Understanding the Muslim World
There's a guy named Mostafa who is currently posting on an online forum I frequent. He's Egyptian, and he first stopped by to "educate" us about Islam. He's adamantly convinced that Islam has never hurt anyone who hasn't attacked first, and that Jews are evil babykillers. So fine, that's about what I'd expect. But then a part of the discussion included the following. He's explaining why he wants the Muslim Brotherhood to take over Egypt, and he started by explaining why a secular government is bad.
Mostafa: In many other Western countries which are secular, Muslims are persecuted and oppressed.
Response: In what way? Give specific examples.
Mostafa: Production of the hostile caricature of the prophet Mohammed hurts the senses of all Muslims all over the world.
Response: The cartoons and not persecution and the fact that you think they are says a lot more about your shortcomings than those of the west.
Mostafa: No, they are of course persecution because they annoy Muslims and hurt their senses.
Now... everyone on earth has met people who consider annoyance and hurt feelings to be legitimate cause for violent physical response. These people are small children. Toddlers, mostly. And that was the missing piece, really. You have to teach toddlers not to act that way. "Use your words."
All of today's Muslim culture is suffering from arrested development. They think and emote as toddlers. When we face the Muslim world, we are facing a billion heavily armed rabid toddlers, with no impulse control, who operate under the Toddler Rules of Acquisition. In case you're unfamiliar with these, they were a parody of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition from Star Trek: Deep Space 9, but they took on a life of their own, because they do such a good job of explaining the toddler mindset:
- If I like it, it's mine.
- If it's in my hand, it's mine.
- If I can take it from you, it's mine.
- If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
- If it's mine, you must NEVER touch it.
- If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
- If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
- If I saw it first, it's mine.
- If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
- If it's broken, it's yours.
Number 10 isn't so much a Muslim view, but the rest of them surely are.And it's vitally important to remember who we're dealing with when we deal with the Muslim world. Time after time after time, I've seen people assume that they are just like us. That they want the same things we do. Peace. Tranquility. Prosperity. And they are just like us. Only the "us" they're just like is us at age 4. And what they want is: Mine, mine, mine!
(Caveat, for all the racism-shouters. Not all Muslims suffer from this form of arrested development. There are individual Muslims who are nothing at all like this. Who are civilized adults. But they are powerless in the face of the billion of their coreligionists who would as soon kill them as look at them should they ever express contrary views. And they are not the people we're dealing with when we deal with Muslim countries and Muslim organizations across the world.)