“On June 30 I flew out of Glasgow airport approximately nine hours before the suicide bombing attempt…. Like most people, I was pleased to be able to watch a story of potential atrocity pass into one of black humour and farce, allowing us to depict the Islamist threat as no match for a Glaswegian baggage-handler, and to joke about the perpetrators as the first people to drive to Paisley in expectation of a rendezvous with 72 virgins.
“However, what has fairly ripped my knitting in the weeks since has been the concerted efforts to give religion an alibi for the whole undertaking, depicting it as merely misused by extremists and clinging to the idea that faith itself is a virtue, all the while ignoring the very simple equation that no belief in an afterlife equals no suicide bombers.”
Christopher Brookmyre in the Guardian, 1 August 2007
Which rather overlooks the use of suicide bombings by emphatically non-religious organisations like the LTTE and PKK, not to mention the detailed research of Robert Pape, who has stated unequivocally: “the facts are that since 1980, of suicide terrorist attacks from around the world over half have been secular. What over 95% of suicide attacks around the world [are about] is not religion, but a specific strategic purpose – to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland or prize greatly”.
But when did mere facts ever have any effect on the belief-system of dogmatic rationalists like Christopher Brookmyre?