Skip to comments.The Roots of Muslim Anti-Americanism
Posted on 11/14/2002 5:04:05 AM PST by SJackson
I would be lying if I said I wasnt happy about the [September 11] attack. Those are the troubling words of Muhammad al-Mulaifi, who heads the information department at Kuwaits Ministry of Islamic Affairs. Like many of his countrymen did last autumn, Mr. al-Mulaifi expressed his delight by attending a series of parties held in celebration of the al Qaeda mass murders. Celebrants took to the streets to dance and sing, rejoicing in the cold-blooded slaughter of 3,000 American civilians.
During the eleven years since the US rescued Kuwait from Iraqi domination, this type of anti-American sentiment has engulfed much of Kuwaits population like wildfire, a blaze fueled largely by the countrys mushrooming fundamentalist movement that condemns Americas military presence in the Middle East. Scripturally, this sentiment is rooted in the prophet Muhammads infamous command that Muslims drive the infidels from the Arabian peninsula. Talal al-Amer, who currently calls the faithful to prayer at a Kuwaiti mosque, says he suffers double vision when looking at the US. As a Kuwaiti, I am happy with Americas presence here, but as a Muslim, I dont like it.
Like most of historys hateful bigots, Muslim fundamentalists strive to inflame native passions against a particular group of outsiders that is blamed for all the worlds ills; in this case, the designated villain is the United States and by extension, its alliance with Israel. The fundamentalists never mention, of course, that for decades the US had kept its forces out of the Middle East specifically to avoid offending the regions Arabs and Muslims. Nor do they bother to inform their devotees that when Americas military finally entered the Persian Gulf, it was in response to frenzied calls for help by Muslim nations: when Arab oil tankers needed protection against Iranian attacks in the mid-1980s, and when Kuwait had been overrun by Iraqs invasion of 1990.
Since the end of the Gulf War, Kuwaits rapidly growing militant groups seeking to impose their intolerant fervor on the population at large have worked tirelessly to replace moderate Islam in their country with radical fundamentalism. Their rising cultural influence is reflected by the fact that during the past decade, fundamentalist politicians have become a major political force in Kuwait and now comprise fully one-third of the nations Parliament.
As is the case in virtually all lands wherein America is despised, US support for Israel arouses great resentment among the Kuwaiti populace. While loudly condemning Israels alleged mistreatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories, Muslim critics are virtually mute about the unrivaled human rights atrocities carried out by Islamic governments all over the Middle East not only against Christian and Jewish infidels, but against other Muslims as well. The Muslim world is replete with examples of political dissent punished by mass murder, secret execution, imprisonment, and torture. It is similarly typified by religious persecution and the degradation of women. Yet no Muslim abomination sparks even a fraction of the resentment that Israels mere existence has engendered since the day of its birth in 1948. There may be no more blatant double standard on earth than the Islamic worlds obsession with both real and imagined Israeli transgressions on the one hand, and its willingness, on the other hand, to turn a blind eye to Muslim-perpetrated barbarities whose horrors dwarf anything that has ever occurred in Israel.
The growth of Kuwaiti anti-Americanism is spurred by the tragic fact that many of the countrys foremost religious leaders actively encourage it. When two young Kuwaiti men killed an American marine in a suicide bombing last month, for instance, a prominent fundamentalist cleric eulogized them at their funeral by stating, They were better than us because they stood up against infidels bent on usurping our rights. For good measure, this same cleric later referred to Americans as devils. We can only wonder whether he had felt similarly offended in 1990, when the US saved his nations very existence from the ravages of Saddams invading army.
Kuwait, of course, is by no means unique in succumbing to fundamentalist Islamism. Much of the Muslim world has seen the proliferation of religious schools where young people are taught to defend their faith against the purported malevolence of Jewish and Christian infidels. Virulent anti-Americanism is merely a by-product of such instruction. From the madrasas of Pakistan to the pesantrens of Indonesia, schools teaching self-righteous religious intolerance also encourage students to detest the United States for its alleged hostility toward Islam. From very deep in my heart I think the United States is evil, says sixteen-year-old Muhammad Fadhil, an honor student attending an Indonesian religious boarding school. There are too many interventions by the United States around the world.
Unfortunately, young Mr. Fadhil is utterly ignorant of just how pro-Muslim our countrys foreign policy has been in recent decades. As Barry Rubin recently pointed out in Foreign Affairs, the US effectively rescued the Islamic nation of Egypt by forcing a cease-fire agreement upon Israel when the 1973 Arab-Israeli War ended. Nine years later in Beirut, the US saved Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat from Israel, arranging safe passage for him and pressuring Tunisia to give him sanctuary. During the 1990s, the US worked tirelessly on behalf of a peace process whose ultimate goal was the creation of a Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem.
In recent years the US has also earmarked military and financial resources for the tasks of saving Afghan Muslims from Soviet invaders, saving Kuwaiti and Saudi Muslims from Iraqi invaders, and saving Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo from Yugoslavia. In other conflicts, the US has sided with Muslim Pakistan against India, and with Muslim Turkey against Greece. In Somalia, our country led the world in providing humanitarian aid to a Muslim population that was defenseless against the unbridled violence of competing warlords. During the last half-century, Rubin writes, in 11 of 12 major conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims, Muslims and secular forces, or Arabs and non-Arabs, the United States has sided with the former group. One US backing for Israel has been the sole significant exception to this rule.
Facts like these, however, do not find their way into the schoolbooks of the pesantrens. Asia experts in the Bush administration candidly lament the lost generation of young, radicalized Indonesian Muslims who are taught unadulterated bigotry in their theology classes. For many of these students, the principal source of current-affairs information is a stridently anti-American, mass-circulation magazine called Sabili, which portrays Americans as virtual devils, and Osama bin Laden as a hero. In recent issues of this publication, Muhammad Fadhil and his classmates have learned that a Hungarian Jew named George Soros runs the American economy, that 4,000 Jews who worked in the World Trade Center took a holiday on September 11, 2001, and myriad other foolish tidbits.
The Muslims [in America] are hunted by the non-Muslims, a teenage Sabili reader recently told a New York Times reporter. Sadly, a youngster like this has no way of knowing that in fact, Muslims in the US comprise the most prosperous Islamic community on earth, with Muslim immigrants on average earning higher incomes than native-born Americans. The carefully crafted ignorance not only of this child, but of countless millions like him as well, presents the most formidable obstacle to future peaceful relations between the Muslim world and the West.
John Perazzo is the author of The Myths That Divide Us: How Lies Have Poisoned American Race Relations. For more information on his book, click here. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article from last year was very good. Recommend those not already familiar with the radicalization of Islam check it out.
Certain regulars on the War on Some Drugs threads ought to sue these guys for plaigarism.
Also cross filed under " Bush's 'Religion of Peace' " subfile.
And by slavery and cruel and unusual punishment, including mutilation, death by stoning, and public execution.
"Yet no Muslim abomination sparks even a fraction of the resentment that Israels mere existence has engendered"
Including blasphemy,apostasy, proselytizing religions other than Islam, and insulting Mohammed, though all are punishable by death.
The doubts of confused, decadent, and ultimately suicidal "Liberals" notwithstanding, Western Civilization is definitely worth defending at all costs.
Islam is a paradigm.
Muslims believe that the Koran is the word of God, that Mohammed delivered to mankind the divine word of God directly from God, and that Islam is the fulfillment of God's will.
This is absolute and undeniable truth to them.
This framework of belief which to the believer is absolute and undeniable truth is a paradigm.
Everyone lives within a paradigm--a framework of assumptions accepted as truth.
Although a paradigm appears perfectly reasonable and utterly truthful--in fact, is reality--to those within it (i.e. to those who have accepted it), it may well appear absurd to those outside it (i.e. to those who do not accept it).
Some people find it easier than others to revise their paradigms or accept new ones. However, many people will defend their paradigms--i.e. "the truth" and "reality" as they are convinced it is--to the death. They will kill anyone who threatens their concept of truth and reality. This phenomenon exists everywhere, regardless of the paradigm.
Once, while playing a game, a silly game of all things, I violated a paradigm that the other participants had assumed but upon which there had been no agreement, and the other participants became so angry that one man walked out, some refused ever to speak to me again, some became verbally and personally abusive to me, and they used such phrases as "We ought to lynch him" and "We ought to kill him". It opened my eyes. I could see how the violation of a paradigm could easily lead to violence in its defense.
Islam is a paradigm of global dimensions, and its believers will kill anyone who threatens it and commit any possible violence or atrocity to defend it. To them, it is an assault on reality, and it would probably be impossible to convince them otherwise. In fact, the more their concept of reality is threatened, the more violently they can be expected to defend it.
Western Civilization is also a global paradigm. To those outside this paradigm, it appears untruthful and absurd. The United States is the most powerful expression of this paradigm. By its very nature and existence, it threatens the paradigm of Islam.
These two global paradigms have collided. As they exist today, they are mutually contradictory. The situation is obviously very dangerous.