Why do Muslims hate the United States? With the growing amount of violence perpetuated by ISIS recently, I’ve found myself asking this question a lot. I’ve argued with many people because I didn’t want to lump all Muslims into the “terrorist” category as I felt it was unfair to the millions of Muslims who don’t blow up buildings. Then a shooting happened this week in California. A seemingly normal Muslim couple killed 14 people within blocks of family and friends I had in that same area. And as details come out about the shooting, my question has changed from why Muslims hate the US to “Why are Muslims in the US to begin with”?
Only 24 hours before going on a shooting rampage, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife had all the appearances of normal American citizens. Syed graduated from Cal State and worked for the County. He and his wife were both legal US citizens who entered the country legally and lived here for several years. They had an infant child and one online site had Syed describing himself as “enjoys working on vintage and modern cars, reads religious books, enjoys eating out sometimes”. Yet, after raiding their home police found large piles of ammunition and a bomb lab with 12 explosive devices. As information continues to come forth, it’s becoming clear that Syed and his wife had become unhappy with the United States and intended to retaliate. But why? Why stay somewhere you hate and spend your time plotting your own demise verses going where your ideals and beliefs might be more accepted?
Why Muslims Hate the US
According to the website IslamDaily.org:
“Muslims hate America because of who America is and what America represents. Muslims hate the core of American culture and they fear that America’s influence in politics, entertainment, and wealth will erase their culture. To a devout Muslim America is vile, blasphemous, and as far from “pure” as pure can be. Muslims see American women degrading themselves on the silver screen and being unfit as wives and mothers. Muslims see American men as slovenly, easily corruptible, lacking of virtue, and wallowing in one vice or another”
On the surface I can’t argue with their general assessment of American culture. That quote could have easily been taken from any conservative Christian site as well. The key point in that statement however is fear that “America’s influence…will erase their culture”. As a parent living in the midst of US culture I struggle with what to show my kids and how best to raise them. The hardest part is keeping them protected from the things that I don’t feel are best for them. That is all while I still enjoy movies, video games, and eating out at restaurants. I can’t imagine how disturbing it would be from across the globe where American companies are trying to entice you to join their growing market share. Fear for your family and your way of life will cause a lot of people to do things they never thought possible.
However, culture isn’t the only area that causes Muslims to hate Americans. Our government is a key source of distrust and hate. In an article for the Huffington Post, Quasim Rashid pointed out:
“Citizens of such nations view anti-Islam propaganda emerging from the United States as stemming from the US government itself–not private citizens… Our image in many Muslim majority nations is that of a people who support dictators when convenient for oil and economic gain and overthrow them when not–all the while preaching the free speech, democracy, and freedom that we don’t practice.”
History has always been written by the victors, leaving a void where the other side of the story is rarely heard. I’m sure from a global perspective the US is about as innocent a victim as Pilot when washing his hands of Jesus. Our foreign policy has admittedly been very self-serving, rushing in with billions of dollars of troops to promote democracy and leave the country with little better than martial law when we’re done.
Yet, while this provides some perspective and maybe some justification for the hate Muslims feel for the US, it still doesn’t answer my question. Why are they here? Why do they come to live in a place that they feel personally violates everything they hold dear? Sure it’s a war tactic as they declare Jihad on Western culture. I get that. But I don’t consider this the same as special forces or police officers going undercover to bring down a crime syndicate. Despite what they may say or think, these people are not soldiers sent in for covert ops missions living underground until the proper moment. Nor are they spies gathering precious intel to share with headquarters. This is closer to a Southern Baptist pastor becoming a homosexual so he can prove it’s a lifestyle choice.
Why Don’t Muslims Leave
If the culture is so bad that they must wage war against it, why then do they attend US Universities, marry, obtain good jobs, buy homes and other frivolous American products, and have children in the US? Most people when they feel something is not who they want to be or is against their beliefs will first address the problem personally before dealing with the outside factors. If they don’t agree with a church, they leave. If they aren’t happy with their fitness level, they get a gym membership. They don’t murder the pastor or blow up a McDonald’s. The responsibility is on you as an individual to change that which you feel is negatively impacting their lives. Then you take steps to change the world around you.
Despite what the ads say no one needs the clothes, jewelry, electronics, or food that we’re sold every day. And no ones forcing anyone to buy it. Muslims who hate America can leave. They can take all that money and effort spent in war against western culture and create an insulation for themselves against the world. Don’t accept tourists and don’t accept dollars to buy products or services, primarily oil. Stop filming terrorist videos on a Canon or Sony camera, edited on a Mac or PC, then uploaded to Youtube and the link re-tweeted by their official Twitter page. Stop watching sports on flat screen TVs and buying pornography off the internet. Quit buying Nike shoes and drinking Coca Cola. And when you figure out how to stop watching the Kardashians, please tell the rest of us how. Show the world your way is better. Because right now all your doing is showing you don’t know how to handle a disagreement at a Christmas party with coworker.
CNN – “Who were Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik”
Wall Street Journal – “Shooting Suspects Had Bombs, Piles of Ammo”