As we listen to the two principal culprits of Al-Qaeda attempt to motivate the unsuspecting to become suicidal dupes of its ideology, we cannot help but hear that their furious rhetoric is grievously flawed. We decided we might save some lives by bringing to bear on their promise of Paradise via murder the most frightening prospect a furiously brandished lie can confront: logic.
Let’s begin by reviewing the fundamental values on which their provocative illogic is based:
1. There is only one true God
2. God is great
3. The way to please God is to kill people who don’t believe in Him exactly the way we do.
Well, well, let’s have a look-see.
If there is only one true God, we are all – Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, Jews, and those who believe anything else – “children” of the same God.
If God is great, God is logical.
If God is logical, He would very likely not be pleased by some of His children killing His other children. In fact, He would, logically, be upset.
If so, He would be far less likely to offer the preferment of His highest reward to those who killed His other children. In the traditional eschatology of what’s up and what’s down, He would, in fact, present the wayward murderers with a more heated welcome and final destination.
Now, in place of Al-Qaeda’s fundamental illogic, let’s ask if there might be a more promising means of paradisiacal ascent.
How about, instead of belligerence, beards or burkahs, we turn to that staple of merit, behavior?
We suggest the widely applicable alternative of mutually considerate behavior; even better, the high but underestimated virtue of kindness. We needn’t put off those we hope most to influence by suggesting the ideal advocated by many of those al-Qaeda tarnishes as infidels and crusaders: love for one another.
Yes, Osama and Ayman, it is by behavior inspirited by benevolence, not murder incited by hatred, that Muslims, or any other inhabitants of this life-blessed earth, are more likely to please any one true God and thereby gain entrance to the Paradise such a God may have reserved for them.
If one must advocate a radicalism, let it be a commendable one – a radicalism, preferably considered just normal behavior, that embraces all humans beings as brothers and sisters, and, in fact, every living thing that has found a foothold on this fragile paradise of life, as it spins its uncertain way through the slightly traveled and only fractionally understood universe.