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America’s Religious War: Are We At War With Islam?

Hours after 9/11, Hunter S. Thompson wrote about it for the old ESPN Page 2. “Make no mistake about it: We are At War now — with somebody — and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.”

Despite its prescience, the good Doctor got one bit wrong: the enemy was never faceless. Even before the second plane hit the tower, morning show hosts – filling air time with speculation while producers scrambled to find facts or simply stared on in awe – mentioned terrorism and Osama Bin Laden by name. The face of this enemy was brown, with a beard and turban.

On Friday, two separate Islamic terror groups released beheading videos, Boko Haram and ISIS. That night, on Real Time actor Ben Affleck argued with Bill Maher and some of the other guests about whether or not Islam is, in fact, “the motherload of bad ideas.”

Affleck’s frustration is visible throughout the discussion, and at one point Maher asks why he’s being “so hostile” in his defense. While this is pure speculation, it may be simply that Affleck knows and loves someone who happens to be a Muslim.

The war on terror, started by President Bush and continued by President Obama is actually a war against radical Islam. Yet for those who aren’t radicals, and those who know and love those people, to see an entire faith being painted as “bad” is troubling at best.

Yet, it’s also true that no other religion in the world has so large a group bent on literal world domination, even if it takes a millennium. While there have been isolated religious zealots of other faiths, even the most conservative estimates puts the number of radical Islamic terrorists at 184,000. Why are there so many so-called Muslims ready to kill and die for faith-related causes?

CONTINUED (Click for Part 2)

About the author

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with news and current events, he writes about parenting, art, and personal stories. His serial fiction story "The Prophet Hustle" is available at JukePop.com and a forthcoming independent ebook about the cam-modeling industry "Dirty Little Windows" will be available later this summer.