Why Some Muslims HATE Western Civilization: Explaining Islamic Terrorism Via Case StudySave this online in Del.icio.us. [?] Vote For this Post
The Martyr's Oath, a book by Stewart Bell, explains why some Muslims hate, loathe, detest, despise and generally are fanatically against Western Civilization. Bell is a terrorism and national security expert who writes for The National Post newspaper, and in his most recent book (he also published Cold Terror, about how Canada is a base for terrorists (non-affiliate link to Amazon)), Bell recounts the true story of Mohammed Mansour Jabarah, a Canadian-Koweiti who became a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda.
The interest in Bell's book is threefold. First, it exposes how an otherwise normal youth is recruited into the ranks of a terrorist organization. Second, it shows what actually is the cause of some Muslims' hatred of the West. Finally, the writing is excellent, the research is thorough, which all makes the book a compelling read. Furthermore, while Bell narrates the story of Mohammed Mansour Jabarah's indoctrination and recruitment, he simultaneously gives the story context with discussion of Canadian national security.
Mohammed Mansour Jabarah emigrated with his family to Canada after the Iraq-Koweit war. Living in the suburb of St-Catharines Ontario, he grew up living a generally normal, Canadian life. Bell notes that his father was religious and possibly a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist group of which the terrorists of Hamas are a branch.
Each year, Mohammed and a brother of his were given a trip back to Koweit, where they spent the summer. His childhood friend, Anas-al-Kandari, who had remained in Koweit after the Jabarahs had moved, was becoming increasingly religious, and the two fell increasingly under the nefarious influence of extremist preacher Suleyman Abu Gaith.
Abu Gaith kept repeating his message that the West was oppressing Arabs and Muslims. He showed Mohammed and Anas videos of jihadis and other materials to this effect. (Now's a good moment for you to drop by my post on Al-Jazeera and why bloggers should remove their links to it.) As with any other propaganda, with repetition comes belief, and so the followers of Abu Gaith came to share his views on the supposed "vile oppression" of Muslims by the West.
I won't go any further into the story, because The Martyr's Oath is really a book that needs to be read by every Canadian who takes national security seriously. Besides, as I wrote above, it's a very enjoyable read that is absorbing and really quite difficult to put down, not to mentiont that you'll be amazed by some of the research Bell has done, which includes interviews with actual al-Qaeda members. You can buy The Martyr's Oath (non-affiliate) or get it from your local library.
Getting back to why some Muslims loathe us, forget what Bush and Harper say about 'they hate us for our values'. That's secondary (though Iranian President Ahmadinejad recently spoke out against liberal values, which include free speech). The revelation of The Martyr's Oath is that some Muslims - Muslim youths are particularly targeted - are brainwashed through repetitive propaganda to believe that the West is leading a Crusade against them. Ludicrous as the anti-Muslim conspiracy theories might sound, the brainwashed accept these theories as perfectly logical.
I'd like to digress, again, to just note something for my fellow members of Western civilization. As Westerners, it is important for us to remember that we must not give credibility to the ridiculous assertions, as some of us do, that the West is really responsible for the terrorism perpetrated against it. Our justice system is founded upon the truth that people are responsible for their own actions. Terrorists are responsible for terrorism.
Ben-Laden and his ilk want to establish Islam as the world's only religion (Dar-al-Islam), and they see jihad as the way to achieve this. They claim that the West is attacking Muslims in order to entice otherwise rational people into joining terrorist groups, because such an argument is more compelling than telling people that you are out to establish world Islamic hegemony.
From believing that Western civilization is out to oppress Muslims, it's only a small logical step to hating the West. From there, it is again a small logical to step to conclude that there is a need to defend Muslims, and at that point we can explain how Muslims can come to terrorism.
(I'm going to digress again for a moment to send you over to my post on Father Richard Neuhaus. He says America's Catholics are under attack, and draws conclusions unsurprisingly similar [to al-Qaeda's conclusions for Muslims] as to what Catholics should do.)
I'm boiling down what Bell has written, though. There's more detail in the book as to the mechanics of al-Qaeda and other extremists' brainwashing of potential recruits in the recruitment process, as well as on the functioning of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, such as the Jemaah Islamiyah.
The Martyr's Oath by Stewart Bell is an excellent read that will help anyone understand why some Muslims hate the West, and how this leads them to commit terrorist acts.
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