Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons posted a piece entitled “The Ugly Head of America” this morning on The Huffington Post. It was a broadside attack on Americans for engaging in what he calls ‘hate speech’ towards the Muslim world:
The hatred and anger towards Muslims in this country and around the world has gone beyond the tipping point. This is not acceptable. We have to cleanse ourselves of this horrible disease. The long-term karmic effect of keeping this attitude in this country is unthinkable.
Really? A country that has liberated millions of Muslims from the yoke of tyranny and provided massive aid in times of natural disaster to such Muslim countries as Indonesia and Pakistan hates Muslims?
Mr. Simmons confuses hate speech with the truth. If Muslims practice their religion peacefully without stomping on the rights of others, they are more than welcome - as are the believers of any other peaceful religion or non-believers. Unfortunately, their religion has been used by radical Islamists as the justification for a supremist, racist, misogynist and violence-prone ideology that denigrates human reason, individual liberties and self-government.
What many Americans have a hard time accepting is the radical Islamists’ narrative of victimhood at the hands of an imaginary “neo-colonialist” American-Zionist cabal. And contrary to Simmons’ description of President Obama’s speech last June in Cairo to the Muslim world as “nothing but love,” Obama’s apologies for supposed U.S. transgressions played right into this false narrative.
The radical Islamists hate us because of who we are, not for any alleged harm that we’ve ever caused them.
Only three years after the United States won its independence, when there was no Jewish state for Muslims to resent, and no American troops on Muslim soil, Thomas Jefferson, then US ambassador to France, and John Adams, then US Ambassador to Britain, learned from a Muslim ambassador to Britain why the Muslims were so hostile towards Americans, even then.
Jefferson and Adams were attempting to negotiate a peace treaty with the Muslim “Barbary pirates,” an exercise that ultimately proved to be futile.
As Jefferson and Adams later reported to Congress, the Muslim ambassador explained to them that Islam:
was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman [Muslim] who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.
This hostility, so intense then, has not abated more than two hundred years later. It is not hate speech to warn about and oppose those who seek to destroy our way of life.