The same holds true of Islam, the majority faith of 49 nations from Morocco to Indonesia, a religion that 1.6 billion people profess.
Yet, some assertions appear true.
Islam is growing in militancy and intolerance, evolving again into a fighting faith, and spreading not only through proselytizing, but violence.
How to justify the charge of intolerance?
The Taliban blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas. The Sufi shrines of Timbuktu were blown up by Ansar Dine. In Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan, Christian converts face the death sentence.
In Nigeria, the Boko Haram attacks churches and kills Christians, as in Ethiopia and the Sudan, where the south seceded over the persecution.
Egyptian Copts are under siege. Assyrian and Chaldean Christians in Iraq have seen churches pillaged, priests murdered. In Indonesia, churches are being shut on the demand of Islamists. Sharia law is being demanded by militants across the Middle East, as Christianity is exterminated in its cradle.
Has Islam become again a fighting faith?
Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia are the sites of Islamist uprisings using terror to rip these statelets from Russia. Muslim Uighurs are fighting to tear off a chunk of China and create an East Turkestan. Muslim Malays in south Thailand have fought a decade-long war of secession. Albania has acquired two sister Muslim states in Europe, Bosnia and Kosovo, both born in blood.
"Islam has bloody borders," wrote the late Samuel Huntington. They are bloodier today.
At the time of 9/11, al-Qaida seemed confined to Afghanistan. Al-Qaida may now be found in the Maghreb, Mali, Iraq and Yemen. Its Syrian auxiliary, the al-Nusra Front, is dominant in the anti-Assad rebellion.
Since Y2K, Islamists have perpetrated massacres in Mumbai, Madrid, London, Moscow, Beslan and Boston. Osama bin Laden appears no longer as popular as he once was, yet tens of millions worldwide still admire him. Why?
Islamism can also call upon true believers prepared to die for the cause. No other faith produces so many suicide bombers.
Muslims counter-argue that America has killed many more noncombatants, in Iraq, and Afghanistan and Pakistan with drone strikes.
What right, they ask, did we have to attack Iraq? Did we not ourselves stir up the nest of hornets that stung us in Boston?
Yet there is another reality.
While the clash of cultures widens between the West and Islam, leaders in the Muslim world can be found working with the United States against their own extremists.
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