Economics are incidental, as well. Rich and wealthy people can be terrorists, although they are usually the source of the financing. Generally, it is the poor who usually end up strapping explosives to themselves, and although their motivation might be different, their mindset is not. Even religious affiliation is incidental. While it might appear that all terrorists are Muslim, we know this is not the case.
Yes, at this point in our history a large percentage of terrorism is at the hands of the Muslim extremist, but terrorism, as it is defined, exists within both major world religions. Islam and Christianity are broken down into various divisions, denominations, sects and cults and not all of them are created equal. Not every division, denomination, sect and cult approves of terrorism, and many of them are very vocal about their condemnation.
While there are very obvious differences between Christianity and Islam, the two Abrahamic religions have a good bit in common. When both the Quran and the Bible are put under the microscope of literary examination, they are not the bastions of love and tolerance that many of their respective expert apologists claim they are. Because both of these holy books can be interpreted in many different ways, it leaves the terrorist and/or extremist with plenty of material to draw from for the promotion of hate and intolerance against whomever is the target of their vitriol.
The Bible and Quran have much in common when it comes to “death commandments” for everyone but members of their respective groups. The moderate Christian or Muslim do not intepret their holy books this way, which is admirable. But, the extremists of both of these religions maintain that any member who does not interpret it their way are not “true” to their faith. Thus, the charges against Islamic extremists for their unspeakably horrific acts toward infidels cannot be levied against them alone.
Christian extremism has perpetrated their own brand of terrorism. Every day the news wires are rife with violence in the name of Allah or Jesus. Stories of innocent blood spilled are not uncommon. Video channels have no shortage of material by and about Christians or Muslims that only serve to incite more hate against those who do not believe. While the United States and other modern nations are trying to advance in areas of science and education to compete successfully in the global arena, Christian and Islamic fundamentalists consistently attempt to push these countries back into further ignorance.
Islamic extremism may be a problem mostly in countries outside the United States, but in America, Christian extremists groups are growing at an uncomfortably rapid pace. These groups are responsible for abortion clinics being attacked and sometimes destroyed by explosive devices, physicians who are practicing legal medicine being murdered and death threats sent to politicians who are of a different mindset. Homosexual high-school and college students are being murdered or committing suicide due to the senseless intolerance of their fundamentalist Christian classmates who have been taught hateful ideologies by their parents. On the international scene, young boys are being routinely molested by Catholic Priests who have vowed to be celibate, which is something that is so unnatural for a human being that the Catholic Church should have seen this coming like a slow-moving freight train.
Christian and Muslim fundamentalists are suffering from a particularly dangerous form of the mental illness of delusion, as their beliefs have progressed beyond the harmless mainstream and have taken on psychotic tendencies. While press coverage is given to the ones who are outwardly psychotic, such as Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church and Osama bin Laden of Al Qaeda, those who hold to the extremist ideals of each of these religions are not much different.
The ability of the fundamentalist to distinguish between reality and fantasy is blurred by their indoctrination. They hold completely inaccurate understandings of world history and most of the sciences. Reason gives way to fairy tales, impossibilities and outright untruths. There exists an abundance of fundamentalist Christians in America who actually believe that the United States is a Christian nation founded on biblical principles, in spite of the historical documentation that proves otherwise. These Christians would have no problem putting a bullet into the head of anyone who disagrees with them. This I know for a fact, as I have received many death threats from both Muslims and Christians alike
While Islamic extremism is outward in its animosity toward unbelievers, many fundamentalist Christians will claim that they hate no one because, according to them, Christ commands them to love the sinner but hate the sin. However, this attitude inexorably leads to judgment, condemnation and eventual exclusion of even family members from all social circles, and sometimes professional ones. Hating the sin but loving the sinner requires the same separation of sentience from the accused that Islamic extremists doctrine does. In essence, it removes their humanity, making it very easy to mete out whatever punishment is deemed appropriate. This makes terrorism a lot easier.