Even if Mr. Fine were correct that politicians have convinced the religious fringes that it's a holy war, I'd then ask "So what"?
That kind of analysis gets us nowhere.
There ARE elements of the conflict that involve religious bigotries, hatreds, etc. Millions of Jews were murdered over those issues while the moderates and progressives thought "that's so 15th century." Not so!! The world is full of murderers and victims.