Also, this column makes lots of very good points (and the author has written some excellent books on Islam), but she does express an astonishingly huge lack of understanding about Ireland when she says this:
We rarely, if ever, called the IRA bombings "Catholic" terrorism because we knew enough to realise that this was not essentially a religious campaign. Indeed, like the Irish republican movement, many fundamentalist movements worldwide are simply new forms of nationalism in a highly unorthodox religious guise.
What religious guise? Seriously, what news was she reading and watching for the last 35 years? The IRA had absolutely and utterly fuck all to do with Catholicism itself; it had everything to do with Catholicism as an ethnicity, and it never pretended otherwise. It's always frustrated me when non-Irish writers refered to the situation in the north as being some sort of "religious war" - Catholics against Protestants fighting over transubstantiation or papal infallibility. Could she possibly be suggesting that the IRA was ostensibly some sort of Catholic fundamentalist group? Is anyone that fucking stupid?
ETA: I know that she's saying that neither Al Quaeda and the IRA are really religious groups. That's the point of the article, after all. My point is that, with phrases like "not essentially [italics mine] a religious campaign", and "like the Irish republican movement, many fundamentalist movements worldwide are simply new forms of nationalism in a highly unorthodox religious guise", she implies that the 'Ra presented themselves as a religious group, that there was a religious guise at all, which is nonsense.