Ever since the Cold War ended, the chief cause of bloodshed around the world has been fanatical extremism. Secret cells of "holy warriors" plot to sacrifice their own lives to massacre defenseless strangers. Since 9/11, this "martyr" menace has dominated world headlines.
Last Sunday, Muslim zealots who hate education of females massacred about 50 students in their beds at a Nigerian college.
Also on Sunday, a Sunni suicide bomber killed himself and 40 Shiite funeral mourners at a mosque in Iraq -- the latest in hundreds of sectarian attacks that have killed 6,000 Iraqis so far this year. On Monday, 10 car bombs killed more than 50 other Iraqi Shiites.
The previous week, two zealot suicide bombers detonated themselves at a large Christian church in northwest Pakistan, killing 85 worshipers and wounding 140. Groups allied to al-Qaida and the Taliban proudly claimed responsibility.
Also that week, fanatics occupied a Kenya shopping mall and killed 67 shoppers before a military raid destroyed much of the mall.
These are a few of massacres so numerous it's difficult to count them. Normal Westerners simply cannot fathom why such crazed killers think God wants them to destroy members of rival faiths. Basically, it's insane.
But a remarkable backlash is happening: Decent Muslims in many lands are speaking out, fighting back against terrorists who taint their faith. The Christian Science Monitor pointed out: