Why Do They Hate Us?

In his address to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001, nine days after we watched the twin towers of the World Trade Center horrifically collapse onto their own footprints, taking the lives of almost 3000 people, then–president George W. Bush said, “Americans are asking, ‘Why do they hate us?’”  He set the stage for the subsequent and ongoing “War on Terror” with his answer: “… they hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other”.  And the invasions began.

From that profound moment in history until today, “They hate our freedoms” is an explanation we all seem pretty comfortable going with.  And, appallingly, as a nation we seem quite agreeable to a so-called “War on Terror”, which, by well-researched estimates, has cost the lives of 1.2 million Muslims, and counting.  But Bush’s pathetic explanation is wholly unsatisfying.  With respect to direct causality, surely there must be a more definitive answer.  From a rational perspective, why would 19 well-educated Arabs from stable family backgrounds, forfeit their lives in such violent manner?

The journey that led me to a more satisfying answer to this question began by wanting, needing to understand how the culture that I had personally experienced as deeply hospitable and profoundly gracious could produce men that would fly airliners into skyscrapers.  “They hate our freedoms” wasn’t doing it for me.  Suicide attacks are the acts of desperate men and women.  I had to know why.  As I began to pull on the barely protruding thread of this tangled ball of yarn, I was truly shocked at what I would find buried within the deep labyrinth.

Book Synopsis

(Status: First draft 80% complete.  Book proposal complete and submitted to a friend who is an author, who is passing it on to his contacts in the publishing world.  Pursuing other publishers and agents.)

16 years after the 9/11 attacks, Islamophobia is at an all-time high, even though the mathematical odds of being killed by a Muslim terrorist in the United States are far less than being killed by lightning-strike.  In this hard-hitting and informative book, author Steve Slocum, drawing on experiences from his five years living in the villages of Kazakhstan, debunks the popular mythology surrounding Muslims and the religion of Islam.  He then definitively connects the dots between cause and effect for the rise in Islamic terrorism.

Is Islam inherently a religion of terror, or one of peace?  Did Mohammed produce conversions by the thousands with the edge of the sword?  Does the Quran teach jihad against infidel Christians and Jews?  Does Islam teach the repression of women?  Is Sharia law about stoning, amputation, and beheading?  By examining the historical facts surrounding the creation of Islam and its subsequent viral growth, Why Do They Hate Us?  erases powerful misconceptions about Muslims in language understandable to ordinary Americans.

Sprinkled with stories from the everyday lives of mainstream Muslims, the reader will have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of a different side of Islam than portrayed in the media – in hopes of transforming the hugely overshadowing image of an angry Arab ready to detonate a vest full of explosives in a crowd of people, into something closer to actual reality – such as the young Pakistani industrial engineer and father, working hard to provide for his family while leading a small Muslim community, or the Kazakh family of 12 living out the richness of their ancient traditions on the Central Asian steppe, or even the young Arab man who propositioned the author for sex.

With a better grasp on the faith and practices of the mainstream of Islam’s 1.7 billion adherents, Slocum next focuses on Islam’s radicals, and brings to light the little-known hard connection between US foreign policy and the undeniable rage of terrorist groups.  Slocum presents clear proof that terrorist attacks are triggered by the political/military acts of foreign governments, and not by Islamic ideology.

The United States is now at a crossroads with Muslims and the world of Islam, brought about by the “War on Terror”, which has already cost the lives of 1.2 million Muslims, and the US currently has active military operations related to the “War on Terror” in at least six countries.  In order to break the cycle of increasingly horrific acts of mutual retribution, Slocum offers concrete, constructive strategies to tap into Islam’s moderates, who are also the victims of terrorism, and abhor it.  The power of Islam lies with its 1.5 billion mainstream adherents, not with the radicals.  As such, it is critical that Americans understand this group and join hands with them in the fight against the blight of terrorism.  As it turns out, it is we who must ask ourselves, “Why do we hate them?”

Introduction
  1. Are Muslims mostly Middle Eastern Arabs?
  2. Jihad and Sharia Law are Evil… Right?
  3. Why Do They Hate Us?
  4. The Problem of Palestine
  5. Who’s Running the Show? The Israel Lobby and US Middle East Policy
  6. Is Peace Possible between the United States and the Muslim World?
Conclusion