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Death the only escape for many Islamic extremists

Death the only escape for many Islamic extremists

THE windowless room inside the girls’ madrassa was charred, transformed from a seat of religious learning to an inferno by the suicide bomber who detonated his charge as Pakistani commandos stormed the Red Mosque compound. Five of the people who were sheltering inside the room were so badly burnt by the explosion that it was impossible to tell their gender or age. Yet the officer who led journalists into the site of the week-long siege said that his men had found a severed head, presumed to be that of the suicide bomber, on the floor. In the next room, swarms of flies buzzed over the stained floor and the chunks of broken masonry where militants had built a bunker. Walls that had been painted with Islamic verses were riddled with bullet holes, evidence of a vicious 35-hour assault in which commandos fought from room to room against 70 heavily armed militants.

These people may have actually died when their mosque was stormed. But their fate was sealed much earlier by an ideology which trained them to ignore the physical reality of their lives. Islamic mysticism, like other forms, not only believes in a split between matter and spirit. It declares that the matter portion (which includes their physical lives and all their experiences) is unreal and only preparation for the much more important spiritual life. Which explains the extremely low priority placed on preserving physical life and the intense desire for martyrdom.

This can also explain how Muslims become so offended by nudity that they are willing to kill. They consider that their human lives are meaningless. Therefore any human actions which lead to negative consequences in the spirit (real) world become a fate worse than physical death. Which, in any case, doesn’t seem for them to be much cause for concern.

When pressed to face the priority and reality of physical life and existence, and submitting to the secular rule of law, large numbers prefer to die. Given their history and propensity to cause mass death for others in the process, I think we should oblige them. I’m happy the Pakistanis chose to do just that.

The hardliners plan protests. Good luck with that. It seems the tide may be turning, and governments such as Pakistan’s may finally realize that they need to shut down or regulate what’s being taught at these madrassas before they all turn into charnel houses.

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