Why do the Jihadists hate America? There are three broad schools of thought in the US on this topic:

  • Progressives insist that jihadists are only reacting to our provocations of them, from attacking their countries.
  • Libertarians assert that it is cynical US manipulation of Middle Eastern governments, which they consider to be (or have been) US puppets. This includes the governments of Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria and others.
  • Both libertarians and liberals often imply that Israel, or “the Jews” in general, are pushing all of this.
  • Conservatives ascribe to jihadists a hatred of American/Western ideals of liberty and government, coupled with their disgust at the results of such freedoms — sexual promiscuity and what they call “democracy” being chief among them.

But there is another school of thought to be considered:

What the jihadists themselves say and think about America. Here, a key and important source of jihadist thought is Sayyid Qutb. This man came to America in 1948, sent by a Muslim Brotherhood institution, to learn about America and report back. He spent two years in the US, and as he is the most influential modern writer in the Muslim Brotherhood world, his writings have been vastly influential.

He did not like America.

Well, he was astounded by America, it was Americans he despised. Here a short pamphlet from Qutb: The America I Have Seen. He wrote of being impressed by America’s technical ability:



But America’s People…

After pages of attestation of these wonders of the land, he turns his attention to the people of America. Qutb considered its people to be utterly lost, soulless, hopeless, and worthy only of destruction or subjugation. For example:


He was disgusted by American sexuality and morality, and almost everything about America’s culture. (He was impressed by our landscape artists, but not other forms of art.)

Since Qutb is considered to be the most important 20th century writer for most of a billion Muslims, his demand that America be subjugated or destroyed carries much weight. He wrote much more about this than the short pamphlet linked here.

America Go To Hell

The upshot is that, according to the Muslim Brotherhood’s most important modern writer, the one who re-invigorated the Brotherhood, the conservative view of their motivations is closest to correct. Interestingly, it is libertarian and progressive lifestyles that cause jihadists and their supporters the most pain. And it is not just lifestyle: What they call “democracy” (really Western Constitutional republics, most notably the United States) is a focus of hatred, and must be replaced with strict Islamic Shariah law. There’s a reason that they carry signs like this:


Sadly, these signs are now an increasing part of United States campus life, with the Social Justice for Palestine front for the Muslim Brotherhood pushing for the destruction of the US and Israel.

More Ancient History

And if you wind this process backward in history, you get more clues. Qutb was two thirds of a century ago, but the first jihadist attacks on American interests were in the late 1700s. (They had been attacking British interests before they became American.) We ultimately fought our first war after the American Revolution against the jihadists of the Middle East, and to this day the US Marines first encounter is commemorated: “… to the shores of Tripoli.”

In the 1790s, the brand new United States had not manipulated Middle Eastern governments. There was no Israel. There was simply a fierce hatred by radical Islamists of all who were not subjects of their particular faith. All infidels, to jihadist leaders from the Bey of Tripoli in 1790 to Sayyid Qutb of 1950, were good for nothing more than destruction or subjugation. And they were not always convinced that subjugation was even worth the trouble.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • I was discussing those teachings with someone else this morning, who was talking about the problem with “Islamists.” I replied:

    I use this term sometimes myself. But I think that there really is no such distinction. Instead, there are Muslims on a scale of less to more devout or perhaps “educated in Islam.” The more “education” they have in the ahadith (plural of “Hadith”) and Qur’an, the more dangerous to others they become. But it would be very hard to draw a bright line — among those not invested in Islam enough (and thus able to assimilate into other cultures) to Shariah supporters to jihad supporters to full on jihadists — and say “those past this point are Islamists.”

    The sad part is that a very different education is in order — and this would require discounting the importance to today’s Muslims of Mohammad’s words and deeds. Such a thing must be done, and universally accepted, to end the threat. But the mere suggestion would earn the death penalty in many of the Muslim countries right now.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • Their hatred is ingrained in their so-called “Religious” teachings — teachings that require the destruction of all things “Infidel” so the World-Wide Cakliphate can rule all things in the name of their God, “Ollie.”

  • tannngl

    Just read that the marines who fought the Muslim pirates wore leather around their neck to protect from the huge swords the Muslim pirates used and were nicknamed “leathernecks”.

    Interesting analysis.
    And they are winning.