Hating Islam: Is It Possible?

By: Harry Foundalis


This page is part of the author’s set of pages on religion.


Dear Muslim reader,

Several of you, having read my other articles about Islam, concluded that I must be “hating Islam”, and thus sent me some wonderful exemplars of hate-mail. Worse yet, some of you think that I must be definitely “hating Muslims”! In this short note I want to explain to you how wrong your conclusions are, and why.

You will immediately understand my feelings and attitude toward Islam and Muslims with a simple analogy.

Imagine that you learn that a group of people who live in another neighborhood, but near your own neighborhood, have been afflicted with the cholera.

The above painting depicts the affliction not of cholera but of the plague (a.k.a. “black death”) in Medieval Europe.
Sorry, I couldn’t find a public-domain depiction of the affliction of cholera that’s just as impressive as this one.

What would your reaction toward those people be? Could you ever imagine that you’d hate them?

Of course not — that would be not just absurd, but reprehensible. How can you ever harbor feelings of hatred against such unfortunate human beings? “Poor people!” — that’s the thought that comes immediately to every sane person’s mind. If only such a horrible disease had not afflicted them, so they could live healthy lives! It is not their fault that they got the cholera, that’s the underlying thought that you make, subconsciously. So, how can anyone accuse them for their condition and hate them — it doesn’t make sense. One can only wish they overcome their disease and live like everyone else, that’s all.

What about the disease itself? Can you ever say that you hate cholera?

Again, of course not. Cholera doesn’t have a mind so as to be blamed and, therefore, hated. We can hate conscious agents, not things. Cholera doesn’t have a volition, making hateful decisions and acting in evil ways. It simply spreads. What you want to do as a proper reaction — instead of hating cholera, which leads you nowhere — is to take every possible measure so that the disease doesn’t spread in your neighborhood.

Now, the situation with Muslims and Islam is a little more complicated. It is as if those cholera-afflicted people wish to contaminate your neighborhood with their disease — indeed, they want it very much! The reason is that they cannot understand that it is the cholera that causes them to be in such a wretched condition. They cannot make the connection between their disease and their living in filthy, squalid slums, in shacks made of cardboard paper, where every item of technology that they use comes from the healthy neighborhoods, whereas themselves eat dirty food, die like the flies, and attack each other, often killing each other. At the same time they know that people in other neighborhoods live healthy lives, they envy them, and want to move there. But when they emigrate in a clean neighborhood — because the local residents have not understood yet what cholera is and what danger it poses for their own health — the sick people never want to get rid of their disease. Since they fail to make the connection between cholera and their wretchedness, not only do they wish to keep having their disease, but even strive to contaminate all the rest of the world!

It should be clear now that what motivates us healthy people has nothing to do with hatred. We want to keep living our lives in health — that’s our sole motivation. But to be able to live as we do, we have to protect ourselves from your disease and from your attempts to contaminate us. And what we do for our protection, you perceive it — wrongly — as “hatred”. There is a good explanation for your error. Hatred for the “others”, the “infidels”, the “kuffar”, is part of your religion. Hatred is woven into the fabric of your religious thinking. So, naturally, when you see the “others” resisting what you want to shove down their throats, you perceive their reaction as “hatred”. “The infidels don’t want Islam, ergo, they hate us!”, you think. No, it’s not hatred. We simply don’t want your cholera.

The difference between us and you is that we don’t force you to get rid of your cholera and adopt our healthy, cholera-free way of living. Whereas you, if we give you the chance, wish to contaminate us with your disease and make us sick like you.

If you managed to read all of the above without grinding your teeth with anger and without froth pouring out of your mouth, you must have a serious objection: does Islam deserve to be likened to cholera, and you to sick people? The answer that many non-Muslims give is a resounding “Yes!”, but why? Because we see the wretchedness — which I mentioned earlier — that prevails in the Islamic world. We see, for example, that every high-tech item that you use is designed and produced in the non-Islamic world; you can only buy it, not make it. Most of you are extremely poor, and those of you who are “filthy rich” are so because of a geographic coincidence: you happen to sit on top of vast reserves of hydrocarbons. Those hydrocarbons, however, would be entirely useless to you if the Western industrial world did not exist; because camels, as is well known, do not drink oil; hence you should thank the West for whatever wealth you have, instead of hating it. Health issues in your nations are completely neglected; as a result, you have much higher infant mortality rates than most of the rest of the world. That your babies have so high chances to die not only should make you feel ashamed, but have a red light blinking together with the word “cholera” in your mind. You, as adults, do not have much better luck either, because your life expectancy is abysmally low. Democracies in your countries do not exist, and the only form of government that you can function with is the dictatorship. (The recent history of Turkey is an excellent example: as long as it was a secular nation — forced to be such by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk — it was a semi-functioning democracy; but as soon as it reverted to Islamism, it went back to authoritarianism, ruled dictatorially by Erdogan.) Fine arts, such as painting and sculpting, are foreign to Islam, due to the ill-conceived notion that painting or sculpting faces would lead you to idolatry — as if you are retarded and cannot understand that the representation of a face should not by itself cause idolatry without your willful consent, and you need your religion to ban that for you. As for music, dance, and theater, again, they’re arts foreign to Islam, as the most extreme versions of Islamism show: in the Taliban regime of Afghanistan and in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria they execute even teenagers who dare to listen to music. If you don’t want the word “cholera” to describe all the above, then choose your own word — bubonic plague, ebola, there are several other options — but choose something that can cause the devastation in societies that Islam is seen to cause.

Finally, what is the reason, or reasons, for which Islam causes such large-scale devastation in societies? Well, that’s a separate and quite complicated question. To answer that, I would need to write a much longer text, reaching a small book in size. Just very briefly, my answer would be based upon:

  • The fatalistic attitude in Islam, according to which improving our conditions in this life is meaningless, because what really matters is the afterlife — an attitude shared to some extent by Christianity, which also suffered from the same affliction in centuries past, until it was pushed aside by modernity, reason, and scientific progress.

  • The treatment of Muslim women as “home furniture”, which essentially disables the potential of 50% of the society. An Islamic society is like a plane that flies with half of its engines turned off. Actually, such a plane can’t fly. It can never take off.

  • The suppression of freedom in Islam, which is not a religion like all the rest but a totalitarian regime, a “full way of living”, as you Muslims like to boast. Suppressing freedom of thought and of expression implies suppressing scientific progress, because the latter can only occur in a free environment, where maverick ideas can blossom, and authority can be questioned and challenged.

  • The meddling of the always energy-hungry West in the Middle East, because of the oil deposits. But the Islamic world extends far beyond the oil deposits of the Middle East, and we see the same “cholera”, the same wretchedness everywhere, wherever Islam gets the upper hand in societies of the world. So this explanation can only be a weak one.

But, as I said, this is not the place to argue why Islam is like the cholera. My point was that I can hate neither the sick people, nor the disease itself, wanting only to protect myself from it; and I hope I explained my view adequately enough.

Kindest regards to all Muslims,
-Harry Foundalis.


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