Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that Muslims are all terrorists. 1.6 billion people, a quarter of the world’s population, are interchangeable variations of the same, freedom-hating towel head. From those in Uzbekistan to Bangladesh; from Morocco to Indonesia; from Algeria to Tunisia, all of them identical in every way. Actually, in doing some research so I could sarcastically list Muslim countries that nobody talks about because America isn’t drone-striking the shit out of them, I discovered that there are more Muslims in India and Pakistan than in the entirety of the Middle East! Normally this would imply vast cultural differences based on external influences, but we’re ignoring the incredible diversity that a quarter of the world’s population spread out over the globe necessarily implies, so again, for the sake of argument, Muslims are a homogeneous group with one goal in mind: destroying the West with suicide bombs and beheading videos.

Why do they hate our freedoms? I mean it’s just as easy to make blanket assumptions about their motivations (they’re evil) as it is to make blanket assumptions about their behaviours, but I’m going to hold motivations to a higher standard at this point otherwise this blog would be over very quickly.

I haven’t been entirely fair. I am certain there is another generalization that someone could use that doesn’t denounce Muslims as evil, and there is. They are just backward savages who haven’t caught up to civilization yet. It’s not bigotry if it’s condescending! I mean, the Iraq War was justified as a means to bring modernity and democracy to a simple, superstitious people who would surely be grateful for the wisdom (This was obviously after the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” excuse fell apart). If you consider the Medieval period when Christianity was pulling people apart on the rack, and now Muslims are beheading people, clearly parallels can be drawn. Muslims, a quarter of the planet, are just less culturally evolved, and surely they’ll catch up in the next few hundred years. That is how time works.

This is called Modernization theory. It basically says that all civilizations start out as baby hunter/gatherer tribes, and evolve through similar phases, until everyone ends up at the pinnacle of culture, us. We’re the best, and everyone else is just in an adolescent phase of their cultural development, and they can’t help that their limbic systems haven’t fully developed yet! This is what is commonly known as racism: the perceived notion that one’s own culture is superior to another. If a culture exists today, then it is a modern culture. THAT is how time works. The reason that one society might have longer life expectancies and less random violence isn’t part of some preordained path that each group of people must follow; human societies don’t exist in a vacuum. Shit goes on all around us, and that is what determines the direction groups of people will follow.

So what’s been going on with these generalized Muslims? Well, way back when Western secularism was first introduced to Muslim-dominated countries, the elites were all very impressed! They marveled at the technological advances that had been made; they listened to the Enlightenment ideas with rapt interest; they were awed by the massive expansion that the West was capable of, and they actually tried to secularize themselves with these Western ideologies. Except the problem with top-down ideological revolution is that it is indistinguishable from oppression. It usually involves banning practices from the previous paradigm, and violently enforcing its new social norms. This means that the Muslims who had been living out their lives quite contentedly were now being punished for that old way of living and were pushed toward this new way that allowed the powerful to buddy up with Western imperialists. Who cares what happens to the vulgar masses? Try to imagine what would happen if Obama implemented Sharia law while in office.  The reaction to that, I imagine, would be identical to the sordid Middle Eastern history of Islamic conflict with the West.

In addition to brutally enforced Westernization, the relationship between these two civilizations continued with a general disdain held by the West against the Middle East. Consider the creation of Israel. Turns out that the British, who did not even have ownership of the land at the time, promised it both to the Arabs, in the hopes that they would help them fight the Ottomans, and to the Jews as well, mostly to get them out of England. Given that someone was going to be inevitably screwed over by this incredible act of duplicity, and that the Jews had just suffered through the holocaust, Israel thus became a Jewish state. This Jewish state, now beholden to the West, acts as a stabilizer for the area. Stability in this context means that it will destroy with violence any group that gets out of line and does not provide appropriate resources at a steal of a price. The West betrayed the Muslims of the Middle East, and then allied themselves with the favoured demographic in order to marginalize and rob them.

Remember how I said earlier that the Western excuse for Middle Eastern intervention is to bomb the countries into respectable democracies? Well it turns out that the Middle East has been quite capable of establishing democracies in the past, but they tend to elect leaders who have the interests of the people in mind, rather than the interests of the West. In 1953, Iran elected a leader who was going to nationalize the oil industry so that the profits could go to the people of the country rather than foreign corporations. Unlucky for him, America and England decided that this would not do, and assassinated him. They then put up their own puppet dictator that brutalized the populace, but made sure that the money and resources went to the right people. More recently in Afghanistan, when Hamid Karzai was elected, rather than allow the people of the country to put into power someone who might allow Afghans some degree of autonomy, the US simply populated parliament with the warlords who had torn up the country in the aftermath of the proxy war fought between America and Russia decades earlier. I suppose putting in your own violent puppets in the first place means you don’t have to assassinate democratically elected world leaders to do it after the fact. Fun fact: Jihadi extremism was encouraged by the Americans during their cold war forays into the region as a weapon against the communists, and then was simply allowed to run rampant after the US pulled out their troops. The Taliban used Jihadi textbooks literally provided by the US to indoctrinate children into this violent mindset. There are many other examples of American interventions in democratic countries, purposefully destabilizing them for the sake of the flow of capital, but those are mostly irrelevant for the purposes of this blog.

America is actually quite fond of supporting brutal dictators in the Middle East. Remember the Iraq war that allowed Bush Jr. to fight Saddam just like daddy did? Saddam was the worst human imaginable, as the story goes, which is odd considering that America was providing him with money and weapons almost right up until they invaded his country in the early 90s. Or how about Hozni Mubarak, the malevolent dictator that Obama condemned when the people overthrew him. Again this is odd considering America had been supporting the despot for about 30 years. The excuses typically given are that these autocrats provide stability to the region, the same kind of stability I was talking about earlier.

The Middle East doesn’t produce violent extremism because of any ideological differences between Islam and the secular/Christian West, but because the Middle East has resources that the West devours but doesn’t want to pay for, so they, without any subtlety, fuck over everyone who lives there. People who, in theory, ought to have the rights to that covetous oil in the first place. If Arabs are constantly fighting over everything and are dirt poor, they’ll never be able to stand up to the greed-driven powerhouses responsible for their squalor. The touted “stability” that the West supports in the region is actually its opposite, since a Middle East in solidarity would be able to actualize some form of control over those resources, thereby forbidding the West from exploiting them.

If you’re thinking, hey now, I never condoned that colonial barbarism being committed by my society against the Middle East! I shouldn’t be targeted by Jihadi terrorists! I’m completely innocent! Doesn’t feel good to be judged for the deeds and mentalities of individuals who are only related to you by the most superficial of connections, does it? Well, I doubt the vast majority of Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran are particularly fond that they are being targeted for the deeds of people only akin to them under the most desperate of comparisons either. Except technically, we are more responsible for Western destructiveness than Muslims are for general acts of terrorism because we elect the government officials who collude with vicious imperialists regimes, if not the ones who perform the vicious imperialism outright. Muslims bear no such responsibility for the deeds of entirely unrelated peoples.

If you’re thinking, hey now, I know what this is really about, and Donald Trump isn’t trying to ban Muslims, he’s only trying to ban people from seven Muslim majority countries! Except, he said he was going to implement a Muslim ban, Rudy Giuliani said Trump asked him how to institute a Muslim ban, and considering the fear that right-wingers have of terrorists swarming in from my own Canada, why wouldn’t he include Canadian visas on his list? (you should totally read that second hyperlink to Breitbart because they manage to turn Canada’s loose regulations on Muslims to somehow being Barack Obama’s fault. It’s fucking hilarious) Trump said that Mexico is sending America their criminals and rapists, as if the country itself is responsible for the problem, and yet Mexico is not on the list either. The 9/11 terrorists that allegedly inspired the executive order did not come from any of these countries. That they are “trouble-spots” ignores the problems going on in Burma, Israel/Palestine, Romania, the Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, etc. The only connection any of these countries have is that they are populated by mostly Muslims and don’t do business with Trump. Saying that this executive order is anything but a ban on Muslims ignores that it does not target the largest terrorist-producing nations, ignores what Trump himself has said about instituting a Muslim ban, ignores most of global conflict, and does not even coincide with the worldview espoused by its most fervent supporters. An interesting counter-argument that I haven’t seen in slogging through alt-right perspectives might be that these are countries that America is being overtly hostile toward, but that doesn’t work either, since America is very vocally claiming that it is fighting “terrorism” and not individual countries, so banning visas from those countries makes no sense from this perspective either. Also, how is “Obama and Carter did it too!” an argument against it being a Muslim ban? If the Democratic party is so hard on Muslims, then why fight tooth and nail to oust them? You can’t clamor for a ban on Muslims, and then when one is basically implemented, deny that it is exactly that when people call you out on it.

Post-script: There is actually a short version to this. I mean, these days the West is basically murdering civilians willy-nilly and then expecting that the region is not going to be pissed off about it. Why do Muslims-who-are-all-terrorists hate us? Really?

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