Why do Muslims hate the West so much when it has always shown them such benevolence? A study of history shows us just how much Western powers have helped Muslim countries -- repeatedly, in major ways. The generous West completely restructured their ailing countries, created nation states (made roadmaps along the way!), and installed inspiring, strong leaders, all in a valiant attempt to bring Muslims freedom. They even created Israel: a democratic role model for all Muslim countries (please ignore those extreme right wing religious fanatics); it is an inspiration, and a reminder of the favours of the West for that region. Muslims are so lucky.
Yet, despite their best attempts, things didnít quite work out, so once again the West has rolled up their sleeves and like a good neighbour, is willing to help out the Muslim masses again. The human race was told to take sides: Civilized or Barbarian? Well, I am no barbarian. I live in the West and not some remote Middle Eastern country, so I guess I side with the civilized. (Set aside for the moment my own confusions -- I confess Iím one of the suspect Muslims in the West, but letís not go there.)
However, as time slipped on, I couldnít help but notice that the good guys, the civilized ones, were killing more than the barbarians ever dreamt of killing. Thankfully the civilized West took responsibility and told the world categorically just whose fault the killings, the massacres, really were. It was, of course, the fault of those people for staying in their homes and going about their lives. They lived in areas that were shared by these barbarians: they should have known better. What did they expect? Yes, itís a bit confusing -- how they should escape their homes when every road and airport was being bombed, but those are just technicalities -- they should have worked it out and left. Weíre given countless examples of just how civilized the civilized are. They do try hard to develop sophisticated, humane, and merciful weapons of mass destruction -- discriminating weapons, so to speak -- but alas, the West is still working on its technology -- it hasnít yet developed bunker busters that differentiate between good citizens and evil doers; so for the time being, the civilized world apologizes for all this unfortunate death and destruction. But the aggrieved should see the bigger picture: this bit of mayhem is necessary for the New Middle East; it is the cost of bringing democracy to the uncivilized barbarians. The civilized have democracy and freedom, something which the barbarians claim to want but cannot achieve. So, the civilized must do whatever is necessary to help the poor Muslims realize their innermost desires. Really they should thank the West, not resent it. Soon they too will enjoy Pepsi, McDonalds (halal of course), Starbucks coffee, and Hollywood movies on the silver screen, and even hold free elections of their own governments (provided they choose the right leaders). Just look at Iraq and Afghanistan -- fine examples of emancipation. They arenít perfect (a bit of anarchy, rampant violence, that sort of trouble), but Iím sure that after this much practice, the West will do a better job of Iran and Syria, after all, ďtheyíre working hard.Ē And letís not forget -- only God is perfect.
Closer to home, young Muslims were rounded up and arrested almost two weeks ago in the UK over a terrorist plot. The important thing is that we have them behind bars, so they canít actually carry out that alleged dastardly plot. Thereís plenty of time to gather all the evidence (I guess they might ask for an extension -- getting through the vast amount of incriminating evidence is heavy going), but first, we should know as much as possible about these evildoers. If we know what damage these dark, transplanted barbarians planned on doing, then proof is not nearly so urgent: ďmass murder on an unimaginable scaleĒ was averted! Their names and some of their photos have been publicized so the law-abiding citizens can learn about this dark sinister force, now known to be, Islamic-Fascism and how it can take over the lives of the most normal of fish-and-chips eating, football-loving, and university-going individuals. They look human but donít be duped. If that dark sinister force is able to fool even their closest friends into believing that they actually loathed Osama bin Laden and al-QaĎida, then the rest of us havenít a chance of identifying the enemy within. Well, we have a few telltale signs: the terrorists tend to be Muslims, converts to Islam, those of Pakistani ethnicity -- your days are numbered! Thereís no good in hiding behind those large bushy beards, or even shaving them off. We know where they live, who they meet, what they read, what websites they visit and who they e-mail. Thank God for Big Brother, at least someone is looking out for us.
Those Muslims who wrote that letter to Tony urging him to realize that British foreign policy was contributing to Muslim radicalism donít know what they are saying. Is it conceivable that the good guys are actually promoting this vile hatred of the West? Foreign policy they say. Thatís just what the terrorists say -- and they know that we donít entertain ideas from that dangerous breed -- and if we start saying what they are saying, well, weíre no better than they are. Even if two of the 7/7 suicide bombers left videos saying that they were so angered by Britainís civilized foreign policy in Iraq, that they were going to kill because of it, well, they were simply deluded. They just hate our freedom, really! But I guess they didnít reach that conclusion -- they were so crazed and blinded by hate at the fact that we can choose what clothes to wear, what food to eat, what movies to watch, and which members of parliament to elect. Tony was right: this type of terrorism is simply aimed at our way of life and not any particular government or policy. If only the terrorists responsible for the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, Richard Reid, the Bali terrorists, and Mir Amir Kansi realized that they were being duped by this chain-letter hysteria, perhaps they would have just stayed at home. But then even Osama is deluded by his own rhetoric: he really believes that the West oppresses Muslims. He cites Palestine, Iraq, a whole raft of (imaginary, I should add) double standards and the occupation of the Two Holy Sanctuaries. But we know reality: he too just hates our freedom. Even he has fallen for this absurd mantra. Boy is he delusional. Who would ever give credence to what he has to say except for the terrorists?
I am glad that I sided with the Civilized.
Aftab Ahmad Malik
is Editor of
The State We Are In: Identity, Terror and the Law of Jihad
(Bristol: Amal press, 2006) and Visiting fellow at the Center of Culture
and Ethnicity, University of Birmingham (UK). He may be contacted at: