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The Psychoanalytic Roots of Islamic Terrorism
FrontPageMagazine.com ^ | May 3, 2004 | Phyllis Chesler

Posted on 05/03/2004 6:47:26 AM PDT by SJackson

In the ongoing battle for Fallujah, terrorists are using women and children as human shields against American soldiers. On April 27, 2004, in Jerusalem, Hamas used a Palestinian human bomb to kill two Palestinian alleged "collaborators." On April 28, 2004, even as UN envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, was busy characterizing Israeli policy as the "great poison in the region," Jordanian police arrested al-Qaida operatives who were quite literally trying to launch a chemical poison attack that might have killed 80,000 Jordanians and Americans. And, on May 1, 2004, in Gaza, Palestinian gunmen shot and killed a Jewish woman who was eight-months pregnant together with her four young daughters.

Despite enormous and continuing denial on the part of left and liberal ideologues and the media, we are facing an exceedingly pathological strain of Islamofascist terrorism. So a crucial question must be asked: from a psychological and anthropological point of view, what kind of culture produces human bombs, glorifies mass murderers, and supports humiliation-based revenge?

According to Minnesota based psychoanalyst and Arabist, Dr. Nancy Kobrin, it is a culture in which shame and honor play decisive roles and in which the debasement of women is paramount. In an utterly fascinating and as-yet unpublished book, which I will be introducing, the Sheik's New Clothes: the Psychoanalytic Roots of Islamic Suicide Terrorism, Kobrin, and her Israeli co-author, counter-terrorism expert Yoram Schweitzer, describe barbarous family and clan dynamics in which children, both boys and girls, are routinely orally and anally raped by male relatives; infant males are sometimes sadistically over-stimulated by being masturbated; boys between the ages of 7-12 are publicly and traumatically circumcised; many girls are clitoridectomized; and women are seen as the source of all shame and dishonor and treated accordingly: very, very badly.

According to Dr. Kobrin, "The little girl lives her life under a communal death threat--the honor killing." Both male and female infants and children are brought up by mothers (who are debased and traumatized women). As such, all children are forever psychologically "contaminated" by the humiliated yet all-powerful mother. Arab and Muslim boys must disassociate themselves from her in spectacularly savage ways. But, on a deep unconscious level, they may also wish to remain merged with the source of contamination--a conflict that suicide bombers both act out and resolve when they manfully kill but also merge their blood eternally with that of their presumably most hated enemies, the Israeli Jews. In Kobrin's view, the Israeli Jews may actually function as substitutes or scapegoats for an even more primal, hated/loved enemy: Woman.

Widespread child sexual abuse leads to paranoid, highly traumatized, and revenge-seeking adults. Based on my own experience in Afghanistan (a non-Arab, Muslim culture), a polygamous, patriarchal culture also leads to an infernal, fraternal competition for paternal favor and inheritance. It is brother against brother, full brothers against half-brothers, full and half brothers against first cousins--and thus, can entire families and clans remain locked in revenge-fueled mortal combat for generations.

Clearly, only evolution of democracy and the elevation of women can begin to change such dynamics. Western feminists, American leaders: Please note. Alas, historically and theologically, Arab and Muslim culture strongly opposes both democracy and equality for women. This is why the battles to liberate Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East are so important and so very difficult. The American and Israeli war against terrorism is like World War Two, not like Vietnam.

Yesterday, further confirmation of Dr. Kobrin's thesis arrived at my door. The remarkable and charming Walid Shoebat, an ex-PLO terrorist, came to visit. He has been speaking about his renunciation of terrorism and conversion to evangelical Christianity. Shoebat has been touring the country speaking out for Israel and against the "occupation of Palestinian minds with Jew-hatred." Unlike the human bombs, Shoebat "merged" with his American-born mother by finally rescuing her from years of captivity and domestic abuse in Bethlehem/Beit Sahur. He also rescued his father, the man who imprisoned and abused her.

Shoebat confirmed the widespread sexual abuse of both boys and girls in Palestinian society. "It is a strange society. Homosexuality is forbidden but if you're the penetrator, not the penetrated, it's okay." He is describing prison sexuality. "If you're a teenage boy with no hair on your legs other boys your age will pinch your butt and tease you. Once, I saw a class of teenage boys turn gymnastics into a sexual orgy. And once, on a hiking trip, I saw a line of shepherd boys waiting for their turn to sodomize a five year old boy. It was unbelievable."

Shoebat's father also told him stories about starving Arab men who would barter sex for meat from Iraqi soldiers. His father, Achmed, was also traumatized in childhood when he witnessed his aunt being raped by a male relative. According to Shoebat, teenage boys prey upon younger children; older male relatives prey upon pre-adolescent and adolescent boys and girls. They do not have intercourse with the girls since this would render them un-marriageable and bring shame upon their families. I heard many stories in both Afghanistan and Iran about the male preference for anal sex, even within marriage, either as a form of birth control or as a preferred homosexual practice.

Most Arabs and Muslims will deny that this is so. They will attack westerners who say so as "orientalists, colonialists, racists." Western intellectuals will agree with them. They have been well indoctrinated by--no, western academics were the ones who first glorified the work of the late Edward W. Said who, in my opinion, published his master work, Orientalism, in 1978 as a way of denying feminist ideas and refocusing academic attention away from women and onto brown, Muslim, Arab men as the truest victims of oppression. Neat trick.

Shoebat's grandfather was the Muktar of his village. Nevertheless, eleven-fifteen people lived cramped into two rooms with a huge balcony, a courtyard, and an outhouse. Once, when Shoebat's American-born Christian mother, (she was forced to convert to Islam), upended a backgammon board in front of his father Achmed's friends, Achmed took a hammer and cracked her skull. Shoebat, her youngest child, took her hand and walked with her to the nearest church where the nuns sewed up her head. There were no hospitals. Whenever his mother tried to escape, (always together with her three children) the Shoebat men would find her, re-kidnap her, subject her to further punishment.

The male sexual abuse of female children exists everywhere; it is one of the main means of traumatizing and shaming women into obedience and rendering them incapable of resistance or rebellion. However, the male sexual abuse of male children--denied, never admitted--may work differently and may turn boys into predatory, pedophilic men. Also, among Arabs and Muslims, revenge killings are uniquely prevalent.

Shoebat told me several extraordinary stories which illustrate Palestinian and Arab Middle Eastern mentality. One of his paternal uncles was supposedly having an affair with the mother of Yusuf Al-Atrash who belongs to the family of Sami Al-Altrash, the Montreal-based student who stopped Bibi Netanyahu from speaking at Concordia University. The woman's husband was the chief of police whose revenge consisted of throwing live grenades at Shoebat's family home. The home bore the unrepaired damage for years. The outraged husband wanted to not only kill his wife's lover but his entire family. "My father and his immediate family all had to die because of what his brother did."

Shoebat asked me how I would resolve this feud-unto-death with a male relative who was also the chief of police. I foundered. Bride-exchange sacrifice? Blood money? I could not come up with the ingenious plan that Achmed, Shoebat's father, crafted--a plan which may also shed light, in part, upon the nature of the Arab war against the Jews. Achmed persuaded the village that they had to attack, pogrom-style, a nearby Jewish community. (Ramat Rachel). Once the Israelis opened fire in self-defense, most of the Arabs fled. However, the Arab attack upon the Jews provided cover for what Achmed had to do: He himself snipered Yusuf in the back. When the Israelis, as they always did, allowed the Arabs to safely retrieve their dead, Achmed proclaimed Yusuf al-Atrash a "shahid" and buried him in his bloody clothing. This is a mark of honor. A "shahid" enters heaven more quickly, clothed in his own blood.

This characterizes an Arab way of thinking. From here, it is easy to create the kinds of doctored footage and photo-opportunity journalism that has dominated this latest Intifada against the Jews. It is also a way of thinking that the liberal western media does not comprehend.

Yusuf's martyrdom was not enough, the "honor" of the al-Atrash family had not yet been redeemed. Another man from the al-Atrash family attacked Shoebat's father Achmed, who, in self-defense, stabbed his attacker to death, "ripped his stomach open like a sheep." Shoebat's father immediately went into hiding. By this time, Shoebat was living in America. His paternal uncles called him and asked that he pay the blood money. Shoebat did so but not until each of his uncles ("nice uncles") publicly "abandoned" Achmed. "He is not my brother, I denounce and abandon him."

And only in this way was Shoebat finally able to rescue his mother. He paid the blood money and brought both his long-suffering mother and her abuser, his father, to America. Since Shoebat's mother holds an American passport she was able to bring her husband into the country with her.

Recently, Shoebat's brother–a man they had previously socialized with-- called Shoebat's wife. "Tell your husband that we know what he is doing against Islam. Tell him we know where he lives. Bye bye."

"I told my wife, Welcome to the Middle East where your beloved one day can become your executioner the next day."

Shoebat is, miraculously, engaged in redefining loyalty. He has taken his mother's side, and in so doing, has broken with the shame, honor, and secrecy codes of his father's culture. It is important to understand that Shoebat has not broken with his father. On the contrary, he rescued him too. Shoebat's mother and father both live near him in the United States.

These amazing anecdotes confirm the veracity of Dr. Kobrin's work. In my view, they also suggest that Americans and Europeans begin to think twice about what Arabs tell them about who started a fight, and why the Israelis, the Jews, and the Americans are to blame.

Phyllis Chesler, PhD, is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies and the author of twelve books including the best-selling WOMEN AND MADNESS and most recently, THE NEW ANTI-SEMITISM. THE CURRENT CRISIS AND WHAT WE MUST DO ABOUT IT (Jossey-Bass/John Wiley). She may be reached at her website www.phyllis-chesler.com.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: misogyny

1 posted on 05/03/2004 6:47:26 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson
Bump.
2 posted on 05/03/2004 6:49:43 AM PDT by Stentor
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
3 posted on 05/03/2004 6:52:49 AM PDT by SJackson (Slaughter the Jews wherever you find them. Their spilled blood pleases Allah, Haj Amin el-Husseini)
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To: SJackson
I was in Afghanistan for a year. Everything in this article is true. "Men are for pleasure and women are for babies (male)" is the saying. They do not view male-on-male sex acts as homosexuality. I have seen the adult male-boy sexual abuse (very common).
4 posted on 05/03/2004 6:59:22 AM PDT by 2banana (They want to die for Islam and we want to kill them)
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To: SJackson
Islamo-psycho fued bump. Good article.
5 posted on 05/03/2004 7:04:07 AM PDT by Khurkris (Ranger On...Rest with the Lord Ranger Tillman.)
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To: SJackson
No wonder camels have such nasty dispositions.
6 posted on 05/03/2004 7:15:19 AM PDT by Agnes Heep (Solus cum sola non cogitabuntur orare pater noster)
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To: SJackson
If the things described here are true, militant Islam will not survive the attempt to infuse it into the American culture. Why?

Because this article, and Dr. Kobrin (in her book), claim that militant Islam derives its psychological power from "widespread child abuse" and other deep social pathologies. These pathologies are contrary to human nature, and, for this reason, can only flourish in a culture of secrecy. American culture (including "pop" culture) cannot provide such an environment.

If these practices are brought to our shores, they will inevitably be dragged out into the light by our media culture. The backlash that will result will be furious.

If they are not brought to our shores, militant Islam will not be able to take root here; it will remain an evil that must be re-introduced from outside.

Kids are kids. They rebel against their parents. They certainly don't want to be abused, mutilated, etc.

(steely)

7 posted on 05/03/2004 7:22:07 AM PDT by Steely Tom
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To: SJackson
stellar!!! and i believe she's a former femi-nazi... and still be a liberal.
8 posted on 05/03/2004 8:10:58 AM PDT by dennisw (GD is against Amalek for all generations)
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To: Agnes Heep
I remember doing a (Bible) word study on all the different words for "love" in the Bible once. There is agape and phila love and others I think, all with different meanings. I think our word "erotica" comes from the Hebrew word "eros" or something like that and it is used in the OT and NT and if I remember right the word contains the ideas that it is definitely evil and tied to demonic influence -- speaking of psychoanalysis.
9 posted on 05/03/2004 8:45:00 AM PDT by Esther Ruth (Mom, don't show me those sKerry pictures - It scares me out the heck.)
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To: Esther Ruth
"erotica" comes from the Hebrew word "eros"

Eros is Greek.

10 posted on 05/03/2004 8:47:13 AM PDT by Alouette (Float like a butterfly, sting like a B-52)
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To: SJackson
I saw a report on FR (no verification, but would like some) that a iraqi boy was seen eating the flesh of a dead US soldier.

We're dealing with basically ghouls at this point. I don't think we'll ever civilize them. These aren't nazis.
11 posted on 05/03/2004 8:49:14 AM PDT by Monty22
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To: Alouette
Sorry - I knew I shouldn't have posted anything unless I knew fershir what I was talking about.
12 posted on 05/03/2004 8:51:51 AM PDT by Esther Ruth (Mom, don't show me those sKerry pictures - It scares me out the heck.)
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To: Esther Ruth
Eros, if I'm not mistaken, was the Greek god of Love; otherwise known as Cupid--in the original he was no doubt a far cry from the little winged sprite we associate with Cupid today.

Much of what they're speaking about in the article reminds me of latent homosexuality--that internal war fought upon the battlefield of the male psyche between erotic homosexuality and ingrained morality. It's an unseen strife that tends to produce some very nasty personality traits.

13 posted on 05/03/2004 9:01:20 AM PDT by Agnes Heep (Solus cum sola non cogitabuntur orare pater noster)
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To: Agnes Heep
I've posted this before, but a very good light into the Arab/Muslim mind is the novel "The Haj" by Leon Uris.


14 posted on 05/03/2004 9:04:26 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading this in English, thank a soldier.)
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To: SJackson
read later
15 posted on 05/03/2004 9:11:45 AM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Monty22
Considering that The Prophet Mohamed was a thieving, murdering pedophile, I don't think there is much hope for changing their way of life.
16 posted on 05/03/2004 9:15:53 AM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: SJackson
bump
17 posted on 05/03/2004 9:19:04 AM PDT by Salman
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To: SJackson
Interesting.

I think the author places TOO much emphasis on a male-dominated culture as the aource of these problems. Until relatively recently, western Europe and America itself were patriarchical societies, but the attitude towards women and children was far different from that described here.

A sense of family honor and blood feuds, even in the U.S. were at one time not unusual.


But I believe the overlying patina of Christianity served as controlling factor. On the contrary, Islam seems to encourage and develop these tendencies.
18 posted on 05/03/2004 9:23:09 AM PDT by ZULU
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To: Steely Tom
I think you may be overly optimistic. Islam has succeeded in insinuate itself into the most unlikely places. And most Americans who are exposed to Islam here in the U.S. are exposed to a relaitvely sanitized version - or at least seemed ot be in the past.
19 posted on 05/03/2004 9:25:04 AM PDT by ZULU
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To: SJackson
Phillis Chesler was a well-known Communist/terrorist back in the days of hippie rage and madness.

It's a good sign that she sees more clearly than most of her feminist sisters what sort of culture reigns among Arab Muslims--and, as she points out, non-Arab Muslims.
20 posted on 05/03/2004 9:29:30 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: SJackson
The Mohammedans' infatuation with anal sodomy clearly explains what American POW Jessica Lynch had to endure. These people are base, evil, hateful, ignorant, and just all-around POS's.
21 posted on 05/03/2004 9:52:21 AM PDT by ought-six
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To: Alouette
Yeah, I thought Eros was Greek, as well.
22 posted on 05/03/2004 9:53:37 AM PDT by ought-six
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To: dennisw
so, do you trust her because she is now slamming Islam? I read Women and Madness in my women's studies days - not much meat to it as I recall, madness as metaphor.

I've heard of sexual abuse within Muslim families - there was the case of those half-American children who couldn't leave Saudi Arabia, and a brother and sister were both raped by an older half-brother, and in Pakistan young Afghan girl slaves are sodomized to preserve their resale value as virgins (Boston Phoenix article, was here on NR).

I'm just not sure I believe that it is as universal as Chesler claims, and I don't trust someone who deals with metaphor as reality. People can change in 20 years, maybe she did.

Mrs VS
23 posted on 05/03/2004 9:54:34 AM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
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To: SJackson
It also explains why the Mohammedan Turks did what they did to Lawrence of Arabia when they captured him (he was routinely sodomized by his captors).
24 posted on 05/03/2004 9:55:38 AM PDT by ought-six
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To: Rebelbase
Considering that The Prophet Mohamed was a thieving, murdering pedophile, I don't think there is much hope for changing their way of life.

 Even worse the Koran and Hadith impress upon Muslims to model their lives after Mohammed. Muhammad is the role model for all Muslims.

To be fair: The average Muslim will claim he's trying to live like Muhammad by paying attention only to the good Muhammad of the Koran. Then throw at you some of the nice, ecumenical passages one can find in the Koran. He will tune out the thieving, hallucinating, Jew killing, treaty breaking, war mongering, assassin, child molester Muhammad.

25 posted on 05/03/2004 10:28:15 AM PDT by dennisw (GD is against Amalek for all generations)
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To: SJackson
I get the impression that we've found earth's insane asylum.
26 posted on 05/03/2004 10:45:41 AM PDT by Lady Jag (I dreamed I surfed all day in my monthly donor wonder bra [https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate]))
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To: sciencediet
I get the impression that we've found earth's insane asylum.

No, not an asylum...

..."He is describing prison sexuality."

I think that nails it. The whole society behaves like they are incarcerated in a prison institution. The strong live to subdue, humiliate and intimidate the weak. The weak submit and only hope something worse doesn't happen.

Really, really depressing.
27 posted on 05/03/2004 8:35:52 PM PDT by ScuzzyTerminator
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To: SJackson
BTTT.
28 posted on 05/03/2004 9:49:01 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Liberalism is a Hate Crime)
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To: PA Engineer
Intensely pathological culture!
29 posted on 05/04/2004 12:42:24 AM PDT by lainde (Heads up...We're coming and we've got tongue blades!!)
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To: ScuzzyTerminator
I thought of prison before settling on insane asylum. It's a close choice, but I picked insane and here's why. If they were lucid, more of them would leave and escape. Too many of them stay, so they have to be nuts. Even if you don't know what is going on outside the torture chamber, you still want to escape.
30 posted on 05/04/2004 8:04:19 AM PDT by Lady Jag (I dreamed I surfed all day in my monthly donor wonder bra [https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate]))
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To: SJackson
The Sheik's New Clothes: the Psychoanalytic Roots of Islamic Suicide Terrorism

This will join The Closed Circle by David Pryce-Jones on my shelf.

31 posted on 05/04/2004 3:14:34 PM PDT by happygrl (this war is for all the marbles...we can't go Spanish!)
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To: SJackson
This is worth bookmarking.
32 posted on 05/04/2004 3:17:54 PM PDT by happygrl (this war is for all the marbles...we can't go Spanish!)
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To: ZULU
The patriarchal culture of western Europe bears no comparison with the "shame-honor" Arab/Muslim culture. It is an entirely different world-view. Western culture is based on a morality model in which truth is the standard. Arab/Muslim culture is based on the honor/shame model in which saving face is the standard. Don't be confused by the patriarchal/matriarchal issue.

That's not the underlying pathology.

33 posted on 05/04/2004 3:32:41 PM PDT by happygrl (this war is for all the marbles...we can't go Spanish!)
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To: VeritatisSplendor
I'm just not sure I believe that it is as universal as Chesler claims

Pay attention to the posters here on FR who have lived in Arab/Muslim countries (as I have).

They will all tell you that what she writes of is true.

34 posted on 05/04/2004 3:35:55 PM PDT by happygrl (this war is for all the marbles...we can't go Spanish!)
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To: SJackson
Index bump.
35 posted on 05/04/2004 4:39:08 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (This space intentionally blank)
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