Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Book Review: Because They Hate

I have seen many reports and specials on the Middle East that feature commentary by Brigitte Gabriel. When I heard about her book Because They Hate, I wanted to read it for two reasons. First, I have always been impressed with her knowledge of the Middle East and her understanding of militant Islam. Second, I wanted to hear the story of someone who grew up in the Middle East and I was curious how that might affect her thoughts on what is happening in the Middle East today.

Because they Hate is an incredible account of a Christian growing up in Lebanon. She describes her life before Militant Islamic Fanatics came to her country and started killing Christians in the mid 1970’s. The first attack on her city destroyed her home and almost killed her. She describes how her family was able to survive the constant attacks by Muslims and some of the ordeals her family survived.

One of the tactics Mrs. Gabriel describes was designed to kill Jews in Israel and Christians in Lebanon. The Muslims would set up weapons in a Christian area, fire at Israel and leave. Once their rockets hit Israel, Israel would return fire, hitting the Christian area. She also described what life was like hiding from snipers, and trying to dodge bombs while hoping the Americans would come to their rescue. When a UN peace force was later placed in Lebanon to secure peace, she didn’t feel there was any difference from before the UN force arrived.

Mrs. Gabriel would survive the war in Lebanon and go on to anchor a prominent news show in the Middle East. She details how that changed her life. She was given access to news stories from around the world, without any Arabic spin put on the stories. She would compare the information she was given with what was being reported throughout the Middle East. Sometimes the difference was like night and day.

Because They Hate is also a warning to the United States and the West. Mrs. Gabriel warns that terrorist and Islamic religious authorities say they want to destroy our country and they will succeed if we don’t start taking them seriously and act accordingly. She argues that many Islamic Scholars are teaching hate towards Israel and the United States. Some of this teaching is even occurring on our campuses here in the United States.

As cliché as it may sound, I think all Americans need to read this book. This is an account of a woman who has seen first hand the terrible face of Islamic fundamentalist. Her native country was destroyed by the same people who would like to attack us. She wrote this book as a warning to the United States. She is now an American citizen and doesn’t want the same fate to happen to our country as it did to her native country.

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