Cambridge Professor on Islam and hatred for USA

Sir Robert Hinde, Professor of psychology at the University of Cambridge, united Kingdom, stated at a lecture at the Institute of Applied Psychology of Lisbon that there were clear reasons why the USA was so hated around the world before September 11th, not only in Moslem countries, and pointed out that all religions have been through stages of violence.

“All religions, not only Islam but also Christianity and Judaism, produce fanatics”. While it is true that the Noble Qu’ran states in part that infidels should be killed, so does the Old Testament give indications that enemies of religion are to be massacred. Christianity, also, was the source of immeasurable violence through the Inquisition, which perpetrated barbarous acts of torture, burning people alive and disembowelling them.

What is necessary, explained Professor Hinde, is that the messages conveyed by religions are placed in their respective historical contexts. While the Qu’ran transmits an eternal message for behaviour, its writings must also be set in the VIIth century Arabian Peninsula and many messages of violence are wrongly transported through the centuries.

“Violence is not historically exclusive to Islam but Islam must modernise itself in many aspects,” declared professor Hinde, although he pointed out that only a small minority of Moslems were in favour of Islamist violence, the more radical and anti-Western segment in favour of confrontation to preserve old traditions and values.

Regarding the terrorist attacks on the United States, professor Hinde stated: “Something that surprised me after 11th September was to have discovered that the Americans did not have the slightest idea about how hated they were around the world and not only in the Islamic world”. The “many reasons” he quoted were that “they have interfered in so many countries. The CIA was behind the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile, tried to assassinate political leaders, installed governments... The Americans did not sign the anti-mine treaty, they did not sign the International penal tribunal treaty and they did not sign the Protocol of Kyoto”.

He added that the Americans had committed many mistakes in the Moslem world, and the fact that they so blindly support Israel against Palestine has turned many Moslems against America.

As for solutions to the current crisis in Afghanistan, the Cambridge Professor is of the opinion that violence begets violence. “The only way to get back to normality is through education. It is the only way to get through traumas left by years of conflict”.