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Sacred crimes


August 17, 2006

For totalitarian systems, a more intricate discussion is not about whether the crime is ever justified or not, but under which circumstances it should be committed. Inside arguments are just made that the system must be saved in any price; this is the only logic and even moral. In the concept of ideology, there is no logic banning authorities from engaging in or conspiring to engage in any political crime.

It is a mistake to believe that the greed for power is the only factor taking over the reasoning faculties of political crimes. As far as we know, the worst dictators, like Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and especially the IRI not only kill to monopolise the political power, but also to impose their ideological purposes upon the society.  They consider the crimes are their justified struggles. Furthermore, they are convinced that they are doing nothing wrong when they kill or order to kill, hurt and oppress people.

However, the secular tyrants seem to share a feature of a psychological condition known as anti-social personality disorder or psychopathic personality disorder, which is an absence of empathy for the suffering of others - they do not feel other people’s pain. But in the case of the religious crimes, the crimes are mostly interpreted as the religious duties. Islamists do not appear so unstable or mentally ill. Their crimes are not because of a lack of emotion, but rather of a traditional means of success. The crimes can be even appraised as “jihad-fi-sabil-Allah”, killing for the sake of God.

What concerns Islamists’crimes, the causes of crime are not in the guilt of their victims, but rather the victims’ rejection of Islamism. It is in the cradle of Islamism that a Muslim can promote his faith into a polarised factor, arguing a simplistic thinking in which, Islam is right, but all other ways of thinking are wrong, this naive but dangerous judgement allows them to distance themselves from their opponents and their ideas. This way of thinking makes it easier for them to punish anyone who is connected with their illusionary non-Muslim “enemies”. For this “justified” punishment, they do not need any sense of remorse or guilt.

Normally, each criminal fears death, but only those, the believers of an apocalyptic resurrection or the jihadists who wait for the reward after death, would be the ones who will be seeking death. Only they can commit suicide attacks or crimes because the act seems sacred to them, it is in deed a sacred crime and on the sacred altar of victims, blood of each “non-Muslim” offers them an extra key to their paradise. Of course this mode of thinking is exclusive to Islamists; it is not a matter of psycho-pathology, but of their faith, a deeply social problem.

Assuming that such crimes have roots in religion rather than pathology, an Islamist or a jihadist can normally differentiate between the reasons and causes of crime. Therefore, the causes of crime are not ultimately due to his pathological need, but rather to his religious duty, they must not be sought in the psycho-pathology of each jihadist, but in the collective religion of the Islamic society. So, his act of crime does not initially characterise a pure pathological need-- even if in some individual cases the faith can be added to a sense of failure and lack of self-esteem and that his personality is defective and cannot cope with social life.

Actually, the process of becoming a jihadist can be the first or the most important process of his socialisation. This is a move from being a disregarded person to becoming a regarded martyr. The process is like an act of socialisation and cannot be considered as an odd case of psycho-pathology. The very source of martyrdom and intolerance is taught by the religion. For example, some Islamists can follow family tradition, as in the case of Seyed, Sheikhs or religious families in Iran or in the case of Islamic movements in the Middle East; their social learning model, with its emphasis on imitation and role models of their religious models, can easily accommodate a Muslim’s promotion into the status of being an Islamist.

Generally, exposure to Islamic circle as a child or very young person can produce a tendency to Islamism as an adult. No wonder that the most Islamic terrorists originate from some Pakistani Koran schools. As children, they had no chance to become civilised and intellectual role models. Such innocent children, particularly in their formative years, derived from education, entertainment, sport and other privileges, before committing jihad, are themselves the first victims of Islamism. Their sense of belonging and identity is uniquely derived from the rules and relationships within the religion. They can become terrorists because of the imposed social conditions.

Social networks are also important in the recruitment of new members for Islamist groups; some members may be young or adult. They join the groups while living in difficult conditions. Prior to their recruitment, they were not necessarily religious and therefore can easily be brought back to their previous normal life when their problems removed. For these young disappointed people, the part played by psycho-pathology in their case cannot be determinant. The propaganda apparatus of Islamists and pressure of family are responsible for the lack of their understanding till the promotion of what they act. Terror is not an ethnic remorse in Islamism; a yesterday’s Islamist terrorist can become a today's state official, justifying his use of terror as an Islamic duty to even the odds between “good and evil”. We can see this in a range of today’s officials of the IRI.

When Islamists defend their faith, they cannot feel pity or empathy for their victims. For example, a former insider of the IRI, Akbar Ganji, looking now for a rehabilitation, expresses remorse for a little of what his brothers and ex-colleagues have committed in the few past years, but never mentioned  what Islamism, including himself as a vehicle of it, have committed during the whole existence of the IRI.

Islamists are usually aware that Muslims need to feel that the killing, maiming and hurting of the victims, are justified. A common way of doing that is to equate the victims with those who are perceived to be attacking them directly. No wonder that Ganji justifies the Khomeini’s death-fatwa of many thousands political prisoners in Iran as a logic consequence of war between Iran and the opposition groups! This attitude of justification proves that all Islamists, even in a position of wanting rehabilitation, never criticise Islamism and its atrocities perpetrated against its victims.

For the safeguard of Islam and Islamic gurus, Islamists do not only kill others, but also sacrifice their people, their friends, their families and even themselves. We saw this case a few years ago when Maryam Rajavi, one of the gurus of Mojahedin group, was shortly detained by the French police. A few Mojaheds burned themselves to protest the detention. The detainee was released soon, but the question remains if the brainwashed brothers and sisters of these highly respected burned martyrs cannot burn many “profane“ Iranians rejecting “sacred” Maryam Rajavi ?!

As long as the tumour of such a sacred crime has not been removed from our society, such a danger can always exist. The tumour has roots in the faith, not a group of fanaticised followers who only exhibit their loyalty to a more powerful abuser.

 To better understand the nature of the tumour let’s have a look at the following puzzles:

• Some slaves have been known to sympathise with their masters and become emotionally attached--in some cases even get married, as it was the case of the Prophet’s wives!

• Some women have acceptance for the misogynous relations in the Islamic societies, as it is the case of consciously veiled women in the non-Islamic countries  or those women accepting Sharia, Islamic laws, wanting misogynous rules.

• Some women in the Islamic countries take part in the measures of misogyny and gender segregation, i.e., a few weeks ago IRI’s female security forces attacked the several thousand women who peacefully gathered in Tehran demanding equal rights with men!

• Some kidnapped victims join the rank of kidnappers, as it was the case of some political prisoners who joined the rank of IRI’s Islamists!

• Some oppressed people have sympathy and respect for their oppressors, as it was the case when oppressive Saddam was confirmed just before his fall by 100 percent of oppressed Iraqi voters!

• Some victims of tyranny saluted Hitler or Stalin just before getting killed by squad fires!

• Many Muslims abused and mistreated by Islam follow their religion!

• And of course many related experiences of our daily life exhibiting behaviour of submission to the abuser!

What is this summissive behaviour?How can we explain the behaviour of such female mercenaries of a misogynous system, that of a victim to his killer or that of many millions of observant Muslims around the world, whoseancestors, ancient cultures and civilisations have been victims of the invasion of early Muslims?!

Experts call this bizarre emotional attachment of the victim to his abuser “Stockholm Syndrome”. The syndrome develops when the victim has no power to save himself but spontaneously hopes for removal of the threat. The victims' need to survive seems to be stronger than his impulse to hate the threatening master.  And in all cases, the threatening master is perceived as showing some degree of kindness and guidance to the one being threatened.

Stockholm Syndrome, though recently remarked, has been in the history of mankind a key success for some aggressors and a historical misfortune for their victims. In the case of many Islamic societies, the aggressors were the early Islamic invaders who violently imposed Islam on other victims. Islam in these societies is effective like Stockholm Syndrome, a yoke of submission. Regarding the syndrome, Islamic invaders were the threatening masters of our society; their kindness was perceived in their threatening sword and their guidance by the rules of Sharia. The early Islamic invaders were in fact the abusers and the helpless Iranian society was the victims. The process continues today, the abusers are the IRI’s authorities and their victims are our people.  

Psychoanalysists argue that  Stockholm Syndrome may be the result of employing the strategy evolved by newborn babies to form an emotional attachment to the nearest powerful adult in order to maximise the probability that this adult will enable the survival of the child. If this hypothisis is correct, I can imagine that the syndrome in the Islamic societies can affect women more than men because women were mostly unwished female babies of a culture that is religiously misogynous. In this view the syndrome can be a further explanation to the mechanism creating conscious veiled women even among Muslim women living in the non-Islamic societies. 

Regarding the fact that Islam has historically used the effects of Stockholm Syndrome, Islamists threaten the Muslim societies with the aim of identifying those who are or may become new Islamists. For example, we know that with a view to aiding in training of machine killers, the IRI set up jihadist centres in Iran to recruit and train volunteers for “martyrdom-seeking operations. These “Lovers of Martyrdom will be so brainwashed that they can willingly carry out suicide operations against the targets or civilians of “enemies” of Islam. Their brutality must reinforce the threatening effects of Stockholm Sydrome in the Muslim societies.

A better understanding of the circumstances that causes a Muslim to become an Islamist, a terrorist or a conscious veiled woman is not due to the psycho-pathology, but in the specific case of the Islamic world, it is due to the religious background.  Knowing this fact may help us prevent the process of Muslims becoming Islamists. It is worth emphasising that preventing Muslims from Islamism is no way implies justification for Islam, by contrast a de-islamisation of our society is vitally necessary, which is of course another big topic.

Today, in a higher proportion, when we search for the causes of terrorism, we will focus on Islamism. Terrorist violence is more likely to be increasingly carried out by Muslims. However, we should not only condemn these blind terrorists, but more particularly we should worldwide point out Islamism as the real cause of terrorism. Especially when it seems to be the trigger of a social Stockholm Syndrome. Under such a syndrome a submissive social attitude develops when the society has no power to save themselves from their Islamic abusers. This is meanwhile an important factor that must be remarked if we want to improve political awareness of Iranians.

Another side, the lack of an evident terrorist profile or diagnosable mental illness makes us difficult to predict who will become Islamists. To distinguish between an Islamist terrorist and a simple Muslim is an important task of Iranian democrats. Muslims, like other people, cannot be blamed for their religion, but explained what they had no right to know before. The final solution of Islamic societies is a conscious removal of the religion from the social and political life in a democratic process. Today, Iranian society has considerably loosened from the Islamic chain of the world. A renaissance in the Islamic world can very probably start from Iran. Comment

For letters section
To: Jahanshah Rashidian

Jahanshah Rashidian


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