One of the abiding misconceptions of the War on Terror is that it is a war on Muslims as a continuation of the Crusades, which were definitely a war of Christianity with Islam. This is because the West of today is essentially pagan with a Christian veneer, and wishes Muslims to complete their conversion to the same paganism, and is now struggling to make that conversion complete. It should not be forgotten that the faith of Judaism and Christianity are the same as Islam. Indeed, according to devout Muslims, all three faiths are identical, and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was merely the Last Messenger in a chain that had previously been among the Jews. So had Jesus, only he was rejected by the Jews themselves, and accepted by the Gentiles, to the extent of being accepted by the Roman Empire itself, and adopted as the Empire's religion. The West was still Christian when it embarked on its imperialist enterprise, which engulfed the Muslim world. However, before decolonisation, it moved. It had already adopted capitalism as its economic system, and it thereupon adopted pagan values to live lives according to. The ideas of paganism had long been present, especially after the post-Renaissance revival of classical learning, but it was only at the turn of the 20th century, just before the First World War, that they were widely adopted, at about the same time as socialism or communism won so many supporters. While the Christian West had certain shared values with the Muslim World then, it jettisoned these values now. It set-up as the measure of all things Man, and made humanism the ultimate good. Though there was no reversion to the idol worship of the ancient pagans, there was the setting up of untouchable shibboleths, in the form of the freedoms. These were ultimately borrowed from the French Revolution, from its Rights of Man, so that Revolution, even though it was predated by the American, became the seminal Western Revolution, with all of its rigmarole of a new calendar and a new religion, with its virulent anti-clericalism. Western man no longer was willing to be judged by the Almighty, as was Islamic man; and that was the main difference. The Afterlife might have been foretold, but it included a Judgement according to a code, which had been revealed through the Prophets. That this code had included a number of direct instructions was only accepted by Orthodox Jews and Muslims, but not Christians, who had not followed the laws of Moses for centuries before they finally left the teachings of Jesus. The code was also abandoned by the Jews, as they attempted to assimilate and abandoned orthodoxy, and decided to take a national homeland in the Middle East, ignoring the rights of those who were settled there before them. The 20th century saw the full flowering of Western paganism, and the attempt to impose it on Muslims, who not only followed the code of the Almighty as was revealed to Muhammad (PBUH), but also believed in the Afterlife and the Judgement. Pagans on the other hand did not believe in this, and held belief to constitute something which retarded in the enjoyment of the here and now. This may have been paganism with a new twist, as it did not have any of the ancient gods in attendance, and was buttressed by one of the revealed religions, in the shape of Christianity. This was perhaps inevitable, as young pagans, for various reasons, ended up as ministers of the Church, and played the crucial role of making their Church support the neo-imperialist enterprise. One thing the new paganism did do, and that was make capitalism possible. Now with no more restrictions, the neo-pagan could seek profits that were unlimited both in amount and location, and in the lives that were lost. Within the Muslim scheme of things, which explicitly includes Jews and Christians (though not necessarily Judaism or Christianity), this is not how to approach life, which is a test, with Judgement at the end. More important, life itself is not significant if a favourable Judgement is to be obtained. This refusal to join in the capitalist game has made Muslims fair targets nowadays, apart from the downing of the Twin Towers. This has led to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the implied threat to the rest of the Muslim World. Muslims should realise that the invasions are not about security for the West against terrorism, or about access to energy sources, but about belief systems. The West wishes for Muslims to become pagan in the same way, while nominally subscribing to a revealed religion. Islam should no longer be a barrier to the full plunge into modernity, which is another name for paganism. Indeed, this neo-paganism helps explain the Western fascination with the only remaining ancient pagan system still extant, Hinduism. Hindus have been under Western rule, but it is only now that they have started taking to capitalism in large numbers. They too have adopted as the new god Science, which Westerners have set up in place of the idols of tradition. Hindus have as an advantage their retention of a vast number of idols, which increases the Western fascination with them, where once it fuelled disgust, when as occupiers they were still Christian. However, what the West seems to have omitted from its calculations is the truth or otherwise of the belief systems. Islam is squarely in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Indeed, it has placed itself firmly there, both by the manner and the content of the revelation to Muhammad (PBUH). The West is now working on the assumption that there will be no judgement. If there is, and Muslims know there will be, the followers of capitalism will be asked why they did not follow the code revealed to them by the Almighty through His Messengers. Paganism is the religion people invent for themselves when they turn away from the Revelation. All the ancient paganisms, like the Graeco-Roman or the Norse, were attempts in this direction. But paganism, even the modern, even when clothed in one of the revealed religions, as the modern West, is obviously in opposition to the Almighty. Therefore all involved in the War on Terror, not just the Muslims, need to ask themselves where they are going. Indeed, perhaps a more relevant question is whether they want to go there at all. E-mail: