We live in a time of conflicted identities, ideologies, and faith. Humanity, today, is divided across combative lines of national, political, racial, and religious divisions that, together, shape our individual as well as collective entrenchments the West has a certain contempt for the East, as a result of which the East harbors a deep resentment towards the West; capitalism disparages the lost luster of ‘equitable redistribution of wealth’, whereas socialist thought admonishes the soulless ambition of capitalist greed; majority of the world, at least in the present moment, has made its peace with gender and racial inequality, with even secular countries (such as India) turning a blind eye to the atrocities within; the Muslim world is viewed as a haven for barbaric terrorism by progressive nations that have no trouble adding fuel to the fire by funding the influx of weapons that ‘might’ counter the rise of Islamic extremism.

Consequences of these deep-rooted ideological divisions are playing out, on the global stage, as perpetual acts of terrorism and state-sponsored military wars.

In a horrific manifestation, this week which has turned out to be a global week of terror extremist groups, (almost all of them linked somehow to the Islamic State (IS)) conducted globally coordinated acts of terror across the Middle East and Europe. On Thursday, two suicide bombing terrorized a mostly Shiite residential area of southern Beirut, ripping through a busy shopping district (during rush hour), killing 43 people and injuring more than 200 others. The attacks were claimed by Islamic State, which (proudly) expressed that it had targeted Shiite Muslims (apostates!), and in particular Hezbollah (a Shiite organization that backs the Syrian government). The following night, a series of deadly terrorist attacks were carried out across France, killing almost a 130 people and injuring over 200 others. Again, the Islamic State (and related sister-groups) claimed ‘responsibility’, as part of retaliatory campaign against Frances involvement in the ongoing war against ISIS.

Over the past few days, a number of other terrorist attacks some deadly and others not were carried out across different countries and jurisdictions, for varying motives of political power, racial superiority, and religious dominion.

It is useless to ask or search for a purpose behind these outbursts of barbarianism. It is pointless to deliberate upon or hypothesize the socio-religious motivations that go into the making of a terrorist group or individual. And it is criminal to make excuses for such acts, or to view them through the lens of some self-serving Islamic ideology just the same way that it would be an outrage to view Israels barbarianism against Palestinians, and Hindu lynching of Indian Muslims, through the crystal of the Torah or Mahabharata.

In a world where more than 90% of humankind believes in some form of divine religion (according to a 2013 report published by The World Factbook), and by extension believe in the final battle between forces of light and darkness, the claim of organizations such as ISIS (much like other Judio-Christian organizations before) is that it is fighting the eternal war between good and evil, in anticipation of arrival of the final savior. It claims to be launching that inevitable offensive, which has been promised in the Holy Scriptures, and is recruiting believers for the Final Coming. And that anyone who stands with them, and believes in their perverted version of religion, will be amongst the chosen people, destined to prevail against forces of oppression.

Ironically, this is the same rhetoric that was used by Jehovahs Witnesses and the KKK to justify their racial oppression, by Crusaders who stormed Jerusalem (killing every Muslim and Jew within the city walls), and by the Allied Generals while fighting the Nazi forces during the Second World War.

Let us imagine for a moment (ever if only for the sake of argument, even for the non-believers) that the Second Coming and an ensuing Final Battle is true. Let us imagine that the varied prophesies and cosmological predictions are real. That one-day, perhaps soon, we will all find ourselves drafted on either side of an apocalyptic battle. Even then, this battle, according to scriptures (at least the monotheistic ones), will not be fought across religious or national lines. It will not be a battle between the Muslims and the Jews, between Sunnis and Shias, between the East and the West. It will, as narrated in countless traditions, be one that is fought between the oppressors and the oppressed; the zalim and the mazloom; between the batil and the Batool. And for this purpose our religious practices and national claims would be irrelevant.

This ideology, one that rests upon the final outcome of the eternal human story, may sound like an issue of mockery to most liberated and modern minds. Be that as it may, it claims thousands of lives each year, across different national and religious territories of the world. And for this reason, it is incumbent upon us all to participate in and shape this debate. Because every moment that we surrender our voice to the silence of apathy, we concede ground to the forces of bigotry.

The events of France and Lebanon, much like other terrorist events across the Middle East and South Asia, are rooted in a hypnotic rhetoric about Kingdom Come. Part of the solution, therefore, lies in addressing this narrative in a manner that can be understood by the believers. And this contribution must come from liberal minds of our time.