It is astounding to realize that millions of Middle-Eastern Muslims hate the West (and the USA in particular). I am not talking about the terrorists — barbarian savages who launch suicidal attacks on innocent men, women and children. I am speaking of day laborers and artisans, mothers and school-children, regular people sometimes referred to as “the Arab street.” Political correctness says they hate us because they disagree with our democracy, our capitalism, our cherished freedoms — often summed up as our “way of life.” That is a comfortable answer, to be sure, but it is also wrong. In fact, widespread Muslim animosity toward us is grounded in Islamic religious conviction.
By saying this, I am not suggesting that Islamic convictions are correct. Aside from rejection of polytheism and a call to obey God, Islam offers little in common with biblical faith. It speaks of one God but denies his incarnation in Jesus Christ. It honors Jesus as a prophet of God who was virgin-born and ascended to heaven but denies that he was God’s Son, that he died on the cross or was raised from the dead. It teaches that Jesus will come again but says that he will convert the world to Islam when he does. Its scenario of last things includes a form of heaven and hell but bases both destinies wholly on human merit rather than on God’s undeserved grace manifested in Jesus’ atonement and appropriated by faith. Islam provides for polygamy, denigrates women and inflicts cruel and inhumane punishment on those who trespass against its harsh morality. But what is there about Muslim teaching that fans hatred among its adherents?
In the first place, Muslims see non-Muslims as “infidels” (unbelievers) and regard the military presence of “infidels” in Muslim countries as gross sacrilege. This applies especially to Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites. Secondly, Muslims abhor the lewd and decadent lifestyle regularly displayed in popular Western television programs, movies, music and fashions — all of which they see invading their own countries despite their best efforts to keep these out. Finally, Muslims consider any land ever inhabited by Muslims to rightfully belong to Muslims forever, regardless of passing years or changing circumstances. This includes the present land of Israel, which Muslims occupied off and on from the eighth century after Christ until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1947.
Because the U.S. steadfastly supports Israel’s existence (which I believe it should) and usually its policies involving Palestinian neighbors (which I believe sometimes require a more discerning eye), Muslims not only generally regard the Israelis as unlawful occupiers but the U.S. as equally guilty co-conspirators. I totally, absolutely and unequivocally reject Muslim logic in this regard, but no good is served by pretending that this is not the way most Muslims view the world and our place in it.