Thursday, February 21, 2008


In this post I discussed in detail some of the key issues inherent in all shame cultures, and Islamic cultures in particular. In that piece, I quote David Gutmann on the Arab psyche :
The Arab world is suffering a crisis of humiliation. Their armies are routed not only by Americans, but also by tiny, Jewish Israel; and as Arthur Koestler once remarked, the Arab world has not, in the last 500 years or so, produced much besides rugs, dirty postcards, elaborations on the belly-dance esthetic (and, of course, some innovative terrorist practices). They have no science to speak of, no art, hardly any industry save oil, very little literature, and portentous music which consists largely of lugubrious songs celebrating the slaughter of Jews.

Now that the Arabs have acquired national consciousness, and they compare their societies to other nations, these deficiencies become painfully evident, particularly to the upper-class Arab kids who attend foreign universities. There they learn about the accomplishments of Christians, Jews, (Freud, Einstein, for starters) and women. And yet, with the exception of Edward Said, there is scarcely a contemporary Arab name in the bunch. No wonder, then, that major recruitment to al-Qaeda's ranks takes place among Arab university students. And no wonder that suicide bombing becomes their tactic of choice: it is a last-ditch, desperate way of asserting at least one scrap of superiority—a spiritual superiority—over the materialistic, life-hugging, and ergo shameful West.

Distorting the truth is the only way that they can avoid shame and maintain honor. Thus they resort to secrecy, deception, distortion and outright lying as legitimate strategies for protecting and augmenting their honor.

Let's look at one example of this from yesterday's news:
Larijani: US root cause of terrorism worldwideRegional-Iran-USA, Politics, 2/19/2008

Iranian Secretary of Iran's Human Rights Headquarters Mohammad-Javad Larijani said in Tokyo on Sunday that the US claims it has launched campaign against terrorism but the reality is that the country itself is the root cause of terrorism worldwide.

Larijani, who is on an official visit to Japan said that Iran believes the US pro-terrorism policy has damaged its reputation and brought it a fiasco.

He said what Israel is doing now has further disgraced it. The Israelis officially announce that they intend to assassinate Palestinians and surprisingly, the White House supports their acts, he added. He said all the countries pursuing terrorist methods worldwide would pay a dear cost for it too.

Now, who is going to believe such nonsense (besides the useful idiots from Code Pink and all the other America-hating lefty groups, of course)? The assertion in the article is really not much different from suggesting that women who don't wear a hijab or burka are responsible for their own rape.

Or, by the same sort of 'logic' we ought to conclude that Al Qaeda and Hamas must be the root causes of Freedom and Democracy!

It's hard to imagine that Larjani actually believes the BS coming out of his own mouth because that would require an almost infinite amount of cognitive dissonance which would surely cause his brain to self-destruct in protest.

Left unaddressed, any and all forms of psychopathology will inevitably escalate; and the lies and deceit (including self-deception) necessary to maintain honor and avoid shame will eventually rise to an even higher and more dangerous pathological level-- as demonstrated by the frank paranoia and psychological projection demonstrated in this article from MEMRI:
The Darfur region of Sudan first made headlines in February 2003 with news of massacres, rapes, mutilations, and other atrocities perpetrated by the Sudanese government and its allied armed Arab militia, the Janjaweed, against civilians in the black Arab and non-Arab south. Shortly thereafter, the Arab and Iranian media came out with reports explaining these events as the result of a conspiracy. The campaign was led by the most influential Arab and Iranian newspapers and TV channels, and was enhanced by leading Middle East religious figures, heads of state, members of academia, and other notable individuals.

According to these media reports, what was really happening in Darfur involved secret plans to create a Christian state in Sudan; a Jewish attempt to annex the African country to become part of Israel; a U.S. government effort to control Sudanese oil, uranium and other natural resources; plots by U.S. presidential candidates; and a U.S. government attempt to deflect attention from its actions in Iraq, as well as schemes by Jews, Freemasons, the United Nations, and the African Union. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion have also been cited as evidence to prove the existence of a conspiracy in Darfur.

As the conspiracy theories expanded, a new phenomenon developed - namely, downplaying and even denying the atrocities taking place in Darfur. The deniers have included the Sudanese and Iranian leaderships and the Arab government-controlled media. It must be noted that this phenomenon is strikingly similar to Holocaust denial, and in fact many proponents of the Darfur denial have been known to question the Holocaust.[emphasis mine]

If you understand that safeguarding honor, avoiding shame, and protecting the image of Islam are absolute imperatives for the Arab world, then you will understand why that world is prone to falling back on the most primitive and infantile of psychological defenses--including denial, distortion, and projection.

Even more honor can be accumulated if one can deftly turn the tables and insinuate that the shame that rightly belongs to you really belongs to the enemy! Thus, you can describe yourself as the "freedom-loving", while your enemy is the "real" malignant terrorist. You can pretend your religion is one of "peace"; and all others are evil, crusading and genocidal dogmas (even as you loudly and vocally proclaim the goal of establishing a world-wide caliphate of Islam and sharia law). Rhetorically speaking, there is no end to the number of ways you can distort or invert reality!

You can do all this not only with a straight face, but with a sincerity and righteousness that would make the most ruthless and brutal dictator humbled and proud to be associated with you.

What does truth matter, when honor is at stake? Who cares about logic or reality when you have the world to conquer and infidels to force into submission.

And, it doesn't even really matter if anyone actually believes your lies and distortions or not; as long as they keep quiet and don't contest it, you're home free--with your honor intact and your enemy's in tatters.

Isn't Allah just great?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I understood that psychopaths do not feel shame. Do you disagree?