To Western minds the bloodshed and destruction witnessed on a daily basis in Syria are unfathomable. People stare numbly at news reports of chaos and images of bombed-out cities and orphaned children. “How can people do this to others?” they ask in incomprehension at the mindset that allows such violence.
What is behind jihadist thinking?
In Professor Roland Tiersky’s editorial for RealClearWorld, he explains the religious underpinnings of radical Islamic terrorism:
“Death, in the minds of ISIS fighters, is not the end of life. It’s the way to an eternal life of bliss in Heaven, to a Paradise depicted in the most extravagant, sensual terms in certain Muslim writings that are accepted as literal truth. The Quran itself has many, and many more are found in the Hadith, which are later commentaries on the Quran that claim to report, verbatim, what [the] Prophet Muhammad said on various matters. For an Islamist fundamentalist, Heaven is a real place, a Garden full of sensual delights” (“ISIS’s Deadliest Weapon Is the Idea of Heaven,” Sept. 19, 2016).
The war against terrorism isn’t a traditional war of one nation against another. It’s a war of ideas and beliefs. Philosophies that devalue human life and lead people to commit atrocities have a spiritual dimension that is too often ignored or misunderstood.
The apostle Paul made it clear that these struggles are against the author of such lies, Satan the devil, and his demonic minions: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
American King James Version×). It’s important to remember this in understanding what’s really behind the tragic headlines of today’s world. (Source: RealClearWorld.)