We cannot ignore the threads linking the clandestine activities of UK and US foreign intelligence serves to this mayhem. To do that would be stupid. It is costing lives, and we are paying for it.
Of course there are passages in the Quran that read to the modern reader as primitive, barbaric, and violent. The same is true of all ancient texts – the Bible included, and few demand a revision of the Old Testament on the grounds of Israel’s primitive, barbaric, and violent behaviour in the occupied West Bank or in Gaza.
Fundamentalism more closely approximates the fabled Class of Civilisations, but with the subtle distinction of it being rather a clash with civilisation. Human progress has been possible only due to our ability to learn about the world around us, remember what we have learned, and develop appropriate tools to change the environment to our benefit.
On Friday night the whole world was reminded that any city, anywhere in the world, can be made a frontline conflict zone in this new internationalised and highly ideological war.