I must say, I largely disagree with Jaez, and find plane hijackers and Nietzsche equally unIslamic. As an unashamed over simplification, the case made above is that both share a zealous hatred of culture and morality. As far as understand, there is nothing Islamic about this. It’s just a stage of social awkwardness many young men go through, a part of puberty, out of which, unfortunately, some never quite grow.

As I am aware, when Nietzsche said “God is dead”, he saw himself more as making a statement about modernism than deriding Christianity. He believed God was no longer needed. He believed that since human beings were able to understand and master their environment, all kinds of mysticism could be done away with. This was during the same era as Marx, yet the two men, both critics of Christianity, came to very different conclusions. Marx saw religion as a tool of the ruling elite; Nietzsche believed it was used by the weak to ensnare the strong. Both had somewhat unreasonable visions of grandeur, with more durable influence in the realm of ideas than the physical and political world.

Maybe Jaez is correct, and Nietzsche would have converted to Islam had he learned of the religion whilst young. This does not make his ideas in line with the spirit of Islam. It merely means Islam has such breadth and glory that it can cater for people even as weird and perverse as he. It is true that Islam has a psychological pull factor, in its theological simplicity and local coherence, which allows it to pacify some people who do not find Christianity provides satisfactory guidance.

Yet when Jaez describes Islam as a process of intellectual discovery, critically examining the world around and ones own belief system, this is Islam as it should be, not how it is experienced by Muslims around the world, myself included. Imams generally do not encourage independent thought. The process of learning, on the most part, is one of repetition and regurgitation, not of analysis and evaluation. This is a problem of culture, not of theology, as can be observed from the more open attitude in Indonesia as compared with Central Asia, so hopefully it will sort itself out in the long term.

Returning to where I started, I know it has been said a hundred times before, and I know all of you non-Muslims do not believe it, but Islam means peace. This is of course referring to inner peace, but that should be a precondition for peace in the outer world.

"Nor do I find it strange that the process of self-mastery, intense training, and mental activity, through development are mirrored both in Islamic childhoods and the concept of the Ubermensch. Can one imagine someone with the will to believe and act so strong that they are able to hijack a plane and crash it into a building to prove a point? The mindset of such an individual is beyond the comprehension of most people in the West, and the comittment to action is something rarely seen outside of the Islamic World.

This is silly. Not all suicide bombers are Muslim. Imperial Japan made extensive use of suicide bombers; they were crashing planes into American ships before US troops set foot in the Islamic world. Communist fighters in Vietnam also used suicide bombers against American soldiers. No need to start comparing Islam to Nietzsche. People kill themselves all the time. It is just a mix of stupidity and misplaced pubescent testosterone that should have left the bloodstream years ago.