Clash of Civilizations

culture, not psychology

This is not “psychology” per se; it is a description of cultural differences. At the most basic level, these two cultures see the world and the place of the individual in it in very different, mutually exclusive ways.

One very big difference between Muslims and Westerners concerns their views of anger. In our Western culture, anger is generally seen as a sign of weakness and lack of control and good style.

“Style”? That must be a Danish translation issue. Nevertheless, his point is apt. Loss of control is generally seen as “Bad Form” [UK] or “un-cool” [US].

Whoever experienced the embarrassment of expressing strong anger during, for example, family dinners or at work knows that it often takes time and a conscious effort to regain one’s lost respect. We in general see it as childish and immature if people use threats and aggressive behaviour to mark their dislikes and have things their way. Instead, we see peoples’ ability to use logical arguments, to compromise, to see the situation from our opponent’s side and their knowledge of the facts, and to remain calm when challenged as clear signs of strength and authenticity.

My Muslim clients saw these normal Western social tools for negotiation during social conflicts as signs of weakness. They saw the lack of readiness to use threats and engage in a physical fight as a sign of fear.

…We Westerners see aggressiveness in people and regimes as a sign of insecurity, and therefore meet such situations with soft compassion and respect.

Like offering to “negotiate” with the Tallyban and “suppoooort” them in their goals. Neglecting to note that their “goals” are morally repugnant to us.

. Most of the Danish clients knew that anger is a “bad feeling” and that in the end there is no excuse for using threats and violence when frustrated. This view was simply part of what they were raised to think by their parents and friends and the culture they were brought up in (though they did not always manage to follow that rule in their daily life)

Small quibble, here. Westerners [sane ones] understand that feelings are information — not instructions. Anger is not a “bad feeling,” it is information that *something* is not right and, so long as we stay in rational control, it gives us energy to address that issue.

…my Muslim clients saw the use of aggression as an accepted and even often expected behaviour in conflicts. If a person does not become aggressive when criticised or insecure, it is seen as a sign of weakness and lack of ability to defend oneself and one’s honour. In Muslim culture it is expected that one is willing to sacrifice one’s personal safety to protect one’s group or whatever one represents. If a member of the group is not able to do so, there will immediately be sown doubts as to whether that member can be trusted as a useful defender of the family, ethnic group, religion, territory, etc.

Here’s an assertion that reminds me of how far from our own Values we’ve fallen allowed ourselves to be pushed:

Becoming angry or categorizing oneself as a victim unable to defend oneself when challenged with simple questions or criticism concerning one’s way of living or one’s values is not honourable at all – at least not in Western culture.

BTNIN — on to another misunderstanding non-comprehension issue:

The simple and natural demand for integration in our Western societies is therefore experienced by many Muslims as an unwelcome criticism of their own culture. Muslims asks themselves: “Why do we have to change our way of living to be accepted?” My professional experience is that the demands for integration are constantly fueling many resident Muslims’ feeling of being criticised and feeling enmity towards their non-Islamic surroundings.

They’re not prone to shrug and say “Their opinion of me is none of my business.” Americans in particular are more able be comfortable with the idea that others have different opinions about things. It’s a distinctly American thing from the days of the melting pot idea. EUros often see that as ‘American arrogance,’ while se see it as simple self-directedness. ["Whaaat? How could you possibly not be interested in my opinion of your Life?!?" not being arrogant at all....]

We’re more relaxed about responding to criticism of a personal choice with “Who asked you?” “What’s it to ya?” [or the more modern and softer "Thanks for sharing."]

At least we were until the Prog Social Engineering campaign took hold… BTNIN.

…What we in the West would categorize as an insecure and childish response to criticism is seen by Muslims as a fair and honourable reaction to unjust insults. My experience from working with Muslim clients is that what other people think and say about them means a lot. The combination of social acceptance of aggressive behaviour and an exceedingly fragile honour constitutes an explosive cocktail.

…the strict code of honour in Muslim culture has a tendency to create fragile and glass-like personalities in Muslim males in particular: they are constantly vigilant towards any sign of criticism.

That requires a lot of energy; being so concerned with others’ opinions of one and then having to find some way to force others to agree. Whew. I’m worn out thinking about it. No time or energy left over to, say, invent a better mouse trap.

Muslim men have a very high position in the world – according to Islam and Muslim customs. They are told from birth that as a Muslim they are better human beings in the eyes of both other Muslims and Allah. They also learn through both words and cultural traditions that they are better than Muslim women. My experience that not being allowed to and also not wanting to lose this position makes Muslim men very vulnerable: The slightest signs of weakness have to be hidden, and with the Muslim view of aggression, honour and the victim mentality, suppression of and even physical attacks upon women are often chosen as the Muslim man’s primary defence. This male insecurity is enhanced by the very free upbringing that many Muslim boys receive: They do not experience the necessary educational boundaries for the simple reason that they are boys. This upbringing without limitations does not provide the boys with the necessary sense of social behaviour and empathy, and leads them to think that they are powerful and invincible. The back side of such feelings is always insecurity and fear that somebody discovers that one is actually not as secure and capable as one is told, or pretends to be.

Being an American, I default to the “make your own decisions, do what you want” position. Unfortunately, I also see that there is no way for these two cultures to live peacefully side-by-side. There has to be some way to organize this planet so that they can “make their own decisions, do what they want” *elsewhere* while we “make our own decisions, do what we want” separate and apart from them.

There’s way way more in this piece to chew on — I’ll give ya some tidbits.

Finish your assignment! »

The Muslim world produces less than one tenth of the world average when it comes to scientific research: …

The tradition of inbreeding among Muslims also does not add to their chances of success in our high tech knowledge societies, which have high expectations of people’s emotional control and ability to learn and handle large amounts of information. 45 percent of all Arabs, 70 percent of Pakistanis and 40 percent of Turks are inbred.

My experience is that immigrants need three things to be able to integrate. They need to want it, they need to be allowed [by other Muslims] and they need to have the capacity. Very few Muslim immigrants fulfill all three criteria.

The consequence will be that we get bigger and better organized Muslim parallel societies. The psychology of these communities will be characterized by aggression, the feeling of victimization and the right to “defend” themselves by any means against their oppressors, and by growing demands for special rules – so-called Islamization – of the country.

…All through the often bloody history of Islam it has been traditional to move to new areas of the world and through both demographic, political and violent measures claim that the particular areas are now under Islamic control. It will take only one charismatic Muslim leader to declare a Muslim neighbourhood to be a small Islamic area – rejecting the rule of non-Islamic authorities.


  1. ZZMike
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 10:59 am |

    “Why do we have to change our way of living to be accepted?”

    You don’t. Not at all. You’re completely accepted in your home countries.

    Take a hint.

    “… there is no way for these two cultures to live peacefully side-by-side.”

    That seems to be true. Islam is incompatible with democracy.

    Al-Zarqawi explains democracy (he actually seems to understand it better than most people). The only problem is,

    “he considers every one of these principles to be evil and perverted, heresy and error.”


    “Second: Democracy is based on the principle of freedom of religion and belief.

    … a man can believe anything he wants and choose any religion he wants and convert to any religion whenever he wants, even if this apostasy means abandoning the religion of Allah… This is a matter which is patently perverse and false and contradicts many specific [Muslim] legal texts, since according to Islam, if a Muslim apostatizes from Islam to heresy, he should be killed, as stated in the Hadith reported by Al-Bukhari and others: ‘Whoever changes his religion, kill him.’ It does not say ‘leave him alone.’
    According to Allah’s religion, he has only one choice: ‘Repent or be killed.’ ”

    Al-Zarqawi was blown to bits in an air raid in 2006.

  2. bocopro
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 11:31 am |

    Uh . . . from what I’ve read and observed about Muslim cultures, especially the Arab and Middle Eastern ones, my reaction to all the snippets you’ve provided here is D-u-u-u-h-h-h-h!

    Way back in the 70s, I was the Director of the electronics “A” School in GLakes, Ill. The CO tasked me with ginning up a set of indoctrination lectures for graduating students (mostly averaging about 19 yrs old) whose orders would put them in contact with cultures markedly different from ours.

    At that point, we had Kuwaiti, Turkish, Saudi, and other foreign students in our basic electronics classes, mostly integrated with our own kids. So I interviewed their liaison officer for some insights (’cause at the time my opinion of their habits, cultures, and beliefs was pretty low).

    At first he disdained even speaking with me, since he outranked me, but apparently he got orders from his embassy or something, so he stooped to educate and edify my ignorant infidel ass. VERY condescending.

    Without actually saying so, he told me that within a few decades, a coalition of Islamic states would outproduce the American and European cultures in terms of math, science, research, invention, and just about anything that matters . . . that the US culture is jaded and corrupt and doomed to implode because of its preoccupation with sex and race.

    I got the distinct impression that he was typical of Muslim males’ convictions that Westerners, particularly Americans, are low-class mongrels who are completely under the control of non-semitic Zionist troublemakers and that only Islam could save humanity from itself . . . rather like Sterling Hayden’s character in Dr. Strangelove . . . through purity of thought and essence and religious belief.

    Sheeesh! After a couple beers for lunch to clear my mental palate, I talked to a Saudi E-8 for about an hour. Came away from that with the understanding that everyone who is not Arabic and does not follow the Qur’an deserves to be slaughtered, and the sooner the better, but in the meantime their sailors needed the training in basic electronics that was not available in their own territory. Surprisingly, many of the Saudi sailors were extremely interested in trying to get into local high schools because the diploma they’d earn would guarantee them political and economic power in their military. Otherwise they considered Americans on approximately the same level as dogs and horses . . . nice to have around for certain jobs, but not deserving to live in the same world as they do.

    The Kuwaitis said they were too busy to talk to me (very few of them were there, and almost all of them were “officers” who were more interested in shopping at Carson, Pirie, Scott and similar stores than trying to learn “basic” anything), and the Turks said that the only their consulate or their embassy could address the issues I expressed interest in and that their enlisted personnel were under strict direction to avoid any fraternization with their American counterparts except as necessary for understanding material being taught in the classes to which they were assigned.

    As I’ve said many times before in many places, Israeli culture made the desert bloom; Islamic culture made the desert bleed. Perhaps when Islam undergoes its long-overdue reformation, I’ll be willing to converse and cooperate with them. Until that time, my wish for them is a very long walk on a very short pier . . . and they can take the Kenyan with them.

  3. geezerette
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 11:56 am |

    Amen^^^^ bocopro

  4. mech
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

    Some may consider me to be simplistic and even raaacist but my initial impression of this incompatibility was that it strongly resembles the cultural differences in Starship Troopers. . .

    Now there’s always an exception or two but they are already integrated into society without bringing unusual attention to themselves for their demand that we embrace their diversity.

  5. ZZMike
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm |

    bocopro: Excellent!!

    The Arab mind-set – at least among the princes (who seem to number about 80% of the population) seems to be that manual labor – and learning anything other than the Koran – is beneath their dignity (because having read the Koran, they know everything). Their proper role is to tell other people what to do and how to do it.

  6. mojo
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

    From the “Everybody’s Got Somethin’ To Hide” department:

    LARGO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man is charged with felony drunken driving and wildlife violations after police discovered a small monkey in his truck.

  7. Paladin
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

    The tradition of inbreeding among Muslims also does not add to their chances of success in our high tech knowledge societies, which have high expectations of people’s emotional control and ability to learn and handle large amounts of information. 45 percent of all Arabs, 70 percent of Pakistanis and 40 percent of Turks are inbred.

    I seem to remember a movie about this. A family breaks down in the desert whose only inhabitants are a bunch of hostile inbreds.

  8. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm |

    Yeah well the Japs and Krauts feel the same way. Or rather, they used to. And a nother thing I can`t ignore. A cursory inventory of all the military hardware in Islam nations reveals that, with the exception of homemade bombs, daggers and scimitars, it all comes from non-islamic countries.

    How come honor is a BFD, but no muzzie ever mentions dishonorable short fucking memories? Like leaving the fate of your fellow Islam-weenies totally in our hands during the Bosnia/Sarajevo flap, huh?

    Finally, in the pride department I can eat with both hands while you got shit on your left hand and I got Charmin………..

  9. geezerette
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm |

    Amen^^^to you to Col.J.

  10. Posted May 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm |

    “there is no way for these two cultures to live peacefully side-by-side. ”

    Au contraire. The patterns of thought here ascribed to Moslem men are very similar to the patterns of thought I have observed all my career among the American men charged with various acts of violence against women in their lives.

    Perhaps Moslem culture is either a more effective nursery of weak, control jackass, narcissistic losers than ours. Or it just lets them be more overt and holistic with it.

    Whichever, plenty of tenth generation, blue eyed “Moslem men” walk among us.

  11. Posted May 4, 2012 at 5:02 pm |

    Hey Claire,

    Thanks a lot for posting that. I think I turned gay about halfway through the second paragraph. I stopped reading after that. I mean, what’s the point?

    And now I have to go shopping for shoes. Shit.

    Okay, maybe I’ll grab a new belt while I’m there.

  12. DougM (jackassophobe)
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm |

    Paladin (7)
    Y’mean Deliverance?

  13. Posted May 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm |

    I actually have Deliverance on DVD. I play it when people I don’t like come over. And then I whup-out the banjo.

    Just kidding. I don’t really have a banjo.

  14. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 7:37 pm |

    Read your post Claire, and once again I hear this voice from 111 years ago:
    “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

    “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.
    Nothing has changed, except they have acquired cell phones, explosives and automatic weapons from the ‘infidels’, made possible only through the infidel finding oil under their previously worthless lands, and not through any work, creativity, or organization on their own part.

  15. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted May 5, 2012 at 8:46 am |

    That voice from 111 years ago. Young Winston Churchill, as recorded in the book, “River Wars”.

  16. ZZMike
    Posted May 5, 2012 at 10:35 am |

    staghounds: “… American men charged with various acts of violence against women in their lives.”

    Ah, yes, the wife-beaters. The practice has even started a line of men’s fashion (a T-shirt: “in rural American vernaculars, it has the particular meaning of a t-shirt which has had the sleeves cut off, often roughly, as if with garden shears.”)

    The bottom line, though, is that a man who hits a woman is a coward (as always, there are exceptions).

  17. TimO
    Posted May 5, 2012 at 11:43 am |

    This is why I’ve laughed for decades at the people who claim “people are the same all over”.
    Back in the 90′s I did business news on radio and interviewed a guy who wrote a book on things bussinesspeople needed to be aware of when dealing with other cultures. Very much this same stuff and yet the MSM keeps acting like it doesn’t exist.

  18. TomR, armed in Texas
    Posted May 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

    I had an experience that mirrors bocopro’s. In the mid 90′s I had a neighbor who was from Kuwait. He frequently cornered me outside to preach the wonders of islam. This was shortly after Gulf War 1. Hassim had “avoided”fighting to free his country. He never said anything good about America and thought our value was paying the price to free his country from other muslims. He hated Iraqis as much as he disrespected Americans. Hassim told me that the West and islam had fought for centuries and now islam was poised to subdue/destroy the West. If I would convert to islam I could be on the winning side and spared. I thought he was full of shit and if murder was legal he would be history.

    On 9-11 one of my first thoughts was of the things Hassim had told me a few years earlier. I know that we CANNOT exist in the same land area with muslims. They have a vocation to destroy us. When, oh when, are we going to get leadership that acknowledges that. I think George Bush committed a potentially fatal error when he declared islam a “religion of peace” and stated we were not at war with islam. Bush may have thought those statements would carry weight with us, but muslims are laughing uncontrollably at that misspeak. Bush should have been honest. Muslim immigration should have been terminated NLT 12Sep11.

    As an aside. Through the Special Forces grapevine we got the word from A Team advisors that most Kuwati, Saudi, Omani, Emirates forces were more a hindrance to the Gulf War 1 coalitian than an asset. But they were needed for political purposes. They made it appear to be a united effort rather than the real scenario of a Western military force running rampant over a muslim military force. Too bad Bush 41 ended that rout 48hrs too soon, Political appearances you know. 100 hr. war looks so good in the history books. And Colin Powell’s pussy reaction to the destruction of the Iraqi forces retreat on the Road of Death still pisses me off.

    No, America cannot absorb hordes of muslim immigrants and expect they will assimilate. They will not. The next few decades for us are going to morph into an intensified copy of the same muslim shit that Western Europe is experiencing now. Our one salvation is US Constitution, Amendment No.2. Let’s fight to keep that right.

  19. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted May 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm |

    ColJ – thanks for the citation. The Greatest Briton deserves that much.

  20. Lucius Severus Pertinax
    Posted May 6, 2012 at 3:52 am |

    The Assimilation Game should be simple and easy.

    1. If you can’t, we will teach you.
    2. If you won’t, we will make you.
    3. If we can’t make you, we will expel you.

    Done Deal.