The current phase of the struggle between the Muslim World and the West began as a clash of civilizations. That clash itself however is driven by a more subtle and yet overwhelmingly destructive problem, the demographics of Muslim nations.
The demographic problem of Islam is the product of Western medicine, Western agriculture and Western charity propping up the Muslim birth rate. Under normal conditions a culture's ability to expand its population is controlled by factors such as infant mortality rates, food supply and resources. The Muslim world has benefited from Western revolutions in agriculture and medicine along with Western social welfare allowing for an uncontrolled birth rate.
People often wonder why Palestinian Arabs live in such misery and the usual answer given involves Israeli oppression. The real answer is that Palestinian Arabs have access to Israeli medicine and agriculture without possessing a society or culture mature enough to deal with their benefits. The result is a population in a state of uncontrolled demographic expansion. As much as half the Palestinian Arab population is under 14 while living in a society which is incapable of providing for them.
Israeli hospitals and food along with Western aid prevent the inevitable famine and mass death, but that only builds up the pressure of a ballooning population dependent on the charity of others and devoid of any useful function. The picture looks nearly as bad across the Muslim world. Iran has its own demographic population explosion which is driving its own expansionism, while Egypt faces a swelling population and swelling poverty, driving the popularity of the Muslim brotherhood.
The well meaning Western aims for the Muslim world ran into the law of unintended consequences, because not only does the Muslim world suffer from a growth spurt but much of that growth spurt is single sex. Sex screening via ultrasound machines before birth in the areas that have access to them and infanticide and honor killings in the areas that don't have them, repeatedly target girls... creating an even greater surplus of males. Combine that with the propensity for older men to marry younger women and wealthier men marrying multiple wives, not only does the Muslim world have a population boom but that population boom quickly becomes a population of angry and dissatisfied young men. A population that has to be burned off somehow.
The engine of Islamist Jihad is that surplus of young men. Most Arab Muslim societies are static and slow to adapt to changing times. That means far fewer conventional opportunities for the newest generation of men which leads them naturally into armed gangs, militias, terrorist organization and madrassas. The dissatisfied populations of the Muslim world cannot be appeased with democracy or foreign policy changes. Their core problem is that they are members of societies incapable of coping with their own problems. Instead of addressing those problems, the Arab Muslim world exports them through immigration.
Immigration allows the Muslim world to unburden itself of a dangerous surplus male population. Those same males move on to Europe, America and Australia and become those countries problems. To compensate for the shortfall of Muslim women, they marry Western women. They send money back to the home country and support Jihad in their home countries, either financially or by actively enlisting in terrorist cells. This neatly exports the Jihad from Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to the West and makes it our problem.
The simpleminded answers offered by everyone from Michael Moore to Ron Paul arguing that our foreign policy is to blame, ignores that terrorism is just another one in a card deck of problems generated by Muslim immigration and Islam's demographic problem. The same surplus of males that is set to destabilize China is already badly destabilizing the Middle East and the West. The difference is that where China is actively dealing with the problem, the Middle East is simply exporting it.
Islam's Demographic problem is the result of a meeting between two civilizations, with the superior civilization generously bestowing some of its humanitarian gifts on the more backward civilization without realizing the price that would be paid for it.
The Jihad, the Clash of Civilizations, the campaign of terrorism and violence that we have seen is the product of that same demographic expansion sweeping across the West and purging the way in the name of their own brand of Lebensraum, crying "Make Room. Make Room!"
As Western birth rates drop to "make room", Muslim birth rates continue rising, parasitic on the technology and charity of the West. Like a virus devouring the body that sustains it, Islam's Jihad would never survive its own success. Were that same agricultural and medical infrastructure to collapse, Muslims would wake to find themselves in a strictly Malthusian world devoid of charity or compassion in which they would have to face the consequences of their own destructiveness.
Democracy is not the solution to the Muslim world's problems, civilization is and civilization requires maturity. The West has provided the Arab Muslim world with just enough of a taste of civilization to infuriate it and to cause a variety of social and political problems. Democracy in the Muslim world just turns the violence, the irresponsibility and the frustration into the electoral platforms of Islamist parties. Civilization is what is needed, but a people must choose civilization, they must choose to grow and learn. Instead the Jihad is the Muslim world's reply to the West's offer of civilization.