Tom Friedman Has the Wrong Narrative on Islamic Hatred

Thomas Friedman's explanation of why Major Nidal Hasan murdered 13 people at Ft. Hood, and why Arabs and Muslims hate America, misses the point. How does such a bright, articulate journalist get it so wrong?

Friedman correctly blames what he calls "The Narrative" -- the "cocktail of half-truths, propaganda, and outright lies about America." For example, there is the Arab perception of an "American/Crusader/Zionist conspiracy" against Muslims. However, his analysis misunderstands the problem and misleads readers by ignoring the central place of jihad in Muslim and Arab thinking.

Asking why Muslims "take to the streets" over a cartooned Muhammad (minus the murder and mayhem) but won't protest Muslim suicide bombers is a proper recognition of fault, but it also confuses the nature of the conflict.

Jihad is to Islam what belief in Jesus is to Christianity or following Torah is to Judaism. Jihad is essential to "The Narrative," and understanding the threat of jihad is essential to non-Muslims.

As interpreted by Muslim clerics, jihad means enforcing the superiority of Muslims and Muslim law over anything and anyone else. Islam does not preach tolerance. It is a religion of totalitarianism.

Friedman laments:

Don't they appreciate how much we've done for them ... trillions of dollars, thousands of American and allied soldiers lives lost to bring democracy and stability to Iraq and Afghanistan?

Of course they do not appreciate what we have done.

For many, Israel is the "oppressor of Muslims" and the "occupier of Arab land." A reasonable conclusion might suggest the U.S. drop relations with Israel in order to improve relationships with Arabs and Muslims. This seems to be Obama's policy -- weaken Israel, force it back to the armistice lines of 1949, and arm Palestinians to the teeth.

Then, miraculously, Arabs and Muslims will embrace America's "crusade" against Muslim countries. No more 9/11s and Ft. Hoods. A second Arab Palestinian state will make things better! No more nasty jihad!