The crusades are an excellent example of religion fielding an army. This was not uncommon prior to the rise of the nation-state and the professional army. Armies were fielded, as the situation demanded. No real standing armies existed, except perhaps the Roman army. Even in the Roman army, much of the time the men were dong domestic work and not drilling as organized units. Very few of the economies of the world could afford to support professional, standing armies, as we know them today.
Islam is the only religion that I know of that is still fielding an army. Similar to armies of the ancient past, these terrorist organizations field irregular combat units. Although they do receive training and use modern weapons, they are not the professional units as those fielded by governments throughout the world. Many of these terrorist groups spring up as the situation presents itself and enough men in a certain location band together. They resemble the rank and file of irregular units that have sprung up spontaneously rather than a professional force. This was how the crusader armies were formed.
I find it interesting that the Muslim world is so sensitive to the entire concept of the crusades and in particular the term crusade. After all, this is what the Islamic army is. Armed Jihad is a religious crusade as history has documented during the Middle Ages. Even the brutality is present, complete with beheadings and execution of prisoners. So many of the vile concepts of Islam are from the distant past: Stoning to death, treatment of women in general, treatment of the enemy, eye for an eye. In Egypt this week, a court is seeking a doctor to sever a man’s spinal cord because he crippled another man in a fight. Islamic law allows him to seek justice by injury of the same type to the perpetrator.
The overall point is that the army of Islam is an army of a bygone age. It makes sense that its members behave as if they are still in the 7th century. Changing this ideology will not be willingly undertaken. It will not be voluntary change. This ideology has survived to the present day despite the rest of the world evolving well past it. This is despite centuries of interaction with the outside world. Resistance to change is so strong that only violence will be able to overcome it. Such as the resistance to getting rid of slavery. People will fight with organized violence to prevent change of this magnitude. One major problem is that change MUST be forced, TODAY.
This Islamic ‘army’ has the potential to obtain nuclear weapons. This war is going to go nuclear. It is only a matter of time. The ‘army of death’ has the potential to create more death than has ever occurred in war before. Death was very close and common throughout the medieval world. Medicine was so primitive that people died of many things, not to mention being killed. Life was relatively cheap. Medieval ideology can easily grasp the concept of death. This type of thinking can grasp the concept of the power of the nuclear weapon. The concept of the punitive war* also fits with this thinking. Nuclear weapons are the ultimate punitive weapon. They kill and destroy everything indiscriminately. The Islamic army will be unable to restrain from wielding it.
*Note: Punitive war is one in which you wipe everything out. Destroy everything of any value and kill everything that is alive. Most wars are wars of conquest. True punitive wars are relatively rare, although they were more common prior to the rise of the modern nation-state.