I came across a great article by John Derbyshire – here are some excerpts:
“A common word for Europeans in the Arabic language is feringji, from “Frank”, i.e. crusader. Arabs don’t hate us because we support Israel. They hate us because we humiliated them, showed up the gross inferiority of their culture. To them, and similarly humiliated peoples, we are the other, detested and feared in a way we can barely understand. Things got really bad in the 19th century. When European society achieved industrial lift-off, Europeans were suddenly buzzing all over the world like a swarm of bees. They encountered these other cultures, that had been vegetating in a quiet conviction of their own superiority for centuries (or in the case of the Chinese, millennia). When these encounters occurred, the encountered culture collapsed in a cloud of dust. Some of them, like the Turks, managed to reconstitute themselves as more or less modern nations; others, like the Arabs and the Chinese, are still struggling with the trauma of that encounter. Neither the Arabs nor the Chinese, for example, have yet been able to attain rational, constitutional government.”
Anyone studying the history of Western contact with China will know the truth of this assertion. The Manchus were crazy with humiliation at the ease with which the West penetrated China, since to them, China was the Middle Kingdom, closest to Heaven, and centre of the world. Chinese maps of the time portrayed Europe as a group of little islands.
“The 1991 Gulf War showed how little has changed since those first encounters. Here were the armies of the West: swift, deadly, efficient, equipped and organized, under the command of elected civilians at the head of a robust and elaborate constitutional structure. And here were the Arabs: a shambling, ill-nourished, shoeless rabble, led by a mad gangster-despot. (That was their Arabs. There were also, of course, our Arabs — the Kuwaitis and Saudis, cowering in their plush-lined air-conditioned bunkers being waited on by their Filipino servants while we did their fighting for them.) Final body counts: the West, 134 dead, the Arabs, 20,000 or more. The superiority of one culture over another has not been so starkly demonstrated since a handful of British wooden ships, at the end of ten-thousand-mile lines of communications, brought the Celestial Empire to its knees a hundred and fifty years earlier. The Chinese are still mad about that: they are still making angry, bitter movies about the Opium Wars. A hundred and fifty years from now, the Arabs will not have forgotten the Gulf War.” — or to quote the commander in Jarhead, “We are the righteous hammer of God, coming down …”
It certainly explains a lot. A friend who lived and worked in Europe was telling me about the numerous encounters he had with Africans who were exactly like this – one even told him that she hated all westerners and was only in Europe for the free ride on social security etc. Needless to say, she didnt get the position she applied for.
My very cynical husband has always sworn that ‘they hate us’. He has travelled far more than I have, and although I originally disgareed with him, I’m beginning to have second thoughts.