The reason why the Western world and the Islamic world are so completely out of touch.
Remember the interview of Khaddafi with Blair? Khadddafi was purposely showing the soles of his shoe to Blair when he was sitting down with him. In our culture crossing your legs is something nobody pays attention to. In his culture showing the soles of your shoes is a grave insult. It means that you are like dirt under his shoes.
So all the while when Blair was having in his mind a civilized conversation, Khaddafi was gravely insulting him on purpose. And anyone watching from his culture knew exactly what he meant.
Same with all of the Western world idea’s of straightforwardness, reasonableness, evading war when you can by diplomacy etc. They are very ethnocentric. In Islamic culture those who negotiate do so out of weakness. They don’t have the concept of civilized resolution of problems. Either you submit or you don’t. If you negotiate you are submitting because to them that means you are running out of steam, the will to fight.
Why negotiate if you can win? That’s the warriors ideology, you fight till you win or lose. You don’t give up in the middle unless you have to.
Also you never are honest. You always lie, you never show your true intentions, that’s stupid, how can you defeat your enemy by being honest? To them that’s absurd and anyone who is honest to them they take for an idiot.
That’s now the huge problem Obama (and in fact all Americans/Westerners) can’t get to grips with. By his speech in Egypt in 2008 he submitted and lost all his respect and that of the USA. His speech in their minds said:
We acknowledge Dar al Islam.
If you acknowledge that, you acknowledge automatically the Dar al-Harb, since the two are unified. The one only exists in contrast to the other.
And since the USA is not (yet) Dar al Islam it’s logically Dar al-Harb. So you are admitting the superiority of Islam over your part of the world since you are an infidel.
By that all powers in the region felt emboldened and they were justified time and again because Obama keeps on talking and not acting.
The result? Some call it the Arab spring. But it isn’t. It’s a carefully planned and orchestrated taking over of the whole region by the radical Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood prepared in all nations well ahead very good networks, instigated riots (which was easy, since normal people really where fed up) and afterwards immediately put their network into action to take over the power.
Egypt is now under control, Tunisia, Libya is well under way. Syria is being conquered with the help of the same naive West as they helped in Egypt, Jordan is getting very unstable, Algeria and Morocco as well.
And we are standing by the side and cheering them on under the illusion that we are helping progress.
All that due to a total lack of cultural understanding.
Addition due to lack of context (a very rough sketch indeed):
I’m mostly taken by the interpretation that Islam is a jumble of oral traditions of nomadic tribes interfused with jewish and christian religious teachings.
In those days almost everyone was illiterate, nomads sit around their campfires and recount events, handle disputes, manage the tribes daily life. Slowly judaism and christianity (nomads travel everywhere) start to get spread via that way, but along the way due to poor translation and bad memory the texts become more part of their own culture.
Islam gets born.
Now is the standard nomad life one of stealing from other tribes, conquest, plundering villages etc. There is not much else to do since due to their nomadic lifestyle they don’t do farming much. Lifestock a bit. So you have a basically warrior nomad lifestyle that starts to develop a ‘religion’ of their own. One day a successful leader, mohammed, finds a way to unify the tribes using the ideology as a binding force. What follows are ages of murderous conquest,destruction, plunder without any thought of the future. If you are a tribe in a desert there is no end to what you can plunder.
By doing so during centuries the 2 (ideology and warrior lifestyle) get unified in the Sunna with the Hadith, writings that ‘explain’ the Quran. Also in that mix, get taken the Tafsir, yet another more mundane easier to follow for the general public explanation. That all formed over the ages, by incorporating written tribal justice, the Sharia. The islamic law.
So today the Islam is still a warrior ideology, with remnants of christianity and judaism (the old testament is practically copied, but distorted).
In the end Islam as it stands today is an ideology that encompasses a derived religion mostly geared towards conquest.