Taking Every Opportunity to Criticize Their Own Country and Their Own Culture

Friday

I walked into a room and overheard one man, Coren, saying to another man, Samuel, "...Everyone else welcomes foreigners, unlike Americans, who are so intolerant and unhelpful when someone can't speak English." These are both men I've worked with for years. We know each other well. And we are all born and raised in the U.S.

A few minutes later I said to Coren, "I've heard the French have a reputation of looking down on foreigners who don't speak French very well." He said, "That's true." But he didn't seem to understand that I was making an argument against his earlier statement. So I added, "It's pretty common for Americans to criticize America whenever they get the chance."

Samuel looked up from something he was working on and Coren looked surprised. They both looked at each other and then Coren said to me, "I wasn't criticizing America."

"But didn't you just say that Americans are less forgiving of people that don't speak their language — less forgiving than people in other countries?"

Coren said, "I think that's true." Samuel added, "I think it's true too."

I said, "Isn't that criticizing America or at least criticizing Americans or American culture? I've noticed that many Americans go out of their way, whenever they find an opportunity, to put down America."

They both started to protest, but before any sound came out of their mouths, I said, "I have a theory about why people do that." They both looked interested, so I said, "I think some Americans see that there are people in this world much worse off than we are, and they feel somewhat guilty about it. Sort of like survivor's guilt — people who have been in a plane crash or other horrible event where people die, but they survived, can sometimes feel guilty about it. They think, 'There is no reason I survived and the others died. It isn't fair.' And it makes them feel undeserving and guilty.

"We just got lucky," I said. "We were born here. We didn't do anything to make that happen. And we are no more deserving than anybody else in the world, so we're sure not going to boast about this great country. We're not going to be patriotic. In fact, we'll find opportunities to point out what's wrong with our own country or culture. Kind of like a rich person does when he's hanging out with people who aren't rich. He will mention his shortcomings. He will go out of his way to point out his own deficiencies. It makes others feel more comfortable around him, and he doesn't feel so guilty being around people less rich than he is."

They both jumped in and said, "I don't think that's it at all." Samuel said, "I love this country. I'm very patriotic. But I think we could do better."

"I agree with you," I said, "for sure. But you know, I never hear you say anything good about this country, and I hear you say negative things about it all the time."

This got his blood boiling. I could see it on his face. I don't know if it's because what I said was true or because he just hates being called "unpatriotic." He has proudly told me before that he is a "progressive liberal." But he loves America.

He spoke, about two octaves higher than before, and said, "I think there are a lot of people in this country who don't care about other cultures; who just live their lives and don't try to help others."

I said, "Did you know the United States gives financial aid to 96% of all the countries in the world?" I had just read this in Forbes the night before (see it here). I was looking up how much money the U.S. gives in financial aid to Muslim countries. Out of the top six recipients of foreign aid, five are Muslim countries, but that's a topic for a different discussion.

Samuel said, "I'm not talking about what our government does. I mean the citizens of this country."

"Well you give money to charities and try to help," I said, because we've had many conversations before, so I knew that about him. "And I do too. So what Americans are you talking about?"

"There are plenty of people," he said, "who don't care."

"Aren't there people who care and people who don't care in every country?" I asked. "Or do you think there are a higher percentage of people in America than in other countries who don't care?" I said this in a friendly way. I wasn't angry with him. I just wanted to point out this phenomenon that nobody seems to notice. And I don't think this is a uniquely American thing. I believe it happens all over the free world. In Australia, in the UK, in Canada — I read an article the other day that said it happens in Israel. Israelis, the author implied, are the biggest critics of their own country.

The reason this is important is because Islam is an ideology that aims to replace all other cultures with Islam. People who don't vigorously defend their cultures will succumb to Islamic pressure. People who defend their culture have a chance of keeping it. This characteristic of people who denigrate their own culture seems like a weakness to me, a vulnerability. It seems like a characteristic that would prevent someone from defending their own culture.

When another culture comes into contact with Islam, Islam forces the issue and creates a condition where one of the cultures must yield to the other. Islam does not live side-by-side in harmony with other cultures as equals.

So when I am talking to Americans and they jump enthusiastically on every opportunity to put down America or American culture, it bothers me. When push comes to shove, will they defend American values? Or will they yield? They are so habitually critical of their own culture, I think they will yield. But I want them to hold the line. Freedom of speech, human rights, equality of all people — these are values that need to be defended. We should never yield to an inferior set of values.

Anyway, Samuel said, "I don't know if there is a higher percentage or not."

I said, "That's what I'm talking about. Your natural and automatic point of view is that Americans aren't as good as other people in the world, when in fact, they are just like other people in the world. Some of us are good people who try to help others, and some are more selfish. So why call the bad part uniquely American?"

Samuel looked exasperated. He said, "I'm just saying that Americans don't seem to care about the rest of the world. They don't even know the rest of the world exists!"

I said, "Of course Americans know the rest of the world exists."

"But Americans don't try to learn about the rest of the world," he persisted.

"So do you think," I countered, "someone living in a remote village in India knows more and cares more about the bigger world than the average American?"

"No!" he said.

All this time, Coren had been listening to this exchange. And he suddenly piped up: "I think Americans have raped the world."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"They exploit people all over the world," he said, like it was an obvious fact.

I said, "Do you exploit people? Are you busy raping the world? Am I? Is Samuel? Who are you talking about? Wealthy people? Corporations?"

"Yes," he said, and he was about to say something else but I interrupted him.

"Aren't there powerful people and wealthy corporations in every country who exploit others? Do you think that is not being done in Nigeria? China? Russia? Japan? Europe? Aren't you describing a human thing? Not an American thing?"

He said, "Yes, but Americans set the standard!"

I couldn't let this pass. "There have been powerful and wealthy people throughout history," I said, "long before the U.S. even existed, who exploited and dominated others. You can't call that an American invention!"

Then I remembered that Coren had read the book, The Righteous Mind (when I'd recommended it to him), and one of the studies in the book is a survey of the moral standards of wealthy, educated people and poorer, less educated people in two different cities in Brazil and in an American city. So I said, "Remember how they found that the wealthy, educated people in the three different cities were much more similar morally to each other than they were to the poorer people in their own country?"

He nodded. "Yeah," he said, looking like he was remembering.

"So isn't what you're talking about just human? Not American, but human?"

Then he said, "America was founded on raping the world. It is the foundation of this country."

"What do you mean?" I asked. I thought I knew, but I wanted to make sure.

He looked at me like, "I shouldn't have to tell you this because it's so obvious," and he said, "We massacred the Native Americans."

"First of all," I said, "we weren't there, so we didn't do anything (as I pointed to him and then to me). I don't even know if our ancestors were here yet, and besides, the Native Americans did some massacring of their own. There were alliances between Europeans and Native Americans against other alliances of Europeans and Native Americans, and 95% of the Native Americans died of diseases, not massacres." I brought this up because of another book both of us have read, entitled 1491, which is about what the Americas were like before Columbus arrived. New evidence shows that the number of Native Americans who died of disease was much greater than originally thought because when Europeans touched down on the coast, the diseases went inland and caused mass plagues. By the time Europeans actually traveled to the interior of the country, what they saw was the decimated ruin of what had been a much larger population, but they didn't realize the extent of the decimation at the time.

"And besides," I said, "can you name any people on earth who have not been invaded, dominated, pushed into other areas, attacked, overrun, or conquered? Isn't that the history of people on earth? Is this somehow uniquely American? Hell, even the Native Americans did it. Tribes conquered other tribes, killing them off and invading their lands. You and I are also descendants of people who were conquered and whose culture was lost."

What struck me about what he said was how closely it followed the story laid out in Dinesh D'Souza's movie, America. D'Souza says for the last 30 years or so a new story has been told to our children in school, and the story imparts a whole lot of guilt to young Americans because "we" massacred Native Americans, enslaved Africans, plundered everyone and everything, etc. Coren's point of view was almost verbatim what D'Souza had said. Coren is 33 years old.

As we were talking, other people had come to sit nearby to listen to this conversation.

"All I'm saying," I concluded, "is that what you're describing is simply human; not uniquely American. And that there's a reason you two have such a strong desire to put down your own country: You feel guilty. You know about the inequality in the world, but you don't want to just give away all your possessions and money to people who are in need. You want to keep it and enjoy your good fortune, so you assuage your guilt by 'dissing' America."

I didn't convince them, but I definitely disturbed them. I don't know what will eventually happen in their minds, but for sure they will become more aware of their compulsion to trash their own culture, their own people, their own country, and hopefully they'll think about why they seem so intent on doing it. Hopefully it will eventually lead to two more people in the free world who will be willing to appreciate their own culture and value it enough to defend it against an aggressive ideology hell-bent on annihilating it.
Read more:
The Achilles' Heel of the West
The Key to Your Listener's Inability to Confront the Disturbing Truth About Islam


Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence.

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Islamophobia Thought Experiment

Wednesday

According to Christian Science doctrine, sickness is an illusion that can be corrected by prayer alone. So some parents have chosen not take their child to a doctor, and many times that has resulted in the child's death.

Okay, the above is a simple statement of fact. I could say that on the front page of the New York Times and nobody will accuse me of racism or hatred or ChristianSciencephobia.
But if I said, "According to Islamic doctrine, an apostate should be killed," which is also a simple statement of fact, I would be accused of racism, hatred, Islamophobia, and more.

Why? Is Islam a protected religion? Is Islam in a special category? Is it a smaller minority than Christian Scientists? What makes Islam uncriticizable?

I'll tell you what it is: Orthodox Muslims are working behind the scenes to twist every criticism of Islam into bigotry, and they're doing such a good job, many non-Muslims have bought it.

What do I mean by "working behind the scenes?" I mean setting up organizations that whitewash Islamic history in school textbooks. I mean teams of lawyers ready to sue someone who criticizes Islam, and PR people to use the media to get the criticizer fired or ruined. I mean organizations that produce a continual stream of disinformation and propaganda aimed at vilifying anyone willing to speak honestly about the problem of Islam. I mean organizations that put pressure on politicians to keep their mouths shut because they can be ruined by allegations of "racism" or "Islamophobia." I mean pressuring Hollywood to eliminate negative depictions of Islam. The list goes on and on.

They can do what they want. People are finding out anyway. Those of us who have awakened to the disturbing nature of Islam are committed to awakening our fellow non-Muslims, and no matter what Muslims do, we will find a way.

Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence.

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Possible Ways to Talk About Islam to Your Friends and Family

Monday

Below are transcripts of conversations I've had that went well, written down shortly after the conversation. Most of these are one-on-one conversations. Those are the best. The more people involved in the conversation, the higher your chances that the conversation will be unproductive.

We're publishing this list so those who are new to the counterislamization movement have some ideas about how to approach these sometimes difficult conversations. Even if you've been involved for a while and want to get some different ideas about how a conversation might go, these articles are worth reading:

Modern Revelations About Islamic Revelations

Preemptive Ideological Strike

Embedding a Fact Within Another Story

How Do You Know You've Gotten Through?

A Good Analogy to Use in Conversation: The Remote Island

Possible Approach: I Just Read the Koran…

Ask This Simple Question

Talk To Your Friends About Mohammad

Inch by Inch, Our Fellow Countrymen are Getting Educated

One Way to Approach a Conversation: Talk About the Movie, "The Kingdom"

A Discussion of Various Methods For Talking to People About Islam

Join in an ongoing conversation among us non-Muslims about the challenges of talking to other non-Muslims about Islam. Click here to read what others have written or to post a message yourself.

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Relationships Strained Over Your Disagreement About Islam?

Wednesday

A reader asked us for some advice. He said, "Someone close to me is emphatically stubborn in their belief that Islam is a good religion and that only the 'crazy' Muslims kill people. How would you approach this person? I haven't talked to them about Islam for five years. I want to make a good impact before I lose this opportunity to talk to them."

That's a great question. Here's the advice we wish someone had given us twenty years ago:

I would re-establish my relationship first. I would improve my communication with them, bond closely, share good times, etc. And like you have done, I would stop mentioning Islam for awhile.

You can only be as "controversial" as you are close. A strong relationship can handle controversy. A weak relationship will simply break apart with controversy. A semi-strong relationship can withstand a little controversy. So build a strong bond first.

I would also try to think of the person's "stubbornness" in some other way. I would reframe it.

I read a good story of reframing: A father and his daughter had always had arguments and the father thought of his daughter as stubborn. But the meaning and judgment of a behavior at least partly has to do with the context. In the context of disobedience to him, the father thinks of the daughter's behavior as stubborn. But a friend gave him a different view: "Imagine what will happen when the girl is a young teen and a boy is trying to convince her to do something sexual. She will not be easily persuaded. Why? Because she's stubborn."

The different context casts the exact same behavior in a new light. Instead of a negative thing, the stubborn behavior could be seen more positively. Under those circumstances, the father himself might call it something very different: "standing up for herself" or "having integrity" or "hard to manipulate" or "strength of character." He might be proud of his daughter for her behavior.

Do the same thing with the person close to you. Try to think of the behavior you've been calling "stubborn" in a different light, from a different context, and use different words. If you were going to call that behavior something positive, what would it be? This is a way to break down a barrier between the two of you. It is a way of forgiving your friend for resisting you.

And finally, I wouldn't try to convince your friend in one conversation. I would think in terms of small bits and long campaigns. Read more about that here.

Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence.

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The Value of Reading the Koran

Monday

Someone left a comment the other day on A Message To Peaceful Muslims. It is clear and succinct and says it all. Here it is:

"I am currently reading the Koran, and am a non-Muslim. I am looking to find positive and enlightening aspects of this book and can find none. It is all commands to get rid of infidels; it is a book based on fear and death. I was looking to find something of a great read in it, but sadly I can find nothing of value."

If you haven't yet read the Koran, take the pledge and read it. Everything you say about Islam thereafter will ring with authority.

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Article Spotlight

One of the most unusual articles on CitizenWarrior.com is Pleasantville and Islamic Supremacism.

It illustrates the Islamic Supremacist vision by showing the similarity between what happened in the movie, Pleasantville, and what devout fundamentalist Muslims are trying to create in Islamic states like Syria, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia (and ultimately everywhere in the world).

Click here to read the article.


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