Truth is that the large majority of non-Americans don't hate us. It may come as a shock to our collective egos but non-Americans do not sit around wringing their hands over anything American. They're too busy worrying about their own families and trying to make a living. In the rare times they are confronted by
Obviously there are people out there who do hate us with such intensity that they are willing to die to kill as many of us as possible. We've labeled these people as terrorists. Unfortunately the number of terrorists may be growing. Although there are a number of nationalistic liberation organizations, the terrorists threatening
Nothing stirs human emotions like beliefs associated with supernatural beings. Parents have even killed their children for religious beliefs (several cases were recently reported). Many preliterate people sacrificially killed their children on an altar to their gods and the same religious views justified the slaughter of their neighbors. Let my Christian colleagues feel a sense of superiority, we should remember that we have historically killed non-Christians and, incredibly, one another in the name of Jesus Christ. Millions of them. Religious systems generally justify the killing of others in the name of their deity.
True, the historical
Americans should be able to understand Islam's view, since we have oodles of Christian fundamentalists also fighting modernity. This is our nation's "little dirty secret" we loathe to acknowledge and confront. First, bombing an abortion clinics is an act of terrorism. Supposedly these are evil places operated by evil people and need to be eliminated for the sake of creating a Godly society. This is the same line used by Islamic terrorists. Second, Christian fundamentalists work to ban books and magazines as a means of protecting people from evil ideas. Islamic fundamentalists do the same. Third, Christian fundamentalists, like their Islamic colleagues, also fear science, since it refutes biblical literalism and undermines the church's moral authority. Christian fundamentalists correctly view scientific evolution as undermining the authority of the Bible.
The modernist genie is out of the bottle and permeates and drives Western civilization. It liberates the individual and questions historic, taken-for-granted worldviews, replacing them with what most Westerners consider to be more accurate and useful views. Religious fundamentalists, of whatever brand, are deeply threatened by the modern worldview. No matter how many Saddams we displace, religious fundamentalism, wherever found and however disguised, is fertile breeding ground for the most lethal brand of terrorism.