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Ready, Aim, Fire. Not Fire, Ready, Aim. –

Friedman's analysis overlooks an important reality.  Mainstream religious populations on every side of every sectarian conflict regularly deplore the excesses of their fundamentalist brothers and sisters.  They emphasize that they themselves abhor violence and recommend peace, love and inclusion.  The problem is, their mainstream religious lives establish the legitimacy of Holy Writ (The Bible, The Koran, The Whatever... ).  They are the conduit transmitting faiths from one generation to the next, and even from one population to the next.  So instructed with authentic, legitimated religious notions, new generations are positioned to take these faithful tenets to new heights and proper spiritual conclusions.  Thus  they often identify their own nation's cultural and spiritual softness and often turn upon their own moderate families and communities.  Their faithful postures are not aggressive or rigorous enough to shield them from charges of apostasy.

None of this is surprising. The young are always on the lookout for ways to distinguish themselves from their parents.  In secular nations these inclinations are usually merely annoying.  In religious nations that easily become toxic.

The problem therefore is not the predictable existence of religious extremism - it is the global reach of  faith-based religious populations.  Moderate or not, they make bigotry and radicalism possible and perhaps inevitable.

Ready, Aim, Fire. Not Fire, Ready, Aim. -

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