/ Jan 01, 2006
Islam attracts converts and holds its believers through more than one manipulation of the psyche. Promises of rewards in paradise are well known. Having your ego puffed by being praised for your greatness on being Muslim. Assurance that you are on the winning side in the war for control of the planet and that your enemies will all be killed or humiliated and subjugated. And so on...
But there is something else in my opinion that is not sufficiently recognized. And that something is permission to externalize, to express, to act out forbidden impulses. Are you a male who harbors secret rape fantasies and impulses? Islam gives you the right to rape (in your opinion) indecently dressed women or to take "temporary wives" in combat. Are you a secret barbarian who does not want to work and would prefer to participate in barbarian raids on hard working productive citizens of other cultures? Your marriage unsatisfying to you and you want an easy divorce? Want to vent your suppressed anger (which probably was produced in you by your Muslim family) on people your religion rationalizes as deserving death for not being Muslim?
And so on and so on..
We can, for the purpose of this writing, posit a model of the human psyche as consisting of three layers. Imagine a picture of a target with three rings: The innermost center, the bull's eye...then around it a circular zone...and around the middle zone, an outside circular zone.
The outermost zone we can call "the facade." Here is the surface of consciousness and the source of everyday polite communication such as, for example: "How are you?" "I'm fine. How are you?" "Pretty good. Hey, I heard you are finally taking a vacation. Where are you going....."
Right underneath the outermost, the facade, is the layer that corresponds to the unconscious or subconscious, whichever word you prefer. This layer is largely composed of repressed material. All the forbidden impulses. Here resides greed, the urge to take things from others, violent impulses, the urge to kill, the desire to rape, the laziness, the spite, false understanding of oneself and others, grandiosity, depression, the need to humiliate others, the fear of being attacked...and so on and so on.
The innermost is the core, the spiritual place where resides God within. From the core streams out Love, Creativity, the desire to work for self and others, positive energy, wholesome loving sexuality, empathy...and so on...
If humans did not create in themselves this strange layer between Core and Facade, we would see, in large part, an enormous decrease in human suffering. That is quite obvious. The central task of planetary healing, in my opinion, is working to diminish and eventually eliminate this second layer in the majority of Earth's human inhabitants.
Now, getting back to Islam, we can say that the genius of Islam, among other things, is in making legitimate the _expression of the forbidden impulses of the second layer. Whereas Christianity and other religions have enforced the suppression of the second layer--through moral prohibitions and punishments for violations--Islam, on the other hand, gives Muslims an open ticket, where Qur'an, Hadith, Fiqh and Fatwa allow, to express the second layer.
Muslims, thus, need not, like Christians, Jews and others, always "stuff" their hate, anger, rapacity, etc, within themselves. Islam gives you the permission--where Qur'an, Hadith, Fiqh and Fatwa allow--to blow off steam, to release the pressure of forbidden impulses. You can rape, kill, loot and humiliate others and it is all OK. Not only is it OK, but you are promised rewards for letting loose your own repressed filth and garbage on innocent victims. Sure beats the hell out of psychotherapy where you just talk about it. Under Islam, you can actually have the thrill of doing it! Most Muslims--the so-called moderates--are not all that keen to let loose their repressed filth and garbage on innocent victims (outside their families). Let the jihadis do their dirty work for them and they--the moderates--can vicariously enjoy the painful harming of the imaginary enemies of Islam.
It is like my kindly, sensitive grandfather...who was a revolutionary in Latin America. He himself could not directly harm anyone. However, if his (imagined) enemies were executed, that was perfectly fine with him as long as he himself did not have to pull the trigger.
In the hope that my this helps in the struggle against the insanity of Islam, a religion and rationalization which barbarians use to justify their raids on productive civilizations which they hope, in the end, to enslave. And they do this with the tremendous energies which they unleash through expressing (acting out) the second layer of the psyche.
Comment by Ali Sina
This is very much true. In fact Islam attracts most of its new converts from among prison inmates and criminals. Jose Padilla is just one example. He was a petty thief turned terrorist. Even Zarqawi was a car thief and a common criminal who found in Islam a way to express his proclivity to crime and gain respect (among Muslims) at the same time. If you go back to early Islam you'll see most people who joined Muhammad were rebel youths, slaves and the ruffians of their time. The great Islamic general Khalid ibn Walid who at first fought against Muhammad was a hoodlum who was attracted to Islam because he saw the marauding activities of Muhammad agreeable to his own penchant. Although some people convert to Islam out of ignorance, they generally leave it after they come to see the truth. However a great number of those who become Muslims are delinquent muggers, ruffians and thugs who find Islam palatable to their own criminal inkling.
The criminal often feels remorse and an anxiety caused by the discrepancy between his actions and his belief. Islam removes that anxiety. It not only condones his rage at the society, and approves his crimes; it actually provides justification for them and canalizes them. Islam vests crime with the mantle of legitimacy and gives direction to it elevating it to the level of a cause, a divinely ordained cause. The Muslim criminal/terrorist not only does not feel any pang of conscience, he actually is assured of reward and his conscience is completely at ease. Now he can even evoke the name of God while committing his crimes.
After the conversion, the criminal does not have to abandon crime, he actually becomes more hardened and convinced of his actions. There is only one minor adjustment that he has to make and that is he must use his crimes not for his personal gain but for the glorification of Islam and in the service of Allah’s cause.
Technically Islam is a religion made by a criminal for criminally minded people. It does not mean that all Muslims are criminals, but it means that all those Muslims who follow Muhammad and try to emulate him are potential criminals and dangers to the society. Evil people are attracted to Islam like flies to the dung.
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