Martyrdom does not end something, it only a beginning.
Islam and Christianity promise eternal paradise to the faithful. And that is a powerful opiate, certainly, the hope of a better life to come. But there's a Sufi story that challenges the notion that people believe only because they need an opiate. Rabe'a al-Adiwiyah, a great woman saint of Sufism, was seem running through the streets of her hometown, Basra, carrying a torch in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. When someone asked her what she was doing, she answered, 'I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven of fear of hell, but because He is God.
The war on terror is the most insane and immoral war of all time. The Americans are doing what they did in Vietnam, bombing villages. But how can a civilised nation do this? How can you can eliminate suspects, their wives, their children, their families, their neighbours? How can you justify this?
He was my friend, faithful, and just to meBut Brutus says, he was ambitious,And Brutus is an honorable man.He hath brought many captives home to Rome,Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill.Did this in Caesar seem ambitiousWhen the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept.Ambition should me made of sterner stuff,Yet Brutus says, he was ambitiousAnd Brutus is an honorable man.
What I'd show you is much more bizarre than anything we have looked at so far, and I warn you in advance that the first impulse will be to laugh. That's all right. Laugh if you must. Just don't take your eye off what you see, for even in your imagination, here is a creature who can do you damage.