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reply to jennifer solis

Reader comment on item: The [Suicide] Jihad Menace
in response to reader comment: Seems wrong...reply to Jules

Submitted by Jules (Australia), Sep 5, 2008 at 23:57

I am currently writing an essay for school - i am in grade 12, comparing the afterlife of that of islamic and christian followers and the following is an extract from it:

Followers of the Islamic religion have the belief, similar to that of Catholicism, that once dead our spirits are the only elements of our bodies that shall be taken to the afterlife and that there will be a day of judgment for each soul (The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, August 1996). It is with this, that followers have the ideology that their actions determine eternal rewards or punishments. Islamic followers believe that in the same way a persons physical actions impact the body, so too does a persons action of good or evil leave an impression upon the spirit. Believing that the spirit is able to grow properly with the use of carrying out good deeds, such as praying to God, and that evil deeds, such as murder, will cause the spirit to be neglected and suffer from harm, it is evident that the ideology of reward or punishment for ones deeds is prevalent in the Islamic religion (The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, August 1996).

Looking then, at the fundamentalists of the Islamic religion it is clear that even suicide bombers have a clear concept of an afterlife. Although suicide is a major sin in Islam – as stated by the Qur'an - "O ye who believe!... [do not] kill yourselves, for truly Allah has been to you Most Merciful. If any do that in rancour and injustice, soon shall We cast him into the Fire..." (Qur'an 4:29-30), it seems that the belief in seventy-two heavenly virgins is too tempting. Suicide bombers have twisted the Qur'an's message of suicide to that of Jihad or holy war. With the belief that if they go to war, knowing that they will die, they are sent to heaven as martyrs (Daniel Pipes, July 27, 2001). The belief of these suicide bombers is that martyrs will go to heaven quickly. By becoming suicide bombers, fundamentalists of the Islamic religion are of the opinion that they will receive the rewards of heaven. An Islamic scholar of the ninth century said that the reward for suicide bombers was seventy-two virgins however; an 11th century Imam stated it was seventy virgins and two wives. Imam Al-Bayhaqi however, said that men were given five hundred wives, four thousand virgins, and eight thousand previously married women (Michelle Tsai, March 1st 2007). It was also heard that Mohammed had said, "Allah is all merciful! He gives the wives the rare honour of watching their husbands deflower those seventy-two Houris (virgins) and twenty-eight young pre-pubescent boys" (72 virgins and boys, Albaltus.org).

So if this is the reward of male suicide bombers then what is that of the women? Female suicide bombers likewise have the belief of martyrdom and that if they die they shall marry any man they want, in heaven, or if married, be united with their husbands, or if having had more than one husband, pick the best of them to marry (Michelle Maiese, June 2005).

But what about an eternal punishment? The general Islamic belief of an underworld or hell is that of a realm with seven doors (Qur'an 39:71; 15:43) that lead to a fiery crater. The crater has many levels and each level, to which one is sent, is based upon the severity and number of sins committed by a person. The lowest level is said to contain a cauldron of boiling pitch. If one is a Muslim, this alone will not keep them out of the depths of the underworld; however, all non-Muslims will be punished eternally. It is not clear, though, as to whether or not Muslims that are sent to this hell will remain there for eternity (Religion Facts, 2004).

I agree that this ideology of martyrdom is for want of a word scary - but we need to remember that this is only a small percentage of fundametalists of the islamic religion and that the opinions of a selcet few should not determine a steriotype for that of all followers of islam - which seems to be what a lot of the western world is doing.

this idea of Jihad however, has similar characteristsics to that of the christian crusades and dying for god. It seems unfair - as life is- that it is, and will always be, a select number of people that ruin aspects of life - or in the case of suicide bombers - someones complete life by their murder, for everyone.

i think fear stems from only that of which we do not understand but undertanding and reasoning can only be taken to a certain point; it seems some people just can't be reasoned with.


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