The 13th anniversary of 9/11 is upon us. Why did it happen at all?
We get a hint of why from a statement from the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949) of Egypt. He said: “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations, and to extend its power to the entire planet.”
But there’s another factor as well, and that deals with the personal motivation of the hijackers. September 11 happened because of bad theology. Nineteen men believed the promise that if they died in a state of jihad, they would go to Paradise and receive their 72 virgins. Nineteen men sought assurance of salvation in the wrong place and killed thousands of innocent people on the way.
Mohamed Atta, who led the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11 and flew it into the World Trade Center’s north tower, had a suitcase that providentially ended up on a different plane.
Authorities found his wedding suit all laid out in that suitcase, along with an ornate copy of the Quran. He was preparing for his big wedding day in the afterlife.
Whether one can be saved or not is unknowable in Islam, as is forgiveness of sins.
Steven Masood is a former Muslim from Pakistan who now runs the ministry Jesus to Muslims.
He told me of jihadists in general, “they believe that, well, if we are killed, we will go straight into Paradise. It’s much easier for us to go into Paradise that way than by performing all the ritual performance and everything and still not knowing that we are going to Paradise of god or not. But … the Quran says that martyrs killed in the way of god, or in the fight for god … will go straight into the Paradise of god.”
“Martyrdom promised such young men an ideal alternative to a life that was so sparing in its rewards. A glorious death beckoned to the sinner, who would be forgiven, it is said, with the first spurt of blood, and he would behold his place in Paradise even before his death. Seventy members of his household might be spared the fires of hell because of his sacrifice” (p. 123).
“The martyr who is poor will be crowned in heaven with a jewel more valuable than the earth itself. And for those young men who came from cultures where women are shuttered away and rendered unattainable for someone without prospects, martyrdom offered the conjugal pleasures of 72 virgins – ‘the dark-eyed houris,’ as the Quran describes them, ‘chaste as hidden pearls.’ They awaited the martyr with feasts of meat and fruit and cups of the purest wine.”
I once asked him about the seeming incongruity between strict Islam and the pornography found in Osama bin Laden’s compound, or the fact that some of the 9/11 hijackers, it was learned later, had gone to strip clubs before that fateful day.
Spencer said, “You have to understand that Islam has a very different moral outlook from Christianity, and there is no redemption or forgiveness in Islam; there is only the principle that if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, then you’ll enter paradise, and if your bad deeds outweigh your good deeds then you’ll go to hell; that’s it.”
Also: “The thing is though that jihad is the best deed of all and outweighs all the others, and so if you’re waging jihad, you essentially have a free pass to do whatever you want otherwise because none of the bad deeds you’re going to do are going to outweigh your great deed of jihad.”
This greatly contrasts to historic Christianity with its “blessed assurance.” Christianity and experience teach that we are all sinful. But even though a righteous God judges sin, we can be assured of salvation when our sins are paid for – and our righteousness provided – by Another.
Warning: To ears that are only used to multiculturalism, the following statement from the Bible will offend. But let God be true and every man a liar.
In the New Testament, John the apostle writes, “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know you have eternal life” (emphasis added).
That’s what Atta et al. were missing and what they missed out on. In short, those planes were driven into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania by bad theology.