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Although the ‘They’ listed in the title could refer to anyone that hates us, can also be seen as connected to my last two posts. As we start with this consideration of why people hate one another let us first consider what hatred really is. It seems to me that hatred is the effect of giving into the selfishness of being offended by the action of another. It is the desiring of evil to happen to the one who harmed us. (Whether or not the harm done was real or only perceived does not really matter. What matters is that someone feels slighted in some way and therefore hates the one who hurt them.) On the other hand, love is desiring the good of the ‘other’, even if they have harmed us.

The desire to hate and the lack of love, therefore, can be seen to be the cause of most (all?) conflict amongst mankind. So if we want to resolve conflict it seems that we must ask how do we avoid (or rid ourselves of) hatred? To this question someone might say, “Why should I want to get rid of hatred? The person that did _______ (here fill in your own offense) is bad and deserves to be hated.”

The reason we should rid ourselves of hatred is because we are not God. Hatred, it seems to me, comes from our desire to be the ‘God’ of our own lives, e.g., I don’t have things go the way I want them to and therefore I punish with my hatred the one who harmed me. (Not that I would or should do this – it is only an example.) It was the sin of Adam and Eve that introduced this disorder into the life of mankind. But the order that we were created for is that of love; a love based on God the Creator creating us out of love and for love: both love of God and love of those made in His Image: our fellow man. And this love, the love we were created for, is only possible if we live our lives in knowledge of the fact that we, the individual, are not God. We are creatures, who if we would act in love towards others as we were created to do, would see the true evil that lies within hatred. And as a result, we would no longer want to hate anyone. At least it seems to me this is the way that a Christian should see things.

So in answer to the question of why do ‘they’ hate us: in regards to those Muslims who do hate us, perhaps it is something within Islam that causes them to see things in a completely different light than a Christian would. Of course that would not make it right for them to hate us but it at least would help us understand why they hate us. But I am not a Muslim scholar and do not know what it is that might make them see things differently than us. If anyone has the answer please feel free to say so.