Why do they hate us?
Saturday, October 30 2010 @ 06:45 pm PDT
Contributed by: WatchCat
The honest simplicity of the answer made me laugh. I then shared it with some friends, who shared it with their friends, and of course a fierce debate erupted.
A few of the points made:
Not every Muslim in the Middle East hates us.
They hate us because we screwed them over in (pick a year of the 20th C)
The conflict goes back to Isaac and Ishmael
It began when Cain killed his brother Abel (I'm assuming this is a reference to the first recorded act of hatred)
It is often said that you can't understand the Middle East without understanding how long of a memory its people have. If I operated under similar principles, as a good half-Scot I should be still trying to kill the English. And the Irish Troubles would be considered a relatively new grudge.
If we purely take the line that Muslims legitimately hate Americans because of the injustices of the creation of the political state of Israel, then we should be able to legitimately hate Muslims because of 9/11.
I never want to deny that the Arabs in what has become Israel got screwed over pretty thoroughly. They did. The West didn't do it arbitrarily; faced with the horrors of the Holocaust, we knew we owed the Jewish people something, and the unhelpfulness of the Arab world during WWII made it easy to saddle them with the biggest cost. And it's true; they have not forgotten that humiliation.
What I find interesting is that liberals and the Middle East tend to share the same blame-game mentality. "If my life is bad," they reason, "someone else is probably to blame and someone else should be held responsible. Someone else should make my life better." When it comes to the Palestinian issue, the idea grows exponentially as the various surrounding countries encourage the blame of the US. Imagine the US trying to blame Spain for our problems with Mexican immigrants. While that is perhaps an extreme example, the point remains that blaming the US gives countries like Syria an excuse to not do anything to actually improve their situation, and provides recruiting opportunities as long as the poorest segments of their society are angry at everyone but their local leaders.
It's a stinging irony when our military is accused of exploiting the poverty of young men and women while the same accusers assume that young Palestinians blow themselves up because they have a valid gripe.
Let me tell you something about the mind of the average suicide bomber. There is hatred, yes, but above all else there is desperation, desperation because they have become convinced that they have no other way of improving life for themselves or their families. Who convinced them of this? Does it not seem odd to you that a country that is famous for its opportunities is blamed for someone's hopelessness?
Hence the comment from Dr. Phares. Most hatred of Americans is not born of direct contact but of someone else's information and interpretation.
While I'm earning my fatwa, I should also note that Islam always places the Jew, Christian or infidel on an inferior level to the Muslim. Given that human worth in Islam is measured by submission to the perceived will of Allah, and given that even Muslim life appears to be cheap in their society, why would anyone in their right mind expect any kindness or respect from the Muslim world? It's a blessing when we meet those Muslims who exceed the kindness of their faith. But that should be the surprise, not the hatred.