Journalists and others are always talking about "religious extremists,'' which theses days usually means people professing to be Muslims. But i think that such violent people, whether they self-identify as being driven by "religious'' or secular political "idealism'', as with Communists and Nazis, are actually driven almost entirely by the lust for power and by murderous resentment ( from a sense of shame) and often by sadism, too. We too loosely say that they're driven by religious idealism. That's their cover story. Mao, Stalin, Hitler and other mass-murderers also cited idealism when in fact they wanted power above all, especially the power to kill.
The more encompassing the theology/ideology, the easier it is to rationalize the joys of brutality.
As for quelling the "islamic'' madness in much of the Mideast, probably the best long-term solution is to stop buying the region's oil and gas, revenues from which these terrorists and police states use to procure arms and other resources necessary for their seemingly permanent wars. Marginalize the Mideast as much as possible.