There is a difference between understanding Islam and Muslims’ grievances and being aware of them.
We have no obligation to understand Islam and/or Muslims’ grievances. We would be morally behooved to do so were Muslims to try to understand us, but barring that it is utterly ridiculous to assert that we unilaterally (or, rather, unreciprocatedly) try to understand them.
There will be some that allege that they are trying to understand us, what with many demagogues publishing about The West or The United States, but to such I would have to say that such publishings are nothing but lies, falsehoods, paranoia, conspiracy theories, and inaccuracies. We might as well reciprocate by studying the most virulently anti-Islamic screeds published by lying hacks.
Understanding Islam and understanding Muslims’ grievances will accomplish nothing. Our understanding will not stop them from attacking us. What are they going to say? “Oh, those Westerners! They understand our religion and our objections. Let us, then, lay down our arms, beat our swords into ploughshares, et cetera.”? Most certainly not. They will resolve all the more to destroy us.
For, you see, such calls for understanding are hidden calls for surrender. What they mean is: learn about and understand Islam, learn about and understand our grievances, and accordingly change your behavior and policies to please and pacify us. As you can see, this is not understanding as much as it is surrender. For if we try to understand but not come to the conclusion that they are right (that Islam is the best, that they are justified in their grievances, that we are wrong and quite naughty indeed, that we need to submit to Islam and to revise our policies), we have evidently not tried hard enough to understand.
On the other hand, we need to be aware of their grievances and their beliefs and their practices because doing so will help us to accurately assess what we’re dealing with. Doing so will inform us what tactics and techniques are being or will be used; doing so will also inform us how much hold a certain paradigm has over the people and what methods they use to perpetuate and propagate that hold. We need to be aware not to understand and use positive vibes to solve the issue but to formulate realistic and practical and pragmatic plans and expectations.