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The End of the World is Nigh! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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People are saying that the end of the world and life as we know it is imminent. The date: 21-12-2012.

Articles, research and films have become preoccupied with the terrifying Planet Niburu, which is getting closer and closer to earth, and state that NASA has known about this since the beginning of the 1980s and has been hiding it from the world. As a result, I have looked into this planet that resembles earth. Nibiru would cause a change in the earth’s polar axis meaning that there would be a reversal in the rotation of earth. Consequently, the sun would rise in the West and set in the East. In 2011, the world’s population will be able to see Planet Nibiru shining almost as much as the sun in the sky! Terrifying earthquakes and unimaginable floods will strike the earth and volcanoes will erupt and fires will burn all resulting in the annihilation of 90 percent of mankind. They draw on logical and illogical ideas and prophecies of the remote Mayan people and on the teachings of Saint Augustine and Nostradamus and they link the Tsunami and global warming to the end of the world.

It is a terrifying scenario, and these ideas have reached Hollywood. We recently saw the release of a film entitled ‘Knowing’ starring Nicholas Cage, which tells the story of a physician who rejects any metaphysical arguments to explain existence or nature. However, at the end of the day, he has no choice but to give in to mysterious prophecies discovered in 2009, fifty years after the death of the American student who wrote them. They speak of the terrible fate that the people of the world will face during the physician’s lifetime.

One only need conduct a search in Google to see what Westerners are saying about the end of the world in 2012. There are some terrifying perceptions.

As usual, the Arabs incorrectly cite problems and concerns of different societies. What concerns the Westerners at present about the Mayan legend are the pessimistic trends that have been striking the Western conscience since the tragedies of the two world wars and before that the major religious wars between Christian denominations. The Arabs today have taken these Western concerns and made them their own as the Shia have turned the 2012 story into evidence that the Mehdi’s return is imminent and the Sunnis are preoccupied with it in their own way whilst others are only concerned with the idea of the annihilation of mankind!

These epic ideas about the end of the world usually spread in times of war and deadly epidemics and they are figurative expressions about the magnitude of despair among mankind to solve such crises. Resorting to these definitive solutions that stem from non-material concepts becomes a refuge for frightened and confused souls.

The “naïve” questions of those amongst us expecting the world to end in 2012 are: will the quarrels in Lebanon be over by the time this final year comes round? Will the war with the Houthis in Yemen be over and will al Maliki still be in power in Iraq talking about a state of law? There are other questions but perhaps Planet Niburu will catch up with us before they can be asked…

Mshari Al-Zaydi

Mshari Al-Zaydi

Mshari Al-Zaydi is a Saudi journalist and expert on Islamic movements and Islamic fundamentalism, as well as on Saudi affairs. He is Asharq Al-Awsat’s opinion page editor. Mr. Zaydi has worked for the local Saudi press, and has been a guest on numerous news and current affairs programs as an expert on Islamic extremism.

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