Opinion: Why is terror Islamist?

By the numbers, “contemporary terrorism is disproportionately Islamist,” writes Steven Fish, author of Are Muslims Distinctive? A Look at the Evidence. And many Muslims “express regret rather than revulsion over murder in the name of their faith,” he adds.

How are we to understand that situation? The UC Berkeley political science professor debunks various theories that have been proposed — ones suggesting, for instance, that Muslims are violent or that young Muslim men are sexually frustrated, that the Koran justifies violence or that the Christian Crusades of the Middle Ages are to blame.

And he invites readers to indulge in “extravagant futuristic thinking” to imagine geopolitical developments that would turn the tables, prompting the growth of Christian sympathy with anti-Muslim terrorism.

Read his opinion piece on the Washington Post political-science research blog “Monkey Cage.”