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Understanding the Opposing Mindset 

By: Kent Thaler 

Guest Opiner 


I have had several conversations...some very heated...with people in my real life and through email where the subject of motive for the terrorist bombings in NY and Washington has come up. In the course of one of these conversations a friend of mine asked why the Muslims hate us? He went on to suggest that it is because of our support for Israel. He is wrong. American support for Israel is but a symptom of a much deeper motive...FEAR.

The Arab/Muslim states hate us not because we support Israel...but because we condemn their way of life (no civil rights for women, dictatorships, no free press etc) as if we are superior to them (which we are). The conflicts with Israel are an example of them lashing out at their fears. Israel exists because of a democratic vote by an organization (the UN) which at the time, 1948, consisted of mostly Western Nations and was (and still is) head quartered in New York. This vote, the adoption of UN resolution 252 has been a cause celebre for the Arab states ever since...a concrete entity they can now vilify. In reality, most of the Arab nations do not want peace of a solution to the Palestinian problem because it would mean they would have to focus on the internal problems stemming from the squalid living conditions of their own citizenry.

The real motive as I see it is fear. If US style freedom were ever let loose in the Moslem world the power structure would be turned on its head (see Iran during the Shah's). The religious do not want to give up power, they have managed to coop people in resource rich countries like Saudi Arabia or the UAE. They manage to rule dictatorially in countries like Iran and Iraq. They threaten the pro western governments of Algiers and Egypt daily because they can sow seeds of uncertainty in populations that have never seen prosperity...It is all done by manufacturing an enemy the people can rally around. In the case of the terrorists...they take the message a few steps too far. No more complicated than that. They are condition to believe the above is true and then they are conditioned to believe that fighting the infidels who support such noble ideas as freedom is Allah's (God's) will. Understanding their plight is a step towards understanding that these suicide electors do so because logically the life on Earth is not worth living compared to the promises waiting in heaven.

Specifically Bin Laden hates America because he thinks it cooped Saudi Arabia and the purity of the Islam practiced there. Read that as...we American infidels with our women who wear short sleeves and drive cars, and our Men who tolerate vanity have started to poison the pure Saudi culture. He hates America because it bombed his friends in Iraq...infidels themselves but at least there is a base there to work with in converting them to true believers. He hates America because we support Israel...not that we support peace in the middle East but because we support Israel's right to exist...something he needs to fight against to keep the money flowing to his operations. Finally he hates America because we have freedom of thought, expression, movement and press...ideas which threaten his livelihood. He is petrified he will be exposed for the fraud he is and then have to answer to his friends...the fallacy of the false hope he provided.

Kent Thaler