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The Core Of Muslim Rage  
User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 410 times:

The Core of Muslim Rage
by Thomas L. Friedman

The latest death toll in the Indian violence between Hindus and Muslims is 544 people, many of them Muslims. Why is it that when Hindus kill hundreds of Muslims it elicits an emotionally muted headline in the Arab media, but when Israel kills a dozen Muslims, in a war in which Muslims are also killing Jews, it inflames the entire Muslim world?

I raise this point not to make some idiot press critique or engage in cheap Arab-bashing. This is a serious issue. In recent weeks, whenever Arab Muslims told me of their pain at seeing Palestinians brutalized by Israelis on their TV screens every night, I asked back: Why are you so pained about Israelis brutalizing Palestinians, but don't say a word about the brutality with which Saddam Hussein has snuffed out two generations of Iraqis using murder, fear and poison gas? I got no good answers.

Because the real answer is rooted in something very deep. It has to do with the contrast between Islam's self-perception as the most ideal and complete expression of the three great monotheistic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — and the conditions of poverty, repression and underdevelopment in which most Muslims live today.

As a U.S. diplomat in the Middle East said to me, Israel — not Iraq, not India — is "a constant reminder to Muslims of their own powerlessness." How could a tiny Jewish state amass so much military and economic power if the Islamic way of life — not Christianity or Judaism — is God's most ideal religious path?

When Hindus kill Muslims it's not a story, because there are a billion Hindus and they aren't part of the Muslim narrative. When Saddam murders his own people it's not a story, because it's in the Arab-Muslim family. But when a small band of Israeli Jews kills Muslims it sparks rage — a rage that must come from Muslims having to confront the gap between their self-perception as Muslims and the reality of the Muslim world.

I have long believed that it is this poverty of dignity, not a poverty of money, that is behind a lot of Muslim rage today and the reason this rage is sharpest among educated, but frustrated, Muslim youth. It is they who perpetrated 9/11 and who slit the throat of the Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl — after reportedly forcing him to declare on film, "I am a Jew and my mother is a Jew."

This is not to say that U.S. policy is blameless. We do bad things sometimes. But why is it that only Muslims react to our bad policies with suicidal terrorism, not Mexicans or Chinese? Is it because Arab-Muslim conspiracy theories state that Jews could not be so strong on their own — therefore the only reason Israel could be strong, and Muslims weak, is because the U.S. created and supports Israel?

The Muslim world needs to take an honest look at this rage. Look what it has done to Palestinian society — where the flower of Palestinian youth now celebrate suicide against Jews as a source of dignity. That is so bad. Yes, there is an Israeli occupation, and that occupation has been hugely distorting of Palestinian life. But the fact is this: If Palestinians had said, "We are going to oppose the Israeli occupation, with nonviolent resistance, as if we had no other options, and we are going to build a Palestinian society, schools and economy, as if we had no occupation" — they would have had a quality state a long time ago. Instead they have let the occupation define their whole movement and become Yasir Arafat's excuse for not building jobs and democracy.

Only Muslims can heal their own rage. But the West, and particularly the Jewish world, should help. Because this rage poses an existential threat to Israel. Three broad trends are now converging: (1) The worst killing ever between Israelis and Palestinians; (2) a baby boom in the Arab-Muslim world, where about half the population is under 20; (3) an explosion of Arab satellite TV and Internet, which are taking the horrific images from the intifada and beaming them directly to the new Arab- Muslim generation. If 100 million Arab-Muslims are brought up with these images, Israel won't survive.

Some of this hatred will remain no matter what Israel does. But to think that Israel's exiting the occupied territories — and abandoning its insane settlement land grab there — wouldn't reduce this problem is absurd.

Israel cannot do it alone. But it has to do all it can to get this show off the air. It would take away an important card from the worst Muslim anti- Semites and it would help strengthen those Muslims, and there are many of them, who know that the suicidal rage of their fanatics is dragging down their whole civilization.

----------------------

COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF. Why does the Muslim world go crazy over Israel and not over Muslims who kill other Muslims, Bosnian Serbs who kill Muslims, or even these Hindus who killed Muslims???

They are bitter, plain and simple.

TNNH

TNNH

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 54
Reply 1, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 360 times:

Interesting stuff, I'm quite a fan of Thomas Friedman. I think he's definitely right about "taking this show off the air". Go Thomas!


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3221 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 361 times:

TWA - I agree. It never ceases to surprise me that the whole Muslim world feels so outraged by the Palestinian situation, but if the Hindus in India or Philippinos want to burn a few hundred muslims to death its more acceptable?

I get the feeling that the Palestinian issue has somehow developed into being a core part of Islamic culture - I have many Muslim friends and they ALL go to societies where they discuss the Palestinian issue and try to raise money for orphaned Palestinian kids (at least I HOPE that's where the money goes, and not on explosives.....)



I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 355 times:

Easy answer: Because the "Great Satan" is not involved. If the U.S. was a staunch long-standing ally of the Indian govenment, you know it would be different.

Charles


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29832 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 347 times:

Exactly Cfalk.

It is amazine what you don't hear about when the US isn't involved.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineToadpipe From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 349 times:

I think the article brought up some great points, Islam is supposed to be the culmination of earlier inferior revelations such as Christianity and Judiasm, so when Islamic societies don't fare as well as their Christian and Jewish counterparts it brings up a severe strain on their religious beliefs. Basically they are left with only a couple of options, deny their beliefs, deny their situation, or attribute the dichotomy to Satan. The first one is unthinkable, the second one is absurd, which leaves the third option open to those who choose it. Add in a works based system of salvation, whereby one is never really sure if he has done enough to balance the scales and achieve salvation, and add to that a surefire means of guaranteed salvation (martyrdom in a Jihad or against an Islamic enemy) and you have the recipe for violence. Martydom and it's reward seems to me a great motivator for violence, take those hijackers of 9/11, they were at a strip club before the attack (right?), well the only reason I can see for them being there is, they knew that by attacking those towers they were guaranteed an entrance to paradise, so why not have a little fun now, after all they don't have to worry about being good to get into paradise anymore. I highly doubt you would see as many suicide bombers taking up the cause of Islam if they weren't, at least in their own minds, guaranteed a free ticket to paradise. Instead they would be out there in the real world trying to do enough good to make sure they were going to paradise before they died. Why cut your life short if your not sure you have done enough good yet? Anyway that is just my take on it, and I hope I didn't offend any Muslims out there.

User currently offlineHepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 327 times:

This article had a few very flawed arguments, which unfortunately caused it to lose credibility very early on.

How could a tiny Jewish state amass so much military and economic power if the Islamic way of life — not Christianity or Judaism — is God's most ideal religious path?
The tiny Jewish amassed such wealth and military might from massive foreign aid from the most powerful country in the world (to the tune of many, many billions). In addition, this same tiny Jewish state was the destination of thousands of very well educated Russian and European Jews, not to mention wealthy American Jews and their sponsorship. No other state in the history of mankind has had such an immediate resource at its disposal, so its quite unfair to give too much credit to Israel for its rapid development without realizing that, had Israel to build itself up from scratch since its inception in 1948 like all other nations, it would still be an underdeveloped country today. I suspect this to be no great secret among the Arabs as well.

Yes, there is an Israeli occupation, and that occupation has been hugely distorting of Palestinian life. But the fact is this: If Palestinians had said, "We are going to oppose the Israeli occupation, with nonviolent resistance, as if we had no other options, and we are going to build a Palestinian society, schools and economy, as if we had no occupation" — they would have had a quality state a long time ago.
I find such statements at once immediately unreasonable, hypocritical and judgemental at the same time. Why admit that the Palestinians are occupied, and then immediately gloss over the human reaction, pretending there exists some civilized solution that you and your kind would have taken were you in the same situation? Perhaps instead of making such baffling statements, writers should cite examples of other occupied territories whose people have managed to lead productive lives, establish schools, create jobs, and hold peaceful demonstrations in spite of their occupied status. Or better yet, since every writer has cited the occupation as a major cause of discord, perhaps they should then direct their energies into admonishing Israel to end this occupation instead of expecting Palestinians to "get over it".


User currently offlineBa777-236 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 674 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 296 times:

How exactly do know how muslims feel about other musilms dying? Are any of you who have posted musilms? I personaly am a muslim and feel saddened when any muslim dies Crying I am also saddened when any human being dies regardless of there religion or race.


I like British Airways! I'm not sure why, but I do! ;-)
User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 264 times:

Hepkat, I have read your counterarguments and they are weak and flawed, which causes me to recognize their credibility all that much less.

Yeah yeah the Jewish state gets foreign aide, that explains everything doesnt it? How about the trillions of dollars worth of oil under the sands the Arab/Muslim world lives on?? What about the billions of dollars in American aide to Saudi Arabia and Egypt and Pakistan?? If there is any society in the middle east that has received an incredible divine miracle it is the Arab/Muslim world not Israel. The fact that the Arabs squandered their unimaginable gift and wealth on extravagant palaces, ineffective armies, and books and books of draconian laws speaks to their ineffectiveness not Israel's.

Your claim that American, European, Russian Jews have built and strengthend Israel is absolutely correct and only testifies to the brilliant minds who built the Jewish State and how they desired to build a state where Jews from all over the world could live together in harmony prosperity. That the Arab world, rife with ethnice and religious conflict did or thought of no such thing again speaks to their in ability to prosper and not Israel's.

About your second point I'll give you examples, Jews. Jews have been among the most persecuted people in the world's history from 1940's gas chambers to 12th century horror acts committed by marauding Crusaders against European Jews. Throughout history Jews have been the world's nation under occupation. Yes, we've made attempts to build our nation, but primarily and particularly in the last 300 years we have focused our efforts not on national soverignty but on individual prosperity.

Instead of complaining about the horrendous treatment we received, we set out to give ourselves the best lives we could under the best conditions we could, often moving across oceans, fleeing in the middle of the night and other harrowing stories. Our prosperity and great fortune allowed us, not the Palestinians to have our own state. When the Palestinians instead look to peace, prosperity, and success and not rage, rampage, and murder, maybe they too will benefit just as we have.

So, becuase you can find no other example of a people under occupation who have transcended the violence to build their lives does not mean it is unthinkable or even unachievable. Becuase the Palestinians did nothing except blow their bodies and any chance of peace to sh*t, they are suffering.

Hopefully with time, their thinking will change.


User currently offlineHeavymetal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 257 times:

Hepkat, I'm not even sure about your first point....Israel is only powerful because smart people moved there. Right. And...? What Friedman is saying is that present day Arabs have a poverty of dignity because their culture had a lot longer than 50 years or so to attract or create such people, such power and might. They didn't. They still don't. Find me the Arab university that students from the West crowd to get into.

Your second point is just plain wrong. Friedman hit it right on the money. US policy may historically have been kind to Israel, but we've always been suckers for the underdog. Average Americans don't give much thought to rock throwing teenagers and screaming, perspiring men in red & white headbands. But had Arafat preached a bit less Machiavelli and a bit more Martin Luther King, the zealous Zionist no-compromise policy on settlements would have looked arrogant even to Americans.

Palestinians scream to the world they are an aggrieved party. They just don't play the part very well.


User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16365 posts, RR: 56
Reply 10, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 256 times:

Actually, I agree with all of you. You all make good points.

The core of Muslim rage against Israel is likely based on jealousy and envy of their economic & military success (however funded) and the potential threat of their institutions (democracy, rule of law, free enterprise) migrating to Arab countries. Possibly a dose of reverse racism as well.....as many Israelis are white...they are an easy racial target for Arabs.

There is less outrage against India as the Indian Muslims are more geographically remote from the Mideast, and India is generally a poor country....there is thus no domestic political stock to be gained from verbally attacking India. The Indian economy is certainly nothing for Arab countries to fear or emulate either.




Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 242 times:

good points HeavyMetal.

Palestinians scream to the world they are an aggrieved party. They just don't play the part very well.

I want to support the Palestinians very much. I want them to have their state, I read Edward Said and Fouad Ajami and other Arab thinkers. I want Palestine and Israel to live next to one another and thrive together, but I CAN'T when they commit such horrors against Israel. There is nothing inside of me that wants to support Palestine when a bomb goes off in a pizzeria or a psycho sprays a bar mitzvah with bullets.

I think my thoughts are shared by a lot of people including a great great majority of Israelis.

You'll say, "what they elected Sharon". And I'll respond yes, becuase the Arabs didn't entice the Israelis, they started the Intifadah which honestly scared the sh*t out of Israel.

The same Israelis who voted for Sharon last year will vote for a Palestinian state next year, should the Arabs change their behavior. It's that simple.

TNNH


User currently offlineBarfBag From India, joined Mar 2001, 2252 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 235 times:

There is less outrage against India as the Indian Muslims are more geographically remote from the Mideast, and India is generally a poor country....there is thus no domestic political stock to be gained from verbally attacking India. The Indian economy is certainly nothing for Arab countries to fear or emulate either.

Umm... what does India's economic well-being, or according to you, the supposed lack of it, have anything to do with the Arabs not bothering about them ? Would you mean to argue that, say, if a bunch of Muslims were killed in Japan, South Korea, Singapore or Australia, the whole Arab world will automatically train their gunsights on them we well ? Or that if a whole lot of Muslims got massacred in Rwanda or Burundi, it would hardly elicit a yawn in the Arab world ?



India, cricket junior and senior world champions
User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 222 times:

Or that if a whole lot of Muslims got massacred in Rwanda or Burundi, it would hardly elicit a yawn in the Arab world ?

Uhh....... yeah, thats the point of the article.

sad hunh  Sad


User currently offlineBarfBag From India, joined Mar 2001, 2252 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 219 times:

Exactly. This is not about Western culture, wealth, or whatever. The problem for the Arabs isn't as much about Muslims being killed by Israelis as much as the fact that Israel is where it is. I have nothing against Israel, and very much believe its right to exist like any other nation. They'll continue to be around where they are, whether the Arabs & Palestinians like it or not.

It would be far better for the Arabs to junk the 'Muslim oppression' bogey as far as Palestine is concerned. Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Saudi have at one time or the other shown themselves to be opposed to allowing the Palestinians into their borders as refugees, and have even used force against the Palestinians. For them, the Palestinians are but a tool in a war of attrition against a country whom they deny the right to peaceful existence. And as long as they see the US to be pro-Israel, it'll get drawn into the mess as well.



India, cricket junior and senior world champions
User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (12 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 215 times:

agreed.

Palestinians in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan are still confined in squalid refugee camps.