how the world sees america

Hate America; Hate Amar Too?

bush_fire
"Bush Fire: Is India Falling Into a Foreign Policy Trap?"
New Delhi - “This is Amar Bakshi from The Washington Post,” I introduce myself.

“Daniel Pearl was Mossad. You must be CIA,” comes the response. Then I’m told to go upstairs.

It’s an eerie telecom greeting from Pala Koya, a self-proclaimed enemy of America who heads a hardcore Islamist outfit in Calicut, Kerala. But on the top floor I meet an old man who offers me masala chai. We drink and exchange pleasantries before he gleefully prophesies America’s demise.

Lately, I’ve spoken to a number of people who condone the killing of average Americans and say they celebrate 9-11 anniversaries with sweets. It’s disturbing talk, especially when they're so forthcoming with it to my face, as an American visiting them on their turf. But I’m not sure they mean it…

I remember hanging out with seven Britons underneath an awning in Blackburn watching rain pour onto an empty street. “I can’t imagine a Muslim doing something as terrible as 9/11,” someone starts out calmly. But as night falls, the conversation heats up. The group describes the plight of their friend who’s been detained for three years on terrorism charges. “He’s innocent and look what’s being done to him!” I even hear, “Someone kill Bush, please.” Then, “Americans deserve what they’re getting!” The following morning I met one of the men again. He’d been silent around the others, but told me one-on-one, “Don’t listen to them when they’re like that….They try to talk big when they’re all together.”

In India, I have again met young men talking big against America. Sitting before his elders at the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind party headquarters, a student rattles off a litany of America’s financial, cultural and political abuses around the world while his mentors nod approvingly at their bright student. But when our group interview ends, the student walks me out of the headquarters alone to smoke a cigarette. Idly he asks me, “Are American women fun to date?” Taken aback by the non sequitur, I just say, “Well, I’ve enjoyed them,” and then ask, “Would you date an American?” With a little grin he signals yes, and then quickly guides me to my car and watches me drive away.

blackburn_men
Muslim men who spoke with me at a community center in Blackburn, UK
These anecdotes don’t show underlying love for the U.S. Many grievances are very real, but I’ve noticed that anti-American language often dwarfs the personal complaints that drive it. In many cases the U.S.’s most vocal “enemies” have never visited America, met an American, or been directly impacted by its policies. However, they do live in social or political circles that bond over a shared animosity toward the U.S. Built up from news clippings, word of mouth, and domestic discontent, professing hatred for Americans can become anything from sport (I saw plenty of this in UK pubs) to a crucial way of demonstrating belonging. Group pressure can also lead individuals to mask their curiosity about the U.S.

But when there's a curious American sitting across the table writing down every word you say, the larger-than-life declarations of anti-Americanism get tested. Cracks open up. Even with Pala Koya, leader of the National Democratic Front, I sense political showmanship. He rallies his faithful with hour-long speeches about the “Imperial American Aggressor” and other similarly unfriendly labels. But in private, Koya’s casual manner and humor belie a more nuanced view of America than you’d get hearing him from the podium.

Behind his desk he sounds savvy, not zealous. It’s hard to break him out of political slogans about the Iraq war, Palestine and Bush. If I let him keep going, I’d get a hundred sound bytes -- that all say the same thing. But as I push back, he smiles strangely as if he’s trying to conspire with me, use me to amplify his rehearsed anti-American message. He guards his personal story and makes me wonder about his true beliefs. At the end of the interview I ask Koya, “Do you still think I’m CIA?” “Yes,” he replies, “but I’m not saying anything I wouldn’t want the Americans to hear.”

There are things he wants me to hear. His message is violent but not reckless; it’s carefully crafted. America is useful to him as a scapegoat for local discontents, like job loss due to globalization or the relative poverty of the Muslim population here. Anti-American language is far more useful to local politics than actually taking action against America overseas. I can't imagine Koya ever carrying out his threats of violence against America. He has never been personally affected by the U.S. and is too old now to act himself anyway.

But his language leaves room for some misguided or disgruntled members of his community to act violently. I wonder, as I jot notes, do I have a responsibility to resist or correct misconceptions? If I sympathize with anything Koya says -- maybe the plight of those unemployed after multinationals enter his town -- do I also bolster his less savory convictions? And by presenting his words on my site, am I playing into his agenda, increasing his domestic stature?

On this trip I am still learning how to be a journalist, what it really means to remain neutral in trying confrontational situations and when my personal identity becomes involved. I have an obligation to leave my subject willing to speak to future journalists under the presumption of their own neutrality. And I have an obligation to share with readers a balanced, accurate story, an obligation to try and figure out what is the politician's campaign message and what is the story behind it. I’m working on it, hopeful, and hopefully not naive. At least these professed anti-Americans are willing to talk to me; that's always a start.

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Comments (94)

Tom Dundee:

Waste-Product NJ,

Tancredo said after the next Islamic terr attack on the US. It sounds fair to me. They bomb us & we bomb them.

Tancredo is a pussy. We should wait until the place is full of a few million pilgrims.

Tom Dundee:

Waste-Product NJ,

Tancredo said after the next Islamic terr attack on the US. It sounds fair to me. They bomb us & we bomb them.

Tancredo is a pussy. We should wait until the place is full of a few million pilgrims.

Tom Dundee:

Sinderj,

The real problem is that Bush is not killing enough Islamic terrs.

Tom Dundee:

Aussie,

I would imagine the blatant sex could be defined as the Mohammadans raping women in Australia & a few other places because the Mos considered them prostitutes for lack of a head covering.

I was glad to see that the Aussie MEN knew what to do about it even if their government didn't. Australia is the only place that I've heard about any reaction & retaliation for this Moslem criminal degeneracy. I mean MEN with all respect for those who are willing to defend their women and their way of life. The rest of the world would do well to model themselves on the Aussie MEN.

Tom Dundee:

Sally, Joseph, & anyone who agrees with them.

If the Moslems only wanted to kill Jews & anyone who supports them your argument still would not hold water, well about as well as a sieve.

Islam is at war with Animists, Buddhists, Christians (in Africa & Asia-not just the white ones who support Israel), Hindus, of course the above mentioned Jews, & other Moslems. Moslems live in peace with no one. If none of the above are present, they perform the most holy Islamic sacrament of an 'honor killing'. Allah demands more blood sacrifices that the gods of the Carthageans & Aztecs combined.

Israel is step one in Islam's goal of world domination.

Sally buy a burka & Joseph that would be a good idea for you also.

Tom Dundee:

Mali,

In 1816 the reigning sultan invited the Jews to settle, with no limits on immigration, in the area of present day Israel. Why would he (a Moslem) do this? Could he have been fed-up with the laziness & perfidous nature of the Arabs.
In 1909 the regning sultan gave the Jew permission to build Tel Aviv. Was another caliph/sultan fed up with the lazinees, perfidy, & treason of the Arabs?

Tom Dundee:

In the name of cultural diversity, multi-culturalism, and tolerance; we should help all Mohammadans with their religious duties. We should help them all meet Allah, Immediately.

At that time Arabic will be spoken only in HEll and every mosque will have HELL as part of its address. Mohammad (May Allah bless & protect him & feed him pork patties) is preparing acomodations right now.

Aussie:

Question for Flash:

What's a "disgusting" movie? And what's "blatant" sex?

Just curious...........

waste-nj:

People in other countries can't tell a liberal from a conservative, Flash. And wasn't it Republican presidential "hopeful" Tom Tancredo who said we should nuke Mecca and Medina? Yeah, that wouldn't create more enemies right, nuking a strategic ally.. (Saudi Arabia) Repubs are idiots. But anyway...

I think it's interesting that on one side of the globe you have people talking tough and lashing out at the US with mostly empty threats, like drunken bar talk, and then back in DC we have the White House using these empty threats as a basis to conduct/continue REAL war. These people who feel pumped up by the hate-America speech to a brainwashed crowd, are actually handing the "great Satan" a GPS coordinate with their name on it.

Flash:

Watch out Liberals, the Muslims are coming for you. It is You they despise, the homosexuality, the blatant sex, the disgusting movies, the lifestyles, the unGodliness, the Volvos and Mercedes, and the phony "I care" crap. If you Liberals wish that we not fight against murdering Jihadists, then get ready. You will be the first heads that will adorn their pikes. Stupidity is not always the only reward.

Larry:

I really enjoyed your article but was also confused by references in it about certain failings of the West, mainly America and Britain. No one has an inherent right to act on hatred. I've noticed in reading articles dealing with Muslims that rationality doesn't seem to exist when verbal barbs are hurled at America. All I can surmise is that when someone says they hate you and wish you harm, you better believe it. Give them all the goodies and excuses you want, but like welfare, the more you do for them the more they hate you and want more. The responses to your article are also quite revealing. We seem to have a lot of self-hatred in our own country. I think most Liberals forget that America is Americans. We are a country which in itself is merely imaginary lines, we are really People who try to live our lives to the best of our abilities. We are basically a good people with big hearts and try to help just about everyone in the world. The liberals would have you believe Americans lack values and are hateful, cruel, greedy, thugish, and curmugeonly. Actually, these are more Liberal characteristics than average Ameican characteristics. I guess they hate themselves.

Larry:

I really enjoyed your article but was also confused by references in it about certain failings of the West, mainly America and Britain. No one has an inherent right to act on hatred. I've noticed in reading articles dealing with Muslims that rationality doesn't seem to exist when verbal barbs are hurled at America. All I can surmise is that when someone says they hate you and wish you harm, you better believe it. Give them all the goodies and excuses you want, but like welfare, the more you do for them the more they hate you and want more. The responses to your article are also quite revealing. We seem to have a lot of self-hatred in our own country. I think most Liberals forget that America is Americans. We are a country which in itself is merely imaginary lines, we are really People who try to live our lives to the best of our abilities. We are basically a good people with big hearts and try to help just about everyone in the world. The liberals would have you believe Americans lack values and are hateful, cruel, greedy, thugish, and curmugeonly. Actually, these are more Liberal characteristics than average Ameican characteristics. I guess they hate themselves.

Amar:

Hi Shefali, Just saw your note. Check out what I just posted on How India Sees America. And thanks for the kind words.

Shefali:

The war against terrorism has earned the monicker "War against Islam". Bakshi spoke only to Muslims in India, and it comes as no surprise, that he did not receive a favorable view of America. He should have spoken to non-Muslims and he would be amazed at the sympathy that 9/11 generated in the Indian population. Bakshi's article is very well written, but it certainly does not represent the Indian view.

Nate:

Mali 23:

A few points in response to your absurdly one-sided (though, sadly, overwhelmingly accepted) critique of Israel's 1948 declaration of independance:

1)Jews had been emigrating to Palestine since the 1840's. The notion that "the Jews" all of a sudden invaded Palestine en masse in the mid-1940's is misguided, to say the least. Incidentally, these earlier arrivals had been descriminated against and violently harrassed since the beginning of the 20th century as soon as they had begun to make up a significant minority.

2)The European Jews, who did constitute the vast, majority of early Israeli's, did not, for the most part, "invade Palestine in 1948", as you say. The exceptions here would be the Stern Gang and the Irgun, which by no means represented a majority of the Jews in Palestine. Most of the Palestinians left to make way for the subsequent invasion by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebabnon, and Iraq, certain that such a large contingent of Arab nations would succeed in repelling the Israelis. Guess what though? They lost. Sucks for the Palestinians, but if you want to blame Israel, an equal amount of blame (at least) should be heaped upon those Arab states.

Lastly, I should point out that Palestinian landowners sold huge tracts of land to Jewish emigrants pre-1948. That's business, baby. I disagree with lots of things Israel has done and still does since it's inception, but to declare that they have no justifiable claim to the land is flat-out ridiculous.

Razor Ray:

I wonder if the same could not be said about many Americans and their own insecurities, prejudices and thought processes? I laughed heartily as I watched the "Borat" film some time ago but inside a deeper truth kept nagging as I did so.
We, in America, as Americans are conditioned to think about certain peoples in certain ways. The subtlety of racism isn't so subtle when a Kazak walks into an American gun shop and asks, "Which gun would you recommend to kill a JEW?" and without batting an eye the gun shop owner replies, "I'd recommend a 9mm!" Or, when the same Kazak goes to a rodeo and a good ole boy tells him he should "shave his mustache" so as not to look so ethnic but rather more "Italian."
We, in America, thump our chests and bang our drums and expect everyone to follow along. Our national slogan has become the moribund, "America: Love It or Leave It!"
When you look at the world through that prism how could you discuss what ANYONE outside of our (sic) United States has to say in a objective light?
Come to think of it, we really aren't too far behind these peoples in mindset...

Jeff:

"sally:
ART:
It isn't that Americans are the new Jews, it's that AMERICANS ARE HATED because of their
support of Israel and the jews who want war, war war."
---------------------
Sally: you don't get it. You are stereotyping Americans and Jews, which is what the men quoted in the article were doing. The vast majority of Jews don't want war- even those who are Zionists. You sound like those who say "Look at Iraq-- those Americans want war, war, war." People who promote stereotypes are bigots. I feel sorry for you.

Sam:

Quite interesting to see what is printed based on what one man sees from one side of the elephant. One thing for certain, the author is someone who is not only educated, traveled, but is also trying to stay neutral. Rather than opting to put his opinions in, he would rather have the reader put himself in his shoes, the shoes of those he writes about and have us experience first hand the frustrations those people have and the environment's impact on their daily lives. Lest you walk a mile in their shoes you will not understand. And some who walked the mile and experienced first hand the same even in this country turn the blind eye because like your counter part on the other side, you too, have been spoof by fear and what your environment has offered you.


Few of you have gotten and understand the dilema on both sides. A man or woman that stands under the tree and look around will see a limited vision of things based on his height, the height of the grass, trees in the area, and other objects limiting his or her vision. These are they who are born in one area and have never gone any farther. There are they who are educated in one area and have never experience any of the areas he learned or studied about. They too, experience things with a limited vision and scope. Others are like birds that fly from tree to tree never daring to fly higher as an eagle. The few that dare to go beyond their comfort zone with find there are good and bad people in all areas. One will also find many on both sides or in this case, all have fears and preconcieved notions of each other. To complicate matters, there are many in spite of the fact they are educated and have travelled extensively, they are greedy and are suckers and scum bags that make their living of the blood, sweat and tears of others through fear and the use of other deviant means.

We must first learn to look within our selves. Often we will find the enemy in us and not the guy next door or the other country. Those of us who hate others will find that someone put those thoughts and ideas into our heads just like those in muslim or other countries.

I was born neither American nor Muslim. I came to this country with alot of preconceived notions about black and whitemen alike. Many of these notions came by way of my people as well as other black and whitemen. What I experienced was quite the contrary. While there are some bad in both, millions are by far greater even then some people in my own country. I find I share many ideas, fears, thoughts, likes and dislikes with them. I admire many of them and have grown to love them and would gladly give my life on their behalf. They are my true friends to the point that I call them my brothers and sisters. Even those of whom I have issues, I have learn to respect and tolerate them for their beliefs. This is what America is all about. This country offered me the best education, and I served in both the United States Marine Corp as well as the US Army both as an enlisted and retired as an officer. I was one of the very first of my people to break that barrier. Today many of my people serve this nation with honor. My daughter is the first female to graduate from the Naval Academy. This with out doubt is the greatest nation upon the face of the earth. We have an even greater responsibilities to others who are less likely to share all that we have. Two wrongs does not make a right. Hate begets hate and can and will destroy both of us.

Extend ourselvs and let us get out of our sand boxes and confort zones. Let us dare to fly and learn from one another. Perhaps you will find that we are much the same in many ways. Communications breaks barriers and understanding brings peace and harmony. Hand in hand we can and will overcome all obstacles. This I have learned first hand from my new found country. God Bless the USA.

sinderdj:

Bush is killing us, you're next.

sinderdj:

Bush is killing us, you're next

On the plantation:

Really cool to have two great oceans as buffers. That has got to be part of some intelligent design.

mali23:

I read most the articles were written above, and I find some of them were out of touch with reality, and some are in between, but rarely, I ran to realistic meaningful forward in meaning.
The people in some countries I visit in Europe or Far East modistly hate Americans, one of them said: Imagine in Holliwood American movies, one American individual meet a huge army from the enemy, and that individual alone defeat this huge army!! it is their arrogant?? In the Middle East, the big problem, and the problem of the problems is Israel occupation. In 1991 Saddam went to occupy Kuwait- Saddam a leader of Arab country, and Kuwait is Arab country, that means a dispute beween two brothers.. Americans made it their only job, day out day in, they went the U.N., they sent their big army there, they mobilized the whole world to line up with them to attack Saddam, why? because he invaded Kuwait, even he didnot throw the Kuwaitians out?? Ah, now Israel invaded Palestine in 1948, occupied it,threw the original occupant out and the Isrealis took their place, kept attacking some other Arab countries and soccupied some of their land and still is. In 1967 she finished Palestine from the sea to the river, she jailed, she tortured Palestinains, and some Arabs prisoners. Even today 01/08/2007 she went inside Gaza strip to kill, uproot the trees, the caltivated land, and since 1967 destroyed over 14000 house for the palestians, and still is doing?
I compared the two cases: one of them Saddam attack to Kuwait, the rush to expell him out, and the second case, Israel occupation, for that occupation, we see the West as a whole blessed that from zero hour, and America is protecting Israel even from marginal UN resolution, giving her the most advance technology to fight the Arabs, specially Palestinians?? Imagine, like what happen today 01/08/2007, Israel strike at Gaza, and as result, there was wounded Palestinians some of them kids, the Israeli army won't let the Ambulance, or first aid to reach them, or it is nowaday the pregnant from the Palestinians women about her ninth month, she move near a hospital, because she is worry in case she gets her labor the Israeli army at the check point won't let her pass through to hospital for the baby delivery, so many delivery cases were interceded by Israelis army and for that intended delay delivery on the check point takes place, fetus most likely died, and woman gets to health complications.
This kind of animals, all what they get from this civilized Western nations is the blind support. They are occupying, champing, taking lands as settlement, building isolation wall which in some instance devide the same house to two parts, one part inside the occupation and the other is for the owner. For this case we find America give blind support, even today the congress is trying to double arm assistence to Israel. In fact,it is a notable case, it is not just the government of USA give the support, but people in the senate or the parliament are competing who gives Israel more. It is obvious this competition is even streched to some mayers or menicipal directors.
For all these and your armies existence in the Middle East?Are you surprised if we hate you? Don't think what you are doing to us, it is not the war by its naked name? don't we have the right to hate at least? or even fight you in case we are able too. Don't you think is fsr away that day when we have the ability to fight back?
We really don't hate any body, in fact you don't know our religion, it is the loving cause to be, but what you are doing to us is the main factor of hate???????????? you sold yourself to the Jews? don't realize that? So, can you consider that without going around and analize things differently, especially, the American Jews, who really don't like to hear such talks.
Here, I might find an American Jew among this group, who will blow up every single adea I came up with, but it is up to you, you to know the truth, or you want to listen an American Jew who will not help your case with us, who want to sell America for the sake of Isreal???

mali23:

I read most the articles were written above, and I find some of them were out of touch with reality, and some are in between, but rarely, I ran to realistic meaningful forward in meaning.
The people in some countries I visit in Europe or Far East modistly hate Americans, one of them said: Imagine in Holliwood American movies, one American individual meet a huge army from the enemy, and that individual alone defeat this huge army!! it is their arrogant?? In the Middle East, the big problem, and the problem of the problems is Israel occupation. In 1991 Saddam went to occupy Kuwait- Saddam a leader of Arab country, and Kuwait is Arab country, that means a dispute beween two brothers.. Americans made it their only job, day out day in, they went the U.N., they sent their big army there, they mobilized the whole world to line up with them to attack Saddam, why? because he invaded Kuwait, even he didnot throw the Kuwaitians out?? Ah, now Israel invaded Palestine in 1948, occupied it,threw the original occupant out and the Isrealis took their place, kept attacking some other Arab countries and soccupied some of their land and still is. In 1967 she finished Palestine from the sea to the river, she jailed, she tortured Palestinains, and some Arabs prisoners. Even today 01/08/2007 she went inside Gaza strip to kill, uproot the trees, the caltivated land, and since 1967 destroyed over 14000 house for the palestians, and still is doing?
I compared the two cases: one of them Saddam attack to Kuwait, the rush to expell him out, and the second case, Israel occupation, for that occupation, we see the West as a whole blessed that from zero hour, and America is protecting Israel even from marginal UN resolution, giving her the most advance technology to fight the Arabs, specially Palestinians?? Imagine, like what happen today 01/08/2007, Israel strike at Gaza, and as result, there was wounded Palestinians some of them kids, the Israeli army won't let the Ambulance, or first aid to reach them, or it is nowaday the pregnant from the Palestinians women about her ninth month, she move near a hospital, because she is worry in case she gets her labor the Israeli army at the check point won't let her pass through to hospital for the baby delivery, so many delivery cases were interceded by Israelis army and for that intended delay delivery on the check point takes place, fetus most likely died, and woman gets to health complications.
This kind of animals, all what they get from this civilized Western nations is the blind support. They are occupying, champing, taking lands as settlement, building isolation wall which in some instance devide the same house to two parts, one part inside the occupation and the other is for the owner. For this case we find America give blind support, even today the congress is trying to double arm assistence to Israel. In fact,it is a notable case, it is not just the government of USA give the support, but people in the senate or the parliament are competing who gives Israel more. It is obvious this competition is even streched to some mayers or menicipal directors.
For all these and your armies existence in the Middle East?Are you surprised if we hate you? Don't think what you are doing to us, it is not the war by its naked name? don't we have the right to hate at least? or even fight you in case we are able too. Don't you think is fsr away that day when we have the ability to fight back?
We really don't hate any body, in fact you don't know our religion, it is the loving cause to be, but what you are doing to us is the main factor of hate???????????? you sold yourself to the Jews? don't realize that? So, can you consider that without going around and analize things differently, especially, the American Jews, who really don't like to hear such talks.
Here, I might find an American Jew among this group, who will blow up every single adea I came up with, but it is up to you, you to know the truth, or you want to listen an American Jew who will not help your case with us, who want to sell America for the sake of Isreal???

mali23:

I read most the articles were written above, and I find some of them were out of touch with reality, and some are in between, but rarely, I ran to realistic meaningful forward in meaning.
The people in some countries I visit in Europe or Far East modistly hate Americans, one of them said: Imagine in Holliwood American movies, one American individual meet a huge army from the enemy, and that individual alone defeat this huge army!! it is their arrogant?? In the Middle East, the big problem, and the problem of the problems is Israel occupation. In 1991 Saddam went to occupy Kuwait- Saddam a leader of Arab country, and Kuwait is Arab country, that means a dispute beween two brothers.. Americans made it their only job, day out day in, they went the U.N., they sent their big army there, they mobilized the whole world to line up with them to attack Saddam, why? because he invaded Kuwait, even he didnot throw the Kuwaitians out?? Ah, now Israel invaded Palestine in 1948, occupied it,threw the original occupant out and the Isrealis took their place, kept attacking some other Arab countries and soccupied some of their land and still is. In 1967 she finished Palestine from the sea to the river, she jailed, she tortured Palestinains, and some Arabs prisoners. Even today 01/08/2007 she went inside Gaza strip to kill, uproot the trees, the caltivated land, and since 1967 destroyed over 14000 house for the palestians, and still is doing?
I compared the two cases: one of them Saddam attack to Kuwait, the rush to expell him out, and the second case, Israel occupation, for that occupation, we see the West as a whole blessed that from zero hour, and America is protecting Israel even from marginal UN resolution, giving her the most advance technology to fight the Arabs, specially Palestinians?? Imagine, like what happen today 01/08/2007, Israel strike at Gaza, and as result, there was wounded Palestinians some of them kids, the Israeli army won't let the Ambulance, or first aid to reach them, or it is nowaday the pregnant from the Palestinians women about her ninth month, she move near a hospital, because she is worry in case she gets her labor the Israeli army at the check point won't let her pass through to hospital for the baby delivery, so many delivery cases were interceded by Israelis army and for that intended delay delivery on the check point takes place, fetus most likely died, and woman gets to health complications.
This kind of animals, all what they get from this civilized Western nations is the blind support. They are occupying, champing, taking lands as settlement, building isolation wall which in some instance devide the same house to two parts, one part inside the occupation and the other is for the owner. For this case we find America give blind support, even today the congress is trying to double arm assistence to Israel. In fact,it is a notable case, it is not just the government of USA give the support, but people in the senate or the parliament are competing who gives Israel more. It is obvious this competition is even streched to some mayers or menicipal directors.
For all these and your armies existence in the Middle East?Are you surprised if we hate you? Don't think what you are doing to us, it is not the war by its naked name? don't we have the right to hate at least? or even fight you in case we are able too. Don't you think is fsr away that day when we have the ability to fight back?
We really don't hate any body, in fact you don't know our religion, it is the loving cause to be, but what you are doing to us is the main factor of hate???????????? you sold yourself to the Jews? don't realize that? So, can you consider that without going around and analize things differently, especially, the American Jews, who really don't like to hear such talks.
Here, I might find an American Jew among this group, who will blow up every single adea I came up with, but it is up to you, you to know the truth, or you want to listen an American Jew who will not help your case with us, who want to sell America for the sake of Isreal???

Christophorus:

The Peace Corps created more goodwill than all the gratuitous handouts put together. It't the human, the personal eye to eye contact between people that creates long-lasting positive bonds between different cultures. Who in the Third World wouldn't want to have an Amercan friend back in the U.S. with whom to stay in touch. Human warmth, not money, that's what counts. Besides, it works in both directions.

catriona:

RED MOSQUE AND ROCK N ROLL FILM ON PAKISTAN
here's the link to an interesting musical debate between moderate and extremist islam
rockstar and the mullahs http://youtube.com/watch?v=RJmAmSL19Vk

Pragmatist:

Amar described very important points. Most catching was that the ones who show hatred for America are the ones who have never been to America, met an American or impacted by American policies. Its an acute case of ignorance about the other people. Let us reverse the actors. In America its true too.

That means we need to have more people to people contact and show each other we all care about our families, communities and general good of the people.

I would rather spend $60 billions on people to people contact than on armaments. Just a thought.

XYZ:

PS: Personally, I don't think any amount of such editorial sleight of hand on the part of the Western media can save Pakistan from the consequences of its long-time institutional promotion of armed jihad, because these consquences are largely self-inflicted.

XYZ:

Amar Bakshi last said he was on his way to Pakistan. Daniel Pearl was killed in Pakistan. Amar Bakshi (apparently) went to Pakistan yet continues to write about India. He mentions Daniel Pearl in connection with India, not Pakistan. Interesting.

Sam:

Amar,
How come you only interviewed Muslims? How about Hindus and Sikhs? I do not believe they like USA either. But they all want to migrate here even though they think US is morally decadent for various reasons, including kids throwing out their aged parents to nursing homes etc.

Meanwhile these people do not think that female infanticide, dowry and caste systems are immoral.

cole_seddiki:

Actually, you mention interviewing Muslims in the UK, who were willing to talk about killing Americans, but you never mention that British citizens, born in Britain are as equally likely to rail on Americans. You also don't mention that the British media constantly bash the USA. It's no wonder that Muslims living within their culture blame us and hate us. Brits blame us and hate us too! As an American who lived in Britain the past 7 years, I was surprised at who much the British Public appear to detest our new world domination.

AD:

Some man in Kerala who has never seen America or met an American wants to destroy this country.

Some man in Nebraska who has never seen Afghanistan or Iraq is willing to use taxpayer money to bomb it out of existence.

The only difference is, the vast majority of people that want to harm this country can't do it. We, on the other hand, can harm anyone we please, at moment's notice. Who is more dangerous to the world?

It's all a matter of perspective. We're all human beings and not that different from each other. We have the same misgivings about each other, about people we don't know. When in the history of mankind have we not fought and killed each other? If we keep thinking this way, I'm not sure it even matters who hates whom. Be the change you want to see in the world, as someone once said, or better to be silent on the topic and go make an honest living.

gary:

here we are back in mad max land

Paul:

Don't over-analyze the hate, it's just more of the usual tribalistic nonsense. It's just all too easy for humans to hate total strangers. Going on about justification or a lack of justification for said hate is pointless. Just more stupid people basking in the comfort of mindless generalizations. Simple worldviews for simple minds (you listening, Amy and Black?).

There's plenty of that in the US, for damn sure. I know plenty of people who are adamant in their belief that all Muslims are terrorists (or potential terrorists), and feel that the world would be a better place if they were all nuked. Not a one of them actually KNOWS a Muslim mind you. Aparently, simply stating this view gives them some sort of righteous indignation "high," with a domination fantasy thrown in for flavor.

If they were a little more desperate, they'd probably make fine terrorists.

And kudos to Joseph for pointing out what most Americans can't force themselves to admit: That by either (a) voting for Bush or (b) accepting him as President of the US, they are, in fact,RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS ACTIONS.

Let me clue the unenlightened into a key aspect of American politics, one that partially explains why morons like W get elected: you see, while few really trust the politicians, we all trust the SYSTEM, probably too much. We all believe that somewhere there's these "checks and balances" things that will defeat, or at least dilute, the potential bad politician's plans.

So it OK to treat the presidential election like it's a high-school popularity contest, right? The system takes care of itself, so we don't have to!

Finally:

It's nice to finally see someone in someway associated with the Washington Post who appears to have journalistic ethics, who tries to present a non partial story. I like reading what is actually said by an interview subject instead of the slanting of every story in one direction. Thanks

Moorthy Muthuswamy:

A never before seen view of jihad in India is given here, in this book:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0979470404

America can leverage 850 cornered non-Muslim Indians to take the war to jihadists and their sponsoring states!

James Buchanan:

******i know. i'm not so dumb that i don't know the original man came from africa. i already said the continents broke off africa, so that means people went with the continents, so that crushes the theory of all the native americans coming from one location in siberia. they were here on all parts east and west when the continents drifted. the indians were here first, so stop trying to deny their existence as the true people that belong on this side of the world. Don't try to make everyone inferior to the european, because we are not. It is bigger than that.******

Holy crud, are you a confused one...

Ok, lets try this again. You've got a LOT of reasonably good info, but you've jumbled the hell out of it.

Humans arrived in the Americas about 15,000 years ago.

The continents drifted apart from Pangaea about 250,000,000 years ago.

Humans have only existed in various forms for approximately 4,000,000 years.

Your timeline needs a little adjustment there, hoss.

There've been multiple human migrations out of Africa. The first northern migrations of Erectus would establish the now extinct line of Neanderthals, as well as those who remained behind who would become the first Sapiens that would later push the Neanderthals to extinction.

The eastern migration of Sapiens would later branch into the core ethnic populations that would become the Arabs, Slovaks, Mongols and Asians. The Mongols would break off yet again and those descendants would become the first humans in the Americas.

As for relative superiority, the Euros did win the race of technology. Now, whether that makes them "superior" is a relative consideration, but they were the innovators that became the 800 pound gorilla in the room for the last half a millenium.

BOMBS AWAY:

Amar Bakshi,

You sound like you want to be one of them. Why are you interviewing in England and India? Go to the wild, wild east of Pakistan and do some interviews with the people that killed Daniel Pearl.

These people are creeps. They know nothing about us because they haven't been here. There are people of their ilk in America and I don't see them beating feet to return to where they came from.

The koran keeps them in their 7th century ignorance and that is the status quo their religious leaders desire. It makes the "believers" easier to manipulate. The so called prophet, mohammad, was nothing but a murderer and his sheep have followed in his footsteps ever since.

setekh:

Americans have been supporting tyrants and murderers in the Muslim world for decades in the name of "stability" -- which is simply a code word for "keep the oil flowing to the West." With a history like that, how can any American find it hard to understand why so many Muslims hate us? The ignorance of the American people is simply astounding. Except in time of war (and sometimes even then), most of us seldom spend a moment thinking about how our country's foreign policy affects others. We received a lesson in just how dangerous this ignorance can be on 9/11. Had the events of that day not been so tragic, I would have felt like laughing at the boobs who went around exclaiming "Why do they hate us?" If you spend years throwing bombs into your neighbor's yard, how stupid do you have to be not to understand why he finally throws one back?

Aaron:

We shouldn't let this post go on without someone calling out Sally. Good lord girl, do you realize that you wrote --

"it's that AMERICANS ARE HATED because of their
support of Israel and the jews who want war, war war."

Sally the Anti-Semite, rock on. I am assuming you meant to say that you believe "Israelis" want war. That you expand this into a tirade against all Jews is telling. And that you believe Israelis actually want conflict, it shows how little you know of Israel or the middle east.

Oh, and Art's point was a nuanced one having little to do with Jews in the modern world. He was invoking Hitler's demagoguery in using Jews as scapegoats to build his own power in post-WWI Germany. In the end, the Nazi regime took the next step from rhetoric to genocide -- mass killing of innocents. Art's point was that American's should be wary when they are used by others as a universal scapegoat.

Aaron:

We shouldn't let this post go on without someone calling out Sally. Good lord girl, do you realize that you wrote --

"it's that AMERICANS ARE HATED because of their
support of Israel and the jews who want war, war war."

Sally the Anti-Semite, rock on. I am assuming you meant to say that you believe "Israelis" want war. That you expand this into a tirade against all Jews is telling. And that you believe Israelis actually want conflict, it shows how little you know of Israel or the middle east. Read, study, then return to these posts.

Oh, and Art's point was a nuanced one having little to do with Jews in the modern world. He was invoking Hitler's demagoguery in using Jews as scapegoats to build his own power in post-WWI Germany. In the end, the Nazi regime took the next step from rhetoric to genocide -- mass killing of innocents. Art's point was that American's should be wary when they are used by others as a universal scapegoat.

Aaron:

We shouldn't let this post go on without someone calling out Sally. Good lord girl, do you realize that you wrote --

"it's that AMERICANS ARE HATED because of their
support of Israel and the jews who want war, war war."

Sally the Anti-Semite, rock on. I am assuming you meant to say that you believe "Israelis" want war. That you expand this into a tirade against all Jews is telling. And that you believe Israelis actually want conflict, it shows how little you know of Israel or the middle east. Read, study, then return to these posts.

Oh, and Art's point was a nuanced one having little to do with Jews in the modern world. He was invoking Hitler's demagoguery in using Jews as scapegoats to build his own power in post-WWI Germany. In the end, the Nazi regime took the next step from rhetoric to genocide -- mass killing of innocents. Art's point was that American's should be wary when they are used by others as a universal scapegoat.

lalala:

Frank, Frank, Frank...even the devil can quote scripture? Isn't that a Christian saying? My point in saying this is that you can pull out excerpts from the Quran (and I would guess the Bible) and without context and of course they can sound horrible. The problem with quoting without context is that you can paint whatever pictures you want to make. Isn't that what happens in reality television? In fact, I would argue that a lot of the poor and uneducated in the muslim would do the exact same thing you just did and probably also use these words to advance their own agendas in their local politics. They are ripe pickings for those with ambitions in the politics of the global world (read Osama Bin laden, Al Qieda). The Quran was revealed to Muhammed in an environment where it was not welcomed and there was a huge amount of fear and anger about the ideas within it and the idea of one God. Accordingly, many of the surahs within it are written about war and about living and surviving in a hostile state. This is just one component of the messages within the Quran. Without understanding the context in which they were revealed, and thus the context within which one must think about them, the messages are lost... This is a problem most especially in the poor impoverished areas of the muslim world and and why these people are ripe for manipulation...

Anonymous:

Frank, Frank, Frank...even the devil can quote scripture? Isn't that a Christian saying? My point in saying this is that you can pull out excerpts from the Quran (and I would guess the Bible) and without context and of course they can sound horrible. The problem with quoting without context is that you can paint whatever pictures you want to make. Isn't that what happens in reality television? In fact, I would argue that a lot of the poor and uneducated in the muslim would do the exact same thing you just did and probably also use these words to advance their own agendas in their local politics. They are ripe pickings for those with ambitions in the politics of the global world (read Osama Bin laden, Al Qieda). The Quran was revealed to Muhammed in an environment where it was not welcomed and there was a huge amount of fear and anger about the ideas within it and the idea of one God. Accordingly, many of the surahs within it are written about war and about living and surviving in a hostile state. This is just one component of the messages within the Quran. Without understanding the context in which they were revealed, and thus the context within which one must think about them, the messages are lost... This is a problem most especially in the poor impoverished areas of the muslim world and and why these people are ripe for manipulation...

Joseph:

I was on a plane from Newark to LAX on 9/11, United 083 that departed an hour before UA093. I hated the terrorists and did not wish to engage in discussion with anyone who believed that the US did anything to deserve such a heinous response.

Lately, I wonder. If the words of our leaders are applied to us, are we not the same as the terrorists that we so despise?

If we sit here condoning Bush to torture the detainees, aren't we equally guilty of the war crimes that he commits? If we've never accepted responsibility of starting a blatantly illegal war, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, how could we blame anyone for killing 3,000 people plus collapsing two tall buildings?

Bush himself says that if you're not with us, you're against us. It's the same thing that Al Qaeda says. In the past five years since the start of the Iraq war, the US military has killed, directly and indirectly, far more civilians than all the terrorist groups in the world combined, and probably by a factor of 10. Who stands up for the innocent, the dead, the injured, the countries that are ravaged?

If I lived in the conditions in Pakistan, Palestinian territories, Iraq, etc., and see what the US has done to my country or neighbors, I too may feel a need to fight against the occupier. If the collateral damage exceeds the damage to the so-called enemies of America, would I not conclude that America values people's lives in the Middle East as worth less than the American life?

Perhaps what is surprising is not that there are people out there that hate us. The surprise is how generous the world has been in blaming only George Bush, but absolving the American public of any responsibility of not only putting him in office, but keeping him there. (Or perhaps they are content with the knowledge that no matter how bad, an American Presidency can last no longer than 8 years.)

That, I think is the goodwill that a generation of Americans had built and for which we could all be thankful. It is the same goodwill that valued the humane treatment of our enemies, even if those enemies were Nazis who killed far more people than Al Qaeda ever will.

The world really hasn't changed at all with the rise of terrorism. A terrorist attack started World War I. We simply have found a way to respond to it in a disproportionate manner because we can. And by selling another $20 billion of weapons to the very region that is so ripe for new violence, we, the people of America, will have made an investment in a future full of guaranteed bloodshed.

maxter:

I believe there is a problem within the Muslim communities of bigotry and hatred, especially against the USA. This is a 'sore' that is festering and growing. Percentage wise of their population however I would hazard a guess that it is not a very large % that are the real radicals intent on doing harm.

Reading blogs like this make me realise that there is an equally as serious problem in the 'western world' with bigotry and hatred against those they cannot understand. Some of the comments on here are nothing short of sickening, especially if one believed thay came from people that have not been declared psychopaths and not in an instituion for the deranged.

We do not need to be soft on terrorism but brutal stupidity will not solve the problem either. It would be a fair bet that for every 'terrorist' we have locked up without recourse to justice or evidence in Guantanamo we will have created 'ten' more looking for vengance. If they are bad, lock them up with due process, but even the US has conceeded that more than 50% have not commited any major crime.


Pliny the Elder:

Sally : I think Art is 100% correct and your wrong. I am greatly insulted by your post !

fred:

these are racist savages. they are getting the misery they deserve...

Regarding Origins:

Hello to the poster Black,

Regarding human origins, Africa had split from Pangea around 100 million years ago and the continents looked as they do today by about 15 million years ago. This of course predates by many millions of years the emergence of humans. Africa appears to be the source of all humans (some 2 mya depending upon your definition of human). Our African ancestors spread round the globe over a long period of time, but probably not directly from Africa to the Americas. Are we all Africans? In a manner of speaking. Were all early Americans from one Asiatic lineage? Perhaps, perhaps not. I wonder if it is really reasonable for any of us to claim some special legitimacy, or any other special quality, based on our fragmented genetic relationship to ancient peoples. We have a lot more in common with one another than we do with the humans who arrived in North America many thousands of years ago.

Darden Cavalcade:

You are a brave man, Bakshi. And you're an idiot.

People in positions of power do what they like and people without power do what they're told. All your young Muslim chest-thumpers are just doing what the Muslims with real power tell them to do.

Iraq died. It was rotten to the core and just fell apart in an explosion of puss. The Middle East is full of Iraqs. Arab civilization is corrupt, incompetent, weak, and ready to be overwhelmed. Iran is only marginally better off.

Judging from these posts, we've plenty of rot here, too.

Continents:

1) The continents broke apart and moved into their current positions millions of years before the human species evolved in Africa.

2) Hominid species migrated out of Africa and into Europe and Asia in several waves spanning thousands of years.

3) North America is not like a great big Native American Noah's Ark that carried tribal Americans across the big waters. Jeez.

4) No, Native Americans are not native, but then, neither are Europeans or Asians. We all came from somewhere else, my friends, if you're willing to look back far enough. So I think 10,000+ years of existence on the American continents gives us enough credibility to call ourselves "native" if we want to.

5) This should have been my first point, but what on earth does this discussion about continents and nativeness have to do with this discussion thread?

Mike Smith:

Amir. Is it really true that the reason the young men of Islam are drawn to murder is because of sexual confusion in their cultures. The surge of hormones in the teen years is funneled into hate for the West which represents that which they cannot have freedom, sexual and otherwise.

I have heard this theory espoused by several writers but have never heard a first hand answer to this theory.

It would also explain the seemingly irrational aspect of the Islamist terrorists.

Perhaps Islamist terror is hormonal rage on a mass scale. The wrester on steroids who killed his family multiplied times thousands and applauded by Islamic society instead of condemned.

Mike:

Iraq Vet:

You missed thw whole poinyt of my post. But that's OK, you are part of that 25% for whom the mention of Bush is enough to illicit a Pavlovian response of mindless drivel.

I feel bad for you and your inabilty to have any type of logical debate.

Ron:

One can hate the US as a concept and an abstract object without necessarily hating individual Americans when they meet one face to face. At that moment our common humanity becomes starkly evident. The same applies in reverse. An enemy once disarmed and no longer a threat becomes just another human to us or to them. I suspect that our actions in the "war on terror" (such a stupid phrase), have disappointed those who expected better things of America. Blame the Bush administration and their exaggerated zealotry combined with their indifference to the importance of civil liberties and human rights for all living beings.

I See Burqaed People:

Oh no, the Muslims are mad at us! What ever shall we do! I know, let's all become Muslim too, and adopt Sharia, and destroy all human rights, then we can live in peace. Unless we are Shiite, in which case the Sunnis will still kill us. Or vice-versa. But hey, as long as the Jews are around we'll always have someone else to blame.

Islam is keeping these people trapped in the 7th century. They have no one to blame but themselves. In 200 years their countries will be exactly the same: violent, repressed, and stifling all scientific advancement. The only difference will be that if they want complain about Americans they can just shake their fists at the sky where our space colonies have spread mankind's freedom to the stars. Just imagine the excuses for their rampant terrorism then:

"The Moon always used to be a Muslim caliphate, and we will blow up subway stations until it is again!"

"If you read the Koran upside-down through a glass of water at midnight under a full moon, there's a passage implying that Mars should be Muslim. Everybody break out the suicide vests!"

It's like every other Islamic theory ever pronounced: the rationalizations change, but the violence stays the same.

lee:

thoughtful article, nice change of pace from the usual media drivel...overall impressive posts from the readership. I think Art has it exactly right...Americans are the new Jews, an excuse or scapegoat politicians use to distract their consituentcies and populations from the corruption, self interest and incompetence. Sally seems to be confused, perhaps she should go live in Kerala

Black:

Asiatic indians should not have to come to this country and kiss tails or even act like they do. Be strong and keep your identity. That will not make you less american. I don't know what you had to do to get here, but stand up for yourself and don't be fake when you get here. Nobody hates you. They just hate the enemy within, but unfortunately that makes casualties of war too, so be careful here still.

Keith:

If somebody says they hate you and they want to destroy you, I'd say it's best to believe them. In the end, rhetoric turns into reality, as the leader who's finally willing to act on the hateful words is the one who wins support.

The internal dynamic of the Muslim world right is that the extremists speak out more and more loudly and get more and more extreme and the moderates stay silent and back down. The Muslim moderates don't chide the Muslim extremists, they chide us, the Americans, the victims of the extremists, for not being understanding enough.

And I may not agree with many of my country's policies, but where the heck is our acknowledgement in the Muslim world of what the US has done for Muslims? What about our support and protection of Bosnian and Kosovar Muslims? What about our protection of Saudi Arabia in the early 1990s from Saddam Hussein, which preserved the ability of all Muslims to visit Mecca?

If the Muslim world won't ever acknowledge the good we do for them, why should we ever do anything for them again? Ingrates.

Dennis:

Some of the comments here are amusing. The sad ones hit on the lingering hatred for Americans, and the hatred will not go away anytime soon. Our children's children will live in a world with it. Sitting around being critical of our own history, blaming ourselves or pretending that it will just go away does not help the situation or the future. We need to engage at different levels, (political, diplomatic, trade) not withdraw from it. And unfortunately, the religous isn't working, I would forget that.

Mike Vick:

Do they appreciate a good dog-fight over there?

black:

i know. i'm not so dumb that i don't know the original man came from africa. i already said the continents broke off africa, so that means people went with the continents, so that crushes the theory of all the native americans coming from one location in siberia. they were here on all parts east and west when the continents drifted. the indians were here first, so stop trying to deny their existence as the true people that belong on this side of the world. Don't try to make everyone inferior to the european, because we are not. It is bigger than that.

Curtis Harvey:

Nicely written story with some good insights. How interesting that I should also have come across so many Americans with misconceptions about people in other countries, especially those in the middle east. I've been shocked many times by the thoughtless and ignorant statements by people around me. And the evil drivel I've gotten from some Christians! What an insult to Jesus. I live in a rather upscale area where people are supposed to be educated. The military language students around here seem pretty well up on it though. They seem to actually know the score. But I suppose that's because they are being trained to think in deference to just how to assault and dominate.

It might be quite useful if there were the same sort of stories being written by and for people in the middle east. Sadly, even as a 11th generation American, I must agree with much of what these people think of our current government in the USA, which I consider a threat to our families and future. But I also believe that about the various governments of the middle-east. It seems we could certainly find common ground with these people in getting this great tool called government to actually be wielded by wise, just, and balanced individuals in the east and west. Well-fed, educated, working people usually don't go about blowing themselves and others up.

They need to see that this great experiment in the USA is bound to yield new problems with every new opportunity. It is the price of progress and they do well to learn from our mistakes. Every emerging country suffers these birthing pains throughout every leap forward. But it's in these pains that the blind nationalists and power-hungry politicians spin thier soundbites of doubt, prediduce, and hate.

And so Americans seem to not flinch at the death of 600,000 civilian Iraqis just in the 1st year by our missles! Yes, that is a valid number. The ONLY serious attempt to count Iraqi civilian deaths and upheld as valid even by initial detractors (but that 2nd article was never published was it). One of the persons involved was one of the original Baghdad missal targeters at the pentagon. Look it up! And it's gotten much much worse.

Our continued military presence in the middle-east is our curse. We've been there for about 40 years, suffered the increasingly horrible consequences, and now we're pouring it on. All for oil and regional position, not for defense. And we, as the people (here and there), will suffer greatly so that a few may profit greatly in goods, power, and influence. Those very few who want to harm us are coming HERE because we have been THERE so long helping prop up thier oppressive and corrupt governments.

Iraq Vet:

Mike, Bush does not need the media to destroy him. He has done fine without any help. Of course, you are in the 25% who drink the kool-aid and want others to think for them.

Mike:

Gee, I wonder if the fact that our media has been on an all-out propaganda war against America has anything to do with it.

Maybe if the media would report on some of America's many positive contributions along with the bad stuff, it wouldn't be so easy to hate us.

The media has done all it can to destroy Bush and hasn't really thought about the unintended consequences of such reckless abrogation of journalistic ethics.

Iraq Vet:

Um, Black, those who became the first Americans were actually from Asia across the Berring Straight, so it is not their "natural" home. FYI, man originated in Africa, not Asia.

black:

the beautiful reds. don't forget them. this is their natural home, not the cave dwellers. they were here before the land bridge. they broke off africa just like every other continent.

Iraq Vet:

Having traveled and lived in many parts of the world I have come to the conclusion that trash talking is not just limited to the middle east. Look at many of the "Kill them all, let God sort them out." comments posted here by many who would never venture near combat. Ignorance is global.

sally:

ART:
It isn't that Americans are the new Jews, it's that AMERICANS ARE HATED because of their
support of Israel and the jews who want war, war war.
Nothing amorphous about it. our friends and enemies alike all over the world cite it...the war in Ira, the treatement of Palestinians.
I, for one, am very much insulted by your nasty post.

Joy:

Mr. Bakshi,
I find this article very confusing. If I remember correctly you are in Kerala, India, but there are many references to Britain and the picture here talks about India's foreign policy?

Anyway, the sentence, "...many grievances are real". Is that your own opinion?

If so, please enlighten us by sharing with us as to which Muslim grievances are "real".

jerryvov:

Ah yes, religious fervor yearns to bring peace and harmony to the world...The Inquisition, Jihad, Fattas, excommunication, witch-burning, the rack, the bastinado...the world is indeed twice-blessed to have all these peace-loving god-worshippers and the instruments with which they share the love...

Robert:

I enjoyed your article. I think it is healthy to wrestle with the kinds of questions that you raise in the end of your article. I agree that it is very convenient to have to have a "big enemy". Before the Soviet Union declared bankruptcy we had one of those in this country and it was much easier to see things as black and white, rather than the shifting shades of gray that are probably closer to reality.

I would encourage to continue to communicate regarding why the people that you meet feel the way that they do, rather than to judge or draw melodramatic conclusions.

frank collins:

is this hateful?
The Hadith No. 284, The Muslim, volume one, says that any Jew or Christian, who heard of Muhammad but did not convert to Islam, and died in disbelief, would rot in hell! Thus Islam withdraws from all Jews and Christians the right to believe in their faiths, and practice them as such.
"The unbelievers of the People of the Book and the idolators shall be in the Fire of Hell therein dwelling for ever; those are the worst of creatures. But those who believe, and do righteous deeds, those are the best of creatures..." (XCVIII: The Clear Sign: 5)
Here those Jews and Christians, who spurn Islam, have been lumped together with the idolators such as the Hindus, and classified as 'the worst of creatures'. Therefore the Koran commands:
"O believers, take not as your friends those of them, who were given the Book before you, and the unbelievers, who take your religion in mockery and as a sport..." (V: The Table: 60)
"The true believers say: Has not God ordered a chapter that commands the holy war" (Sura 47:22); or elsewhere: "Kill the idolaters wherever you find them, imprison them, besiege them, ambush them" (Sura 9:5); and, "Make war on unbelievers" (Sura 9:29). "When you come upon unbelievers, massacre them, tighten the bands of the captives that you will have taken. Then you will set them free, or you will release them for a ransom" (Sura 8:57).
"To Allah, there are no animals viler than those who do not believe and remain unbelievers" (Sura 8:57). That is why it is necessary to Islamize them by force and by humiliation. And those who resist Islam and its founder must be chastised, according to the Koran: "Here is the fate of those who fight Allah and his messenger: you will put them to death or you will make them suffer the torture of the cross; you will cut their hands and their feet alternately. They will be driven from the country" (Sura 5:37).
"Do not display cowardice, and do not call the infidels to peace when you are superior to them" (Sura 47:22). THIS ALLOWS THEM TO MAKE PEACE SO THAT THEY CAN MAKE WAR AGAIN LATER.
4.89": They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.
"4.90": Except those who reach a people between whom and you there is an alliance, or who come to you, their hearts shrinking from fighting you or fighting their own people; and if Allah had pleased, He would have given them power over you, so that they should have certainly fought you; therefore if they withdraw from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not given you a way against them.
"4.91": You will find others who desire that they should be safe from you and secure from their own people; as often as they are sent back to the mischief they get thrown into it headlong; therefore if they do not withdraw from you, and (do not) offer you peace and restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them; and against these We have given you a clear authority."

bet no one says yes even though if it were limited to blacks or was direct to islamics rather than from islamics - it would be called hateful.

lets guess - the response will be christians are just as bad - even though jesus never once said to hate or murder anyone.

Travis Sorensen:

I am a native American thank you. I was born in America right?

James Buchanan:

If you go back far enough, those "natives" arrived her about 10,000-15,000 years ago via the Berring Strait land bridge, so who exactly of the human species is actually native to the western hemisphere?

Let me make it easy for you, the answer is NOBODY!

Spare me the apolgist tripe, control goes to the victors. Whether our ancestors were born here or not is no longer relevent, most of us were born on this continent, and as such, we are natives here.

As for the Islamists, they can claim their hands are clean of hatred of the US while they manipulate public emotion in their little power struggles, but the fact of the matter is, they incite the real nutjobs into action, and they're culpable by proxy. They may not FEEL hate, but they MOTIVATE it.

Crying mea culpa is akin to lighting the fuse, then blaming the dynamite for exploding...

ak:

Nice post. As an indian american, I really appreciate your candor. reminds me of v.s. naipaul's writings, but much less arrogant. thanks.

Bob:

The theme of the article seems to be 'they're not really haters and don't have an edge' but historical perspective belies that. Look at the description of people who were slaveholders, segregationists, racists, etc. Look at both U.S. and international(think South Africa, Rhodesia, Nazis, Muslim radicals about non-Muslims). They are or were described as intelligent and charming. But the deeds were horrific, and visitors didn't see their most private moments with close friends. One history of LBJ describes how the Senate tried to keep racism out of the news by getting openly hostile Senators to not use "N..." or openly support lynching or racists in Senate speeches. Osama was described as intelligent and polite, I've seen Hitler described as polite and kind to friends and visitors. Even if people have some restraint in public, a group action can take over. The people who cheer 9/11, can truly hate and wish us harm. They can be charming to visitors. But they do believe America should be stopped, can hate, and can support violence against America. It's not their country, they don't know us, don't care. And we do the same. I almost sense the author is looking to say "they really like us!!"

black:

The europeans killed most of the real americans, so what are you really saying?

Anonymous:

The best way to deal with Muslim extremism is to wipe them all off the face of the earth. Then, there will be none left. Problem solved.

They seem to be all set to die and go to Allah, lets arrange the meeting for them, on our terms.

black:

I think only two percent of this country's population is american. The rest were exterminated by the europeans.

Bill Galaviz:

I appreciate your work and please be careful. My Palestinian friends accuse me of being CIA quite often as well.

Anonymous:

I appreciate your work and please be careful. My Palestinian friends accuse me of being CIA quite often as well.

Shukri:

There are good things that this country has done and there are bad things that this country is guilty of.

Whitewashing the bad by focussing on the quirks of the critics will not get us where we want to be.

Dave:

Thanks for this thoughtful post. Of course, we shouldn't forget-- someone did in fact murder Daniel Pearl. Words have meaning.

Dave:

Thanks for this thoughtful post. Of course, we shouldn't forget-- someone did in fact murder Daniel Pearl. Words have meaning.

x2:

If these pieces of excrement hate America, I don't care.

Just don't try to immigrate here in search of a better life.

I hate those types of hypocrits.

Jean:

Unfortunately, most women I know aren't very interested in dating trash talkers.

Jean:

Unfortunately, most women I know aren't very interested in dating trash talkers.

Kautilya:

Amar, If possible next time, tell the younger ones that you can arrange for them to study or work in the US.
You may be surprised by the the number of takers.

Open Mind:

It is definitely interesting to hear your perspective and I'm inclined to believe you. When it comes down to it, most people are peace loving and primarily interested in the day to day details of their lives (i.e. the safety and security of their families). These goals are sometimes hindered by US foreign policy but the US gets blamed for far more transgressions than it is actually guilty of. The Bush Administration and others would like us to believe that ALL people in "terrorist states" (read "nations with large Muslim populations") plot day and night to "Kill Americans." Worse yet, many ignorant Americans believe this. Any person that has traveled the world or even has friends from these foreign nations knows that this simply isn't the case.

Liz from N. VA:

Very interesting perspective. It's nice to see there are still journalists who are interested in not only acting as reporters, but more importantly as storytellers. Nicely written-- great diction and syntax.

Anonymous:

HAVE YOU QUOTED THE KORAN THAT IS PRETTY HATEFUL.

Art:

It sounds as if Americans are the new Jews. An amorphous, dangerous enemy that is the cause of all that is wrong in the world. I've seen this movie before and I know how it ends.

I believe:

I believe all their spoken hate is real. Plus a lot of unspoken hate.

Another Sabrina:

Thanks for the thoughtful post; it's refreshing to read about some of the subtle back and forth that goes on in these more casual conversations - and also to hear that the staged "talking points" are at times clearly just that (though, yes, fanning the flames for those who do take the rhetoric to heart). I think you've expressed your personal challenges quite well also.

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