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Roots of Middle-Eastern Terrorism

  1. Jul 17, 2004 #1
    Why do we have anti-West terrorism stemming from the Middle East? Why do they have hatred for Westerners?

    I have heard the idea that it's becase they hate us for being great and successful and sugar and spice and are jealous to the point of nausea. I think that this is nothing but a simplistic, ego-serving excuse to not think critically about what's going on and perhaps come to conclusions that one won't like.

    I think that there are many reasons, and not all Middle-Eastern, Arab, and Muslim terrorists have the same reasons. I think that the actions of the USA instigated much. I also think that the ridiculous propoganda broadcast on Muslim television and spewed forth in schools is a major causal factor. I don't think that a few sentences, or even a few paragraphs can do the complexity of the situation justice.

    How about you?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2004 #2
    well... i agree... but you're not going to convince anyone...

    "everything is because they are evil"... it's that simple for many people and it is a convenient explanation that doesn't demand any introspectivity or responsibility from the people stating it, so they're going to stick with it no matter what...
  4. Jul 17, 2004 #3
    There's TONS of reasons, but the reasons for the US are the simplest of them all.

    Reason for the USA:
    Middle East, depending on the case right or wrong, Israel as A> an extension of USA B> Israel as a scapegoat for all of their problems C> Israel/USA (since they are one in the same in many minds) as an assualy on muslims/Islam.

    Something that we do not see here, nor should we try to , is all action against any mainly muslim country is somehow an extension of the Palestinian/Israel conflict. I can't tell you the number of Arabs I have spoken with online that view the Iraq and Afghan wars as just an extension of the Israel/Palestine conflict, which in itself is used, right or wrong, as a war 'fought by all muslims' by proxy.

    This is the basis for it.
    There are many reasons,including transferance (sp?), that the middle east takes a poor look at our Allies.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2004
  5. Jul 17, 2004 #4
    introspection is overratted, as morality is relative.
    All information is readily available on issue, it's simply comes down to a moral issue. The ironic thing is that those who say "we are equal to them" (speaking of suicide bombers and the like, in an attempt to show our 'hypocrisy'), are actually saying "it's us or them", for at that point morality has been equaled and self preservation takes an even stronger hand.
  6. Jul 17, 2004 #5


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    How does this play with Terrorism eminating from the same sources that's directed towards non-westerns? Maybe there's so much introspection and some are so busy flogging their own country men that they are missing the "whole picture".
  7. Jul 17, 2004 #6
    No Middle Easterners I know hate "Westerners". (Please see https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=12028 about why that term is friggin stupid.)

    Change "great and successful" with "delusional". The rates of violent crimes are so high in the USA. So many homeless and hungry. So many wars started, countries invaded and bombed. So much economic power devoted to materialism and pointless frivolity. I'm reminded of the naked emperor riding through town showing off his new gear.

    Personally, I'm curious about the American terrorists. What are their reasons?

    Yep. It's the constant economic and diplomatic influence, the occasional invasions, the regular bombing campaigns, the assumption that the USA has the right to simply lob a few Tomahawks into other nations...

    Is it any more ridiculous than the ridiculous propaganda broadcast on USA television and spewed forth in schools there?
  8. Jul 17, 2004 #7
    We are not discussing the quality of the state of USAmerican society. I was just mentioning the rational that many people use to explain terrorist actions. I do not agree with them at all.

    I think that you are mostly correct here. We have done many things that are legitimate grievances to people of other countries, Middle Eatern, Central American, South American, or otherwise. The problems of our actions are compounded by the coverage that many of these events receive in Islamic countries, which is done at a level of bias that makes the media bias here appear to have a pH of about 6.9.

    Sometimes our actions are just wrong. Sometimes, they are just viewed negatively, and we are too naive to take into account the ways that our actions will be viewed. We have insolated ourselves, with no real idea of what people in the rest of the world are thinking.

    It's not even a question. On Palestinian TV, they regularly demonize Israelis as child-killers and what not. Our media does some amount of "us vs. them" rhetoric, but it's not nearly on the level that they have over there.
  9. Jul 17, 2004 #8
    We have invaded and bombed many countries over the past fifty years. The US has garnered a lot of hatred among people of many nations, right or wrong.

    Given this argument, terrorists from countries all over the world would be attacking the US and her interests on a regular basis. But only in the Middle East is such hatred turned into freakish, unreasoned, mindless, cowardly violence.

    So Adam, why isn't there a large aboriginal terrorist group in Australia? Why aren't they blowing up banks? They certainly have a gripe, do they not?

    People will always have gripes against the US, no matter which side the US chooses. There will always be hatred of the US as long as it takes part in international issues. To think that the way to solve terrorism is to remove the reasons for hating us is pointless.

    No, the fault lies 100% with the terrorists. They don't have to intentionally kill innocent people, but they do anyway.
  10. Jul 17, 2004 #9
    Part one of an interesting article I found ages ago:

  11. Jul 17, 2004 #10
    Part two of an interesting article I found ages ago:
  12. Jul 17, 2004 #11
    1) Why do you call it unreasoned?

    2) Why do you call it mindless?

    3) Why do you call it cowardly?

    4) Actually it happens around the world.

    Because we in Australia do not roam around blowing up their towns, killing civilians by the thousands, and chanting about it on TV so everyone feels warm and fuzzy about their patriotism. Yes, it certainly happened in the past. Australia has some very nasty history. But we, unlike some, grew out of it.

    No, the fault likes 100% with the USA government and military. They don't have to intentionally kill innocent people, but they do anyway.
  13. Jul 17, 2004 #12


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    I'd like to respond to this. I'm largely Cherokee, and if anyone has a grievance against the United States, it is me and my people. The Cherokee nation did absolutely everything asked of it by the US government, even going so far as to adopt democracy and American culture, and was still brutally displaced and many of its people murdered. The oppression suffered for many years is far worse than anything the US has evey imposed on any other people.

    But I am not vengeful. I do not feel that an act of revenge is ever the right thing to do. I also do not feel that killing innocent people - with no military objective - is ever the right thing to do. The only think I truly hate about this country is the fear that is instilled in us by the government and by media. As far as I'm concerned, both John Ashcroft and John Stossel are the antichrist. Fear is never a healthy thing, and terror is never the right way to invoke action. Regardless of US involvement in the middle east, no organization has any right to attack civilian targets of no military value in a nation that is not at war.

    As for the Arabic hatred of the US seen in the middle east, there is one reason for it, and all other reasons stem from this. The state of Israel would not exist right now were it not for a last-second endorsement from Harry Truman and the continued support of the United States.
  14. Jul 17, 2004 #13
    Terrorist attacks against the US by Islamic fundamentalists goes back before we attacked Iraq. Why did we bomb Libya?

    So aborigines live like everyone else in Australia? Or do many of them live in conditions much like in Palestine? If anything, Australia has treated its aborigines far far worse than the US has treated Arabs. Do you agree?

    Read the following and tell us that this shouldn't provide aborigines with reason to terrorize the non-aboriginal population (using your logic):


    Aboriginal Children in Australia


    Aborigines make up less than one percent of the total population in Australia. On every index, Aborigines fare worse than other Australians. Most Aboriginal families face health problems due to a lack of health care. They are at disadvantage in health standards, life expectancy, and infant mortality. Health risks and lack of proper health care place Aboriginal children at extreme risk for many diseases. In 1996, eighty percent of the children affected with pneumonia were Aborigine (Antonios 1997). Four times as many Aborigines have diabetes as compared to statistics of non-indigenous Australians. Maltrunition is also common among Aborigines. The government supports Aboriginal medical services in all states since such poor health standards exist in the culture. Nonindigenous health is also a relevant issue in Australia.

    Living Conditions

    Another factor affecting Aboriginal children are poor living conditions. Thirteen percent of these families do not have running water and thirty four percent of Aboriginal communities water supply is below the standard set by the government (Antonios 1997; Human Rights Commision 1997). On average, Aboriginal people have twice as many people dwelling and almost three times the number of people per room as other Australians (Brown 1980). A child living in these conditions grows up in less than adequate, overcrowded housing, where family pressures are great.


    Neither the state and its policies, nor the non-Aboriginal community, provide a positive environment for Aboriginal children (Brown 1980). Conflict with White institutional authority and police authority is a part of Aboriginal life. Attitudes toward police are less positive among Aboriginal children (Rigby & Black 1993). However, Aboriginal children attending rural schools expressed more positive attitudes toward parents and other forms of authority.


    With the poverty and the absence of bare necessities that Aboriginal children face daily, it is no surprise that educational standards are extremely low. Thirty three percent of Aboriginal children complete schooling compared to the national average of seventy seven percent (Antonios 1997; Australian Bureau of Statistics). As a result of little or no education, thirty eight percent of indigenous people are unemployed and their income in sixty eight percent of the total population (Antonios 1997; Socialist Party of Australia 1995). The lack of opportunity for many Aboriginal children in the job market may lead to a life of crime.


    Gee, the US is such a bad, bad country. We should be more like Australia.
  15. Jul 17, 2004 #14
    Very true. This is why I'm a pacifist. I think if we just leaved the Middle East alone a lot of terrorist wouldn't bother us anymore. We can't fix these problems by trying to kill everyone we think is a bad guy because there will always be bad guys.

    I don't think we shouldn't try to help nations. I just don't think we should help them through murdering others.
  16. Jul 17, 2004 #15
    Good question. Why did you?

    In our past, Australia has done to its aborigines basically what the USA did to its American indians. Very similar. In fact, it was only a few decades ago that they got the right to vote and be recognised as citizens. However, the Australian government does not fly over areas inhabitated mainly by aborigines and bomb the hell out of them.

    The average living conditions for aborigines here is lower than for caucasians, but higher than my own personal conditions, in all the areas mentioned in a government survey I saw recently. As I believe I have mentioned previously, I live a somewhat Spartan life.

    Please outline in point form your idea of logic, because so far you're just not making sense.
  17. Jul 17, 2004 #16
    I think the reason is the media. The west has an obsession with finding their own flaws and showing them to the world, often exaggerated.
    This probably isnt the reason why Islamic terror began against the US, but the reason why it isnt being fought properly.
    Many see the flaws, focus on them and not on terrorism. You cant get rid of the terrorists by fixing the flaws, the media wont show your improvements but only the flaws, and there are and always will be flaws.
  18. Jul 17, 2004 #17
    Are you living in the same world that I am? Here in the U.S.A., we like to toot our own horns incessantly. We even find a way to do it in examining terrorist attacks. We don't acknowledge how our own foreign policies have screwed things up. How many USAmericans do you know who know that we deposed a democratically-elected government in Chile and replaced it with a dictator?

    I'm not trying to just rag on the USA here, but we overlook our own shortcomings. Whenever something bad happens, people here think that the fault must lie entirely on other people. The greatest admission of fault that I've seen is the "intelligence failures" being focused on in the 9-11 congressional investigation. Before that, it was how screwed up the 2000 elections were. Before that, it was how our president could possibly think to get a blow job in the White House. Every time you hear or read an analysis of what makes terrorists tick, people say that it's because their religion's that way or because they hate us because we're so good. It's ridiculous. There's no asking if perhaps we should change our foreign policy to not aggravate foreign people.
  19. Jul 17, 2004 #18


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    I'm not sure it's any more ridiculous then claiming that it's our foriegn policy while neglecting to question why they are also terrorizing other countries who's foreign policies are not parallel with ours. It'd be nice to make an excercise of comparisions between outher countries who have terrorist attacks and their foriegn policies.
  20. Jul 17, 2004 #19
    Good post.
    Another point is that US seems to have a James Bond 007-type of license to kill of all who are doing something against US-interests. When others react in a similar way that's easily called terrorism.
  21. Jul 17, 2004 #20
    Well, *I* knew. And you knew. And there is a commission right now to make the documents regarding the Pinochet ordeal publically accessible. That wouldn't happen in a lot of countries. That probably wouldn't happen in most.

    We probably have a larger percentage of our population trashing our own country than any other country.

    We now know the Swiss bankrolled the Nazis during WWII. Where are the posts by Swiss condemning the actions of their own country?

    The Japanese government has never acknowledged the atrocities they committed during WWII.

    What about the British? How many Brits in here acknowledge their role in the Middle East mess?

    How many Australians come in here and belabor their own country over its treatment of aborigines?

    The United States gets bashed all over for its role in Viet Nam, but Australia is hardly ever mentioned. They fought there too.

    By and large, the only country that gets bashed is America, and mostly by Americans. So this idea that Americans sweep their problems under the rug is hogwash. We have a free press that has no problem with printing stories harmful to the US.
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