One reality that Americans need to come to grips with when thinking about the danger of radical Islam is that the reason that Islamists hate us has very little to do with our current foreign policy or our alliance with Israel (or what’s left of it now that Obama has been put in charge); rather, the core of the issue between America and the Islamists goes to the fundamental question of who we are, and the fact that our lives and society aren’t dictated by the principles of Islam:
Now consider Lady Gaga—or, if you prefer, Madonna, Farrah Fawcett, Marilyn Monroe, Josephine Baker or any other American woman who has, at one time or another, personified what the Egyptian Islamist writer Sayyid Qutb once called “the American Temptress.”
Qutb, for those unfamiliar with the name, is widely considered the intellectual godfather of al Qaeda; his 30-volume exegesis “In the Shade of the Quran” is canonical in jihadist circles. But Qutb, who spent time as a student in Colorado in the late 1940s, also decisively shaped jihadist views about the U.S.
In his 1951 essay “The America I Have Seen,” Qutb gave his account of the U.S. “in the scale of human values.” “I fear,” he wrote, “that a balance may not exist between America’s material greatness and the quality of her people.” Qutb was particularly exercised by what he saw as the “primitiveness” of American values, not least in matters of sex.
“The American girl,” he noted, “knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs and she shows all this and does not hide it.” Nor did he approve of Jazz—”this music the savage bushmen created to satisfy their primitive desires”—or of American films, or clothes, or haircuts, or food. It was all, in his eyes, equally wretched.
Qutb’s disdain for America’s supposedly libertine culture would not matter much were it not wedded to a kind of theological Leninism that emphasized the necessity of violently overthrowing any political arrangement not based on Shariah law.
Remember – it’s not so much about what we do, it’s about who we are. Of course, none of this is to defend the cultural or social value of Lady Gaga; goodness knows she has very little if any of that. But we must remember that they hate us primarily because we possess the freedom that can allow a Lady Gaga-type to appear and thrive. That’s the core of the issue.