Cognative Dissident

Monday, January 24

Why they hate us

Matthew Yglesias has a post commenting about why they (The Arab Muslim World) hate us. He comments about how the "we're free, they're not" line doesn't seem to bear up under the weight of evidence:
The terrorists of the IRA and the ETA (and whatever you call that Corsican terrorist group) live in democracies as well. The object to the ground rules of democratic politics as practiced in Northern Ireland or Spain (or wherever) for what are basically unrelated reasons. Malaysia and Indonesia have given birth to more than there fair share of terrorists, and while neither quite counts as a fully paid-up member of the democratic brotherhood, both are far from being the most autocratic states in the Middle East. Indeed, harsh dictatorships like Syria and Iraq have barely generated any terrorists whatsoever

It's a good point. It's not like repressive socities are that way for their health. It's because repression basically works, if you try hard enough. But the point about our freedome being threatening isn't about free the societies in which radicals thrive are, it's how threatened certain members of given societies are by what they perceive to be the forces of modernization.

It's got to be gauling for a culture that so devalues compromise and puts such emphasis on personal, familial and tribal honor, to be so blatantly far behind a culture which values compromise and "win-win" conflict resolution.

It's pretty easy to imagine that many middle-eastern muslims have a hard time imagining how they will modernize without losing what they may consider to be pillars of their culture. Like being able to treat women as property. Or honor killings. Or other shit that the west has managed to leave behind in the last 50 - 500 years. (And let's not pretend it was never a part of Western culture. We just had the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, and managed to get rid of many of the most self-destructive practices of society)

And the fact is, they won't be modernized without losing those things. As they join the moder world, they are going to lose those parts of their culture. And because, as opposed to the west, where human rights were an untested concept when they took hold, the middle east has someone to blame for spreading these tradition destroying ideas, they point the finger at us, saying, in effect, "it's your fault we will lose our culture."

And hell, to some extent, it is. But that doesn't make it wrong. I'm perfectly comfortable with the idea of enforcing women's rights world wide. And I'm perfectly happy to do it at the point of a gun.

I know a lot of people aren't, but seriously, people get pissed off at Larry Summers because he dare suggest that genetic variation might account for some difference between the number of male and female math/science teachers but spare the Arab world their fury where women are routinely killed by their brother/father/cousin/uncle because they lost their virginity when their brother/father/cousin/uncle/neighbor raped them? Does that strike anyone else as myopic?

So, as far as I can tell, those in the Arab and/or Muslim world who hate us do so because we will drag them into the modern world (and not just into the world of cell phones and computers. Into the world of basic human rights, and most particularly, women's rights. Muslim communities in Europe fall dramatically short on that count), and they're going to fight like hell. Reactionaries always do.

2 Comments:

  • Hi TW Andrews,

    Great read on "Why they hate us". Hope you dont mind me dropping a few comments although I was actually looking for ira withdrawals info on the net.
    Am glad I didnt immediately click away...you do have some good stuff and I enjoyed reading them. You know ...I need your kind of inspiration to write all those blogs...and maybe one day I would find some.
    Meanwhile got to get back searching for stuff on ira withdrawals... and TW Andrews, keep doing what youre doing. Hmm must remember to bookmark your page.. Cheers :))

    By Anonymous ira beneficiaries, at 2:31 PM  

  • Found this on "Dreams to Lightning" blog. It's entitled "Islamaphobia"

    Islam hates us, this I know
    Because the koran says it’s so

    It hates me, it hates you
    It hates the christian and the jew
    The hindu and the buddhist too.

    If we don’t bow down
    And kiss their rock
    They’ll stab us with
    Their sword or cock

    Islam hates us, this I know
    The koran says it must be so
    They have no choice, no free will
    They just have a thirst to kill

    Islam hates us, this I know
    Because muhamed says it’s so

    They’ll kill us all if we don’t believe
    Just you wait and see
    They’ll kill you and they’ll kill me
    Take our wives and property
    Screw our daughters into slavery

    Islam hates us, this is true
    It hates me and it hates you
    It hates the christian and the jew
    It hates the buddhist and hindu
    It even hates the moslems too.

    Islam hates us, this I know
    Because muhamed bellowed so
    Islam will grind us beneath its hoof
    If we try to remain aloof

    So if you don’t want a dhimmis fate
    Drive them out with their own hate

    Write a poem or play a tune
    Or better yet
    Draw a cartoon.

    (oh yeah, get a gun and some ammo too. In case them come looking for you)

    By Anonymous Imbawe_Untanga, at 10:49 PM  

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