their own writings
Maybe so, but how many “their own” did you read? Islam, as I've said is made up of so many, many different peoples and they all have their own local cultural ways of thinking about their religion and the way it relates to their daily life.
Those hundreds of millions of Muslims you mention are only alike superficially.
With the idea that they “use it as an excuse to commit evil acts” is again, not the truth, just a convenient way of looking at things. If there weren't the socio-political conditions extant that there are, those conflicts would not exist. But conflicts do, and where people happen to be Muslim we blame their religion and not the actual factors that are the cause of the conflict. It's funny that we always do that.
It's strange that with Hezbollah militants in Lebanon we ascribe their actions to Islamic extremism, then we do the same with Palestinian militants on the West Bank in Israel, and also Taliban in Afghanistan, Kashmir militants fighting against India, the Russians say the same about the Chechens and Ingushetians, and so do the Chinese about the Ughyrs… As if they're all part of one amorphous group.
That's sheer lunacy really. In all
cases, always there are specific, local reasons for why these things are happening that are very easy to find out about. There's no hidden history there, it's all open and easy to find. But for some reason we wilfully obscure it all and actively make it look as if their could
be no logical reasons.
We in the west loose our brains. We rely on faith to explain things, not rational logic. We say “it's their religion!”
It's not the Muslims who are the crazed nutters who can't see logic or who live in the past. No, it's us
We should go up to a Kashmiri Muslim and say “Stop fighting India! It's only your bad religion that makes you do evil things! Become an atheist or a Christian and then you won't want to fight India anymore! There will be peace and beautiful democracy for all! If only you weren't a Muslim…”
And repeat to all other militants in the rest of those countries, changing things to fit the situation.
That's about the size of the Western way of thinking about Islam and conflict in general: pretty F***ing naive.
Watch Afghanistan slip away…