I have spent endless hours talking with Muslims on the streets of Arab towns and never felt threatened or in harms way as an American visiting a Arab country; I have never spoken with Sunnis or Shi’is who feel that it is their religious duty to kill me or all non-Muslims because we are worse than animals. Muslims, from mosque preachers to garbage collectors, have never shown me the kinds of fanaticism that Amis leads us to believe are now pandemic in the Arab Muslim world. In my visits to the Arab world I have always been showered with kindness, hospitality, and enjoyed vigorous debates on religion.
"This explains why the crude anti-Western rhetoric of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez attracts cheering crowds from Tehran to Jakarta and Shanghai; why the rants of Hizbollah's chief Sheikh Nasrallah make him a cult figure across the Arab world. It explains, too, why five years after 9/11, the Taliban and al-Qaeda appear to be resurgent and the terrorist methods of organisations such as Hizbollah and Hamas enjoy unexpected legitimacy."
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