Muslim extremists believe that if they kill themselves while taking a bunch of infidels with them in the process (see 9/11, suicide bombers), they will be rewarded for these acts of extreme human cruelty in the next world, when they enter heaven, and are greeted by the sight of 72 virgins available for their every incorporeal pleasure. However, for some reason, if the mastermind of 9/11, the execution of Daniel Pearl, and numerous other atrocities is executed after a fair (?) trial, for some reason this bothers Osama bin Laden, so much that he threatens the life of every American in captivity if Khalid Sheik Mohammad is executed.
It seems to me that if a lowly foot soldier gets to go to heaven and fuck 72 virgins for blowing himself up in the great cause of jihad, then so should the man who ordered him or her to do so, despite being temporarily prevented from doing the same until tried, convicted and then summarily dispatched to his final resting place. If Mr. Sheik Mohammad is, is fact, on the short list for the next crop of 72 virgins, shouldn’t bin Laden be rejoicing in his ultimate martyrdom for the cause, not to mention his good luck? (Have you seen this guy? It has to be the best thing that could ever happen to him. ) Shouldn’t he, in fact, be encouraging a speedy trial, rather than threatening captives of war? Shouldn’t he be happy for his buddy?
There’s a certain disconnect between the logic of religious views of the afterlife, and their adherents personal desire to attain them. It’s much the same in almost any religion. Christian fundamentalists, for example, spend their whole lives proclaiming the glory of the second coming of Christ, and talk about how wonderful it would be to be chosen to be included in the Rapture, yet they don’t seem all that anxious to leave this world, and are quite sad when someone they profess to love does so in advance of them, as if their loved ones were not going to their ultimate, blissful reward. You would think death would not be a time of grieving for them.
Bin Laden seems to have the same attitude.
You would think that if the current recruits for jihad, some already in their training camps reviewing their well thumbed Manual of Suicide Bombing, preparing for that glorious day when they, too, get to walk into a crowded mall and trigger the switch on their strap-on explosive vest, open up their print equivalent of Al-Jezeera and see that their fearless, yet distant, unseen cave-dwelling leader is threatening the United State for the sole purpose of preventing one of his lieutenants from joining them in the hereafter, as if that was a bad thing, they would begin to wonder if all this 72 virgin stuff is really true? What if it’s not, and when they get to heaven, they find out that Allah doesn’t follow through with the goods? What remedy will they have? Do they have a small claims court in heaven? Have they even thought to ask such questions, or are they swallowing the pablum of religious faith like a pelican swallows a herring?
I suspect the latter, because that’s the hallmark of most religious faith – blind. They accept on faith far more than they think through. If I was a potential suicide bomber, I would be questioning the statements of bin Laden, rather than slavishly bowing 5 times a day towards Mecca thanking Allah for such a courageous leader.
How do you ask “What the fuck?” in Arabic?