Why Do They Hate Us?

Anymore, it’s news when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks in public without pledging to destroy the West. In May, at a nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty gathering he made clear reference to the United States in calling for the punishment of any threat to use nuclear weapons or attack against peaceful nuclear facilities. (“Peaceful,” of course, describes his intentions.)

Americans ask Why do they hate us? But Islamists have never been shy about the sharp conflict of visions and ideals at stake. The failure of America’s leaders to understand this clash of worldviews exacerbates the danger.

Many Muslims consider the West devoid of moral standards. Who can blame them for that given the stream of materialism and decadence pouring out of our movies, television and internet content? Recently, demonstrators in one Muslim country displayed internet pornography with the caption, “This is the kind of freedom the West offers.”

Most Western media and governing elites, on the other hand, are influenced by cultural relativism, and as such, are tone deaf to the pronouncements of Jihadists. They blame poverty and injustice as the source of Muslim rage.  But Islamists don’t seethe against poverty and injustice. Dr. Mary Habeck, Associate Professor of Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins University has written:

To see why jidhadis declared war on the United States and tried to kill as many Americans as possible, we must be willing to listen to their own explanations. To do otherwise is to impose a Western interpretation on the extremists, in effect to listen to ourselves rather than to them.[1]

We have witnessed this hearing impairment repeatedly in the Obama administration. The February 2010 Department of Homeland Security’s Quadrennial Report “failed to make any reference to the Islamist nature of the threat.” Contrast this with the following quote from former Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini: “Until the cry ‘Allah Akbar’ resounds over the whole world, there will be struggle. There will be Jihad … Islam will be victorious in all the countries of the world, and Islam and the teachings of the Quran will prevail all over the world.”[2]

U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan cried “Allahu Akbar” as he wounded 31 and murdered 14 people at Fort Hood. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano later stated: “This was an individual who does not, obviously, represent the Muslim faith.” You can pretend the prince has clothes on, but he’s still naked.

Perhaps more to the point for readers of this blog, where are the followers of Christ in this conflict? The church is called to stand as a counter-cultural force against the decadent secularism of the West, and as a life-celebrating force against Jihadists with their culture of death.

A war is raging for the heart and soul of nations, a war of ideas, ideals and culture. Christians need to engage with a better set of ideals, kingdom concepts both articulated and lived out in the world.

– Darrow L. Miller with Gary Brumbelow


[1] Dr. Mary Habeck, Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 7.

[2]Ayatollah Khomeini quoted in The Blood of the Moon, Understanding the Historic Struggle Between Islam and the West, by George Grant, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2001), 127

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Equipping the Church to transform the world
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