This is why they hate us: The truth about the roots of Muslim extremism

Sarah Chayes in Salon:

Abd al-Rahman Atiya, killed in a drone strike in 2011, conceded that the 9/11 attacks had been launched because of hatred for some aspects of Western culture, but the main rationale was the U.S. role enabling Arab kleptocracies.

Yes we hate the corruptive financial lifestyle that does not please God . . . But . . . the more important reason is their . . . appointing collaborative regimes for them in our countries. Then they support these regimes and corruptive governments against their people, who demand freedom and want to abide by Islam.

George_w_bush4This Western support for Middle Eastern kleptocracies was “the real reason that pushed the mujahideen to carry out these blessed attacks.” Atiya went on to blast the aspects of Western culture he deemed most objectionable—excesses that have seemed especially pronounced since the 1990s: “It is a corrupt, wayward, and unjust system . . . based on beastly behavior, and seven principles: greed, gluttony, injustice, selfishness, extreme materialism, abandonment of religion.” In this context—and recalling the history of Dutch Protestants ransacking the physical manifestations of Catholic kleptocracy—the choice of the Pentagon and the Twin Towers, near Wall Street, as the target of the 9/11 attacks may take on an enhanced meaning. Perhaps Al Qaeda’s main intent was not to kill large numbers of Americans so much as to visit a spectacular symbolic punishment upon the manifestations of what it saw as a criminal kleptocracy that controlled the most powerful instruments of force on earth. Perhaps Al Qaeda was in fact committing an act of iconoclasm: replicating the kind of sentences that the 1566 Protestants executed on churches and articles of devotion the length and breadth of the Low Countries. These roughly comparable instances, from diçerent centuries and religions, exemplify a persistent relationship between corruption and religious extremism. In periods of acute, self-serving behavior on the part of public leaders, Christians and Muslims alike have often sought a corrective in strict codes of personal behavior derived from the precepts of puritanical religion. And they have imposed it, if necessary, by force. Those who object to this remedy should look for other ways to cure the cause. These roughly comparable instances, from diçerent centuries and religions, exemplify a persistent relationship between corruption and religious extremism. In periods of acute, self-serving behavior on the part of public leaders, Christians and Muslims alike have often sought a corrective in strict codes of personal behavior derived from the precepts of puritanical religion. And they have imposed it, if necessary, by force. Those who object to this remedy should look for other ways to cure the cause.

More here.

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