The following is an excerpt from an article called How To Beat Jihad by Ali Sina, an Iranian ex-Muslim, who makes some interesting points, and because he grew up in a strict Islamic country, his insight adds a unique perspective. Reprinted with permission.
Our responsibility is to awaken the non-Muslims and warn them of the danger of Islam. The danger comes from Islam and not the Middle Eastern people. Unlike Muslims, who discriminate, violate and abuse the human rights of non-Muslims, the non-Muslims have difficulty with discrimination. However, they must understand that Islam is just a belief and beliefs do not have rights. Humans have rights, beliefs don’t.
Muslims can become feral dogs if their religion is criticized. Savagery should not be tolerated. Those Muslims who choose to defend their religion with savagery should be locked up or kicked out. Dialog should be welcomed, but there should be zero tolerance for violence.
Once dialogue begins, Islam will be discredited and Muslims will be set free. Once their source of pride becomes a source of shame, they will no longer cling to it but rather will be embarrassed of it and would want to dissociate themselves from it.
The Western culture is guilt-based. The Eastern culture is shame-based. For us Easterners, everything is about image and how others see us.
The opposite of guilt is innocence. If your ethos is guilt-based, you have an inner police that stops you from doing wrong because doing wrong makes you feel guilty.
If your ethos is shame-based, all you care is to preserve your image. The opposite of shame is honor. You can do wrong but as long as no one sees it, your image is not tarnished and you can still be seen as an honorable person. In a shame-based culture, wrong and right have no meaning. It is all about shame and honor. If the stain of shame is removed, even if it means the murder of your own daughter, honor is restored. These are two very different worldviews. Unless we understand them we will not be able to make sense of Muslims and their minds.
Shame-based cultures are primitive. All Eastern cultures are shame-based even when they are not Islamic. Japanese culture, for example, is, or it has been, a shame-based culture. Our Persian culture is also shame-based. Proverbs like “I keep my cheeks rosy with slaps,” are telltales of a shame-based culture, where image is more important than facts. This proverb says that I may be starving but my pride does not allow me to let anyone know it so I slap myself to keep my cheek rosy. Because poverty is the source of shame as long as I hide my poverty, I have preserved my honor.
Islam is a fear-based philosophy that has taken root in a shame-based milieu. This is a very dangerous combination. When you combine fear and shame moral codes, you give birth to the most insidious ethos imaginable. That is Islam. Islam is an illogical doctrine that is based on fear and is defended through honor. This makes Islam more dangerous than Nazism. Muslims are not concerned about the irrationality of Islam or about good or evil. They are mostly concerned about losing face and upholding the image of Islam.