So WHY do extremist Muslims hate Christians, Jews and Americans so badly?
The reason is, that Muslims believe they are the final revelation of God to the world superceding Moses (Judaism) and Jesus (Christianity) which in a small respect is similar to what early Mormons believed towards Christianity (their prophet Joseph Smith’s angelic revelation, his Book of Moroni, and his resultant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Muslims acknowledge Moses and Jesus as great prophets (despite Jesus claiming he was God, which if wrong, would make him a terrible prophet). They believe Mohammed is the last and greatest spiritual truth. That is why he is called “The Prophet.” They feel that Jews and Christians holding on to their faiths (the first and second revelations) INSULT God by denying his latest (third and final) revelation to humanity. It is this sensibility that drives much of the passion, hysteria and fervor against Jews and Christians (and by association, the West). America is identified as “christian” and her foreign policy has added heat to the hatred, which is viewed as arrogant opposition from a base of rebellion against God.
This ‘arrogance’ is reiterated by extremist-Muslim perceptions of western sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, the liberty of women, clothing, movies, books, the use of alcohol, graven images, all of which violate Islamic laws (revelation) and they think directly insults God.
This is a theological and religious ideological conflict. New Zealanders need to understand, that we can be killed and attacked in foreign contexts (like Bali) because we are culturally identified as “christians.” It is not about the Palestinians, or Israel building apartments in restricted parts of Israel (Palestinians live freely in Israel, but not the other way around). This is a deeply seated spiritual and theological conflict: a religious clash that has persevered for centuries, ever since Islam first arose in 610 AD.
Most Christians understand these developments in spiritual terms as underlaying physical (“flesh and blood“) events, what is called theologically “principalities and powers” (Ephesians 6:12). A Biblical prophesy from 90AD (the Apostle John) puts it this way (Rev. 12) [my inserts to clarify what is meant apocalyptically]…
“1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman [Israel] clothed with the sun [Jacob] with the moon [his wife Rachel] under her feet and a crown of twelve stars [Joseph and his brothers, Jews] on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon [Satan]…Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky [destruction of world Jewry, i.e. Adolf Hitler killed 1/3 of all Jews] and flung them to the earth. The dragon [Satan] stood in front of the woman [Israel] who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child [Jewish Messiah] the moment he was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child [Jesus] who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne [the Resurrection and Ascension].6 The woman fled into the wilderness [scattered into the world's nations after 70 AD when Jerusalem was sacked] to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of [protected from complete genocide]… 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman [Israel] and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus [Christians].”
Christian comprehension of this theology is what explains the pathological persecution of Jews, Christians and latterly the West, since forever.