Information Warfare: Islamic Myths

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September 30, 2014: One reason for the continued Moslem hostility towards Israel is frustration at not being able to get more non-Moslems to agree with or at least understand the Moslem view of the world and Israel. To most Moslems it’s perfectly natural to hate Jews and insist that Israel should not exist. These are indeed alien concepts to most Westerners and non-Moslems. To get a better idea of where Moslems are coming from consider the fact (based on opinion surveys of Moslems) that most Moslems see themselves as Moslems first, and feel that the non-Moslem world is out to get them. The intense hatred of Israel is better understood if you keep in mind some key elements of Islamic history. First, Islam is a very intolerant religion. Their scripture calls for any Moslem who converts to another religion be killed. Moreover, that particular rule is regularly obeyed by Islamic conservatives, even if local civil law forbids it. According to the Koran, other religions are only tolerated as long as the infidels (non-Moslems) pay higher taxes, do not hold positions of authority in the government, do not try to convert Moslems, and keep their own religious activities low key. Note, for example, that in Saudi Arabia, non-Moslem houses of worship are forbidden, as are public religious ceremonies for any other religion.

Infidels have been persecuted and driven out of the Islamic world for centuries. The percentage of Christians in the Middle East has been declining particularly rapidly in the last century. Sure, the infidels "get along" with Moslems in the Middle East, but they do so on Moslem terms. Another unique aspect of Islam is the triumph of religious conservatives along with the constant persecution and suppression of original thinkers and innovators. This struggle between innovators and conservatives has been going on for over a thousand years and is a typical feature of many religions. When Islam first appeared it was, in many ways, quite progressive for its time. But then most religions are. Yet seven hundred years later the Europeans were undergoing a social and intellectual renaissance, and the Islamic world was going in the other direction. The Europeans solved their problems with religious fanaticism and factionalism. That is why when Moslems talk about all the West owes the Islamic world in terms of science, they must refer to events many centuries in the past. It also explains why the Middle East now has such high rates of illiteracy, and such low rates of scientific and economic accomplishment.

Israel makes those difference too obvious and embarrassing for most Moslems. That's particularly painful because over a third of the Israeli population are Middle Easterners, the descendants of Jews expelled from Middle Eastern countries after Israel was founded in 1947. These "Sephardi" Jews look like Arabs and often still speak Arabic because their families lived in Arab countries for thousands of years. Yet the Sephardim are much better educated and economically successful than their Moslem cousins. So is Israel as a whole. Many Arabs will admit that Israel must go because it embarrasses the Moslem world. The despots that still run most Arab countries encourage this concentrated hatred of Israel, and blaming of Israel for the regions problems, as a way to deflect criticism of their own miserable misrule. The whole "Israel is the biggest problem in the Middle East" issue is a scam, to enable local tyrants to keep their people down, and many of the people are starting to wise up.

Part of that awakening is a growing "Arab Reform Movement" in the Middle East that believes the problems in the Arab world are internal, not external. The fact that an increasing number of Arabs support this movement, and that governments are not trying to exterminate it, is encouraging. But the reform movement is pushing against centuries of conservatism, and opposition to the kinds of things that Westerners take for granted. Meanwhile, Most Arabs still prefer to believe in conspiracies and fantasies, rather than deal with the reality of their situation.

Israelis are appalled at how so many in the West are either ignorant of these realities, or simply refuse to believe it. There's a comprehension gap here that the Israelis fear will lead to serious attempts to destroy Israel and kill lots of Jews. After World War II, most Jews said "never again" (to mass murder like the Nazis engaged in against the Jews.) But here it is, all over again, except this time the Nazis are speaking Arabic, and aren't nearly as well organized.

 

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