I start this thread as an open forum. There is a contingent amongst the regular posters that feel that "political correctness" has killed out ability to see the religious aspects of conflict. This seems to be particularly true in the case of attacks on Islam as a religion that fosters insurgency and terrorism. In the interest of an open exchange I would like to explore this topic.

I will start by saying that religion "of the book" - particularly Islam and Catholicism - offer an interesting problem in the world of conflict. This is true because both religions offer life after death. Not just life, but a reward of heavenly bliss for those that follow the edicts of the religion. This creates a body of Soldiers ready to die for their cause because their ultimate reward is not in this life but in the next.

Each of the religions (and sub sects) have their own prerequisites for this "ultimate reward". For example Jesus died on the cross passively for the sins of man. In the ninth century Christian Martyrs did much of the same in Spain. Each religion has its particular historical anomalies.

So I open the question up ... what relevance does religion have to modern day issues in Syria and Iraq? Where should we draw the line between religion and simple hate?