Where extremism is concerned, I have long believed, from my time witnessing the Iranian revolution, that we are increasingly looking at an expression of violently-projected hopelessness on the part of the have-nots of the planet against the haves.
Shrunken down to a manageable size, this planet is like an enormous boat in which a few hundred live in opulence in a cabin, while thousands rot in hunger on deck. At what point do the latter start to redress the balance? I believe that point is now.
None of this has anything to do with theocracy, because the Islamic ”terrorists” are using religion as the most convenient vehicle for their actions. This is about the desperation of displaced (or rather misplaced) migrants who we believe it is our duty to accept into our midst – but which is misdirected and completely unsustainable; it is about the way our corrupt, sleazy western societies are seen (and not wrongly) as godless and evil by the poor societies they infiltrate and prey upon (Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Iraq) and it is about the poor and destitute wanting to get off deck and into some corner of that comfy cabin.
It’s about changing the world order and Islam is the ideal vehicle because it is a religion that really champions the poor as no other. As more and more countries, particularly in the Middle east and Africa, begin to fail, Islam will increasingly champion their poverty and explain to them that they are poor because the guy over there is rich, so directing their anger and frustration. There are many economic drivers behind terrorism which simply couches itself in religious terms to facilitate mass digestion.
That, I believe, is where we are at and we can expect a lot more of the same as poor populations expand and explode….all looking for their slice of the action at the cost of the status quo.