Another huge bone of contention was the UK/US backed coup in Iran back in the 1950s that deposed a democratically elected government and installed the autocratic Shah.
Hi Izzy, I've read 'All the Shahs Men' and 'CIA, a legacy of ashes', and another that related to this. As I said earlier, I'm not unaware of the near history.
Setanta's reference to the crusades got me interested because I've always wondered why they keep raising it.
As I mentioned earlier - after 9-11 I was curious as to why the Arabs hated Americans so much. Religion alone doesn't explain it.
That helps explains much of Arab terrorism towards the west (and in particular the US). As did the US bases in Saudi Arabia, as does the US interference in Arabic policy / kingdoms, as does the obvious perspective of 'US oil grabs', as does the Israel issue.
It doesn't explain the violence across the breadth of the Islamic world, nor (again) the percentage of fanatics. It also doesn't explain why the crusades are still an issue, and why they believe the current 'conflict' with the west is religious based (it is incredibly obviously for the West, based in money). Viewing it from a religious perspective, it makes more sense (having said that, I'll qualify by saying I've only just started the book Set recommended)