cheer the actions of those who do what they dare not in pursuit of one world united under Allah?