I hope the Americans know by now why people around the world, and Muslims in particular, hate America. It is not because of freedom, democracy, wealth and affluence but because of American occupation, discrimination, lies and hypocrisy. More bizarre than the shoe-throwing incident itself has been the reaction of the mainstream media which all over the world is trying to play down the incident as an isolated one. This leads one to believe that no one even in Iraq has any clue as to why this journalist did this daring act. Protests not just in Iraq but all across the Middle East depict the rage and fury of the Muslims towards policies of the Bush administration in the last seven years. Millions of Iraqis have been murdered as a result of the US occupation of Iraq and even people in US have remarked that this is the tiniest bit of reaction that one could rationally expect from a people who have been through so much. -ASAD SULEMAN, Islamabad, via e-mail, December 17.