<< We remember 9/11

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"I’m amazed that there’s such misunderstanding of what our country is about that people would hate us. I am—like most Americans, I just can’t believe it, because I know how good we are."

—President George W. Bush, October 11, 2001

There is no denying it: Osama bin Laden and the Taliban regime of Afghanistan hate America. But why? There are many reasons that we know of, and perhaps others we may never understand.

I think these extremist Muslims hate America for the same reason that so many people like it: freedom. Our laws protect the rights of women, homosexuals and Jews, for example. With their interpretation of Islam, the Taliban have persecuted women, homosexuals and Jews. Under the Taliban, women can’t go to school, work, vote or even go out without a male relative. Freedom, the way America sees it, is an abomination to the Taliban.
    Another reason some Muslim fundamentalists hate America is that we are allies to Israel. On the Internet, I found an article called "Arab-Israeli Conflict" by William B. Vogele at www.discoveryschool.com. It explains the long history of conflict in the Middle East between Jews and Arabs, 90 percent of whom are Muslim. In founding Israel in 1948, Jews came in conflict with the Palestinian Arab population, with both sides claiming rights to the land of Palestine. Most Arabs feel sympathetic with the Palestinian struggle.
—Nicole O’Keeffe, 13

One reason that Muslims hate America is that U.S. troops have been placed in Saudi Arabia since the Gulf War. One of Osama bin Laden’s objectives is the removal of these troops, because he feels their presence defiles the "holy land." Saudi Arabia is the home of Islam’s two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina.
—Carl Densing, 17

Many Afghans are misinformed by their media. They think that we’re a really self-involved, materialistic group of people. Afghans aren’t getting enough information, partly because their country is so poor and so few people are educated enough to be able to read. Afghans don’t have access to the same free media that we do. In an article in the New York Times, an image consultant whose company specializes in psychological consumer research, Dr. Clotaire Rapaille said we should take action on this issue. "We are not just an imperialistic and materialistic people. We are also an idealistic, caring and loving people. Today it is a must and duty for corporations to speak to the world and deliver this message. It should be their priority," said Dr. Rampaille. The war of words and images is at least, if not more important, than a war of guns and bombs.
—Rebecca Coleman, 14