Some people see the emergence of the Islamic State as the endgame — that the world is coming to an end. Well, I don’t think so. If you look into the Book of Revelations in the Bible, you’ll realise that many more events have to take place before the end. However, I do believe that the IS and the recent attacks on Charlie Hebdo are some of the early signs that the end has begun! How long that would be is anybody’s guess!
I expect that the world will see more such unusual and unbelievable incidents in the future. People will be shaken up and, as is typical after every earth-shattering news, there will be much soul-searching, which, indeed, may be a good thing!
In the aftermath of the multiple murders at Charlie Hebdo and connected events, I am sure the whole world is talking about the many issues that the killings have raised. I think they are particularly talking — or thinking — about whether medieval concepts of justice and fair play are truly Islamic or simply culturally couched. Radically conservative Islamists and jihadists may insist it is so, but it is apparent that many Muslims worldwide don’t think so because they did not react negatively to the recent events. They maintained a commendable rational calm, some even distancing themselves from the terrorists.
But, I believe, a good amount of soul-searching is going on. Much of it is silent, in the privacy of inner thought. Among those questioning their beliefs, I am sure, are some who may find answers and resolution in disbelieving or choosing another faith. And, this would happen without any effort to “evangelize” or “convert” — an accusation that is often levelled at Christians.
My feeling is that as long as there are radically conservative Muslims vociferously advocating an old way inconsistent with modern life, there will be disillusionment and a desire to get out. Radical conservative Muslims must assume responsibility for that.