Arlington VA 22202 March 11, 2016
Following the recent Republican debates, the question seems to be constantly in the air that Islamics (or more properly Muslims) hate us (The Americans) and we hate them with an equal vengeance. But is that true or even fair? I'm not so sure about that.
It is true that a number of people in the Muslim world dislike the US. They have stated myriad reasons for doing so, usually starting with our support for Israel, and our fairly constant condemnation of the Palestinians for wanting to get some other own land back. They disagree with our position, some considering it interference, others a defense of something indefensible (Since they see the State of Israel as gaining land stolen from the Palestinians.
Those likes or dislikes over Israel (Call it hate if you wish)by the Palestinians are understandable, in that (1) The dislike is shared between two peoples actively engaged between themselves over a specific issue, and (2) both sides have some part of history on their side. Not all Muslims hate the Israelis; some nearby countries such as Jordan and Egypt have found ways to peacefully co-exist. Others will never do that, will continue to oppose the existence of the State of Israel, but learned their lessons in the three major wars, so they also co-exist, if not peacefully at least in a sense of equal tension.
There are also some states, such as Iran that bluster and threaten, as Iran did with their recent missile/rocket launches with a hatred of Israel message on the sides of the missiles. But is that bluster, or is that a real threat? Does it rise to the level of being true hatred, or are we still in the time of intense dislike? I would argue that hatred eventually boils over into violence, and that those who commit the violence are those that we should truly call "Radical". The rest are no worse that those in the world who shoot off their mouth with no intention of rising up to cause harm. That does not mean the radicals who perpetrate car-bombing or other devastating attacks are not important--it certainly is the opposite--but it does mean that only PART of the Muslim population commits these acts--not the entire Muslim World? Here, I think evidence points to a small, radical group ,and not the entire Muslim community worldwide.
What we see routinely in the media is a subset of people of the Islamic faith who have taken a very extreme view of the Qur'an, developed a program around it that fosters violence and devastation, and simply announced that it is 'Allah's will.' What these radicals do is horrific; we will not discount that. They deserve to be hunted down and punished for that they do, and their leaders should suffer the same fate.
People tend to rush to judgement when something horrific happens. During World War I, the Germans as a people became 'The Huns", and were universally despised, even though only a small portion of Germany's leadership was truly responsible. The people in general were punished following the war for what their leaders had done, resulting in unrest leading in turn to World War II and the rise of Hitler. During World War II, we nearly universally hated the Japanese for the atrocities some committed throughout Asia. It took years to separate fact from fiction and have people again accepting of the average Japanese citizen who had no control over that war. We do not call all Cambodians animals for what Pol Pot and his adherents did to a large part of the population in the 60's and 70's, nor do we hate all Russians for either the Soviet Era or since. We simply say those things happened; blame the leaders, and move on.
Looking back into history, we should be hating the Egyptians, the British for what they did in Palestine; the Catholic Church for the Crusades and the Inquisition; and the Protestants for everything happening since the Reformation. Obviously we do not generalize in these instances, so why generalize and call as all who practice Islam terrorists? They are not. Besides, if we did, who else would be left ot hate? A few penguins in the Antarctic.
There is nothing wrong with saying that the subset of Muslims who have hatred in their hearts, and act out that hate are radicals. it really matters not if you call them Radical Islamists, or Radical Muslims; what does matter is that the term is applied to those specific people doing specific things--and not generalities designed to simply whitewash a people.