A. From Freakonomics.com (February 2):
Is there a better way to fight Terrorism?
Pape: My name is Robert Pape. I’m professor of political science at the University of Chicago and director of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism.
I collected the first complete database of all suicide attacks around the world shortly after 9/11. That data went from the early 1980s when the modern phenomenon began, to just before the Iraq War, 2003. During that window of time, there were 343 completed suicide attacks where an individual killed himself or herself on a mission to kill others.
Question: All right, so what can these data tell us?
Pape: Well, the main risk factor people think it’s associated with suicide attack is Islamic fundamentalism. Religion, and specifically Islamic fundamentalism, because they witness, they observe the attackers on 9/11 were Islamic fundamentalists…. Well, what this research found, really for the first time, is that religion is not as prominent a cause of suicide terrorism as many people think…. [The] idea of military occupation is the leading risk factor producing over 95 percent of the suicide attacks that we see even as we speak.
B. In her new book “Heretic,” Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes:
“Islamic violence is rooted not in social, economic or cultural conditions – or even in theological error – but rather in the foundational texts of Islam itself.”