I’m also surprised. There are few topics on the A-list of important topics in this world that are less understood in the west, yet critical to BE understood, than the “logic” and “morals” of so many that claim Islam as their faith. I cannot speak with any authority at all on those that live in other parts of the world (such as Indonesia, the Philippines, etc.), but those in the middle-east, SW Asia, and north Africa, have such a radically different way of conceiving honor, honesty, morality, etc., compared to us, that it is almost literally mind-blowing to hear it actually explained. I had a highly “westernized” Iranian Air Force major explain it to me after a most troubling and amazingly bizarre incident with a young Iranian student pilot back in the mid-70s. He’d lived in the U.S. for a number of years as the Iranian liaison officer to a particular training program here in the U.S., and was married to a seemingly normal American wife. We considered him quite “cool,” because his English was so good and that he’d learned to pronounce it in a way that his accent was no problem for almost anyone, in addition to being so very easy to get along with. He supported his students, but was NEVER confrontational with the American officers in charge of the training program. He bent over backwards to be of assistance, and was someone most anyone would have been pleased to call a good personal friend.
After the bizarre and very personally troubling incident happened with one of the students, I was worried that I’d just created a real international incident, to be honest, and was trying to figure out how to tell our boss (a full colonel) what had happened. The phone rang, it was Major _________, He told me he was already aware of what had happened just a short while earlier with the student (who I’d ejected from a final exam after the incident), and he asked me to come over to his office. Normally, I should have “lawyered up” and immediately told our commander, but there was something so calming about his demeanor I decided to go over, alone. Once there, he even referred to my by first name – NOT something he had done with any of us before that I’d ever witnessed or even heard about. He then proceeded to tell me EXACTLY what had happened with the student, and it was entirely from my perspective, making 100% sense. He smiled and asked if he could explain what REALLY happened. He proceeded to open up the mind of those in that part of the world, in a way that I “understood” (ONLY intellectually), and assured me that it was just all about honor, and that the student didn’t mean anything that he’d actually said to me. In OUR terms, the student had been speaking and acting in a coded message (my term) that we simply cannot understand, and that I should not take it personally, that I need not be worried he was going to file a complaint against me, etc., etc., etc. I suspect my jaw was on the floor that day, as the “logic” began to sink in.
I doubt very many people have ever had that window opened to them, particularly State Department idiots that routinely bungle the most sensitive and crucial negotiations (the Iranian nuclear deal being a massively important one). Suffice it to say, it would take far longer than would be appropriate for this forum to try to explain in print, but understand that we simply have no clue what we have no clue about, when it comes to understanding their logic, whether Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, or anywhere else in that region. There are layers of truth in the article you posted that are probably missed by most who did bother to take the time to read it. Yet it’s absolutely critical that our leaders and negotiators be highly “fluent” in the logic, not just the languages.
And beyond being surprising that there seems to be no other interest here, I’m appreciative of the fact you posted it. I have a great respect and even appreciation for Moslems (not Muslims – as separately defined in another post here), but that doesn’t mean I trust them collectively, at least not in our way of thinking. IF fully understood, they can be dealt with, but I don’t know if anyone fully can, outside their own culture.