[ by Charles Cameron — on the exclusion of worldviews not consonant with grey suits and security clearances ]
These two persons are likely being polite.
I’m wondering how any people at State or in the Agency or wherever know what it feels like to be one of the flagellants in Iran during Muharram, in Qom or Masshad perhaps… or at the Jamkaran mosque, and to believe the Mahdi is waiting close by in the wings… or to be in Afghanistan, Sunni, and expecting his army with black banners will sweep down on Jerusalem from Khorasan in accordance with hadith… or in Palestine, reliant on the hadith of the rocks and the trees, certain that Israel will soon fall… in Pakistan, listening to Syed Zaid Zaman Hamid and mentally preparing for the Ghazwa-e-Hind?
I suppose I’ve been struggling to say this for years:
The sanction for extremist violence, even to the point of death, is that the cause is just and right. The sanction for messianic violence is that the cause is not only humanly just and right but divinely so — and final, for the entirety of the cosmos, for all Creation.
h/t Nada Bakos
Further readings on messianisms:
David Cook, Contemporary Islamic Apocalyptic Literature
David Cook, Studies in Islamic Apocalyptic
Timothy Furnish, Holiest Wars
Gershom Gorenberg, The End of Days
Anne-Marie Oliver & Paul Steinberg, The Road to Martyr’s Square
Jean-Pierre Filiu, Apocalypse in Islam
Syed Saleem Shahzad, Inside al-Qaeda and the Taliban
Ali Soufan, The Black Banners
Richard Landes, Heaven on Earth