The Middle East is not the West.
It sounds obvious, but this distinction evades the Western press and people, and it’s a problem because Extremists exploit this failure of understanding to advance their own nefarious agendas.
What do I mean? Westerners believe all people are good at the core. We presume that all people deep down just want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This presumption is wrong. As we are seeing in the Middle East, there are Islamic Extremists that do not revere these fair aspirations, but instead glorify death, subjugate and oppress, and silence individual pursuits, dreams and freedoms through violence, torture and murder.
That comment sounds severe to your Western sensibilities, doesn’t it? (I’m sure I’ll get some nasty-grams about it.) You can’t believe it, you won’t believe. And that’s how they get you.
Terrorists can continue apace so long as the West refuses to ignore the obvious, refuses to ignore their true nature, which they are shamelessly demonstrating over and over again. In the last few weeks alone we’ve seen: Christians persecuted and crucified, and thousands of civilians mass murdered in Iraq and Syria. We’ve seen thousands of rockets lobbed into Israel, discovered tunnels armed with tranquilizers and handcuffs, primed for mass massacre and the kidnapping of 200 civilians. Yet we still can’t concede that these people’s ideology fundamentally differs from our own. Ergo, we grant them the freedom to take away others’ freedoms because we believe in freedom. It’s twisted.
To better understand, let me recommend some summer reading. “The Haj,” a historical fiction based on over 1,000 interviews, delves deep into the tribal mentality of the Middle East and exposes, from the inside, the ideology the West is up against. It encapsulates, in detail, the early years of Jewish-and-Arab Palestine. Written from the Arab point of view, The reader sees the slippery slope of extremism. The action-packed book moves, rich with history, description, character, and some of the finest writing I’ve ever read. Uris too wrote, “The Exodus,” the famous novel and film that led us all to believe that Paul Newman was the greatest Zionist of all time. Though missed by many in my generation, I hope to bring it back to people’s attention. Understanding the Arab tribal mentality and Jihad is crucial right now.
Lest anyone try to dismiss this novel’s authenticity because Uris himself was a Jew, let me share an honest review I found on a book-review site:
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