The World To Come

1. The Muslim looks back to the past. Historical memory tells him of the time of the caliphate, the greatest moment of his religion and culture, when his empire was most expansive. For him the great moment of the earth has already happened and it is what he seeks to restore: a return to the future.
2. The Western man (secular) looks to an imagined future, to a perfection of democracy and technologically guided economy, in which everyone will have all the latest gadgets and live together in peace with little work, long lives, and never any pain. For him, the earth´s perfect moment is still to come and he need only teach other men to imagine it with him.
3. The Muslim, however, is without a belief in the perfection of life on earth. Perfection is only possible after death. This allows him to live with cruelty and slaughter and pain and loss. War and death are simply features of the earthly life. They put into starker relief the perfection and beauty of the world to come after death.
6. Secular Western man cringes at the cruelties and slaughters. All the world’s pain challenges his idea of the progress of his utopian democracy of consumption and happiness on earth. He has no answer for this challenge to progress. It does not seem possible to him. Without an afterlife, Western man is reduced to nothing if his worldview of progress is to fail.
8. Western man must imprison and declare war upon those who practice cruelty and slaughter. To protect his progress of peace and democracy and the values of consumption, he must practice in a more extreme and comprehensive way the brutality of his enemies. He must slaughter more thoroughly than his enemies. He must expand his surveillance, he must torture better, he must terrorize more efficiently so that the peace may last and consumption and democracy can take root.
11. Verily, the Muslim´s restoration of a once-existent caliphate is a more realistic and achievable objective than the globalizing of the entire earth under a secular democracy and consumption-based economy (never before realized historically). While both are totalitarian projects, the former is considerably more modest in scale. 
12. After Western man has had his idea of worldly progress destroyed, he will return to the idea of the afterlife and perfection and utopia in death. It will be too hard to live without belief in the midst of slaughter. He will need to become religious again. He will believe again and as fervently as the Muslim. He will relearn the longing for death and the life to come.

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