Salon.com seems unable to understand just why so many Westerners have fears about the nature of Islam.
In an article titled, “‘Why Islam? Why are Muslims considered the worst by Americans?’ The questions young Muslims ask me about Donald Trump and America,” Professor Brian T. Edwards of Northwestern University writes that Trump has crafted a nasty international image of the United States thanks to his supposed Islamophobia.
Edwards says the news about Trump’s temporary ban on Muslim immigration hit while he was teaching in Morocco – an absolute monarchy currently cracking down on Islamic radicals to ensure its own power base. Of course, Moroccans in general are not nearly as pro-Western as the monarchy; a 2006 poll showed that 68 percent of Moroccans approved terrorist attacks against US troops in Iraq, 61 percent supported such attacks in Afghanistan, and 76 percent wanted strict shariah law in every country. Nonetheless, Edwards writes:
To young Moroccans — whose country is 99 percent Muslim and long friendly to the United States — Trump’s anti-Muslim comments were the latest sign that American culture has become increasingly hateful toward them. The global effects of speech such as Mr. Trump’s are profound here and will be long-lasting.
Edwards quotes students lamenting the Trumpian perception of Islam:
“I have a question,” one female student asked me. “Why Islam? Why are Muslims considered the worst by Americans?” This is a question that matters here. The student wore a black hijab. Her face was open and friendly. She looked personally wounded.
Another student followed with a related point: “Most people in the U.S. have guns. Here in Morocco we don’t have guns. We are peaceful.” The students nodded and seemed distressed that they might be thought otherwise.
The exceptional reach and uncontrolled speed with which the worst of our cultural products spread means that the ideas by which America was attractive during the last century are no longer reflective of the present one.
Well, let’s see. Why would Westerners have a negative perception of global Islam? Perhaps because in 2015, 32,700 people were killed in terrorist attacks, more than twice as many as in 2013, and the vast majority of those killings came from Islamic terror.
Perhaps it’s because Islamic countries have a rotten record with regard to treatment of those of minority faith – if they’re even permitted in their countries at all – and a worse record with regard to human rights generally.
Perhaps it’s because Muslim immigrants to Europe have caused skyrocketing crime rates, and many of those Muslim immigrants are French Moroccan; a 2011 report from the Dutch Ministry of Interior, for example, showed that forty percent of all Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands had been accused of criminal activity between ages 12 and 24. That’s not exceptional. Muslim immigration to Sweden, France, Belgium, and other areas of Europe have created cultural rifts and increased criminal activity.
But Edwards pretends that anti-Western sentiment among Muslims is a newfound notion springing from America’s invasion of Iraq, despite all evidence to the contrary – and despite the uptick in terrorism globally since the onset of the more radical Islam-friendly Obama administration. In fact, Edwards still blames that idiotic YouTube video “The Innocence of Muslims” for Muslims rioting all over the world on the eleventh anniversary of September 11.
What hogwash. It’s always the West responsible for perceptions of Islam, not large swaths of the Islamic world enmeshing themselves in barbarity, cruelty, and war. The irony: while Edwards and his ilk are always prepared to ask about the Muslim world, “Why do they hate us?,” they’re never ready to ask why Westerners might dislike Islamic civilization. And there’s a far easier answer to that one.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, Editor-in-Chief of DailyWire.com, and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.