The wars of the new millennium have been matched with a rise in martyrdom around the globe. While most people view it as catastrophic, a growing number claim it has unique value. So what is martyrdom, where has it come from and why are people of different faiths turning to it today? Are the powerful exploiting the faith of the powerless or is something else going on? Alom Shaha, Fuad Nahdi and Dave Tomlinson ask how martyrdom came back and whether it’s here to stay.