In my last posting, I responded to the news that a Catholic Bishop in the Netherlands had suggested that we all refer to God as Allah to help relieve tensions with the Islamic world. That sort of begs the question, why do they hate us?
I’ve done a fair amount of reading on the subject, and it is quite complex. I think most Muslims just want to live their lives like anybody else, but then there are those fanatics whose lives are devoted to the goal of eliminating Christianity and western civilization. They view Christianity and Judaism as corrupted, with the evidence being the trashy culture being exported by western countries and their overall moral decline. Moreover, the Qur’an calls for a struggle against unbelievers, for them to be subjugated or converted (Sura 2:190-193, Sura 9:5, Sura 9:29, Sura 3:106 ff, Sura 4:101 among others). By fighting against the infidels, the jihadists are doing Allah’s will.
Whether we want to believe it or not, this is a religious struggle. In the Islamic world, culture, religion, and often government are frequently closely aligned. They view the West as Christian, and of course we do have a Christian history, although most of Europe is in the post-Christian era. Because this is a religious struggle, I suspect nothing less than conversion to Islam would satisfy the jihadists.
Other reasons for the enmity between Islam and the West are the Crusades, American foreign policy, especially our support of Israel, our having troops in Saudi Arabia (bin Laden’s pet peeve), western cultural hegemony that jeopardizes the purity of Islamic culture, and now, of course, the Iraq war.
If you are interested, there are a number of books out on the subject. This posting didn’t even scratch the surface, but I hope it gave you the desire to learn more about the main struggle of the 21st century. That way you can separate fact from fiction.
In addition, if you understand this to be a religious conflict as the Muslims do, then perhaps you will turn to God as I mentioned in my last posting. Why should we think God will protect us when we have ignored God and marginalized him in our society? God allowed his Chosen People to be captured by the pagan Babylonians because they continued to be unfaithful. Why should God spare us?