“It is so beautiful to kill and to be killed.”
So wrote the 22-year-old Palestinian male who blew himself up after boarding a packed Jerusalem bus earlier this week – killing 20 innocent Israelis and horribly injuring many others. The mass murderer’s suicide note also expressed his joy at the anticipated horrors his shrapnel would inflict on unsuspecting civilians.
Most Americans, since their hellish introduction to Islamic terrorism last September, have soulfully resonated with the sufferings of Israelis who are victimized weekly – and, now, almost daily – by the same maniacal enemy.
While gradually learning about the bizarre, death-glorifying religious cult that so effectively spawns suicide bombers, Americans also have been treated to many battles of words in this newly discovered “clash of civilizations” – such as the recent flap over whether or not Islam’s founder, Muhammad, was a “demon-possessed pedophile.” Or whether, for that matter, as some Christian scholars claim, Allah is actually the ancient Arab moon god, renamed by Muhammad 1,400 years ago, and not the true God and Creator of the universe.
First, even if it’s true, as some contend, that Islam’s Allah is not the true God, a truly sincere person who has been raised as a Muslim can refer to the Almighty as “Allah” and still be communing with the Almighty.
C.S. Lewis, considered by many the greatest Christian apologist of the 20th century, made this point clearly and unmistakably in “The Last Battle,” his seventh and final book in the transcendent classic Christian allegorical series, “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Basically, a character named Emeth, born and raised in an evil and satanic culture, and who had cursed the name of God and praised the name of the lord of the underworld all of his life, found himself in Heaven after his death.
When he asked why he was being greeted warmly and lovingly by the very One he had cursed throughout his life, Emeth was made to understand that, despite his cultural and religious confusion, he had always loved and served the true God in spirit and in truth. Although the names and other matters of dogma may have been confused, his soul’s true allegiance, as manifested in his kind and principled life, was to the one true God.
The reverse situation is also common. That is, one can use the right “name” for the Creator of the universe and still be worshipping a false god. “Many will come in my name and lead many astray,” warned Jesus.
So, let’s not get too worked up over names. There are some nominal Christians – who profess to believe all the right dogma – who are going straight to Hell. And there are those who, in spite of the dark cultural and religious system into which they were born, have a true bond of love and obedience between themselves and their Creator that they will take with them into eternity.
But, now, let’s look a little more closely at the god of terror.
Religion is supposed to lead imperfect human beings to righteousness. In the Christian religion, to which I subscribe, the road to righteousness begins, first and foremost, with repentance – honestly recognizing, regretting, confessing and turning from one’s unrighteous thoughts, words and deeds. One of the first recorded sayings of Jesus was, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17 KJV) John the Baptist constantly exhorted all who would listen to repent of their sins, so that their hearts and minds would be free enough of corruption and wrongdoing that they would be able to hear and understand the message of redemption and love that Christ would soon bring them.
But there’s another road to righteousness – the way of hate. It’s not true righteousness, of course, but it sure as heck feels righteous. Being filled with anger toward a perceived enemy, dripping with rage and self-righteous superiority, makes one feel ennobled, invigorated, alive – a dark counterfeit of true grace.
It’s a powerfully “religious” experience.
The mind-altering and cleansing effect of indulging in great hatred, unfortunately, just “cleanses” the person of his God-given conscience, his consciousness of his personal conflicts, his fears and self-doubts. In short, hate has the power of “renewing the mind” – but in the image of what god?
I’m not an Islamic scholar and I don’t condemn Muslims for being Muslims. I try to reserve judgment and to “know them by their fruits.”
But just imagine you’re a young Palestinian male. You live in a suffocating, repressive culture amid rampant fear, intimidation and corruption. Your parents don’t love you. (Sorry, but if they look forward to seeing you blow yourself up, they don’t know what love is.) And on top of everything else, you’re riddled with the normal insecurities, need for peer approval, awkwardness around women and other personal growing pains that are part of growing up. There’s lots of conflict, self-doubt, rage and need for love – all floating around in your head.
But now it’s time for the faithful to go to mosque, where you hear a sermon – like this one, delivered in recent months by a leading Islamic cleric, Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabita, former acting rector of the Islamic University in Gaza:
None of the Jews refrain from committing any possible evil. … They are all liars. They all want to distort truth, but we are in possession of the truth.
O brother believers, the criminals, the terrorists – are the Jews, who have butchered our children, orphaned them, widowed our women and desecrated our holy places and sacred sites. They are the terrorists. They are the ones who must be butchered and killed, as Allah the Almighty said: “Fight them: Allah will torture them at your hands, and will humiliate them and will help you to overcome them, and will relieve the minds of the believers.”
… O brothers in belief, the beautiful bride has a costly price and dowry. … Our bride is paradise, O brothers in belief. …The cost and the dowry of this bride, the dowry of this paradise, is that we fight in the path of Allah, and kill and be killed.
This is the truth, O Brothers in belief. From here, Allah the almighty has called upon us not to ally with the Jews or the Christians, not to like them, not to become their partners, not to support them, and not to sign agreements with them. And he who does that, is one of them, as Allah said: “O you who believe, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies, for they are allies of one another. Who from among you takes them as allies will indeed be one of them.”
… Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them. Wherever you are, kill those Jews and those Americans who are like them – and those who stand by them – they are all in one trench, against the Arabs and the Muslims – because they established Israel here, in the beating heart of the Arab world, in Palestine.
Remember, this is a sermon.
Or how about this one, by Fatma Abdallah Mahmoud, published just recently in the official Egyptian daily newspaper, Al-Akhbar. This prayerful homily is cheerfully titled, “Accursed Forever and Ever.”
They are accursed in heaven and on earth. They are accursed from the day the human race was created and from the day their mothers bore them. They are accursed also because they murdered the Prophets. They murdered the Prophet John the Baptist and served up his head on a golden platter to the singer and dancer Salome. Allah also cursed them with a thousand curses when they argued with and resisted his words of truth, deceived the Prophet Moses, and worshiped the golden calf that they created with their own hands!
These accursed ones are a catastrophe for the human race. They are the virus of the generation, doomed to a life of humiliation and wretchedness until Judgment Day. …
They are accursed, they, their fathers, and their forefathers … until Judgment Day, because they burst into Al-Aqsa Mosque with their defiled, filthy feet and violated its sanctity.
Finally, they are accursed, fundamentally, because they are the plague of the generation and the bacterium of all time. Their history always was and always will be stained with treachery, falseness and lying. Historical documents prove it.
Thus, the Jews are accursed – the Jews of our time, those who preceded them and those who will come after them, if any Jews come after them.
I, personally … complain to Hitler, even saying to him from the bottom of my heart: “If only you had done it, brother, if only it had really happened, so that the world could sigh in relief [without] their evil and sin.”
Since their birth, the Jews [have amassed] hatred and hostility toward Islam and the Muslims. They have always laid traps for the Muslims, woven conspiracies and crimes against them, and been biased in favor of their enemies and occupiers …
They always try to warp and distort everything fair and beautiful! Basically, they are a model of moral ugliness, debasement and degradation. If only Allah would curse them more and more, to the end of all generations. Amen.
Do you know how young, brainwashed and essentially hopeless youths from failed families in a failed culture respond to such a “sermon”?
They’re elated. Their lives finally have meaning. When the 22-year-old bus bomber wrote, “It is so beautiful to kill and to be killed,” he didn’t really mean it’s beautiful to be fighting for freedom, it’s beautiful to martyr oneself for Allah or any of the other hypnotic mantras of this giant death cult. What was beautiful to him was that he finally felt alive – amid a culture in love with death – because he was making the ultimate statement, committing the ultimate act of death and hate, which equals life and love in the kingdom of Hell.
The lord of terror has many names. In Christianity, he is called Satan. By whatever name, he is the god that is inspiring and directing the Islamic terrorist movement.
As I explained, I’m not quibbling over the proper name for ‘He who has no name.” I’m also not saying sincere Muslims don’t worship the true Creator of the universe. Some do, and some don’t. Same with Christians, Jews and others.
There is only one true God that created and ordered the universe, regardless of man’s names for him. And as for His followers: “Ye will know them by their fruits.” And the fruits of an increasingly radicalized Islam today are straight from Hell.
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