Americans relish condemnations of Middle Easters and Arabic culture as one of "hate". Google "culture of hate" and you'll find a bounty of essays, blogs and journal articles describing and dissecting the Arab world.
But the real culture of hate, an entire society that celebrates, elevates and has even built an industry around hate, is much closer to us than the lands of Sunnis and Shiites. In fact, compared to the American culture of hate, the Arabs are neophytes at best.
In America, hate is even chic and trendy. It can be mass market but it can also be elitist. There are blogs that celebrate hate as an emblem of superiority, that encourage and fuel it. Millions of Americans slavishly follow gossip mongers in all media, lusting for the latest blood feud as if little is more satisfying than celebrity role models and icons going after each other's throats. At the Grammys we award rappers who have turned hate into an entire entertainment industry.
Our politics have degenerated from productive debates on critical issues to vicious and often racist name-calling and outright personal slander.
In recent years we have been faced with a health care system in crisis, governmental corruption, poverty, illiteracy and global threats. During this time, too many political campaigns have been dominated by attacks on gay Americans, despite the complete and utter lack of any rational or legal grounds for them.
Many even argue in the name of some rather perverse version of "Jesus" that it is morally correct to hate, oppress and discriminate.
A nation built on immigrants fleeing oppression and poverty in pursuit of better lives for themselves and their families now hates and demonizes immigrants fleeing oppression and poverty in an attempt to build better lives for themselves and their families.
A number of well-known journalists, authors and publishers such as Bill O'Reilly, Rupert Murdoch and Ann Coulter have built highly profitable careers on negative judgments and outright hate mongering.
Evangelical Christianity, the most vocal and politically influential religion in this nation, proudly espouses the notion that everyone else in America and the world is going to burn in hell for all eternity. Imagine how that sounds to Muslims, especially when they are being accused of fostering a culture of hate.
The supposed Arab culture of hate is – for better or worse – founded and nurtured by a struggle against old and new cultural, political and social manifestations of Western colonialism. What's America's excuse for its own culture of hate?
The myth has been that America is a land of tolerance, diversity and freedom. The reality is that we are a very angry and intolerant people; a nation that has elevated hate to a sophisticated art form. In fact, the Arabs have a lot to learn from us.Powered by Sidelines