AWHILE BACK, I asked this question: "What don't people understand about Islam that makes them see Muslims as disadvantaged, vanquished, helpless victims bullied by omnipotent, intimidating, domineering non-Muslims?"
Many came forth with great answers.
Exploring this issue is important because, as you well know, a lot of non-Muslims instinctively defend Islam, preventing you from sharing valueable information with them. They see Muslims as the 98-pound weakling and the West as the big, mean bully, and they don't want you picking on the weakling.
We know something our fellow non-Muslims don't know. What is it? Something is missing in their worldview. We might be better at getting our message across if we knew what key understanding our fellow non-Muslims were missing. Here are some of the best answers:
1. Civilus Defendus said: The Tiger is majestic and beautiful from a distance. If you could, the Tiger's coat would be soft to the touch, its fang and talon hard and sharp. Its muscles ripple with strength as it ambles casually to and fro. Its voice is startling, yet proud and awe inspiring. And the Tiger lives in an exotic place of wonderment. The Tiger is truly magnificent.
Yet were you to perceive it from a different angle, to feel the Tiger's hot breath upon you, to have nothing separating you from its raw power and natural instinct, would send you into a panic and instant survival mode. The Tiger’s presence would sharpen your thinking and govern your every move. Nothing would you take for granted, not your next heart beat, your next move, your surroundings, nor the mindset of the Tiger.
Is the Tiger friend or foe? Does it enrich your world or threaten it? From a distance it is a wonder, up close and personal it is life-threatening.
Be careful how you perceive things.
2. Lynne said: An adroit question that reveals a chink in our armor. Because of our Judeo-Christian roots, Americans [Westerners] see the world in a particular way. These cultural sensibilities incline us to 'love our brothers, sisters, neighbors..' Forgive, without requiring a change in behavior, i.e., Remorse, Repentance, Repair, and not Repeating wrong doing.
Because Muslim communities are not open to those outside the Ummah, true understanding of their mentality is up to interpretation based only on their 'word' and our cultural bias.
It is incumbent upon us to read their sacred texts [as unfortunate as that turns out to be since it will now be in our heads] to see that their cultural roots are diametrically opposed to ours.
Mohammed taught lessons we cannot relate to, thankfully, but to understand those of the Islamic faith, we need to attach these teaching to their culture without apology. Not just some, but to ALL.
If we take this first step, we might actually save ourselves.
I remember hearing a Muslim 'academic' say with some pride that it took Egypt 300 years to fall to Islam...THEY NEVER STOP!
3. Kall4less said: a) People have been misinformed about the so-called "Palestinians" since 1948. They believe that they were a nation with a history, distinctive foods, clothing, & lifestyle. They mistakenly believe that they are mistreated by Israel & that is the reason that they are in a difficult predicament. Obviously, to those of us who are well aware of the real history of Israel since at least the mid 19th century, they are wholly misinformed.
b) People are also misinformed about the beliefs of Islam. They believe that Islam is practiced around the world as are the rest of the world's religions, so it should be treated equally.
c) Their world view is missing knowledge of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood in America, its plans, & how it has grown.
d) Finally, missing from their world view is an understanding of how vital it is to civilization that people not only not shy away from confronting them now in every way possible, but on the contrary, that it is high time that we fight back fiercely in the political arena &, of course, whenever they make it necessary, like in the case of the plane that was brought down on 9/11 by its brave passengers who'd heard it was on its way to destroy the White House or Capital.
4. Another anonymous writer said: Those of the American public who defend Muslims are guilty of ignorance. Since the 7th century, when Muhammad founded that religion, Muslims have been trying to conquer the world because that's what the Koran tells them to do.
Our government schools have done an excellent job at dumbing down Americans and making them ignorant of history.
My family comes from Spain, where the Muslims settled for 800 years. They tried to invade France, but they were repelled by the French general Charles Martel, whose son became King of the new Roman Empire.
The Muslims then tried to invade Europe from the East and succeeded to reach Austria! in the 14th century.
Muslims are still in Czechoslovakia, in the Serbian region. Now, encouraged by the OWO tyrants in the West, they see their opportunity to continue their conquest of the civilized world. Their main target being the United States of America.
Any American that defends these savages is an ignorant fool.
5. Another anonymous writer said: Why don't they understand? I'd say...
a) The Crusades — poor Muslims being oppressed by tyrannical Christians
b) The idea many socialist-minded people have that there are greedy neocon fascists who hate everything non-white and non-Christian
c) We are wealthy and Islamic nations aren't wealthy (this is the stereotype, anyway) and poverty is an excuse for barbarism
d) Most Muslims are darker-skinned than most Westerners, so criticism = racism
e) Here in Europe, the holocaust has made us think that the Muslims are the 'new Jews' and has made us sensitive to scapegoating one religious minority. Here in the UK, we have the guilt of our colonial legacy to hinder us from asserting our own values.
It's all down to tu quoque and white guilt.
We've all been indoctrinated with these views, here in Europe and in the USA. I think the solution is to just keep pushing the alternative view, the truth. But time is running out.
6. "Finally Figured out Islam" said: What the general population don't realize is the different tactics the devout Muslims are in the process of using to aid in the imposition of Islam. It isn't just bombs. It is control of our courts and our finance. It is with the use of the pen. They have learned how to win the PR war with the ignorant, especially the ignorant left. Muslims who are devoted to the cause of implementing Islamic law are strategically placed in powerful places. We have been asleep. It is also a culture that has chosen to hate those outside its religion and until there is a change of heart on their side, we will continually be at war with the the push and force of Islam.
7. Another anonymous writer said: My impression of them in their home countries, probably due in some part to our treasonous media here, is that they are downtrodden, poor, and low-tech. It seems that if it weren't for oil they would all be broke. Of course, living under the rules that they have would cause anyone to feel beaten down, and this probably provides a rich source of anger — by design.
8. Mo said: "What do people not understand about Islam...?" I have found that most people not only don't understand much about Islam, but they have been taught the exact opposite:
They are told all religions are the same, and/or all are worthless or evil.
They are told we are never supposed to judge anyone's views — especially religious ones — as being right or wrong. (Except for Christianity of course.)
They are told that Islam teaches peace.
They are told that it is Israel who is the constant aggressor in the never ending Middle East conflict.
I could go on but I will leave opportunity for others.
The worst part is that they do not have any desire to educate themselves on the issue.
9. Another anonymous writer said: I am seeing it's more conservative versus liberal. Some liberals actually appear to hate conservatives, thinking they are responsible for interfering with liberal freedoms. If a liberal attempted to talk to them [about Islamic doctrine], that person would be labeled a conservative. What they don't understand is that those of us [speaking about Islamic doctrine], conservative or liberal, are attempting to protect their freedoms.
While this has nothing to do with liberal versus conservative, some liberals think it does. It does not matter what tactic is used with them, some are so close-minded, they only spew out hate.
Hate for Christianity is on the rise. So, it becomes Christian conservatives against Islam. It's interesting that while some accuse Christians of being bigots, they, themselves hate Christianity and conservatives.
These people want proof. Many say the Muslims they know are fine people; therefore, there aren't any bad ones in our country. When talking about it, generalizing won't work.
They don't think radical Islam can happen in this country. We have laws to protect us from that. What they fail to see is our laws can be changed.
Our media is partly responsible, as well. Very little is shown about what is happening, for obvious reasons. They don't want to be called bigots. If we don't hear about it, we don't know what is going on. Many don't use the internet to find out.
If it isn't happening in our own backyards, it isn't happening, is another mentality I hear.
Maybe, it's best to give up on those and go on to others less resistant. Hopefully, those resistant will be the minority.
10. Blogger said: I am not from America, but I notice that Americans are more scared of critiquing Islam that Europeans are, and I have come to understand that it is because of their guilt regarding previous treatment of non-whites, plus of 2 main myths:
A. Islam is a "race", ie "black race".
B. Criticising Islam is the same as going back to the pre 1960s treatment of black people.
Both of those myths need a thorough debunking. Outside of America, the majority of Christians are black. The majority of Muslims are also 'not' black (the biggest group are Indonesian Asians). Islam is also not linked to any race, except that the Hadithes claim that Muhammad was "white", and the Arabic word for "slave" and "black" are still the same. Arabs traded slaves long before the Spanish and British did.
11. In Victor Davis Hanson's book, The Father of Us All, he wrote: The only mystery about our reluctance to speak honestly and freely about particular issues is why we are so eager to give up on free expression, especially when it comes to radical Islam, which fuels much of the world's terrorism in the post-September 11 landscape.
Other than fear of bodily harm, one reason for curbing criticism of radical Islam surely is contemporary postmodern ideologies such as multiculturalism (the notion that the West is just one of many cultures, no better or worse than any other); utopian pacifism (wars can be eliminated through diplomacy and the teaching of nonviolent arbitration); and moral equivalence (those with power and influence in the West, given its own sins, cannot legitimately calibrate, much less condemn, the distasteful practices of other cultures)...
The aggregate result of multiculturalism, utopian pacifism, and moral equivalence among its cultural elites and leadership is that philosophically and ethically the Western public becomes less well-equipped to condemn antithetical ideologies and to defend itself against their aggression. In Western consensual societies this so-called political correctness likewise permeates the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.