Wednesday, February 3, 2010

52 Bks/Bk 5: Because They Hate

Because They Hate by Brigitte Gabrielle is the author's recount of the Lebanese war and her subsequent belief that the world needs to arm themselves against Muslims bent on Jihad. One of the Amazon reviewers states that the book is "by turns poignant, important, and extreme," and with my limited knowledge I would have to agree. I learned a lot about events and people I remember hearing about on the radio during high school, found myself looking closely at the map, and gained a greater understanding of religious sects in the Middle East. The author, however, paints an almost unbelievably idealistic picture at times of both her early childhood and life in Israel, and this detracts from her overall message.

She does, however, speak to the secularism in our culture and the trend for the outspoken liberal U.S. elected official and Hollywood star Du Jour to speak loudly and derisively of America. According to Gabriel, this is just the sort of rhetoric that radical Jihadist love. They don't hate Americans because they are free, they hate Americans because they are secular. In fact, there is a radical portion of Islam that hates anyone who is an infidel, be they Christian, Jew or Hindi. Gabriel points out many parallels between her homeland and America and has a clear and unabashed apologetic for how to respond to the threat of Islamic terrorism.

The information that I found most disturbing in this book was the illiteracy and birth rates among Muslims, the overall lack of creativity when comparing Arabian countries to others (patents applied for, books translated) in juxtaposition to the millions of dollars poured into American universities by wealthy Muslims (to create Muslim study departments).

Reading this book caused me to feel gratitude for the wealth I've enjoyed as an American- physical comforts, certainly. But also the freedom, as woman especially, to pursue education, to have respect and mutuality in marriage and in society. This book follows the world-view theme I seem to be on this year, and a peek into a world I'm glad I'm not a part of .

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