Posted April 30, 2004
It's been rightly asked of traditional Christianity, if heaven is such a wonderful place, why is it that so many put off going there for as long as possible? A considerable number of Muslims, however, seem to have no such problem. If recent news reports are any indication, quite a few of them are more than willing to speed up the process of claiming a one-way ticket to paradise...
It's been rightly asked of traditional Christianity, if heaven is such a wonderful place, why is it that so many put off going there for as long as possible?
A considerable number of Muslims, however, seem to have no such problem. If recent news reports are any indication, quite a few of them are more than willing to speed up the process of claiming a one-way ticket to paradise.
Consider the following news from recent days:
. April 29: A Muslim suicide bomber killed himself and eight U.S. soldiers in a car-bomb attack south of Baghdad.
. April 26: Jordanian TV aired the confessions of captured Muslim terrorists who admitted to planning a massive chemical attack on Jordanian government buildings and intelligence facilities and the U.S. embassy in Amman. Jordanian security forces reported they had seized trucks loaded with 20 tons of toxic chemicals that could have killed 80,000 and injured another 160,000 had the attack been successful.
. April 26: A Muslim would-be suicide bomber trying to cross from the Gaza Strip into Israel was held up by two Palestinian robbers apparently intent on stealing his explosives, which they wanted to use themselves. Rather than surrender his deadly prize, he blew himself up, killing all three.
. April 21: A Muslim suicide bomber driving an explosives-packed car demolished portions of the headquarters of the Saudi Arabian security forces in Riyadh, killed at least four people and injured 148. The unofficial casualty toll is much higher.
. April 19: British police foiled a series of planned coordinated suicide attacks at a soccer match with the arrest of 10 Muslim plotters and would-be bombers.
. April 17: A 22-year-old Muslim from Gaza detonated an explosives belt at an Israel border crossing, killing himself and maiming four Israelis.
Did you notice a pattern here? All the suicide bombers in these reports, and indeed the vast majority of all suicide bombers we hear about, are Muslims.
Notice also that the largest attacks, the one in Saudi Arabia that worked and the one in Jordan that didn't, were directed primarily at other Muslims in attempts to bring down those respective governments—governments that apparently aren't devoutly Islamic enough to suit the mass murderers who planned the attacks. (So much for the oft-heard argument that Israel is the root cause of the violence in the Middle East .)
Certainly there are many peaceful and peace-loving Muslims. But those aren't the ones who concern the rest of the world. And yes, the Koran, Islam's holy book, contains many verses extolling peace. But I've also read enough of it to come across many verses extolling the pleasures of paradise. And the shortest and surest route to paradise is to die as a martyr in the cause of jihad— spreading Islam and defeating the infidels.
What is the Koran's description of paradise? To people accustomed to a hard life in the desert, it sounds pretty attractive: plenty of fruit trees (some made of solid gold) covered with apples, dates, grapes and flowers, providing not only food but lots of shade after a lifetime in the desert sun. To quench one's thirst, it is a land of springs and rivers flowing with water, milk, honey, nectar and wine.
But you thought Muslims were forbidden all alcohol, right? Well, the wine in paradise is different. It's non-intoxicating, so you can drink all you want with no ill effects. Even better, after you drink it, your body smells like perfume, because all food and drink in paradise is transformed into perfume that oozes from one's skin.
Enhancing the food are dishes, goblets and eating utensils of gold and silver, to be enjoyed while reclining on jeweled couches and fine cushions and carpets.
And, of course, for the Muslim male, he is promised the virility of a hundred men and 72 perpetually young, perpetually beautiful virgins, called houris, whose skin glows like sunlight, to satisfy his needs.
But Allah is a harsh judge, so there is only one sure way for a Muslim to enter paradise. That's by dying as a martyr—a shahid— in spreading Islam.
When you live in a manmade hell on earth, going to paradise to enjoy such blessings from Allah for all eternity sounds pretty good. So good, in fact, that many are dying to make the journey.
So long as people are fed a diet of hatred for non-Muslims and promised wealth and pleasure beyond measure in paradise for giving one's life in killing them, there will be no shortage of people dying to meet Allah.
For further insights on today's headlines from other sources, checkout Current World News & Trends .