Religion

Why there are so few Christian terrorists

Color me curious. Raised Protestant, joined American Navy and saw the world, the Dome of the Rock is a supremely beautiful building. Such beauty, why NO COMPASSION! by radicals? I don’t understand the mindset. .. Beauty and hate

The issue is not religion, but politics. Radical Muslims are no different from radical communists. They believe their countries are being controlled and oppressed by evil capitalist tyrants, and that superpowers like the US are supporting the most evil governments on earth (such as in Saudi and Egypt), and that the US is against freedom and democracy if tyrants fit its needs better, all of which are true. For example, the US orchestrated a coup that ended democracy in Iran in the 50′s.

Religion just happens to be a useful tool for these groups, as it gives their followers the courage to die for their cause.

You should also not forget that many terrorist groups are funded by intelligence agencies, both Western and otherwise. If you are an intelligence agency looking to create havoc anywhere in the world, Islamism provides a great tool for this, since Islamist soldiers are brave and do not require the payments needed for hiring non-religious mercenaries.

Many in the Middle East consider ISIS a US-Israeli creation made to perpetuate war in the Middle East and prevent any Muslim country in the area from getting too strong or stable. For all we know, this might be true.

Radical Muslims could just as easily have been Radical Christians. It just so happens that the political situation in the world today has made Muslims the underdogs controlled and stepped on by mostly Christian superpowers. Christians too have a long history of justifying mass violence and murder for their own ends, but since Christians acquired supremacy over the earth after the Middle Ages, and as Christian belief weakened, Christianity stopped being an effective tool for carrying out political goals. A hot-headed Muslim is easy to convince that he is being oppressed, while it is a lot more difficult to convince a Christian, since he knows Christians rule most of the world.

Terrorism is not common among Muslims. A few in 100,000 might condone violence. But everyone ignores the remaining 99999. Why aren’t they terrorists also? Because terrorism is based on political ideas that most Muslims do not support.

Christianity can just as easily be used to create terrorism. But since modern Islamic terrorism was created by Christians (such as in Afghanistan in the 80′s) to accomplish the goals of Christian countries like those of the US in the Middle East, it is Muslims who die for it and Muslims who are mostly killed by it.

Muslim countries do not have the intelligence capacities to organize and support Christian terrorist groups in Christian countries to weaken such countries and create markets for their defense and intelligence industries. It is extremely easy to use Christianity to create terror groups, it just so happens that there is not enough money and power to be gained by the world’s superpowers through Christian terrorism, therefore they are instead spending their billions organizing and supporting Muslim terrorist groups.

And if Islamic belief weakens in the Middle East and stops being an effective terrorist-recruitment tool, the superpowers will simply switch to another ideology, such as communism or a modern incarnation of it. They would then create and organize communist terror groups to perpetuate war inside the countries they want, and Fox News will start talking about the dangerous communists next door who hate you because of your freedom.

Should I be a Muslim? Some answers for doubtful people

Below is a question I received on tumblr, I decided to answer it in the article below.

Can you tell me how you know islam is true? I’m considering converting. But I don’t know if I should

To begin, there are two main ideas about how the universe works. The atheist idea is that the universe is a closed system, like a closed cardboard box. Inside it everything happens and nothing that happens inside is caused by anything outside of it. This theory has very important consequences. For example it nullifies the ideas of free will, responsibility, and the existence of a soul. If everything inside the box is caused by particle interactions inside the box, then everything that a human does, or everything that a human thinks, is simply caused by particle interactions, atoms and photons colliding and interacting with each other. When you decide to be kind to someone, it is not because of a choice you made, but because the universe at that moment (your memories, your way of thinking, the environment you are in) lead you to do that act.

The second theory is that the universe is an open system, that the human soul resides outside of it, which means that even though a person is affected by their environment, the part of them that lies outside the universe can act independently for itself, meaning that the person has free will. If we assume this second theory is true, then we immediately need an explanation for why the universe is this way, how it is arranged and for what purpose.

The two theories (whether the universe is closed or open) are rival theories. Atheists believe in the first one, religious people believe in the second one. But the truth is that there is no scientific way (so far) to prove whether the universe is open or closed, therefore almost all arguments between atheists and religious people are futile, since neither side has a conclusive proof. It is also probable that there will never be a conclusive proof (until the world ends).

Assuming that it is impossible to scientifically prove whether the universe is closed or open, we look to other sources of knowledge regarding this matter, and the only source of knowledge available to us regarding the nature of the universe is scripture, which explains the nature of the universe, how it was made and for what purpose.

Atheists have no evidence that the universe is closed, but the religious have evidence (scripture) that the universe is open. Therefore the matter stands on whether we take this evidence seriously or reject it. Atheists reject scripture, even though they have no conclusive scientific proof that their rejection of scripture is justified. And the religious accept scripture, even though they have no conclusive scientific proof that their acceptance of scripture is justified.

Science and reasoning cannot help us to decide the matter (since everything depends on whether the universe is open or closed, which cannot be proven by science/reasoning). Therefore, when it concerns the individual, the matter fully depends on the act of acceptance or rejection of scripture.

I have made the conscious decision of accepting scripture, as it explains the reason for the existence of the world, and things like why good people suffer and bad people enjoy life (scripture says this life is a test and the true life is after death, therefore a person’s suffering in this world does not prove anything about God’s kindness or cruelty. A person can suffer for many years, but if they are rewarded with an infinitely long and pleasurable afterlife, we can say that God is very kind).

As for telling whether Islam is the best religion, it is for yourself to decide. I have read the Quran and parts of the Bible and I have read books on Christianity and Judaism. When you look at the most pious Muslims and Christians, you will see that they are extremely similar in their way of thought and behavior. For example the Lord of the Rings, which was written by a Christian writer and is full of Christian ideas of good and evil, could have been written by a Muslim.

Christianity is encumbered by the idea of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus. Islam simplifies the matter by saying that Jesus was a human being like any other, he belonged to a long line of prophets sent by God to inform and educate people. Therefore according to Islam Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad all were sent by the same God to give people the same message (that there is one God and that there is a day of Judgment). Each message was specifically written for its recipients, thus according to Islam Jesus was a Jewish prophet sent to the Jews to correct their religion and remove the various corruptions that the rabbis had added to the Torah (such as legalizing usury).

Christianity too was eventually corrupted, and when the time was right God sent his final message, the Quran, which is the simplest and the most global. The Old and New Testaments are mostly concerned with the Jews, which makes sense since they were meant for the Jews.

The books of the Testaments were written and re-written by humans, thus for example we have various gospels covering the same topics, each written by a different person. This made it easy to introduce errors and corruptions into the text, accidentally or otherwise.

The Quran, however, is very different. It is meant to be the direct word of God communicated to the prophet, and the way it is written, and the language in which it is written, make it very hard to change or corrupt it. It is easy to memorize (since it is musical or poetry-like), and during the prophet’s lifetime many people memorized the entire text, and since then it has been passed down orally until the present day. After the prophet’s death the written Quran was collected and many ancient collections exist and can be read to verify the correctness of the oral tradition.

If we assume there is a God and that he acts logically and sensibly, then the Quran is a very good successor to the Bible, written in a manner that makes it nearly impossible to change. God did not make the other scriptures like this perhaps as a test, to see what humans did with God’s words, and perhaps also because God was constantly sending new prophets to correct and guide people. However, during the 7th century, it appears that God decided that the world had reached a sufficient level of development to only need one final prophet and one final text.

The Quran contains some tantalizing scientific statements that add strengths to its authenticity. For example it makes a reference to the Big Bang (“Do not those who deny the truth see that the heavens and the earth were joined together and that We then split them asunder?” 21:30), and to the stages of the growth of the human embryo (which were not known at that time). However, the Quran is not meant to fully stand on its scientific statements, otherwise God could have provided more. If the Quran contained so much science to make it impossible not to believe in it, then that would be like God showing himself to humanity. In such a situation there would be no more point in having faith; it would be like forcing faith upon humanity, which God does not want to do.

Thus the Quran provides a great amount of evidence for its truth and authenticity, but there is always a little room for doubt. We can never be perfectly sure that scripture is true, we always have to take some of it on faith. Only after death we can find out whether the scripture we believed in is true or false.

I prefer to believe in the Quran rather than the Bible since the Quran is clearly superior. The Old Testament contains many ridiculous things, such as Jacob wrestling with God, which seems to be taken right out of pagan mythology, and the idea of the Christian Trinity is too cumbersome and unnecessary. There is no good reason for God having a son, and this too seems too similar to pagan mythology.

The Quran provides elegant and logical solutions to the problems of the Bible. There is one God, who sent various prophets to guide various sections of humanity, ending with Muhammad as the last prophet and the first global one, meant to teach all of humanity. God does not show himself to us, and he has made it impossible to prove his existence, so that humans can have the choices of believing and disbelieving in him. The reason why God saw it necessary to create humans and this universe is not very clear to us, but if he is a God then he can do what he pleases, and he doesn’t have to explain himself to us. Therefore even though we do not know the perfect explanations for God’s actions, if we believe that the Quran is true, then the only logical thing to do is to follow it to gain a good afterlife. God says in the Quran that his plan for mankind is that they should spread on earth while acting according to God’s commands, and this is basically every Muslim’s program in life: to build a good family and make the world a better place through doing good and avoiding evil (which is very similar to the program also followed by many faithful Christians and Jews).

Muslims and their stance on terrorism and ISIS

I noticed a difference between how moderate Christians and Muslims discuss extremists. Christians will say that fundamentalists like the members of the Westboro Baptist Church are not “True Christians.” Muslims, from what I’ve seen, say that violent extremists are un-Islamic. I asked an Imam about this, and he said that the terrorists are still Muslims even though they are acting in a violent way. Would you agree with that statement? If they are Muslim, what can the community of Islam do to reach out to them?

Mainstream Islam is a very decentralized religion. There is no single authority that people follow, and the leaders of the mosques have no authority, they are simply people who serve the community, and ultimately people feel free to ignore them and think differently. Mosques are not centers of power, they are public service institutions very much like public libraries.

This decentralized nature of mainstream Islam is very important to take into consideration when thinking of anything that Muslims say or do. The various communities in an area all operate independently, and even the community that gathers inside the same mosque. There are no consensuses to be reached, no power plays or efforts to make one’s opinion or agenda supreme over others. Everyone is free to build their own community and to focus on the things they like and to fit the religion to the concerns of their time and culture. Thus the Muslims of Turkey may live and act very differently from those of Malaysia, and in a way every man and woman is his/her own sect and community, free to apply the religion in ways that make the most sense to them. Islam provides a skeleton or framework that anyone can flesh out in the way they like.

In Islam saying someone “is not a true Muslim” is like saying a professor “is not a true academic”. There is no hard definition, and no authority that gives and takes the “Muslim” label from people. Anyone that states the testimony of faith is a “Muslim”, and if they do something un-Islamic, they may always repent. If they break the law, it is job of law enforcement to deal with them.

No pious person will freely make statements about whether a certain person is a Muslim or not, or if their deed causes them to stop being Muslim. It is not our job to judge people, it is God’s job, and the mainstream Muslim community is rightfully suspicious and mistrustful toward Muslims who involve themselves with the job of judging people.

Whether someone is a Muslim or not is a matter of the heart, and we cannot see inside a person’s heart. A person who appears to be the best Muslim may actually not be Muslim at all and may be pretending to be so for his/her own personal benefit.

The common Muslim belief about terrorists is that they are usually foolish youth enamored by promises of glory and greatness. Their leaders or inciters are often or always people working for intelligence services, whether Western or Iranian or Saudi (etc.), using Islamic rhetoric to motivate these youth into carrying out their dirty work for them. Are these youth guilty or innocent, or a mixture of both? I cannot say. They often believe themselves to be the purest in faith and to be doing things that the average mainstream Muslims are too lazy or cowardly to do.

I expect some time in the 80’s or 90’s intelligence services realized that Muslim jihadists are perfect soldiers, as they do not require payment and are fearless, wishing for death. The US made use of them against Russia in Afghanistan, and somebody made use of them to carry out 9/11 and other terrorist attacks, to justify the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria. War is very profitable for some people (especially lenders), and jihadists make great soldiers, I expect there are enough people around the world ready to make use of them for their own economic and political ends.

Terrorists are extremely rare, media hyperbole notwithstanding. Even if there currently are 100,000 Muslims in the world subscribing to terrorist ideas, that makes up 0.00006% of Muslims, or 6.6 out of 100,000 (while there are 354 Americans with AIDS out of 100,000). We can say that Muslims have been extremely successful at curbing terrorism. In the mainstream Muslim community terrorists are extremely rare and foreign beings. I have never met someone in my entire life who went on to join a terrorist group. We sometimes hear stories of the type “this person’s friend’s cousin knew a guy who went on to join a terrorist organization”, the stories are usually similar to stories of ghost sightings.

This is not to say that Islamic terrorism should be ignored. We Muslims have double the reason to dislike terrorists and wish for an end to them: their crimes, which cause suffering for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike (the vast majority of victims who have died because Islamic terrorism have been other Muslims), and secondly, the effect of their deeds on the way non-Muslims see us and treat us. While to a non-Muslim terrorism is a distant threat similar to hurricanes, a Muslim living in the West has to suffer daily persecution when he or she is looked upon as a potential terrorist by many.

How do more moderate Muslims attempt to change the minds of terrorists and the “foolish youth” that follow them? Is there an effort to use Islamic doctrine to convince them that violent acts are not acceptable in Islam?

The issue is complicated, therefore many speakers and scholars are silent on the extremist doctrines, except when those who subscribe to such doctrines carry out actual terrorist acts, in which case there is usually widespread denouncement of the act. The main issue is that if someone speaks out against ISIS, for example, he can be easily misconstrued to be supporting the Iraqi or Syrian governments, which are equally evil. Therefore they often see the safe route as simply not speaking on it, or only speaking of particular acts instead of attacking the doctrine.

Another issue is that of jihad, when is the use of violence justified? There are various opinions on this, and many speakers/scholars are afraid to come up with anything new as it makes them easy targets for personal attacks and character assassination (i.e. “this new scholar seemingly disagrees with this respected ancient scholar, therefore the new scholar must have strayed from the right path”).

Scholars are increasingly under pressure to clarify and modernize jihad doctrines to make them fit the modern context. The correct and sensible doctrine is that jihad is simply a matter of states. If the US comes under attack, jihad would be to join the US army and defend the country. During the time of the Prophet when the Muslims did not have a state of their own, there was no fighting, no violence, even when their antagonists did violence toward them. Eventually the Prophet was democratically elected to be the leader of the city-state of Medina, and thus, like any state, it had to engage in wars to defend itself, and thus the Quranic verse (22:39) was sent down that permitted the Muslims to engage in fighting against another state.

Modern jihadists ignore these facts, aided by ambiguous texts on jihad, and say that jihad means to engage in violence against any oppressor, at any time. Luckily the vast majority of Muslims consider this false and corrupt, and thus we see that Muslims around the world follow the law and go about their daily lives. Eventually the texts of jihad are going to be properly codified to outlaw terrorism, but it is a slow process, as scholars do not want to be seen to be breaking away from tradition.

As for how we “convince” people that terrorism is wrong, there is no standard practice. As said earlier, there might be 6.6 militant individuals per 100,000 Muslims. There are 15.5 would-be murderers among a population of 100,000 blacks. We do not ask blacks how the “moderate” among them try to convince their fellow blacks not to commit murder, and we do not ask parents how they convince their children not to have incestuous sex with each other. The question is wrong because it implies categorical guilt and responsibility upon the people we are questioning, for something extremely rare and exceptional. A father is not responsible for convincing his son to not have sex with his daughter, and a Muslim father is not responsible for convincing his son not to be a terrorist, because in both cases it is assumed that the son has learned, throughout his entire life, that incest/terrorism is wrong.

Muslims do not have to teach that terrorism is wrong, any more than they need to teach that the sky is blue. Non-violence is the assumption that governs all our interactions with each other. The overwhelming majority of Muslims never come in contact with a militant person, and so they do not have any experience in convincing people not to be terrorists, the same way that most people do not have any experience in trying to convince a man with a very rare mental illness that he is not a duck.

Muslim children are raised to be productive members of society, to be doctors, engineers and firefighters. They do not have to be taught not to be terrorists, any more than black children need to be taught not to be murderers. The entire fabric of the Muslim community is based on the assumption of peace and prosperity, and children grow up wanting a peaceful and productive life.

Therefore Muslims do not have anti-terrorism strategies the same way parents generally do not have anti-incest strategies. If a person shows militant tendencies, similar to a person showing pedophilic tendencies, family and relatives may seek help from community leaders or therapists. If that fails, if they think there may be a danger to the public from said individual, they may alert the authorities, like Muslims have done on a number of occasions in the US in cases of terrorism.

I hope this answers your question. There is no need for an “effort” to convince people that terrorism is wrong, the same way there is no need for an effort to convince people that incest or pedophilia are wrong. It is taught everywhere in society, every day. We cannot blame society for a pedophile’s crime, saying he did not get the memo that it is wrong. It is the same with Muslim society and terrorism. Pedophiles and terrorists are deviants, and an effort to convince them that what they do is wrong is completely ridiculous, since their entire lives they have been learning that what they do is wrong and unacceptable.

Still, due to the collective blame that Muslims receive, most Muslim writers, journalists, speakers and bloggers have spoken out against terrorism. But they are simply repeating what the general Muslim population says; at dinner tables, classrooms and mosques, and their writings and speeches are less for the benefit of the Muslim community than they are for the benefit of non-Muslims who may be wondering what Muslims think about the issue of terrorism.

Religion

A religion should make as much sense as mathematics, and if it doesn’t, it is not worth believing in.

/ No Comments on Religion

Is reading the Quran better than listening to it?

The majority of scholars (such as Qatar’s Islamic Affairs Ministry, Ibn Baaz, and the UAE Islamic Affairs Ministry) do think that reading is better than listening, but they have no evidence for this except their own personal opinions and unauthentic sayings of the Prophet. To me reading a book or listening to it are the same thing. I listened to the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books (instead of reading them with my eyes), does this mean that I somehow understood or “benefited” less from the books than if I had read them?

I suffer from dry eyes and late at night when I read Quran, if my eyes start to feel bad, I switch to listening. Does this mean that God automatically drops my rewards because I decided to receive God’s word through my ears instead of my eyes?

To me, Islam is a religion based on logic, not magic. No good deed is magically better than another, and whether I decide to receive the Quran through my eyes or ears my reward depends on my effort and sacrifice (how much attention I give to the meaning and how much time I dedicate to it), not on some random eyes-are-better-than-ears prejudice.

Thanking God for saving us from calamities He sent

God is the originator of everything, so what is the point of thanking Him when He sends us blessings to save us from hardships that He could have prevented from happening in the beginning?

If we believe that God created us and knows all about us, and that He has infinite knowledge and wisdom, then we can be sure that He does not play games with us; He does not send us hardship solely for the purpose of us asking him to remove such hardships, but rather, there is always another purpose. There is always a wisdom in it, and it is a tremendous foolishness and arrogance to think otherwise–to think that we can see flaws in God’s actions that He Himself cannot see or mend (sadly, though, the God of Christianity too often seems this way, at least the way Christians paint Him).

Therefore there is nothing intelligent in making fun of “God saving us from calamities He Himself sent”; the clever atheist thinks this is yet another proof of the falsehood of the idea of God, when in fact he has rigged the equation to get the result he wants, he is simply saying “if God is false, then God is false”: First, he corrupts the idea of God, creating a God that is so unwise, unintelligent and unkind that He sends calamities only for the purpose of removing them, and then, with much smugness and pomp, he says that this God must be unwise, unintelligent and unkind.

This type of thinking is more of a sign of the incoherence of Christianity than of the faithlessness of the people of the age, for it is Christianity (at least its modern incarnation) that teaches the type of thinking that puts the burden on God to prove His kindness and greatness, rather than putting the burden on humans to prove their faith and perseverance in an All-Powerful Lord that does what He pleases.

God acts and is not acted upon. God is free to do as He likes, to serve His own purposes, to reward and to punish, to give and to withhold. It does not befit a human, in his smallness and powerlessness, to question God and ask Him to prove Himself. A human being, by the virtue of existing and being alive, is given infinitely many blessings. He has eyes with which to see, a blessing beyond appreciation; for how great it is to see and how terrible not to see! And how good it is to be able to taste, to breathe, to think and imagine, to smell, to touch, and to hear the voices of the ones we love.

This simulation that we live in is like being inside a video game. The characters inside a video game have no power of their own, all the action happens inside the computer’s brain. You do not raise your hand except that God does it for you, you will it, God does it. You are nothing but a thinking thing plugged into a simulation. You think you have power because God so reliably does what you will. There is no guarantee that your arm will raise when you will it, God has to uphold the laws of physics to enable it, He has to transfer the electric signals from your brain to your arms, and create all the other changes necessary in the Universal Register for your arm to move to where you want.

In our state of infinite powerlessness and need, we have to thank God in His Greatness for every blessing, small or big, and we have to thank Him for every calamity He saves us from, even if we assume He sent the calamity. We are powerless, we are completely under God’s dominion, a God who can bring us to the highest peaks of happiness or throw us into the deepest pits of misery. There is nothing preventing God from tormenting us with unimaginable torment, yet He chooses not to do that, isn’t this worth being thankful for? He gives us so many blessings, food and drink, eyes and limbs–blessings we did not earn–isn’t this worth being thankful for?

An atheist would say that God created us, therefore it is His “job” to give us things and take care of us. But God does not have a job assigned to Him. He does what He pleases. I want you to understand this important fact: God does not have to do anything for us. We are infinitely unimportant compared to Him. We are less important than the millions of bacteria that live on the palm of your hand: you probably kill hundreds of thousands of them every day without giving them the slightest thought. There is nothing preventing God from giving us the same treatment, or worse, except God’s own will.

The truth is that we have no rights. You do not have the right to breathe, or see, or think, or even exist. God gave you those, for His own reasons. We are free to rage at Him, but our rage is impotent. We cannot move an atom except that God moves it for us. We can use God’s own technology and power to think arrogant thoughts about our greatness and His smallness, but at the end of the day, the joke is on us. We are crossing a bridge, both ends of which are held up by God, and we ourselves are nothing but puppets controlled by strings that God moves (to our commands, but only because He is humoring us), and yet we are making fun of Him, saying He doesn’t exist, or saying “no thank you” for His blessings.

Arrogant humans think of their imaginary rights over God. Humble humans think of God’s very much real rights over them, for God has a right to be appreciated and worshiped by us, for He has endowed us with so many great things that none besides Him can give.

The death of false ideologies

All false ideologies bring about their own destruction. There is no need to worry about feminism, communism, jihadist fundamentalism, and whatever other misguided ism “taking over” the world and becoming the status quo. Each new person subjected to the ideology is also subject to the following equation:

Acceptance of the ideology = coherence of the ideology’s principles with the person’s understanding of the world + effects of the ideology on the person’s life

False ideologies make at least some arguments, claims and predictions that clash with a person’s understanding of the world. False ideologies also bring about at least some situations in which injustice and evil prevail. And these two serve to distance some people from the ideology, so that they will not take it seriously.

Most false ideologies cannot survive multiple generations of humans. The older generation may have been fertile ground for the growth and practice of the ideology, but the new generation’s response will necessarily be different, if only for the very effects of the ideology itself. The ideology’s success changes the world in which the people live, and thus the new generation grows up in a new world, a world in which the ideology may no longer make sense.

False ideologies spread because of a lack of information, lack of better alternatives, novelty, or geopolitical and economic reasons. But in a world where it is possible to pass down information to the new generation, every day that passes is a new day in which the ideology is challenged by new findings. And in a world ravished by a false ideology, alternatives will necessarily appear better. Geopolitical and economic situations change, and an ideology loses its novelty in a generation or two.

There are those who worry about “true” Islam being lost, among the many misguided sects, and among the many competing ideologies and non-ideologies that abound. Some clever atheists are looking forward to this very thing taking place sooner or later:

They see Islam as an echo of a false and superstitious system and they believe that a day should come when some thing or many things challenge it so hard that it becomes completely impossible to follow the religion with a straight face (as has happened to many Christian sects).

But, assuming for the sake of discussion, that Islam is true (as in everything the Quran says is accurate), it should somehow survive the eternal culling of ideologies. The 20th century was the biggest challenge to Islam, during which it lost many followers and gained many, and the 21st century may be an even bigger challenge (though not necessarily).

If we assume that Islam is true, then the intense challenges it faces are not a bad thing like many preachers and scholars think. They are great news, because it means false versions of Islam will implode sooner or later, and Muslims will slowly, decade by decade, move toward a more unified, more intelligent and more coherent version of Islam. If we bring two different Islamic sects and strip them of their falsehoods, the two may end up as mirrors of each other, and while the older generation may hold on to sectarian divisions, the new generation may see that the two sects are the same for the most part.

An interesting case is that of Shiite Islam in Iran. Iran’s various rulers have used Shiism as a political branding tool to differentiate themselves from the Ottomans and later the Saudis and the Sunni world at large. Shiism shares most of its core with Sunnism, and where it differs, the differences–falsehoods if we assume mainstream Islam is true–were popularized for political branding reasons as mentioned. The modern brand of Shiite Islam achieved supremacy with the 1979 revolution, which is about one generation ago (if we assume a human generation is 28 years), and it is already showing significant signs of weakening and losing heart (hundreds of thousands of people would attend Khumeini’s death anniversaries in Tehran in the past, while now the government has to import attendants from outside the city). One generation has grown up under its supremacy, and many of its members strongly dislike it. Those born to those who dislike the system will also dislike it, since there is little to attract new members to the system, and those born to those who like the system, even if some of them like it, among them many will rise who will dislike it, meaning that about 75% of the second generation may be opposed to the system. The 2020’s will very likely be periods of significant change in Iran.

Apart from religion, another interesting case is feminism, which achieved total political supremacy in the mid-1990’s (of course, feminists will never admit to have achieved supremacy, for the entire ideology is based on the myth of perpetual female victimhood), meaning that 2023 will mark the end of the first generation born and raised under it. Assuming that it is a false ideology, its true test will come after 2023, as the second generation grows up. If it is a false ideology, then it will follow the patterns of the many false ideologies before it, such as Maoism, which achieved supremacy in 1949, and after the end of the first generation in 1977 (the 2023 of feminism and 2007 of Iran’s Shiism), the ideology dissipated and changed so much that it was unrecognizable, and 15 years later (2038 of feminism or 2023 of Iran’s Shiism), China was mostly a capitalist economy with the biggest tenets of the Maoist ideology abandoned.

Back to religion, Christianity started dying hundreds of year ago, though the most significant acceleration of this phenomenon was seen in the 20th century, especially after the sexual revolution of the 1960’s and the rise of feminism. The forces that killed Christianity* are still in effect, so that many children of faithful Christians feel perfectly free to leave the religion. If we call the forces that killed Christianity “modernism” or “post-modernism”, and if we consider modernism’s date of supremacy the same as the date of feminism’s supremacy in the 1990’s, then it should follow the same arc. In 2038 post-modernism may be mostly dead, and its death may enable a new revival of Christianity. However, by then Islam may be a significant player in the West, and it is likely that those who would have gone back to the Christianity of their great-grandfathers will instead embrace Islam, especially if we assume that Islam is true and is an update to Christianity, but even if we don’t.

The new New World Order of 2038 will likely include Islam as the rising star in the West and East above all other ideologies. Christianity and other religions will not necessarily completely die out; there have been Christians, Sabians and Jews living among Muslims in the Middle East for about 15 centuries, and this will likely continue. The version of Islam on that day will not be a Jihadist fundamentalist brainless one, since these ideologies, as false and evil ideologies, cannot survive multiple generations. It will be the version of Islam that has existed for centuries among the devout Muslim middle class everywhere in the world, in Turkey, Egypt, Malaysia and Europe: Just people going about their day doing their best to survive and make the world a better place. They will be doctors, engineers, programmers, writers and singers. Their children will play video games and their women will drive cars and will be respected whether they choose to be housewives or professionals or a bit of both.

But if Islam is a false ideology, the continuing march of science will continue to make it harder to follow with a straight face, and thus it will follow Christianity’s arc of death.

* Though I speak of Christianity’s death, there is a small Christian upper class of intelligent and admirable men who may survive for many centuries to come. “Christianity’s death” refers to the death of its supremacy in the daily affairs of the average man.