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COLUMN

Why Muslims Hate

Guest Column
Presley Cannady

There’s a lot of nonsense in the public forum about what Islam is and why we should even understand it. There is no need to understand it, or the aspirations of the societies that it infects, in order to defeat terror. Still, why are Muslims are so hateful of the West, and why does that hatred put us in danger?

What makes a region so dangerous is that poverty is no longer an obstacle to the acquisition of weapons and the waging of war? A small country can acquire nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, purchase arms with money diverted from more humanitarian pursuits, and even organize and support intelligence and militia formations capable of massive acts of violence. There is a litany of dangers between terrorism and failed Islamic states, especially those with respectable reserves of hard currency. The Third World has seems to be inept at social and economic growth, yet it is incredibly adept at expressing its frustrations in violent outbursts.

Understand that Islamic culture is a dinosaur on the verge of extinction. We live in a dangerous era where a billion of the world’s people essentially subscribe to a medieval social structure, passionate ethnic and societal centrisms, and advocacy of extremely destructive behavior. Consequently, natural development has remained stagnant since the heights of the Islamic Empire’s Golden Age, which was primarily driven by Muslim gorging on Western resources and ideas. No self-described Muslim society governs itself through secular democracy except one, and Turkey’s military believes secularism comes only from the barrel of a gun.

Yet even the decline of Islamic society from the heights of barbarian glory over eleven centuries ago only explains the inferiority complex the culture suffers, not why it lashes out in anger. No, the real reason Muslims are hateful is because Israel exists and the United States stands in solidarity with it. A strip of land less than 11 miles across at its thinnest point, populated by less than 5 million Jews, has dominated the angry attention of nearly two hundred million regional Muslims for nearly sixty years. This is the most compelling evidence of the bankruptcy of Islamic culture. Despite the inability of regimes to motivate their populations to constructive activity, Arabs and Muslims have been able to keep their societies together through the sheer power of anti-Semitism.

Perhaps Islam can be reformed, but those who say so forget the trials, tribulations, and patience of the Reformation Protestants. Consider that Christianity is a faith that, unlike Islam, has wrestled and forever will wrestle with the dilemma of defining the proper spheres of the state and religion. That Christ, his disciples and St. Paul never ruled a damn thing distinguishes the first church fathers from the barbarian Bedouin king Muhammed. Islam is a faith that was born married to the state, has never in its long history been divorced from governance, and has never manifested itself in a popular movement that concerned itself with the state-religion dilemma prevalent in Christianity. To argue that its Reformation would come about as easily as it did in Christendom is absurd. Some day, the rationalists who’ve taken over the House of Saud will probably fall to the wayside of the Wahhabists or even more virulent Islamists. At that point a Middle East with an intact, nuclear-armed Iraq, an insecure Israel still bothered by a burning Palestinian infestation, and an influential Iran will move to starve the oil-dependent West out of sheer fanaticism.

The Bush Adminstration is on the right track, both on the war on terrorism and with the campaign against Iraq. The President should remember the strength of his own argument that the danger to the United States increases every day, and he should press our allies, especially those in Europe, into recognizing this basic truth. However, if the Europeans are too blinded by short-term self-interest to defend against the Hun, then let them burn by the wayside. The United States is more than able and willing to go it alone.

Presley Cannady is a member of the Class of 2003.