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Jewish World Review Jan. 14, 2003 / 11 Shevat, 5763

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager
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Why the Arab world hates America --- time to myth-bust | Why is America hated in the Arab world?

According to leftists and to Arab and Islamic spokesmen, the reasons are: American support for non-democratic regimes in the Arab world -- such as in Egypt and Saudi Arabia -- and because America supports Israel.

Before positing what I believe to be the reasons, let's answer these two arguments.

The argument that America is hated by Arabs because it supports non-democratic regimes in the Arab world would be regarded as hilarious were it not believed by so many gullible people in the West.

The argument presupposes that what the Arabs (and Muslims elsewhere) who hate America want are open and free societies. But there is not a shred of evidence to support this. Is there any movement for pluralism, openness and democracy among those who hate America? Of course not. The Arab governments most opposed to America and which America therefore least influences -- Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Libya -- have less freedom than the corrupt Arab regimes that America does support. As corrupt and repressive as the Egyptian government is, Egypt is free compared to the aforementioned countries.

And if the United States ceased to pour billions of dollars a year into Egypt and the Mubarak dictatorship then fell, what would supplant it? Democracy? Openness? Pluralism? Freedom of speech?

We all know the answer. In every Arab country, a corrupt regime supported by America would be supplanted by a Taliban-type Islamic/fascist regime.

So let's call this argument what it is -- a lie. Overwhelmingly, the Arabs who hate us don't want a free and open society; they want an Islamic totalitarian one. American influence in the Arab world prevents our haters there from imposing their vicious expression of Islam, not from establishing Jeffersonian democracy.

As for the second argument, yes, our support for Israel's security further inflames the hatred of those Arabs (and Muslims elsewhere) who hate us. But why do they hate Israel? Why are they so obsessed with a tiny state in a part of the Arab and Islamic world that they utterly ignored until Jews made a civilization there?

Because America's and Israel's haters are ethnic and religious haters on a magnitude not seen since the Nazis. They loathe everything Israel (and its American supporter) represents -- freedom, democracy, openness, individual autonomy, freedom of religion, pluralism, women's equality and sexual freedom. They want Israel dead. Gone. Exterminated. They say so publicly, and they say so in polls. Yet, the educated fools and the Israel- and America-haters of the West ignore all this and blame Israel for trying to exist and America for enabling it to do so.

If America abandoned Israel, our Arab and Muslim haters would rejoice, but they would surely not stop hating us. Not one of them. They would only conclude that their terror worked, and that America will give in when the threats are great enough. One proof? Most Muslims living in Europe, which has abandoned Israel, continue to loathe Europe. Europe's abandonment of Israel has only convinced them -- for good reason -- that Europe has lost its moral fiber and is ripe for an Islamic takeover.

Arab and other Muslims who hate America do so:

  • Because America alone (and the little America in the Middle East, Israel) prevents the expansion of Islamic rule.

  • Because expansionist totalitarian movements, whether Soviet communism or radical Islam, always hate free societies, and America is the strongest free society.

  • Because America is not only strong, it is religious (as opposed to Europe, which is weak and irreligious).

  • Because America is not only Christian; it is Judeo-Christian, the two religions the Islamists need to overcome to expand globally.

The greatest problem confronting America is not that people who loathe freedom loathe us. Indeed, it is to America's enduring credit that it is hated by Islamists. Our great problem is that so many in our country do not understand that those who loathe liberty loathe America. For this reason, the battle for America's future is at home more than it is in Iraq or Afghanistan or in al Qaeda's caves.

We talk a great deal about winning Arabs' and Muslims' minds and hearts. Yet, we have yet to win all Americans' minds and hearts. For confirmation, just visit your local university.

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JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He the author of, most recently, "Happiness is a Serious Problem". Click here to visit his website and here to comment on this column.


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© 2002, Creators Syndicate