I open my local paper today to this vivid “pic of the day:”

Photo by Musadeq Sadeq/Associated Press

The caption read: “An Afghan woman waits to receive alms Saturday in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world, 10 years after the collapse of the Taliban regime.”

Remember Afghanistan was and maybe still is Al-Qaeda territory.

Here are some equally provocative pictures from the same photo-journalist:

Same Afghan woman from a different perspective

Afghan Begger and her child in Kabul

Homeless Afghan man scoops up water to wash cars in Kabul

Scavenging children in Kabul garbage dump

I have to wonder whether some of the equation that produces the extremist brand of Islam that so many are concerned about (and for good reason) is more so produced by economics than it is by religion?  What can you come to believe and do when you live in such squalor?  Who can you be convinced to blame?