Behind every religious war is an economic or political war. The religious beliefs of the people are merely a convenient and effective means of motivating them to do what they otherwise would not, murder, torture, steal, to the benefit of their leaders.
Cortés leveraged Christianity to steal the gold belonging to the Aztecs. Bush used Christianity to steal oil belonging to Iraqis.
Islam is being used in the same manner except perhaps with even more ambitious goals.
This is why people need to be in touch with their God on a personal level, through prayer and meditation and careful thoughtful consideration of scripture, because they will be mislead by their fellow man if they are not. Man will mislead them as to the meaning of scripture, take it out of context, and do whatever else necessary to mislead people into going opposite of what God commands.
For myself, when I am in doubt I remind myself of Jesus’s words:
Matthew 22:36-40King James Version (KJV)
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.