October 1, 2011:
Somalia and Afghanistan both appear ungovernable, and most of the time, and for a long time, they are. The two areas are also receptive to Islamic radicals, and provide lots of eager young recruits for Islamic terrorist organizations. The causes for all this are several. The main one is a tribal form of government predominating. Then there is the admiration of warrior characteristics among young men. Tribalism and the warrior attitudes makes it common for young men to go out and steal lots of stuff from other tribes, and be greatly admired for doing so. Islam was the final link in this violent trinity. What was different about Islam was that it was aggressively seeking to persuade all conquered people to become Moslems. Other religions tended to spread by persuasion. The violent approach of Islamic led to a casual acceptance of violence to solve problems, especially anything considered as a threat to Islam. Thus many Moslem countries forbid Moslems from converting to other religions, and the penalty is often death. Saudi Arabia forbids other religions from practicing openly, and responds with force against any infidels (non-Moslems) foolish enough to try. Moslems like to describe their faith as the "religion of peace." But in practice it is the religion of intolerance, violence and coercion.
With Moslems, anytime outsiders threaten, religion is invoked, even if the invaders are also Moslem. Local religious leaders will declare the invaders to be heretics, and all the more deserving of death. But the biggest problem is the damage all this violence-worship does to the Somalis and Afghans. While many locals realize what the problems are, the weight of tradition has slowed the pace of change a great deal. Many reform minded locals simply flee. But for those who remain, the way of the Islamic warrior, and all the misery it entails, prevails.