A Muslim on Hatred

The controversy regarding the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed completely misses the point. Of course, the cartoons are offensive to Muslims, but newspaper cartoons do not warrant the burning of buildings and the killing of innocent people. The cartoons did not cause the disease of hate that we are seeing in the Muslim world on our television screens at night – they are only a symptom of a far greater disease.

We were brought up to hate – and we do, by Nonie Darwish

A good read.

Only by spreading the meme of Love will we overcome this current disease of hatred. I know that sounds really hokey – but it’s true. Killing them only makes their resolve stronger. Killing us only makes our resolve stronger. The weapons are not bullets and bombs but rather are hate filled minds. Only by defusing those weapons will we ever win this war.

The West cannot do it. Only the Muslim world can do it. Let’s hope that the moderates can prevail. I hate to think what will happen if they do not.

11 thoughts on “A Muslim on Hatred”

  1. I believe in freedom of speech, but only to a certain extent, inappropriateness, indeceney, and offensive for example must not be crossed,

    no to violence, there are other ways to protest.


  2. I certainly agree that backing a thug because he is on our side is a short sighted strategy. In some cases (Pakistan is a great example here) it may be necessary at certain points in time, but it can certainly be expected to cause some problems in the future.

    However, backing someone who shares many of our basic principles is a different thing.

    I don’t believe that the conditions in many nations of the middle east are ‘neutral.’ Those that currently are employing violence, both terror groups and autocratic governments are using that power to promote anti-western views and stifle the debate. Guns cannot change hearts and minds, as you have pointed out, however they certainly can prevent people from changing hearts and minds.

    We can, be removing those violent people, create a space where the debate can exist. Afghanistan and Iraq are both better off, and more ‘on our side’ than they were before the military invasions of those countries. Perhaps most importantly for a long term solution, they are now places where the meaning of Islam and it’s relation to government and other peoples can, and is, being debated. This would not have happened without military action.

    Will all of these debates go exactly as we would wish? Of course not. But the existence of the debates are themselves and important step, and something to be valued. Similar dynamics, although less positive for us in the short term at least, are taking place in Palestine. I expect that that debate will also be very positive in the long term, as long as the ability to debate is maintained in that territory.

  3. <blockquote>a militarized change the conditions in the Middle East strategy might be possible.</blockquote>

    Will a gun change someone’s mind about something so fundamental as your inherent goodness?

    If some one hates you, and you point a gun at you will he hate you less?

    I guess that I feel that a military solution is not a solution. It might buy us some time, but it only treats the symptoms. It might allow a real solution to be brought into place, however, it is not the solution that any civilized person should be looking for.

    So there is some one over there that says if we back him rather then the other guy, all will be good. That is what got us into the present situation. What’s to prevent him from turning on us when we are no longer convenient? When we are no longer enemies with his enemies? When we win his war for him?

  4. I suppose that depends on how one chooses to define ‘this conflict.’ From one perspective, hatred of ‘the other’ almost certainly predates homo sapiens. At the other exteme, Muslim hatred of enlightenment philosophies certainly cannot predate the enlightenment itself.

    It would also be simplistic to view this conflict as only a Muslim vs. Christian or a Muslim vs. the West prism. Islam seems to be embroiled in conflict on all it’s borders, whether with Christians, Secularists, Jews, Hindus or Buddhists. Certainly we can’t lay all of that on the story of Jacob and Esau.

    However we wish to solve it, we may not have 2,000 years to do it in. 10 might be impossible, but 25 may well be as much as we can plan upon having. Given the rising Muslim youth population and other demographic trends and accelleration of technology which will make individual capacity for destruction greater and greater this is something that we have a pretty short time frame to accomplish. If a ‘love’ campaign predicates 2000 years of ‘undoing hatred’ then it seems to me to be totally impracticle.

    On the other hand, given the statement of Ayatollah Sistani on the cartoon controversy, a militarized change the conditions in the Middle East strategy might be possible.

  5. Let’s continue with my thought process.

    If you loved everyone, would you be more or less likely to kill a random person?

    Yes – hatred exists. However, we can overcome hatred with discourse, understanding and love. It’s not a quick process. You cannot drop a Love Bomb and convert a populace.

    However, look at the history of this conflict. It goes back to the Middle Ages, and before. You could even say that it started in Biblical times. That is when this hatred was born. I don’t think that it can be solved in the next 10 years. It took 2,000 years for this thing to get where it is today, it’s going to take a while to get it fixed.

  6. Obviously if I loved someone I would be less likely to kill them than if I hated them. The problem is though, that hatred exists.

    Spreading the meme of love implies, to me at least, some action that can be taken to change hatred into love.

    I don’t know what that is. I don’t know of any historical example of when that has happened.

    Are you actually proposing some course of action to take or is this just a nice thought like ‘war is bad’?

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