One of my favorite writers, Bertrand Russell, once said, “Beware of ideologues, they are dangerous people.” When I was young and impressionable I pondered the meaning of that statement, why beware of people with an ideology?
But experience has shown that it is a good advice. Ideologues tend to have ideologies that result in the deaths of others, many others, those who don’t share their ideology. For example, for communists it was implicit that all capitalists were evil and as such needed to be “got rid of.” So millions of enemies of the Soviet State were simply murdered. Nazis were sure that European (Christian) civilization, such as it was, needed to be rescued from Jewish influence, so murder all the Jews (they managed 6 million). Racism, the ideology that supposes that ridding the world of ‘inferior’ races will somehow make life better, has resulted in the murder of millions of Blacks. And so it goes.
This brings me to Islam, a religious ideology that requires that all non-believers (kaffir) be either converted or killed. They have killed millions, especially in India and Africa, to expand their ideology and this was long before the current scourge of political Islam (Islamism) came along with its particular brand of terrorism. Terrorism itself is not new, but radical Islamic terrorism is a new phenomenon, that derives from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928 in Egypt by Hassan al Banna and based on the belief that Islam must be purified from all foreign and Western (Christian) influences. It is only a step from that to Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranian regime and the Islamic State that is prepared to murder millions.
The common theme of these disparate ideologies is intolerance. Intolerance of those who believe differently, who act differently, who think differently and of those who look different. It may be true that most Muslims are peaceful citizens, but beware the ideologues among them.