Islamic radicalism, and its most troublesome side effect, Islamic terrorism did not come out of nowhere but actually have a rather interesting pedigree. Many of the details are generally unknown in the West. The main cause of the current outbreak of Islamic terrorism is, according to many Islamic terrorists, Western attempts to destroy the Islamic terrorists who attack the West. The thinking behind this blames the West for not accepting Islam when first attacked by Moslem armies in the 7th century, and constantly fighting back against subsequent attacks. To Moslems, forcing non-believers (“kaffirs” or “infidels”) to convert to Islam is a duty and the ends justify the means. Fighting back is blasphemy, not to mention ingratitude. Most in the West, and a growing number of people in the Islamic world, consider all this nonsense. While everyone agrees that Islam was born in conquest, the tough love approach came after the early Moslems found that the missionary approach took far too long compared to military conquest. Islam has never discarded its mandate to convert the world, using force if necessary and Islamic radicals seize on this to excuse nasty behavior in the name of Allah (God to us kaffirs).
Aside from the militant aspects of Islam, there is also the popularity of paranoia and conspiracy theories in the Arab world. Bicultural Arabs (usually those born and raised in a Moslem country but then receiving college and postgraduate education in the West) will admit that attributing problems to elaborate conspiracies is a popular pastime in the Arab world. More educated, wiser or savvy Arabs can see that the conspiracies are a lot of nonsense, but like any bad habit, everyone loves to at least hear about the latest conspiracy theory. It’s sort of mind candy and it can be addictive. One of the latest ones circulating in the Arab world is that ISIL is actually a creation of the United States and Hillary Clinton admits it in her latest book. Neither of these “facts” survives close scrutiny but that’s not the point. A good conspiracy theory doesn’t have to be true, it just has to stroke egos and explain away problems in Moslem countries.
The many active conspiracies in the Moslem world kill people, mostly they kill Moslems. A current and decidedly dangerous conspiracy is that polio vaccinations are a sinister Western plot to poison Moslem children. No proof is ever presented, just the firm and often deadly belief that it is true. Some Western media ran with the explanation that the violence against vaccination teams was an effort to get the United States to stop using UAVs to hunt down and kill Islamic terrorists. This story was started by an opportunistic Islamic terrorist who thought it was worth a try. In fact the attacks against polio vaccination workers predates the American use of UAVs against Islamic terrorists.
The original justification for opposing worldwide polio vaccinations is the century old Arab belief that Rotary Clubs are a conspiracy to destroy Islam. Moslem scholars, clerics and media began making these accusations in the 1920s, believing that the newly created (in 1905) Rotary Clubs were associated with the older (founded in the 18th century) Freemasons in a massive conspiracy against Islam. The dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1920s, and the caliphate the Ottoman leader (the sultan) led was seen as another Western attack on Islam and part of a conspiracy by Rotarians, Freemasons, Jews and others.
While the UN lends its name to the international polio eradication process, most of the actual work, including finding people who can convince the misguided clerics to back off, is done by a coalition of charitable organization. The lead outfit in all this is Rotary International (the Rotarians), which not only raises most of the money, but provides many of the volunteers, and skilled negotiators to deal with the government, and religious, officials that get in the way of eradicating polio. When Moslems discovered (it was never a secret) that Rotary International was the main organizer of the polio vaccination effort in their countries, many Islamic radical groups concluded it was important to halt this vaccination, even if it meant killing Moslems (often women) who were vaccinating children or allowing their kids to be protected by the vaccine.
Most Moslems realized that there was nothing wrong (and very much right) with the polio vaccination effort or the Rotarians. Many Moslem countries have Rotary Clubs. After all the Rotarians were founded as a secular service organization whose motto is “service above self.” But in some Moslem countries the anti-Rotary conspiracy is stronger than in others and Rotary Clubs are banned and local Moslems are forbidden from joining.
In Pakistan the government tried threatening to arrest parents who did not allow their children to receive the polio vaccine. That worked sometimes, but in some areas the Islamic terrorists threatened parents with death is they allowed their kids to get the vaccine. For years, Islamic radicals in Pakistan, including some clergy, urged parents to refuse vaccination in order to protect Moslem children. This particular fantasy has been rattling around since the 1990s and has prevented the international vaccination effort from wiping out polio. Like smallpox (which was wiped out in the 1970s), once there are no people with polio, the disease is gone for good because it can only survive in a human host. The Islamic clerics urging parents not to vaccinate their children against polio, are providing the disease with hosts, and keeping it going.
The polio victims (usually children) either die, or are crippled for life. When confronted by angry parents, the radical clerics say that it's "God's will" that the kid is dead or crippled from polio. Most Moslem parents accept that, because Islam means, literally, "submission," although this acceptance is often helped along by a surly bearded guy with a gun.