Another interesting article. I found out about this one by way of Instapundit. It’s by Matthias Küntzel. Jew-Hatred and Jihad The Nazi roots of the 9/11 attack:

As in the 1930s and 1940s, the sheer absurdity of the claims makes it difficult for educated people to believe that anyone could take them seriously. Nonetheless, this notion of Jews as the root of all evil continues to inspire the mass murder of civilians in Israel and to motivate the joy with which Islamists greet those murders. “Hitler’s Islamic heirs,” as the historian Jehuda Bauer has called the Islamists, have replaced an anticolonialism aspiring to emancipation with a Jew-hatred aspiring to salvation through the annihilation of everyone “Jewish.” It should not be surprising to find Osama bin Laden accusing “the Jews” of “taking hostage America and the West”–or to find Mohamed Atta’s acquaintances attributing to him a Nazi worldview. What is truly surprising is that this Islamist hatred of Jews is often overlooked by Western analysts, political actors, and media.

As noted above, the 9/11 Commission Report is a case in point. Instead of discussing the fact that Jew-hatred had reached epidemic proportions in the Islamic world well before September 11, the report gives the impression that Islamism originally arose in response to recent American and Western policies. This is first conveyed in a remark on the early days of Islamism, when, we are told, “Fundamentalists helped articulate anticolonial grievances,” an idea that ignores crucial dimensions of the outlook of the Muslim Brotherhood of the 1930s. The stereotypical message that the West is responsible is repeated in the report’s analysis of bin Laden’s motives: “Bin Laden’s grievance with the United States may have started in reaction to specific U.S. policies but it quickly became far deeper.” The report gets the history wrong. The al Qaeda leader was first politicized not by “specific U.S. policies,” but by the writings of Sayyid Qutb and the jihadist lectures of Abdullah Azzam. As a result, the commission’s explanation of al Qaeda’s appeal is one-sided: “As political, social, and economic problems created flammable societies, Bin Laden used Islam’s most extreme fundamentalist traditions as his match.”

It is, of course, true that Islamists seek to exploit social problems for their own ends. But Islamism is not an ideology that ignites protest as it rubs up against social injustice. On the contrary, what provokes Islamist violence is any sign of modern development in the Muslim world: scientific inquiry, political or personal self-determination, economic progress, women’s equality, freedom of expression in cinema and theater. The radicalization of Islam is less the consequence of poverty and lack of opportunity than their cause.

The refusal to see this and to recognize the substance of Islamist ideology–the death cult, the hatred of Jews, and the profound hatred of freedom–leads back again and again to the mistaken “discovery” that the “root cause” of terrorism is U.S. policies. Ultimately, the refusal to recognize al Qaeda’s true motives results in a reversal of responsibility: The more deadly the terrorism, the greater the American guilt. The appeal of this approach is related to the specious hope it holds out: If suicide terrorism has its roots in U.S. policy, then a change in U.S. policy can assuage terrorism and the fear it induces. Al Qaeda, meanwhile, benefits, since the bloodier its attacks, the greater the anger against .  .  . the United States.

The same pattern explains the bizarre reaction to the Middle East conflict that is widespread in the West: The average observer, ignorant of the anti-Jewish content of the Hamas Charter, has to find some other explanation for terrorism against Jews, which must be–Israel. It is not the terrorists who are guilty, but their victims. Finding suicide terrorism incomprehensible, Westerners rationalize it as an act of despair that invites sympathy. Tout comprendre, c’est tout pardonner. Here, too, following the principle of “the more barbaric the anti-Jewish terror, the greater the Israeli guilt,” the bombers’ victims become the scapegoat for global terrorism. The old stereotype of Jewish guilt is thus amplified in contemporary form–and only encourages the terrorists.

A struggle against Islamism waged in ignorance of Islamist ideology weakens the West. The attribution of guilt to Israel and the United States adds fuel to the flames of Islamist propaganda and drives the wedge deeper into the Western camp rather than where it belongs–in the Muslim world.

I’d recommend reading the entire article.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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