Islam and Terrorism

Since the period that followed the Cold War, there has been continually increasing rivalry between the US and some other countries. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and wanted to rule over it (Husain, 2002). This displeased the USA and they started to secretly support the Afghan government to fight the Russians. They collaborated with some of the European countries in this, as a result import some of Soviet Union essential commodities was banned. The Afghan people came together in rebellion against the Russian invasion which led to the organization of some groups that declared Holy war, Jihad against the Russians (Whitttaker, 2007). These groups were the ones that the US government used to fight the Soviet Union since they could not get into war directly. The Soviet Union ban to import some of its commodities hurt its economy and could no longer fund the war. The harsh terrain also discouraged its machinery and it eventually had to leave. The weather as well was very harsh for the Russian soldiers and they could not win the war. They, therefore, withdrew their crew which left Afghanistan being governed by a faith based group, mujahedeen. This group was supported by America but was later rivaled by another upcoming group, Taliban, which eventually came to power (Linden, 2002). The conflict between Taliban and mujahedeen intensified and the US had to come in again and support mujahedeen. This was not pleasant to some of the Muslim leaders who believed that Islam wars were not supposed to be interfered. They formed an alliance against the US, led by renowned terrorists such as Osama bin Laden. Since then, there has been tension between the US and the Middle East countries that are referred to as terrorists.  The most notable result of this rivalry was the US 2001 September attack which devastated the famous twin towers and killed many Americans.

Since the formation of the first Islamic group against the Americans, there have been many other groups formed to follow suit (Whitttaker, 2007). This has seen the strengthening of terrorism as they seek the base of their own. The US government has been in the frontline against them and this has resulted to the US becoming regular terrorist attacks` target.

Though most people see terrorism as obtaining their base from the Islamic fundamentalism, others see it as a race to obtain the dwindling world fuel resources. Most countries that are always in internal or external wars are oil-rich countries. Notably, countries that have no oil are rarely at war, while almost all those who have the resources are always fighting. Therefore, there is a much stronger co-relation between oil and terrorism that is the one between Islam and terrorism. The facts about this correlation will be discussed in the paper.

Islamic Fundamentalism

This has been a point of contention where different people have come up with different definitions. In all these definitions, it has been clear that the law is a fundamental tool in the management of the Islamic culture. They uphold their values strongly and they recognize reward as a tool to repay those who follow the rules. Muslims are seen as extremists, they go for what they believe for and are ready to give up their lives in order to uphold their religious beliefs. This has led to the emergence of many movements and groups that are ready to fight for the religion. The belief in divine reward has been installed in their beliefs and they are ready to fight for what they believe is right for their religion. Jihad is the Muslim Holy war that they believe is authorized by Allah Himself and everyone who dies during this war is a hero and is believed to be heavily rewarded by Allah (Linden, 2002).

This fundamentalism is believed to be the main source of terrorist attacks by those Muslims who believe that other people cannot judge them. Over the years, there have been increased cases of terror attacks and most of them have been attributed to the religion. However, under a closer scrutiny, this might not be the case after all. The wars are undeniably soared by this religious fundamentalism, but this is not the main source. The main source of terror attacks and terrorist groups is a battle for resources, as will be discussed in this paper.

History of Fossil Fuel Exploration and Use

Fossil fuel has been used for over a century. It is formed as a result of decomposition of organisms and it takes over 700 million years to be formed. It is, therefore, notable that the fossil fuels take a very long time to form and if unsustainably used they would get depleted with time. Being the most widely used form of energy, the demand for fossil oil increase due to the increase in population, while at the same time its prices are increased by the countries that have more resources. In the recent years, little new oil reserves have been discovered, while the already available reservoirs are getting depleted due to over reliance (Husain, 2002).

It is difficult to state the exact dates when the first oil was used. By 347AD, some fossil was used in China, obtained from wells drilled using bamboo. The real exploration was, however, documented in 1556, but it was discarded. The issue was, however, revisited in the 18th century by Mikhail Lomonosov. In the 1840`s James Young discovered a method to distil petroleum into many products and he mainly succeeded in separating kerosene from oil in a factory in Scotland. This gave an alternative which was better than that one of whale oil used at the time. After this invention, kerosene was used all over the world by different people to light their houses and this demand reached North America and other parts of the world. In 1853, the first commercial well in the world was drilled.

Since thtis period, demand for fossil oil increased and many other wells were discovered. There was increased competition between nations and the United States government was in most of these conflicts. Their role in the Cold War was a major starting point of the current terror attacks and rows between the Muslims and other religions and nations, and in most cases the United States.

Peak Oil Theory

This is the theory that states that soon a time will come when the highest rate of fossil fuel extraction will be reached. After this, the rate of production will start to decline and, at this point, there will be a high danger of termination of the existence of fossil fuel. Some of the renowned scientists predicted that this period would come before 2000. However, there was a slump in extraction of fossil fuel in the 1970s which can be attributed to the reason as to why we have not yet reached the peak. The United States is among the top three countries with the highest reservoirs of fossil fuel. However, they reached their oil production peak in 1970. Forty percent of their energy is obtained from petroleum and this has led to their main problem of the next source of energy. They have revised their energy policies to give them more sustainable energy uses in order to ensure that future generations do not completely run out of energy options. These policies include a wide scope of energy use, incentives to investment, and taxation among other features.  The first policy was passed in 1992, the second in 2005 and finally the third one in 2007. Under the policy they have put in place conservation programs that ensure sustainable use. Such include the energy star program that was mandated to include the provision for alternative sources of both renewable and non renewable energy. They  further declined to honor the Kyoto protocol and opted for carbon dioxide trading which provides taxation on carbon dioxide emissions. This way, there would be little emissions released, since every industry will have its share to pay for the released amount of carbon dioxide. The funds obtained from the taxation are used to reconstruct the damages that result from carbon dioxide release, hence, global warming or its effects will be reduced.

The above model was developed by King Hubbert in 1956 to predict oil reserve movement in the United States. It is today referred to as the Hubbert curve and its accuracy has made it famous and reliable in determining the future of oil in the United States. 

The peak oil theory is among the factors that have been tipped to cause some of the terrorism activities in the world. As mentioned earlier, the Middle East is among the regions with the largest fossil fuel reservoirs. This is an important fact and it seems like if there was lawlessness in the country, there would probably be a high chance to exploit some of the resources. This would mean that the leader of the government would get support from the US and he as well would support the US to utilize and control their resources.

The War on Terror

The peak oil period has been reached in most of the oil producing countries and regions in the world. It has therefore impacted heavily on the fuel prices, which have increased over the decades. This way the world overreliance on fossil fuel has been unearthed and it seems to be an eminent danger of fuel shortage within the next few decades. The increase in prices and reduction in reservoirs clearly jeopardize the future of energy in the world. The US government has, in this regard, put in place foreign policies that improve their relations with other nations in the world, since there is a need to collectively and globally unite in order to increase the sustainability of available fossil fuel reserves. Therefore, it is no surprise that the US government has this policy that attempts to regulate the use of energy in the world.

This has, however, not been augured well with most of the countries in the world, particularly the Middle East countries that see the US foreign policies, their invasion and intrusion in their religious wars and affairs as led by the US gluttony for oil reserves (Smelser, 2002). The invasions have always been dubbed as peace keeping and fight against terrorism and the latest invasion was the Afghan war. It is therefore not a surprise that there is a lot of rebellion against the Americans by countries from the Middle East. This rebellion has created tension and poor relations between the US and most of the Islamic countries. The foreign policies are not favored by Islamic nations and this has resulted to most of the terror attacks being directed to the Americans and their embassies. On their part, America has been involved in many wars and this has created very poor relations with the USA.

This war against terrorism saw the biggest attack on the American soil in the American history, on September 11th, 2001, where devastation of buildings and a large number of lost lives was reported (Gabriel, 2002). Overall, there has been a perception that there are few wars in regions and countries that do not own any oil reservoirs, making it seem that there is a high correlation between fossil fuel reservoirs and terrorism.

In 2004, the Lebanese Shiite Muslim leader Ayatollah Grand Mohammed Hussein stated that if the US foreign policies and the issues in Pakistan remained unchanged, the war against terrorism most probably would be lost (Smelser, 2002). In fact, he predicted a 100% increase in terrorism. In this regard, there was a need to revise the policies. Ayatollah accused the US government for using poor methods in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria in fighting terrorism, which made the place unsafe and politically insecure. He pointed out the lack of vigor in resolving the Pakistani-Israeli row, which caused a high instability in the region. According to Ayatollah, Israel was the country with the deadliest weapons in the region, but the US remained reluctant over the issue which seems to be more serious than the Afghan case.

It is also notable that US rebellion against Saddam Hussein had a hidden agenda. Saddam was once a US Central Intelligence Agent, but the government did not hold back its resistance against him in the Shiite uprising in 1991. This talked lengths about the motives of the US. In this case, the US seemed to take control of Iraq and exploit its resources against the wish of Saddam Hussein who decided to go against his former employers.

Alternative Energy

The US government has put in place many measures to curb the energy deficiency threat in their country. This has been propelled and catapulted by the increasing demand for fuel, while at the same time reducing fossil fuel sources in their country. In their energy policy, they have devised plans to increase alternative energy sources in the country, and, in this case, renewable sources.

The government has increased the implementation of their renewable energy source use and has set up utilities to tap hydropower energy. This energy accounts for over 7% of the total national energy demand in the US and it seems to be more that will be used in the recent future. This is a potential source of energy, since there is little chance of its collapse as it depends on rivers, which are natural waterways, with no effect on the natural ecosystem, thus, global warming will be reduced.

The country has also put up wind energy-producing plants (Whitttaker, 2007). Wind energy is renewable and sustainable. Though it is a minor source, it supplies about 1% of the total energy requirement in the United States. However, more intense investment in the sector could significantly raise its position and create some significance.

The US has also resolved to use geothermal and solar power as well, as biomass power. All this is geared towards a better and more sustainable energy source that could replace the dwindling fossil fuel. These three sources produce about 1% each of the total energy required in the United States.


The United States, being the super power, is struggling to keep its position with the increasing demand for fuel in their country, while its reservoirs are dwindling and cannot support its population with fossil fuel alone. They have therefore resolved to use as many alternative methods as possible which seem to work due to their economic ability and technological advantages. This has resulted to the country becoming very enthusiastic on the way they handle the energy crises in the world. They have in the recent past resolved to suppress terrorism but, at a close look, they could be working on their self interests. In this case, the USA suppresses the oil mining countries and ensures that there is acute instability that would not enable these countries to effectively come up with policies that will help them take advantage of their resources. The US has been seen intruding deeply into the Middle East which holds over 60% of the world fossil fuel reservoirs. They have invaded countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, among others, in the name of peace keeping and anti terrorism, but there is a concern about the way they have distanced themselves with the Pakistani-Israeli row. This shows that there could be more than religion, since there is little American invasion in countries that do not have any resources. For instance, there was very little intrusion of the US during the Somalia’s Al Shabaab, which was posing a real international security threat in the Horn of Africa region. This was a case of terrorism, but since there were no resources in the country, the US had no interest in participating.

The ideologies used by the Muslims have always been criticized, but this cannot effectively represent the religion as the main source of terror in the world (Yahya, 2002). Though it can be said to be one of the factors, it is not the primary source of terrorism, but it seems like resource conflicts are better explained as the actual and fundamental sources of terrorism. This can be argued from different angles, for example, not all Muslims are happy and enjoy terror, despite being religious. The religion might advocate for war or revenge from those who are wrong individuals, but it does not advocate for theft or unnecessary bullying. The religion is only there to emphasize the need to uphold the values that one believes in but not to start war against other countries (Yahya, 2002). This can be seen in countries that do not have many resources but have mixed religions. Furthermore, if really the religion was the biggest terror source, the US government would fight all Muslims and not a few terrorists.

In my opinion, the steps that the US government is currently taking to diversify its energy sources are the best. This is because there is little chance that there will be more oil discovered in the world. Therefore, there is a need to have alternative energy sources, just like the US energy policy has resulted into. The policy has coincided with Barrack Obama’s term as president that has seen some significant improvement in terms of peace and terrorism in the world. Therefore, it can be also said that there is a close correlation between reduced reliance on fossil fuel by the US and the reducing terrorism in the world. Therefore, the best way to reduce terrorism in the world is by developing policies that will ensure that there is efficient alternative source of energy and preferably renewable, such as wind and solar energy. This would be a better way to end terrorism without necessarily suppressing Islam as a religion. At the same time, there will be a better environment due to the reduced green house emissions and sustainability that puts no pressure on the natural resources.

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