Why did your culture end up valuing hate over love and death over life?
I recently received an email accusing me of hating Arabs and my father. This email is typical of Arab media accusations of my views regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict. Since most Arabs have no chance to read my book, Now They Call Me Infidel, Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel and the War on Terror, which explains in detail my position, I will answer the email in this article. First, below is the translation of the Arabic language email which I received without a signature:
Salam to you,
With all of our pride in your father we pray that Allah will bless him with entering paradise, which is the wish of every person after this short prideful meaningless life. I want to ask you, has your father become your enemy after his death? We in the city of Gaza take pride in your father and I live on a street by the name of Shahid Moustafa Hafez which also has a school by the name of Shahid Moustafa Hafez. We never forgot his sacrifice, so how could you become an enemy to the tortured Palestinian people who are still suffering at the hands of Arab Zionists? I ask Allah to give you health and strength.
Awaiting your response and thank you in advance.
Here is my response:
Dear Gaza resident,
Your email touched me as sincere even though your accusations are wrong. I am not the enemy of Arabs and I assure you that I love my original culture and people. What makes me different is that I do not only love Arabs, but I also love the Jewish people. I am speaking my conscience. I respect their right to live in peace in their tiny homeland, Israel. I understand how that could be puzzling and unbelievable to many Arabs, to love both Jews and Arabs.
We Arabs have suffered from an unnatural and consistent indoctrination into Islamic supremacy and Jew hatred for over 1400 years. Thus it has become unfathomable to the Arab mind to comprehend loving both Arabs and Jews and wishing both well. Our culture has deprived us for many centuries from loving all of humanity as equals, through intense religious indoctrination resulting in self-imposed isolation and non-integration with other cultures. This isolation and jihad against non-Muslims has become increasingly difficult to maintain. Muslims everywhere are trying desperately to save face, reform Islam’s image and deny the undeniable. But they also want to have their cake and eat it too. While they are telling the world Islam is a religion of peace, they still want to continue with the jihad against non-Muslim countries. While one leader says, let’s kill all the Jews and take over Rome, another says to Western media that Islam is a religion of peace and we are deeply offended by the anti-Islam rhetoric. To play this sick game, Muslim culture must live a dysfunctional double life where everyone is deceived, including Muslims.
Thus to do the kind of jihad that Bin Laden, Ahmadinejad, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Assad, Nasser, Saudi jihadists etc, do and which is dictated by Sharia, Muslims find it hard to be honest. Thus, Muslims must claim victimhood in order to justify jihad. The entire Muslim world is using your people, the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza, to justify their jihad against not only Israel, but also all non-Muslim countries. That includes Iran, which supports Hamas and Hezbollah.
Your people in Gaza should have realized this game a long time ago, but you refuse to see and be open about who is your true oppressor. Arab and Muslim media is using and abusing your people in order to justify their Islamic jihad around the world. That is why they never want to resolve your problem and want you to suffer and live in constant terror against Israel.
Under Islamic law, non-Muslim countries are never equal to Muslim countries and actually their sovereignty as a non-Muslim nation must always be challenged by Islamic jihad. Islamic law codified jihad as a permanent war with non-Muslims to establish the religion. Muslims thus have to use Taquiyya, lies, to legitimize their aggression on Israel and the West. That is why Muslim countries can never abandon the constant hate propaganda, lies and misinformation about Israel and the West. If that ends, their jihad ends. The UN must be constantly bombarded by complaints from Arab countries against Israel. The Arab street must be constantly bombarded with ridiculous accusations and Zionist conspiracies. Lately on Syrian TV a Syrian intellectual accused Israel of stealing human organs in Haiti while they were helping them after the earthquake. This is not something new; it started in the 7th century, when the prophet Mohammed accused the Jews of treason to justify killing and expelling them and taking over their wealth. To explain this away, he stated that Jews are worthy of this treatment since they are the descendants of apes pigs and enemies of Allah. Muslims still use the same dynamic and the world still falls for it every time.
The Arab mind was trained to never venture outside of the box of Islamic superiority, and that prevented us from treating the rest of humanity as equals. It is alien to Muslim preachers today to preach love to all of humanity and wishing non-Muslims the same human rights as Muslims. I have never heard that from a Muslim preacher. Only after 9/11 and in the West today, do we see some Muslim preachers trying to preach some Western values and engage in interfaith dialogue, in order to rehabilitate the image of Islam in the West and attract more converts.
I often get mail from secular Muslims who ask me: I can understand that you chose to leave Islam, but how can you support the Jews? I get mail like this because, in the Muslim mindset, loving, accepting and feeling good about Jews or Christians and thinking of them as equals, is unthinkable and an act of treason to Islam itself and even worse. It is as though the whole religion of Islam is dedicated to hating and killing Jews.
After centuries of this kind of education, the Muslim world produced a dysfunctional society, unable to relate to the rest of the world. While wanting to convince the world they are a religion of peace, do not be afraid of Islam, they are still hell-bent on conquering the world for Islam. That is Islam’s dilemma today.
What I, and a few others, are trying to do is to bring the truth to both Muslims and non-Muslims to finally face this sick game. We want to encourage Arabs to look at Jews and others as human beings and not as enemies to conquer. What kind of God will tell his followers to kill more than half of humanity if they don’t submit to Islam? The Muslim world today is a disaster waiting to happen. Ahmadinejad, who is not an Arab, wants to continue the Islamic jihad against Jews by destroying Israel. I have news to especially the Left in Europe and America: Islamic jihad will not end with Israel; you will be next.
To my email writer: in your letter to me, I have noticed that your outlook on life is pessimistic describing it as short and meaningless pride. Your views are prevalent in Muslim culture and I have heard it thousands of times when I lived in the Middle East. I remember even when we laughed and giggled as young girls, we were immediately silenced as being improper and that Allah somehow does not like us to laughing for no reason or in public. Even a heartfelt laugh to a Muslim was not going to get you friends, but critics. Your message to me and to Muslims is that life on earth will not get us happiness and the only escape from such misery is the everlasting happiness in the pleasures of Allah’s paradise after dying in jihad. But why take the Jews with us? They want to live and enjoy life and to make the earth, right here, a better place.
Our rejection of life is not a coincidence: since jihad does not value life, then it must value death. The first casualty of the jihad principle is peace and that is why I never learned peace as a value in Gaza. I have never heard a peaceful song in Arabic. To think of peace with the Jews is equal to treason to Islam. Rejection of peace has detrimental consequences to the healthy functioning of the Arab personality, family, society and the whole region. It is not a coincidence that Saudis reject under the law any celebration of Valentine’s Day, reject celebrating love between a man and a woman, teaching peace and compassion to their children towards the others. Just look at our Islamic law books and see the most cruel and unusual punishments ever created in any culture on earth. Only a culture that demands war and terror can promote such cruelty.
As to your question about hating my father, again I want to assure you that I adore and respect my father more than all of the people of Gaza. Actually I love him and wish him heaven not because he killed Jews, but because he was a good human being who was respected by many including the Israeli soldiers who killed him. He was known even to Israel as a cut above his peers and had integrity and honor. My father was the victim of the blood-thirsty culture of death all around him. He is one of the many thousands and even millions of victims of the jihad ideology, practiced over the last 1400 years.
Dear Gaza resident, yes, I cannot blame the Jewish people, or the government of Israel, for what you call the ‘misery’ of the Palestinians. I can only blame Arab and Islamic culture which used and abused you and which you allowed. I believe that this is an Arab self-inflicted crisis that has nothing to do with Israel.
Arab education has never told us the truth about the Israeli people and the story from their side and what Jerusalem means to them. We were told that Jerusalem was a Muslim city simply because Mohammed dreamt one night that he went to the farthest mosque but he never mentioned Jerusalem. The Koran never mentioned Jerusalem, which is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible as the heart and soul of the Jewish people. We as Muslims never respected other religions holy cites and always claimed them to Islam; even Spain and India are being claimed as Muslim land. It was the tradition of Muslim conquerors to convert churches and temples to mosques and that is exactly what happened to the Jewish Temple Mount when 100 years after the prophet Mohammed died, Muslim conquerors built the mosque right on top of it. Just imagine if Jews or Christians had built a temple on top of the Kaaba in Mecca. This is how Islam has treated the Jews. It is time for Muslims to seek redemption and forgiveness and to extend the hand of reconciliation and peace to the Jewish people.