Saturday, August 06, 2005

Islamic Poison

Jonah Goldberg considers the cry, "I have rights", which came from one of the failed London bombers when he was captured:

Radical chic may be as a big a part of the story as radical Islam.
We've always understood this was the case to a certain extent. Osama Bin Laden's prattling about the Crusades, for instance, merely shows how poisoned Islamism is by Western Marxism and anti-imperialism. Muslims used to brag about winning the Crusades. It was only after the West started exporting victimology that Islamic and Arab intellectuals started to whine about how poorly they'd been treated.

To a certain extent, radical Islam in Europe has taken the place of Third World Marxism - hardly a big leap when you think about how many Vietnamese "revolutionaries" were trained in Parisian salons. It's all about fighting capitalism, American "imperialism," modernism, etc. Marxism no longer provides a workable model, but the Islamists think sharia might. At the same time, like fascism and communism before it, radical Islam provides a sense of purpose and meaning for losers and misfits who blame their misfortunes on "the system" (variously defined as the ruling class, the Jews, the capitalists, Col. Sanders, etc.). In this sense, Islamism is less about religion than ideology, and less about ideology than it is about alienation and low self-esteem.

For the most part, I agree. There is an element of adolescence about the alienation. But it is not "alienation" or even "low self-esteem" that is the problem. People like our failed terrorist believe that they are normal and that everyone else is the problem. They are alienated because they feel superior to everyone else and cannot understand why they are not recognized as such.

In short, it is not their self-esteem that is the problem--it is their SELF. Thus we are led back to the problem of Narcissism and the alternating narcissistic rage and narcissistic awe of the psychologically split Self that leads to a peculiar form of malignant narcissism.

It is a mistake to always think in terms of "poor self-esteem" (see my piece about how self-esteem is not necessarily good for you) because to frame it that way implies that somehow the world has contrived to make all would-be terrorists victims. And, in truth, the exportation of the victimhood cult so popular in the West to the Middle East has seriously interfered with understanding the pathology of the Islamists.

What Goldberg's article describes is a perfect example of the Western victimhood cult, co-opted by the new model of Islamic terrorist. They have modeled themselves on the Palestinians, who first discovered the many useful public relation aspects of victimhood. Sublimely unaware of their own pathology, the jihadists see themselves as the victims, instead of what they really are--the victimizers. This is called denial.

They see others as responsible for their plight; and rather than taking responsibility for themselves and their medieval religion and culture (which they want to force the rest of the world to adopt), they prefer to blame --as the author says, "the Jews, the capitalists, Col. Sanders, etc. ". This is called projection.

Then there are the convoluted theories developed by the imams and other assorted religious thugs in order to keep that denial of reality pristine and pure--i.e., that the Jews are behind 9/11 and the Americans behind Zarqawi to mention just two--even while they and their followers dance in the streets and take credit for the atrocities of their fellow Muslims. This is called paranoia.

And then, finally there is the incredible, almost laughable sense of entitlement --e.g. the fellow who cries, "I have rights!" while he is busy trying to eliminate everyone else's; as well as the perfected sense of outrage at any suggestion that Islam might be the perpetrator of evil, instead of the innocent victim of it. This is called Malignant Narcissism.

Alienation may or may not be present, but it is hardly primary. It is the consequence of a profoundly indoctrinated sense of cultural and religious superiority, along with a refusal to accept or even tolerate other cultures; and it is not caused by those other cultures or religions.

Self-esteem may or may not be low, but whatever level it is at is the consequence of an active psychopathological process that distorts and denies reality-- and not the cause of that process.

Islam has exuberantly mixed in the radical chic of Marxism, with all its anti-freedom, anti-capitalism and anti-American flavors; combined it with a militaristic religion that glorifies the oppression of women and subjugation of non-Muslims; and created a unique blend of human poison. They imbibed this potion decades ago, when they thought Marxism would lead them back to glory. Milions of deaths later, Marxism had led not to glory--but to the decimation of the human spirit.

Now, combined with a lethal dose of Islam, the poison that is being unleashed on the world promises to lead to the same destination, only more quickly.

Yes, terrorists have "rights." In particular, no one can take away their natural-born and God-given right to face the consequences of reality.

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