Sunday, February 3, 2013

Faith driven culture of hate

The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) title is misleading: Why Middle East Muslims are taught to hate Jews. We are not told why Middle East Muslims are taught to hate. But we are told why there is so much hated of Jews in the Middle East - they are taught that hatred. It is nearly imprinted.
"All over the Middle East, hatred for Jews and Zionists can be found in textbooks for children as young as 3, complete with illustrations of Jews with monster-like qualities. Mainstream educational television programs are consistently anti-Semitic. In songs, books, newspaper articles, and blogs, Jews are variously compared to pigs, donkeys, rats, and cockroaches, and also to vampires and a host of other imaginary creatures."
The author speaks from personal experience. He notes among other things that: "Our religious tutors and the preachers in our mosques set aside extra time to pray for the destruction of Jews." He also draws attention to the remarks of the Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi when he was "the then-leader of the Muslim Brotherhood described Zionists as “bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians,” “warmongers,” and “descendants of apes and pigs.” [See too Egypt’s Leader, Morsi, Made Anti-Jewish Slurs].

It is a faith of hatred - the blind indoctrination of and adherence to religious teaching and subornation. An argument might be made, not well founded though, that the Israelis conduct themselves similarly. I know of no evidence that lends any credence to that position. But the Israelis do argue defense of their homeland - not that those who wish to excise them from the Middle East are "pigs, donkeys, rats, and cockroaches, and [are] vampires and a host of other imaginary creatures."

The hated isn't there in the Jews. I may be drawing a fine line of distinction, but if the attitude of the Jews toward any of their acknowledged enemies could be defined as hate - then it wouldn't measure up to the hatred taught by the Muslims.

Arguably hate is not limited to the Middle East Muslims. Certainly anti-Muslim intolerance at times seems rampant in the United States without any factual basis. But is it hatred or intolerance? Maybe it is merely fear and ignorance.

Remember the toxic arguments from the right against the establishment mosque at ground zero, actually only nearby? But in September 2011  it opened and it was hardly noticed. What an absolutely absurd fuss was made by news media like Fox News pandering only to those whose ideas might have found sympathy with the Mahmoud Ahmadinejads of the world.

The author of the CSM piece makes the point that it is a taught hatred across a broad spectrum of Middle East Muslims that is the obstacle to peace. He calls for the acknowledgment of  "the breadth and depth of the attitude toward Jews in the Middle East, and how that affects the much desired but elusive peace process between Israel and the Palestinians."

He apparently sees that acknowledgment as an opportunity for the American administration and leading newspapers, but doesn't that acknowledgment have to come from within the Muslim Middle East? And isn't that just the start? Shouldn't those of the Muslim faith across the world take the same opportunity?

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