The rewards for those who fight for the cause are trans-temporal, and the timelines of their struggles are vast. Most social and political struggles look for conclusions within the lifetimes of their participants, but religious struggles can take generations to succeed.
Before the latest London mass transit incidents this year, Prime Minister Tony Blair had called for a united effort to rid the world of Islamic extremists who are preaching murderous hatred and open warfare against civilization as we know it. As Blair knows, this is what President Bush has been trying to do. But Bush and Blair, too, have been hiding some information of what goes around the fact that this really is a religious war, with the adherents of radical Islam as the enemy. Islamic fundamentalists have hijacked the Muslim religion and, with state sanction from Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries, teach their brand of "holy war" to thousands if not millions of followers. Is it really about religion or is it just politics jacked up in the wrong place
Attacked by widespread international criticism and even condemnation for actions ranging from the Vietnam War to aid for Israel and support of globalization, the United States have gained the ire of religious extremists. The nation's superpower status and decadent image only intensifies the disapproval. In recent years, however, anti-U.S. sentiment often has turned violent. Several deadly terrorist attacks by radical Islamic fundamentalists have targeted American citizens and interests. But the hatred reached a new intensity with the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 5,000 people and demolishing global symbols of American economic might. Now, even as the United States and its allies seek to destroy Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, critics are questioning America's sensitivity to the concerns of the Islamic world and beyond.
In his article, Juergensmeyer continued to cite about how politics have come to become inclined to subsume religious issues:
Insofar as the US public and its leaders embraced the image of war following the September 11 attacks, the US view of the war was also prone to religionization. "God Bless America" became the country's unofficial national anthem. US President George Bush spoke of defending America's "righteous cause" and of the "absolute evil" of its enemies. However, the US military engagement in the months following September 11 was primarily a secular commitment to a definable goal and largely restricted to objectives in which civil liberties and moral rules of engagement still applied.
In purely religious battles waged in divine time and with heavenly rewards, there is no need to compromise goals. There is also no need to contend with society's laws and limitations when one is obeying a higher authority. In spiritualizing violence, religion gives the act of violence remarkable power.
In the end, the analysis of the September 11 attacks, the sound and fury of lives lost and the spate of terror signifies very little apart from the ignorance of those who produced it. This is not about what will succeed after the attacks as the popular media have scared the people, but the question of whether this is or is not a religious war. That question was asked against the backdrop of the Bush Administration's desire that the war not be