Deception’s infamous prodigy is not satisfied with nefarious past deeds but now sends messages to taunt those who remain and hope to rebuild. The showing of Bin Laden’s most recent video message is under the scrutiny of the entire world. Free men everywhere are giving it a collective; “thumbs down.”
From the tainting to the taunting the message is abhorrent to most of civilization even as it serves to draw a line in the conscience of the world. The line drawn is one that zealously, religion, ideology and popular trends cannot cross; it is the line between life and death.
Osama Bin Laden has sealed his own fate. He has not been captured but remains a captive in the caves and pits of a desolate land. He has not been tried in a court but billions of reasonable men and women have passed a verdict against him in their hearts and minds. He has assaulted the public but can never show his face openly in public for the rest of his life. He has exiled himself for the rest of his mortal life. His deeds have urgently summoned the immutable law of reciprocation to witness against him and it has already passed sentence.
The 72 virgins he imagines to be his reward for his murders, he now dangles before a civilized world and invites us to join him. He offers absolution, mercy, and virgins if we will join in his extremism. Such an offer makes Jim Jones look like a mildly reasonable megalomaniac who at least had sense enough to take his own life along with his proselytes. Oh, that Bin Laden had only that much good sense.
To the families and loved ones of those lost in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania on 9/11 the thought of 72 virgins means little. Thoughts of justice for the 21st century’s top murderer hardly cover the pain and bereavement they feel. He will undoubtedly find no converts among the bereaved or among their countrymen. After tainting and taunting Osama has unwittingly moved up to tipping. He has tipped the scales against himself in world opinion. Even moderate Muslims feel he has gone too far.
But even moderate Muslims are not raising in numbers enough to assuage or lessen the threat of Islamic extremism. Since the Quran itself encourages death for infidels the fear that moderates may be only one apparition away from becoming zealots or one chapter and verse away from becoming Jihadists is not unfounded.
A frantically busy western culture enamored by a Hollywood inspired neo-morality has another answer to the problem of Islamic extremism. It impatiently throws all religions in the trash including the Christianity that gave it its very foundation and initial moral strength. Who has got time for discriminating thought, discernment or careful scrutinizing? From Chris Hitchens to comedienne Kathy Griffin the trend is to trash Jesus. The risk of career ending boycotts and general public disdain are worth taking for a few more dollars or an extension to the fifteen minutes of fame allotted per person.
The adoption of one African child by Brad and Angelina or the endowments for a few exceptional children in Africa provided by Oprah get full media attention. For people who are floating in money it is but a pittance but who’s got time to notice that insignificant fact. Christian organizations, missionaries and brave individuals are being tortured and killed trying to bring aid, a message of hope and some education to Islamically dominated countries. If it were not for a few organizations like Voice of the Martyrs no one would even know it. Giving your life to help others will never be thought of as a pittance but as long as this is not well known…who cares?
Some 600 years before Christ the Prophet Daniel (Da 12:4) said that knowledge would be greatly increased just before the second coming of Christ. Shortly after the resurrection of Christ the Apostle Paul warned that knowledge and mans wisdom would ultimately produce a collective sense of pride (1 Cor. 8:1) in mankind, the kind of pride that would cause them to give God his walking papers. History has not proven the scriptures wrong but then there is the other side of the coin.
On the flip side is the fact that a reasonable amount of education can lift people out of religious or ideological tyranny faster than most anything else. Muslim countries have the highest number of illiterates in the world and it is no secret that in many Muslim countries women are never allowed to attend school. An education may not guarantee that people in Muslim countries would not choose extremism but at the least it would give them a choice.
In 1945 actress Bette Davis starred in the movie “The Corn is Green.” Few movie buffs would disagree that her stellar performance as the teacher named Miss Moffat was a defining moment in her illustrious career.
In one scene she is drawn by the voices of a group of young men passing in front of her cottage. She slowly emerges from her ivy covered cottage to watch as the young men walk by jostling and singing a song in the Gaelic tongue of the Welch. They are covered with black soot from the coal mines they are returning from and seem oblivious to her or anything around them. She asks where they are coming from and how old the young men are.
Standing near her someone answers they are coming from the mines and most of them started working in the mines at twelve years old and up. After pondering that answer for a moment her unforgettable response is; “Whoever started the ridiculous rumor that this is a civilized world?”
All people are precious in the eyes of the Savior including Muslims. Yet, with such wholesale ignorance in the Islamic culture and the emergence of Osama Bin Laden as Islam’s best champion, the question begs to be asked about the Islamic world; “who started the rumor that this is a civilized culture?”
Rev Michael Bresciani is a Christian author and a columnist for several online sites and magazines. His articles are now read in every country in the world. For articles and news from around the world visit “The Website for Insight” http://www.americanprophet.org