If Allah is the maker of life, as Mohammed Atta believed, could He desire the destruction of what he had created? What is suicide but rage at the living, and contempt for the life left behind? Mohammed Atta offered his deed of destruction as a gift to God. In his eyes, his martyrdom was unselfish and the strangers he killed were not innocent. His mission was to purge the world of wasteful pleasures, to vanquish the guilty and to implement God’s grace. But if God wanted to cleanse His creation, why would He need Mohammed Atta to accomplish His will?
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These are the questions of an agnostic, who has no business saying what God desires or does not. Nonetheless, an agnostic can appreciate believers like Pascal, whose humility is transparent and who are attempting to make sense of the incomprehensible through faith. Why are we born? Why are we here? Why do we die? An agnostic can respect the faith of a skeptic who confronts our misery and refuses to concede defeat. He can admire a faith that provides consolation for the inconsolable, and in a heartless world finds reason to live a moral life.
But murder is not moral and the desire to redeem the world requires it. Because redemption requires the damnation of those who do not want to be saved.
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