Why I Hate Muslims

Under roof in Mendoza, Mexico, summer 2006, two young men have stolen from the man across the street, but a book is all they have taken.

Excerpted from The Quran:

2: 191-193 – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out.”

“But further elaborated, no doubt,” says young man number one, “by 2: 216, ‘Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it.  But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you.  But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.'”

Two young men are under a blanket, under a ceiling glowing with stars.  They are reading a book, a sacred text that defines a religion of “peace”.  This is the peace they locate between pages worn thin by an old man’s rubbing thumbs, the same thumbs he once used to concoct jihad.  The next day, he will retrieve his book, but the two young men will not forget what they have read.

Found in a text taken from a caliph, the son-law of Muhammad, named Muawiyah.  This text is hundreds of years old.

There is a painting.  It is of fig trees and shades trees, it is of a family praying to Allah upon the grass.  They face a new Mecca, a revelation, a revolution, and this before a caliph who has been given his throne from the ashes of nothing but violence.  There is war on the road around the corner, and bodies in the ditch, but this family prays and rises only when the caliph enters their laneway with his soldiers.  He inquires of their devotion, what they have done, what they believe.  When he is given unsatisfactory answer, he beheads the father and casts naked the mother so that his soldiers may enjoy her.  The children are forced to eat rats; they are left behind as their mother is dragged by a horse over the road aside which the dead are choking the ditches now.  Her skin is being removed with every foot of travel, but with every step, she is praying, praying to Allah – though her children under the tree cry for her.  She hears their wailing down the road, but Allah soothes her and takes her away, and by the next village she has forgotten that she had children, for she is with Allah now.

In the Swat valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan, a girl was born.  Her name is Malala Yousafzai, and she protested the local decree against the education of Muslim girls.  The Taliban removed her from a bus and shot her in the head.

“Is this to be a treatise on freedom, or a lecture on repentance?” asks the professor of his class.

A tentative hand rises into the air, and a girl asks a question she has been chewing on.  “This girl is a hero.  A truth-fighter.  A revolutionary.  A visionary.  She is an activist.”

The professor sips tea.  “Truth is about misconception and unravelling its weight from about your shoulders before you cast judgment against that which you do not understand.  You are a white woman.  You are unmolested.  You are free.  This girl, this hero you note, raised her voice against hundreds of years of tradition and spat upon them without regard for those who had come before her, who had lost their lives to provide the freedom to create those traditions in the first place.  What gives you the right to cast judgment upon the customs of the Swat valley, and those who live there?  How dare you decry their methods to be wrong?”

And the white girl goes away, and thinks later to herself: these are Muslims.  And extremists.  These are Muslims.  And extremists.  These are Muslim extremists.  These are extremists.  These are Muslims.

The Face of Allah is a book written by a man named Tom Joad.  It has no words but the title.  It is three hundred pages of handdrawn sketches of Allah and the Prophet Mohammad.  It was not published but it can be obtained through various means for those who are interested.

Let me explain a spiritualist.  A bloody depiction of an old man, one who as you leaf through the pages turns from revolutionary to child molester and unrepentant rapist: one whose wrinkles and creases are earned in gold-weights of blood and pockets of flesh.  A stark raven-eyed man who refuses to have his picture depicted, or so say the Sunnis, perhaps because he has done such evil in his time that people will know him for what he is if they see him: this is Allah, the Prophet, this is tyranny, the death of Christians, the bringer of death unto infidels.

This book rests upon my lap.  It is leafed over and over, every page worse than the one before.  And I read it with the shades drawn, the lights out but for the glimmer that dips its hips in the dampness above, made of secrecy and blasphemy.  I do not want anyone to know that I am reading this book, for they will come unto me and manhandle me if they know… this is forbidden text, and the Sunnis will have my head if they know that I so blaspheme their beliefs.  It is said and written that if I disagree with them, they will condemn me.  This is written in every crease and wrinkle upon this man’s face, the one staring at me from ancient sheets permeated with blood.

September 11, 2001, Muslims destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City.  Have you forgotten this already?

I am a traveler.  I am a businessman.  I have three children.  I hate to leave them, but I always bring them back gifts from wherever I go.  Because they have so many toys already, I do not buy them trinkets.  No, I bring them back rocks from the cities I visit, and on the airplane, I etch the names of the cities that I have visited into them, using a carving rock.  Many are those who sit beside me and watch a movie or read a book or try unsuccessfully to sleep; but I – I carve rocks with the names of Tulsa and Big Rock and New Orleans and Rome and Toronto.  When I return home, I put these rocks into the hands of my children, and they take them into the garden, where there is a rockpile that will one day speak of the entire world.  It is a million miles and a thousand visits; it is places that I never thought to see, that I cannot bring back to my children.  But this I can do.

And today is Los Angeles.  And today is Boulder.  And today is Emeryville.  And today is Spokane.

And today is a rumble up ahead in the airplane, and some man raising his fist and some other raising his voice.  And here I am, but a businessman, but a father, a carver of rocks, a bringer of gifts.  The plane lurches.  It spins, it falls, it does things that should not be.  And we are falling.  And I am falling.  I hold onto my rocks.  I hold onto them to whom I will never now present these gifts.

106

Why I Hate Americans

Because you believe the above.

Why I Hate People Who Generalize

Because you believe the above.

Why I love People

Because the young don’t care about you.  Because the young don’t listen.  Because the young don’t obey.  Because the young have broken away from our prejudices and old-school misconceptions, because they don’t honour our opinions, because they don’t propogate the madness.  They might be wild.  They might be insane.  But they are smarter than us, and I love them for it, everything they break apart about what we old people think.  Fucking Muslims.  Fuck them.  Nary a young person does say this on these streets, not these days.  Our children will redeem us.  Believe it.

Muslims are Americans.  Americans are Muslims.  We hold these truths to be self-evident.  Hug a Muslim today – do you think he will stab you for the affront, or perhaps just return the favour?  Jesus appears in the Qu’ran, just not as the Son of God.  Christian priests molest children.  This noise is fucking killing us. Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head but survived, at the very least hear this: she is a Muslim.  She is a Muslim girl, a hero, a person of courage and conviction.  A Muslim.  A hero, a leader, a survivor – and a Muslim.  She did not decry her religion; she decried traditions made by sick people.  Can traditions be bad?  Can customs and culture be evil?  In deepest parts of Punjab, when a husband dies, they still throw the wife upon the funeral pyre as she lives.  Of course culture and tradition can be evil – and we should say so.  But that is not the same thing as thinking Muslims are all bad, or accusing their religion for the sickness bred into some tiny minority within them.

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Tell me when and how we forgot that extremists don’t represent the groups from whom they came?  I once read a story about Westboro Baptist Church, and made my mind up about Christians.  But they are not Christians.  Any more than the Taliban are Muslims.

If we want to hate, let’s hate the extremists.  Let’s hate those who take religions genuinely made from peace and corrupt them in our minds.  These are the people who make the world darker; these are the people who take young girls out of buses and shoot them, these are the ones who stone women for adultery.  These are the evil people of the world, they are not me and you; but if we start to believe the message that they represent some majority out there, we have allowed them to win this war.  And that can never happen.

Who are you?  A fighter?  A lover?  A compatriot?  Are you a brother or sister?  Are you complicit in propogating hatred, or are you hell-bent on ending it?  There is a common understanding we have tucked in a breeding ground constructed of our ignorance.  This is a bastion of loneliness and spite levelled at a bunch of people that we regard as all the same.  This is an etching; a breathing; a desultory snowstorm descending on our homes, blanketing us under the fiction of our intolerance.  It is a principle that we would never allow to be levelled at us, for we know better who we are.  Our children already do.  We can learn from them.

So let me ask, at the last: why do you hate Muslims?

72 thoughts on “Why I Hate Muslims

  1. I read this just after I commented to you on my blog that we hardly knew each other. And as I read the first part I thought, oh, my, that is a good thing. But I read further. I don’t know why, but I did. To find the person I thought I had glimpsed before. The one who wrote the second half.

  2. I’m beginning to realize that every time you post something, my response is “WOW!” that was formidable, Trent, and completely true! I know you hate the limelight, but I’m gonna repost it, and blow some people’s minds!!! it’s all so horribly gone wrong! it’s also one of the few things I actually lose sleep over, because people seem to have their heads in the sand, hating others for the wrong reasons, or no reason at all…just hating….just makes me sick at heart! thanks for having the nuts to post this!!! lol

  3. I just read this for the third time. It’s so impossibly good.

    This is how I want to write, Trent. But I don’t think I ever will.
    So I’ll just have to content myself with reading your work.
    I want to know what authors you’ve read, and about a million other things. This is really good. This is probably the best.

  4. Hahahaha!!!! *Applause. Touché, sir!

    And I beg to add:
    WHY I “HATE” THE PROUD AND IGNORANT?
    Because they choose to dwell on ” These are the evil people of the world, they are not me and you”

    If anything, Trent, we all be humans. With probably similar tendencies for good or evil to DIFFERING DEGREES.

    This was top notch, sharp, witty.
    Sadly, I should ask: If some of these same young people (who are supposed to be our redemption) are prejudiced against their socially awkward peers, or their parents, are they not also on the

    • on the path to blind prejudice… maybe Doc. I think we decry the manners and sensibilities of the younger generation, but if there’s any place to put our faith, it’s there. Kids are interestingly open to people who are different from them, I find. I think that’s encouraging.

      We are all human, Doc, as noted. What is being human about though? We often talk about ourselves as being only human to indicate a limitation or a ceiling; but shouldn’t we be cognizant of all the good things that we can do?

      Glad you liked the post, and that you are around. You have been quiet on your blog.

      • Indeed. Better to put one’s hopes, if at all, there.

        Ha!!!! Yes sire. Indeed I acknowledge that we are not all rotten. In fact, I have higher hopes than you may probably ever know. I guess we interact more at these levels where we need to discuss those limitations. Maybe we will have more writings that speak to the good things. (And you may remember I once acknowledged that you paid attention to the little things that mattered in relationships -in your post about the man who got fired from work and spent his days on his sofa with the TV?)
        Further, do we even truly acknowledge these limitations? Maybe YOU do. But, what do you think causes our pride or self righteousness mostly?
        Hope to be back soon. Thanks.

        • I acknowledge no limitations when it comes to writing, Doc. More’s the pity. It swells my head and sweetens the sandbox, until I hardly have any objectivity left about my own artistic pretensions. It’s a good think I drink heavily, is all I can say. Oh, and that I am privy to the inner workings of a certain monkey, who punches almost as many keys as I do.

  5. If religions were taken away, those who truly live in peace will remain in peace.
    Or should I say, *when* religions are taken away…

    Some children’s hearts are open and loving towards people, and some aren’t. How did this happen? Did they absorb the views and beliefs of those whom they depend on for their life? Or did they rebel against the kindness of their guardians? Did they find some pleasure or reward in badness?

    May your heart always be open, may your children be clothed in peace, and your love radiate outwards, wherever you may go. May you and yours receive a great reward for your goodness.

  6. Things go horribly wrong when hundreds of years of tradition are co-opted by sick minds and bent to a evil intent. What’s the answer? There isn’t one. I think there’ll always be religious hatred. Read any history book. It’s an indelible part of mankind.

    My 12-year old daughter just finished Malala Yousafzai’s book and I think it had a profound effect on her. I’m glad her attitudes are being influenced by a Muslim. It’s enough to give you hope, despite what I said above.

    • Hundreds of years of tradition also resulted in me drinking scotch on my front porch. And going to the farmer’s market Saturday mornings. And other things I guess. But I suspect you’re right. There are no answers here but those we scrunch up into balls and launch into the river, and they’re hopelessly fucked anyhow.

      Hope on.

  7. I will cast aside my usual preference for restrained complimenting and say that this is extraordinary. No extremist is representative of an entire group. That’s why they’re called Extremists, for fuck’s sake. I hate hateful people.

    • They all suck, Weebles. I would condemn them to Trent-hell, where everyone plays ping pong 24/7, with occasional breaks to have their asses reamed by an elephant. The noise is awful. But that’s where extremists should go, especially the ones who hurt others.

      I like love. Love makes me so happy that I prance through fields of flowers in my Trent-thong. What is a Trent-thong? Stay tuned…

      But seriously. Nelson Mandela, where is your younger self when we need you?

  8. Powerful Trent. Too-well said.

    I had a similar chord play in my head as well, me thinks. After Boston. When all the bombasts and talking heads(-up-asses) started puking about “the truth” before anything was even known.

  9. Good post, very well written. Still there are aspects of Islam that are disturbing (as there are of Judaism and other world religions). We shouldn’t generalise but I guess we sort of survive by generalising ‘tigers eat people therefore this tiger may eat me’.

    • Thank you. Yes, I guess most religions have a sore spot hiding in there somewhere, something that can be taken in quite a negative way. But I do like tigers. Except the ones that may eat me.

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  11. I started reading this with wondering doubt. Great post, Trent. You might be surprised to know I don’t hate Muslims either. I hate Jihadis. They’re the problem. We’d have them too, if Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons and Scientologists got off their La-Z-Boys more and actually cared. Sad. It’s everywhere.

    • Yup, I agree. It’s the people who take things too far that make a mess of it for everyone else. But I do love Mormons. I think they got it right, if anyone did. I learned this from South Park.

  12. This is fantastic. Thought provoking and profound. I don’t know if a post has ever verbalised exactly how I feel so much. If it were up to me, my points would be expressed through cat gifs, so it’s better that you did it. Wow.

    • Thanks, and glad you liked. I’m often angry about things I can’t control, so I write them out, and this is what happens. I wish the world were a better place. I try to make sure my kids can carry that along.

      But I’m down with cat gifs too. Perhaps in limited numbers, but all the same…

  13. You could say that I should hate the religious extremists who pervert the religions – but what they are really doing is that they are cherry-pick their holy books for justification for violence that’s already there, and, admit it, “God told me to kill unbelievers” is a pretty powerful justification.
    I am not just talking about Muslims here. And, unfortunately, there a huge gray area between extremists and the people who eschew and disclaim violence in all forms: there are those who don’t commit the acts of violence personally, but send money to extremists; those who shelter extremists; those who don’t technically help the extremists but pray for their success, and so on.
    So I make a different generalization and dislike religion in principle. And, once again, not just Islam.

    • Valid point. I think there are good people who subscribe to religions, and that do good things as well. Generally, I think religion has had its day. It was a nice way to explain the unexplainable, but we have other methods for discovering who we are and why we’re here now. Not that we’ve figured any of that out, but at least we’re on that journey. I don’t think religions are perverted that often, honestly, or that the perversion of religion is supported in a widespread manner by most people, but when it is, it taints any good stuff.

  14. Asalaam ‘alaykum to all.

    My name is J.D., but my Muslim name is Yusuf Ali, and I would like to share my thoughts to the above expression made by our brother Mr. Trent Lewin.

    The word hate is a very hard word to swallow let alone speak. It is a word that weighs heavily upon the conscience when the human heart forget itself, when the human heart refuses to obey everything in life that preserves humanity, everything that is diametrically opposed to the Christ in the Christian scriptures teaches: “Love your enemy too.” I am a Muslim. I take it personal when people tell me that they hate me and hate my religion. It hurts me deeply within the depths of my soul to know my fellow neighbor despises me simply because I am Muslim and equating what had taken place on 9 Sept. 2011 as the exact same nature of who I am as a human being, or hate me simply due to what they hear from a xenophobic and vitriolic Westernized media which demonizes all Muslims because of the actions of a bunch of mindless, heartless murderers. Was I the Muslim who flew planes into the World Trade Center Towers or flew a plane into the Pentagon. No. I had nothing to do with those atrocities. I do not believe nor do I condone killing innocent people. I was shocked, dismayed, petrified and fierce-fully angry as the next American when I witness the tragic attack on American soil by the hands of lunatic, radical, fundamentalist Islamo-facist jihadists who have the nerve, the audacity and the effrontery to call themselves Muslims. I do not condone certain precepts of my religion as much as I refuse to accept certain precepts of any other religion when it calls for the total obliteration of another people. Nevertheless, Muslims dies right along with everyone else in the Twin Towers. Innocent Muslims dies too. Yet, we can find the same hate and insatiable need to obliterate entire races in the Bible, but I am not trying to point fingers here, just trying to make a point. But I also believe that when a person falls down, it would be ridiculous and hypocritical to extend a hand to him while you refuse to extend it to someone else. People hate and fear what they refuse to want to understand. The Qur’an propagates war and other necessary precepts and statutes that many may find horrendous, yet, in every religion there is contradiction, and with this contradiction one can also find some of the most beautiful of laws. In Islam, fir instance, it teaches to fight and kill those who are out to harm you. Yes, but it also teaches that if you can make agreement do so. It also teaches that if a person kills a man, it is as though he is killing all humanity. Yet, if he saves a man’s life, he is saving all of humanity. Simply reading a few passages from the Qur’an to make erroneous conclusions about the entirety of the Islamic religion is ludicrous, prejudiced, unfair, hateful and unjustifiable in every sense of these words.

    Love one’s enemies came from a divine man, who Christians revere as their Lord and Messiah. Jesus surely understood the essence of the word Love. Once mere men as us learn to understand the essence of Love then we would no longer have the need to use the word hate, let alone feel it, especially when we feel and use it for all the wrong reasons. I implore my fellow brother and fellow American Trent Lewin to first filter out all the propaganda that he has allowed to influence his better thinking, then take the time to research the religion of Islam before making such prejudgments against it. All my life I have researched and studied Christianity and Judaism as passionately as I have my own religion of Islam. All these religions has taught me great things, each have sacred value to them, each has become a way of life for me to fill the voids and gaps created by ideologies to maintain a scheme of divisiveness and sectarian violence among the masses. We must join minds and bring forth dialogue that does not accuse but respect and uphold each others faiths. We must do this, for the time of emergency calls for it, the objective conditions screams it out with voluminous volume, beseeching us to live together in peace and harmony. Mankind deserves more from all of love.

    • Your response, my friend, is heartfelt, but betrays the exact problem that plagues us all: ignorance. You only the read the title to my post. You didn’t read the post. My point is exactly the same as yours – if you had read the post, you would know that. I agree with you. Please have a read, and let me know what you think. I’m happy to discuss one you have assimilated all the words.

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