Thinking about the bombing atrocity in London a decade ago - and also of the more recent atrocities of IS - it seems to me an insult to civilisation describe the silly young men (and indeed women and children) who strap bombs to themselves and detonate them among their brothers and sisters as 'martyrs'. The suicide bombers, and those who machine-gun shoppers in supermarkets and holidaymakers relaxing on beaches are themselves innocents persuaded to kill themselves for the mythical god of a religion (including, in the past, Christianity) created by the wicked to prey on their fellows. The IS 'martyrs' in particular go happily to their deaths because they have been persuaded that they find themselves in a happy land of milk and honey where naked virgins will wait upon them to provide every delight they have rejected on earth. The tragedy - though perhaps it is for them a happy chance - is that they will never know that they are in fact going to simple black oblivion, having thrown away, it seems, every pleasure less gullible people get out of life.
Even worse, it seems that they have been taught that their main pleasure and accomplishment in life should be the elimination of anyone who does not worship their particular god - it is the Old Testament view of religion, that anyone who does not subscribe to My idea of god is not worthy to live. Simple and undiluted idiocy - and profoundly anti-Life. An attitude which has of course appeared from time to time in almost every civilisations, from ancient Rome to 17th century England and the Puritans. Nothing is new. But that the phenomenon of IS has appeared and proved so forceful makes any optimism about the progress of mankind towards genuine civilisation extremely difficult to summon.