Although Muslims say their religion is a peaceful one, many Americans are inclined to call bullshit. How do they expect us to believe that, when their own behavior seems to indicate otherwise? Slaughtering thousands of Americans on 9/11 was not their lone foray into killing; one can turn on the news any night of the week and catch media glimpses of militant jihadists destroying humanity in the name of allah. Muslims and their god “hate our freedom,” and they react viscerally to their own ignorance instead of trying to figure out what we as Americans stand for. As their violence escalates, even the most open-minded Americans are starting to accept the dominant explanation: that almost all of Muslims are evil, and that the few who are “good” don’t have the balls to stop the evildoers. In the name of god, we need to get over there and blow shit up.
American eyes can see that the jihadists are brainwashed; we are taken aback at their inability to recognize that America is a peaceful nation, as addicted to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the radical Muslims are to death, oppression, and the pursuit of terrorism. The USA is a loving nation, formed on the premise that human life is sacred. “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all (humans) are created equal. Here in the United States we say we believe in freedom of religion. So when we go to other countries with tanks and bombs it is to defend these freedoms–not to destroy them. Contrary to popular Islamic belief, we are not trying to take over the world and spread Christianity; we just want to restore peace.
Although Americans say our nation is a peaceful one, Muslims are inclined to call bullshit. How do we expect them to believe we’re all about loving one another when our own behavior seems to indicate otherwise? American blowhards like Rush Limbaugh pollute international radio waves with ethnocentric ignorance; our most hateful sound bytes then are translated in propaganda mills, churned out and consumed by the people. Limbaugh’s vomiting up of all the angst associated with his midlife crisis does not speak on behalf of America. But even though Limbaugh’s ignorance is one of the most disgusting examples of American hate; it is also one of the most commonly regurgitated global sound bytes. Words of the far right are translated into Arabic and other languages and have become an international caricature, assumed by many to represent the feelings of average Americans. The message they hear is that “Americans hate allah… Americans are sending their soldiers to enforce christianity.”
Jingoistic words, however vile, cannot alone incite the hate that so many nations now have for America. Many enlightened Muslims were initially skeptical of radical Islamic fears that Americans wanted to mandate jesus in all corners of the globe. But they probably became a bit more convinced when they saw U.S. troops trampling on their holy soil with no regard for their social, cultural, or religious beliefs. As the U.S. sends more troops to invade new locations throughout the Middle East, even the most open-minded Muslims are starting to accept the dominant explanation: almost all Americans are evil, and those who are “good” don’t have the balls to stop the evildoers. In the name of allah, they want to blow us up now.
Forty years after they were first written, Buffalo Springfield’s insights about right and wrong are as relevant as ever. It remains a human instinct to consider oneself “right” in any form of retaliation against something that was “wrong.” To Americans who hate Islam, and to Muslims who hate America, I say this: Consider how you feel about your enemies, and think about why you feel that way. Your enemy feels these same things about you and has the same justification for feeling them. Nobody ever self-defines as being evil. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Nobody is saying, “I am hateful” or “I am wrong,” because few are strong enough to see the flaws in their own belief system.
America is snagged on the same trap that cripples our so-called enemies. For all of our differences, there is one fundamental commonality between America and radical Islam: we see the world in terms of hypocritical dichotomies. Just like Osama bin Laden, we see ourselves as loving, good, and right; and we see it as our duty to protect the world from all that is hateful, evil, and wrong.