Most Central Asians maintain a largely secular worldview but among those searching for a new ethnic or national identity, there is renewed interest in religious ideas. Radical Islamic political ideas have also arrived from elsewhere in the Muslim world.
The majority of suicide bombers have been young men. However, some of the most lethal exponents of suicide bombing have been neither male nor Muslim. Women involved in a series of attacks are beginning to undermine this stereotype.
Police in Belgium and France launched a series of raids yesterday against a suspected terrorist network after a Belgian-born convert to Islam blew herself up in Baghdad, becoming Europe's first woman suicide bomber.
Hispanic women converting to Islam are exerting influence beyond their numbers, teaching Spanish-Arabic classes, forming Hispanic-Muslim organizations & distributing Spanish translations of the Qur'an.