I recommend The Crisis of Islam (Holy War and Unholy Terror), by Bernard Lewis. Nonfiction. Very concise read. Informative.
Also enjoyed The Road to Cana, by Anne Rice. Follow on to Out of Egypt. Not for everyone. Fictional account of the life of Jesus (Yes, I know several Planeteers think all accounts of Jesus are fictional...save your posts.)
John Stuart Mill: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."