The U.S. Empire has always focused on national economic priorities, especially so in the age of corporate dominance of governmental affairs. General of the U.S. Marines Smedley Butler recalled after his retirement from the military that he and the Marines repeatedly went to Central America in the early decades of the twentieth century to make the world safe for U.S. Corporations. Smedley Butler claimed that war is a racket, an enterprise to support the empire and its economy and not a prerequisite to national security.
Latin America is dominated by the Catholic Church. The peasants who got in the way of the U.S. empire were mostly Christians. Little did their Christianity matter when their desire for land rights and economic justice interfered with profiteering by the Empire. In fact, by the later decades of the twentieth century, operatives of Empire murdered even Catholic nuns and priests and even high officials of the Church.
Now, the Empire has shifted its attention to the lands mostly occupied by Muslims. There is oil under those sands and lands. Where there is no oil, there are vital transportation rights for oil pipelines. Empire covets those strategic supply routes and each precious barrel of oil.
While it is true that there may be some animosity by Americans against Muslim peoples based on religious hatred, the reality is that most Americans are hardly devoutly religious in their own lives. And most Americans are profoundly ignorant of Muslim ideals and practices, and even more so regarding history of the Muslim faith and its peoples. Thus, there is very little animosity based on experience or knowledge by Americans against Muslims, with the one exception of the events of 9/11/2001 which have stood out in the minds of many Americans.
Empire does not find its motivation for expansion based on animosity. Empire is motivated by greed. Muslims are in the target zone for greedy empire because of the natural resources and strategic value of lands and trade routes. So the American military went to Iraq and began killing Iraqis in the "noble" effort to liberate them from Saddam Hussein. Only later, after resistance to occupation led to a violent insurgency, did animosity against Iraqis and Muslims arise in the hearts of American troops.
Now, whether the military operations are in Iraq, Afghanistan, or in future operations in Iran or Syria, the Empire will wage war against Muslims, just as it did in the past century against Latin American Catholics. Empire strikes against competitors and especially against resisters. Empire favors no religion and kills any person of any religion who gets in the way. Che Guevara paid with his life for his resistance to empire, and Zarqawi may do the same. It is not personal. It is not a religious squabble. It is about Empire and the Holy Grail of Corporate Wealth Building.
Submit to Empire or die. This applies to Muslims as well as Catholics. This applies to atheists and agnostics, and may apply one day to Anglicans and Lutherans and Hindus and Buddhists and Russian Orthodox worshippers. Submit to Empire or die — your faith is irrelevant when worship of the Almighty Dollar demands your obeisance.