What if the United States imposed a blockade on Scotland, occupied Edinburgh; bombed Glasgow and sold England weapons with which to fight the Scots and take their land? In addition to this; what if the U.S. set up a military base in Geneva, Switzerland and quartered troops in John Calvin's house?
If, after a few years of this routine the U.S. starting experiencing terrorist attacks perpetrated by Presbyterians, would it be reasonable to conclude that all Presbyterians or Calvinists hated us because we are good, or hate us for our freedom? If someone were to inquire as to why we suddenly had lots of fanatical Presbyterians bent on jihad, would it be sensible to conclude that they were trying to justify the attacks?
A reasonable person might think it had something to do with our policy - not religion. An apologist for continuing the policy might argue that the Scots have always been a belligerent bunch and that this was just further evidence of their savagery and militancy and that Presbyterians have always been an intolerant lot. The naysayer might counter that all the militant Presbyterians seem to be from Scotland and the occupied territories; not Appalachia or other Scottish strongholds. Someone applying Occam's Razor to the problem might point out that the Presbyterian Problem started after we occupied Scotland and Geneva, particularly after Ian Paisley came out and said that was the reason for the attacks. Why would it be necessary to concoct all sorts of unlikely motives when the simplest one suffices?
Fortunately, we don't have any problems with Presbyterians perpetrating terrorist attacks against us, but there are some lessons that might be learned from the above hypothesis.
We have a similar problem with Muslims displaying ill will towards us. This is a really perplexing problem, but it might be noted that most of the perpetrators are not just of the Islamic faith, but mostly come from a certain area. If the primary or exclusively motivating factor is Islam, it would seem that lots of the terrorists would be coming from Indonesia, since it has the largest number of adherents to Islam. India also has a large number of Muslims as does Pakistan. The three countries combined have about one-third of the world's Muslims, but most of the World Trade Center attackers carried passports from Saudi Arabia, which only has two percent of the world's Muslims. Why this should be is a real mystery. Bin Laden says he objects to the U.S. having troops in Saudi Arabia because of the city of Mecca - holy to Muslims - being located there and he doesn't want "infidels" there defiling it. In his appearance immediately after the destruction of the WTC, he claimed that he had nothing to do with it, but that he applauded it and "swore to God" that it was going to keep happening if we kept aiding Israel and occupying holy lands. This is supposedly what he said, but since it was translated into English from Arabic or whatever language he was speaking, I don't know for sure.
If Bin Laden is lying about his reasons, what could be the real cause of hostility to the U.S. from Middle-Eastern Muslims? He did not mention hating us for our freedom or because we are good or wealthy or anything like that.
Maybe it's the schools there or the water that causes Muslims in a certain geographical area to harbor ill will toward the U.S. It seems that if it's the water, the Israelis would suffer the same affliction, but they don't.
It might be preposterous to suggest that maybe they don't like the way Israel is the neighborhood bully and they perceive her to be supported by our government. It could also be that they think the U.S. government installs oppressive, puppet regimes in the oil producing countries, but what would give them such ideas?
Some might pore over the Koran for clues to the hostility and find calls to kill the infidel or other admonitions to violence, but these don't explain why the zeal to kill is so recently directed toward Americans or why Muslims outside the middle-east don't seem similarly motivated. The Muslim critic might retort that the New Testament is full of violent language such as "I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." "I have come to cast fire upon the earth." "The violent bear it away...." "..they will be divided, father against son and son against father..." etc. These could be used to explain our above-mentioned Presbyterian terrorists.
Islam does have a history up until 1683 of proselytizing by conquest, but the purpose of the attacks on the U.S. does not have a religious purpose, but a political purpose. As far as I've read, none of the attackers has made any demands that the U.S. embrace Islam or else; they have repeatedly demanded that we - our government - get out of their countries and stop aiding Israel.
People don't like being ruled by foreigners - English in India or Ireland; Moors in Spain; Spain in Mexico; United States in the Philippines, etc. - and usually prefer their own rule even if it is worse having a home-grown ruler.
Americans might not understand why foreigners don't want them intruding in their countries and forcing our ways on them. It can be explained succinctly by a Confederate soldier that replied when asked by a Union invader why "You rebels are fighting?"; "Because you are down here" was the response.