The Muslim world is chockfull of rage at injustices both real and imagined. Now that we finally have some minimal face-time in the mass media, we have a long list of grievances which we wish to make known.
The “Satanic West” and “Evil Israel” feature prominently in our tirades. The former is hated mostly because of colonial-era grudges and the colonial legacy. Of course, everyone knows that before the colonial period Muslims were Allah’s gift to the planet disseminating the seeds of wisdom, tolerance and progress in our wake.
In contrast, there are almost two billion Muslims who sit on 70 percent of the oil of the world, not to mention countless other natural resources. When the history of this period is written, it will scarcely seem believable that the huge Muslim nation felt victimized by the tiny Jewish nation. If we are impoverished and oppressed, it is, first and foremost, our own fault.
While the US government does indeed support the House of Saud, it is not Prince Bush who sits on the throne. While the Israeli government does indeed oppress the Palestinians, Jordanians were the ones who occupied their territories from 1948 to 1967, not Israelis.
While the US government supplied arms to the most extreme of the Afghan mujahideen, American soldiers were not the ones who massacred the Hazaras in Mazar-e-Sharif. While the US government provided critical support to Saddam Hussein right through the worst of his atrocities, Iraqi soldiers were the ones busily gassing Kurds in their north, massacring Shias in their south, invading Kuwait in their south-west and threatening Jordan to their west, not Americans.
Americans and Israelis do not rule our countries. If our leaders are corrupt sell-outs, it is up to us to rectify that. There were no Arabs in the vanguard of the French Revolution. There were no Indonesians fighting alongside the native American tribes against the European colonists. Similarly, Muslim countries will not attain salvation by waiting for noble Westerners to solve their problems, or by constantly complaining and asking for more aid, investment and visas.