Raymond S. Kraft
September 19, 2006
Islam is offended. Islam is easily offended. Islam is very easily offended, by the slightest suggestion that Islam, the Islamic world, the Prophet Mohammed and Muslims, are anything less than perfect.
A few days ago, Pope Benedict XVI improvidently quoted a 14th Century Christian Emperor of Byzantium as saying, "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
In response, and proving the point, the Islamic world, much of which is busy spreading the faith by the sword, erupted in outrage and indignation, demonstrations and riots, and in some places the Islamic world erupted in gunfire aimed at Christian churches. "I don’t think the church should point a finger at extremist activities in other religions," said Aiman Mazyek, president of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) rose to the defense of Jihad and called upon Christians to learn more about Islam. CAIR did not, however, condemn the Muslims rioting in Pakistan to protest the Pope’s remarks, or the Organization of the Swords of Righteousness that unleashed volleys of gunfire on Christian churches in Gaza, or those who tossed Molotov cocktails into Christian churches in the West Bank.
It is axiomatic that those with the least to be honestly proud and confident of are the often quickest to take offense at any real or imaginary slight. Those of real achievement tend to ignore their detractors, knowing that criticisms, if true, should be heeded, and, if untrue, are merely displays of ignorance, jealousy, or the hatred that grows from the slacker’s internal morass of envy and self-loathing.
"Those of real achievement tend to ignore their detractors, knowing that criticisms, if true, should be heeded, and, if untrue, are merely displays of ignorance, jealousy, or the hatred that grows from the slacker’s internal morass of envy and self-loathing."
Those of little achievement, or none, are the people most sensitive to being "dissed." The greatest underachievers are the most easily offended, precisely because every criticism, especially if true, threatens to penetrate and evaporate their tenuous, false, and exaggerated illusion of self-importance, the illusion by which they justify themselves. They are ostentatiously proud, because there is nothing to them but their ostentatious pride.
Muslims feel free to call Jews "apes and pigs," they feel free to march in the streets calling for "Death to America," the Great Satan, they feel free to riot across France, burning thousands of cars and homes and businesses, for weeks. They feel free to execute homosexuals for their homosexuality, and send women to prison for the crime, or sin, of having been raped, or stone them for actual or suspected adultery. But at the slightest suggestion that they, or Islam, or the Prophet, are any less perfect than they claim to be, they erupt in fury and violence, the behavior of a culture fixated at the emotional level of a narcissistic four-year-old who throws a screaming tantrum every time he does not get precisely what his childish little heart desires.
With this thought in mind I turned to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association, to the section on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. And now I am going to offend Islam, again. For the tantrums of Islam that we see in every day’s news match precisely all eight of the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
"Narcissistic Personality Disorder: A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
(1) Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
The Islamic world of today has precisely this grandiose and delusional sense of self-importance, as it declares Islam to be the cure for all the world’s ills, despite the rather obvious fact that where militant Islam is dominant, as with the Taliban in Afghanistan, society regresses into barbarity. Each day I open the paper to see that the Religion of Peace has slaughtered another hundred Iraqis in Iraq, or that, having failed to develop anything even vaguely resembling a self-sustaining economy and destroying most of what was left to the Palestinians by the Israelis when they withdrew, Hamas in Gaza cannot even pay the salaries of its own employees and must go about panhandling the "international community" for enough money to feed its people, dependant on the charity of its enemies. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, rattling his nuclear saber, threatening the annihilation of Israel and proclaiming that Iran is better suited than America to "lead the world," blithely avoids the fact that the prosperity of Iran, and the populist largesse it allows him to shower on the Iranian people, and his own derivative sense of power and purpose, largely depend on the sale of Iran’s petroleum to the Western countries he despises.
The Islam of today does not export science, or literature, or music, or art, or charity, or humanitarianism, or freedom. Islam has produced no Einsteins, no Da Vincis, no Beethovens, no Churchills or Franklin D. Roosevelts, no Declarations of Human Rights, no Mother Theresas. Islam today exports oil, and terror.
Yet Islam wallows in the self-inflicted delusion that it is the center of the world and the quintessence of civilization.
(2) Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success.
The Islamic Jihad of today is rather publicly preoccupied with the fantasy that it will destroy Israel and the rest of Western Civilization, and usher in an eternal Fourth Reich of Theocratic Islamic Totalitarianism, fulfilling the word of the Prophet at Koran 9:33 – "He it is who hath sent His Apostle with the Guidance and a religion of truth, that he may make it victorious over every other religion…"
(3) Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
Islam from its inception has taught that it is "Special," and that Muslims should associate insofar as possible only with other Muslims. As the Prophet said in Koran 5:60, 76: "O you who believe! Take not Jews and Christians as friends. They are but one another’s friends. If any one of you taketh them for his friends, he surely is one of them! God will not guide the evil doers…Infidels now are they who say, ‘God is the Messiah, the Son of Mary;’ for the Messiah said, ‘O children of Israel! worship God, my Lord and your Lord.’ Whosoever shall join other gods with God, God shall forbid him the Garden, and his abode shall be the Fire; and the wicked shall have no helpers…"
Indeed, "Specialness," the instant and effortless "Specialness" that does not come from achievement or accomplishment, or from humanitarian service, but merely from the act of belief in the Prophet and in Islam, is the great and terrible seduction of fundamentalist Islam, and those who become martyrs, who commit suicide and murder, killing Infidels (who are not "Special," because they are not Believers), achieve the greatest of all possible "Specialness" in the eyes of Allah and in the annals of Islam and are greatly rewarded in Paradise.
Islam, unique among the world’s religions, is the only religion which confers its highest accolade of "Specialness" upon those who murder others and themselves, acts which other religions call "sins." Christianity and Judaism honor those who minister to others. Islam honors those who kill. In the world of militant Islam, only Muslims are Special, and among Muslims, the most Special people of all are its mass murderers, who in any other culture would be condemned to prison or death or ignominy as mass murderers.
(4) Requires excessive admiration.
This is a corollary of Islam’s pathological obsession with its "Specialness" and the inferiority of those who are Unbelievers, those who follow any other religious faith, or no faith at all. When Islam is insufficiently admired (or, God forbid, critiqued) by those it is attempting to kill, enslave, dominate, and subjugate, Muslims around the world riot and protest that they have been offended and demand apologies. The stance of Islam toward the West is, We can slaughter you, but you cannot criticize us. We can call you pigs and apes and infidels worthy only of death and hell, but you must admire us.
(5) Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or compliance with his or her expectations.
Throughout Europe, and in other non-Muslim countries, Islamic immigrants and communities expect special treatment. They expect respect for their demands to be governed by Sharia, rather than by the laws of the countries to which they have immigrated. They do not want to assimilate into the cultures and societies into which they have come, rather, they demand that France, Denmark, Germany, England, and all other Western nations that now have large Muslim communities, accommodate them. Islam sees itself as the defining force of every community and culture and country into which it spreads. It is intolerant of all others, and it intends, in time, to displace and then replace all others. Islam dreams of a world in which there is no East and West, no Judaism, no Christianity, no Hinduism, no Buddhism, no Agnostics and no Atheists, only Islam. This is what the Prophet has promised, and to this it is entitled.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday" "[Muslim nations] should have tanks, warplanes, warships, guns and missiles…Yes, they need to have nuclear weapons too, because only with the possession of such would their enemies be deterred from attacking them…Well, if you allow Israel to have them, why should the others not have them too?"
He ignores, of course, the fact that Islam has enemies only because it has declared war on everyone else. If Islam were in truth a religion of peace, it would have no enemies, and it would need no weapons.
But they are Special. They are entitled.
(6) Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
Islam has been, for years or decades now, taking advantage of the immigration policies and public generosity of Europe, America, Canada, Australia, in order to achieve its own ambitions of global domination, as explicitly explained in The Management of Savagery by Abu Bakr Naji. Islam and Muslims, as a cultural trait, take every possible advantage they can of everyone they can, including other Muslims. As a Muslim client once explained to me, "We are different from you Americans. When you make a deal, you make a contract, that’s it. You make a contract, then you do it. With us Muslims, a contract is just for today, and tomorrow it is the place to begin negotiating again." Another, an Iranian with a PhD in pharmacology, came to California to escape the purges of the Khomeini revolution in Iran after the Shah was deposed. peaking no English, he went to work in a restaurant owned by two of his nephews, doing whatever needed to be done, prep, cooking, cleaning, bussing. They paid him minimum wage for forty hours a week, although they never actually paid him in full, and required him to work from opening to closing every day, seven days a week, more than a hundred hours a week. He was allowed to sleep on the floor in the store room, and he was not allowed to leave. In other words, they made their uncle their slave. He escaped, and with an Iranian acquaintance to translate went to the Labor Commission to file a complaint for unpaid wages, and after he returned his nephews beat him nearly to death. He wanted to know if he could sue them. I replied that he could, but asked what they would do to him if he did. He answered, "They will kill me."
(7) Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
Lack of empathy – indifference to the emotions and feelings, the pain and suffering, of others, is also a defining trait of psychopaths, "…predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs. Lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they cold-bloodedly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt." (Hare, Robert D., Psychopaths: New Trends in Research, The Harvard Mental Health Letter, September 1995).
This narcissistic psychopathy is amply on display in the embrace of terrorism by militant Islam. Those who have empathy for the emotions, feelings, grief, pain and suffering, for the lives of others, do not blow up nightclubs filled with vacationers in Egypt or Bali, wedding parties in Jordan, schools full of children in Beslan, Russia, trains filled with commuters in India and Spain and England, buses, synagogues, banks, and consulates in Turkey, police recruits and shoppers in Iraq, cafes in Israel, and they do not plot for years to fly airliners full of innocent passengers into the World Trade Center in New York, killing thousands of people from dozens of countries, Muslim and Infidel alike. They do not decapitate Daniel Pearl and Nicholas Berg on TV.
If Islamic terror were not hiding behind the Mosque and the Koran, and if America and Europe were not intellectually blinded by its camouflage of religion, and its outspoken protestations of "offense" at every criticism, and by our own uncritical and indiscriminating Liberalism, which is a sort of inverted Nihilism (while the Nihilist approves of nothing, the Progressive Liberal approves of everything except rational discrimination between good and bad), America and Europe would not hesitate to call these terrorists and their allies what they are, pre-meditated mass murderers, and the Jihad, the Global Intifada, what it is – a world-wide conspiracy to commit mass murder, serial murder, in the relentless narcissistic pursuit of religio-political power.
(8) Is often envious of others, or believes that others are envious of him or her.
It is probable that one of the driving forces underlying the Jihad, the Global Intifada, perhaps the most powerful and dangerous one, is jealousy, or envy, the unspoken, perhaps unrecognized, inarticulate envy of many Muslims who resent Israel and the West for their success, which contrasts badly with the failures of much of the Islamic world. The Islamic world should (according to Islam) be most greatly blessed by Allah, it should dominate the globe, and the greater achievements and prosperity of the West presents a stark challenge, a desperate cognitive dissonance, to the ideology of Islamic perfection, supremacy, Specialness. To the narcissist who seeks Specialness above all else, to compensate for his lack of real accomplishment, those who achieve what he has not, or will not, or cannot, are hateful. He despises them, because they become a mirror in which he sees himself for what he is, or what he is not, but cannot admit to being or not being.
A mirror which must be broken.
(9) Shows arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes.
The Islam of Jihad, the Islam of the Global Intifada, displays absolute arrogance. This Islam assumes that it is privileged to attack every continent, and any nation, killing people all over the world, burning churches and synagogues and temples, killing Christians and Jews and Hindus merely because they are not Muslims, without remorse, without apology, killing Muslims by the thousands to destabilize Iraq to prevent Iraq from becoming a peaceful and prosperous democracy friendly to the West. Then in the next moment Islam takes extreme offense at any criticism or disparagement of Islam, demonstrating, rioting, calling for retractions and apologies, disdaining all other political traditions and religious faiths as illegitimate. Its arrogance knows no limitations. It is infinite.
Islam is in desperate need of soul-searching, of self-reflection, of reality. Islam needs a long hard look in the mirror. Islam needs to see itself as others see it, not merely as it sees itself.
If Islam continues down the path of Jihad, the path of Global Intifada, the path of Islamo-Nazism, it will continue making enemies of the rest of the world, and in the conflagration that will inevitably follow either Islam, or Civilization, or both, will be devastated. Islam calls itself the religion of peace, but Islam is making itself a religion of blood. And I am offended. We are offended. We who love life more than death, and peace more than war, and freedom more than totalitarianism, we are offended.
When the Pope says that "Jihad" is contrary to God’s nature and to reason, and calls for a "genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today," Islam does not respond with dialogue, but with outrage. And we are offended.
When the news reports that 100 people were found dead in Baghdad in twenty-four hours on Wednesday, or that 400,000 Iraqi bodies have been exhumed from the mass graves of the Saddam Hussein regime, not a single Muslim government or spokesman expresses outrage. CAIR does not condemn Al Qaeda for killing Muslims in Iraq, CAIR condemns Pope Benedict for calling for dialogue and peace. Dalil Boubakeur, president of the French Council for the Muslim Religion, does not condemn Al Qaeda for killing Muslims in Iraq, he calls on the Church to "clarify its position" so that it does not confuse Islam with Islamism. And we are offended.
When in Pakistan women are sent to prison for committing adultery, or for having been raped, Haken Al-Mutairi, leader of the Islamic Nation Party in Kuwait, expresses no outrage, but he demands an apology from Pope Benedict for "unaccustomed and unprecedented remarks" and calls on all Arab and Islamic states to recall their ambassadors from the Vatican and expel those from the Vatican until the pope says he is sorry "for the wrong done to the prophet and to Islam, which preaches peace, tolerance, justice, and equality…" Yes, Mr. Haken Al-Mutairi, tell that to the two million Sudanese killed by Muslim raiders in Darfur. Tell that to the widows and fatherless children of 9/11. We are offended.
We are offended by the disingenuousness and duplicity of Islam that claims to preach "peace, tolerance, justice, and equality," in one breath, and in the next breath promises the abolition of Israel and the Islamization of Europe and the Death of America. We are offended by the Islamic world that is not offended by the slaughter of Sunnis by Shias, and the slaughter of Shias by Sunnis, and the slaughter of 100,000 Kurds and 400,000 Iraqis by Saddam Hussein’s regime but has not lifted a pen to denounce him, a world in which Abdullah al-Amiri, the judge presiding over the trial of Saddam, can make the astonishing statement to Saddam from the bench that "You were not a dictator. You were not a dictator. You were not a dictator." Three times.
We are offended by an Islam that hears Ahmadinejad promise the "abolition of Israel," racial genocide, the final solution, and applauds him, or, if it does not, raises not a voice to oppose him. By silence, Islam consents.
Yes, there are a few Islamic leaders trying to find a civilized path for Islam, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq, comes to mind, who in a recent speech to Congress said, "The fate of our country and yours is tied. Should democracy be allowed to fail in Iraq, then the war on terror will never be won elsewhere…This is a battle between true Islam, for which a person’s liberty and rights constitute essential cornerstones, and terrorism, which wraps itself in a fake Islamic cloak, in reality wages a war on Islam and Muslims and values and spreads hatred between humanity…"
He is right. But far too few Muslims seem to accept his perspective, and we are offended. We are offended every time the Global Intifada, commits another atrocity, and the leaders of Muslim organizations in America, and Europe, and of Muslim states in the Middle East, fail to condemn it. We are offended every time Muslims are "outraged" by any criticism of Islamic barbarity, rather than admitting that Islam has a malignancy in its soul which only Islam can expunge. We are offended that Islam is failing, day by day, to take responsibility for the atrocities committed in the name of Islam, to punish the offenders, to root out the offenders, to heal its disease of Jihad, its disease of Global Intifada, its disease of Islamic Nazism.
We are offended that Islam is not offended by its own atrocities.
We call on Islam to apologize. We call on Islam to apologize for the atrocities of Saddam Hussein, and for the atrocities of 9/11. We call on Islam to apologize for the riots in France, and for the bombings in London and Spain and Bali. We call on Islam to apologize for the dead children of Beslan. We call on Islam to apologize for the Taliban in Afghanistan, and for the safe haven and protection given to Osama bin Laden, and for the barbarities of Al Qaeda, and Hamas, and Hezbollah. We call on Islam to apologize for its invidious, racist, hatred of Israel and Jews. We call on Islam to apologize for the Global Intifada, the Islamic Jihad against all non-Muslims. We call on Islam to apologize for the rise of Islamic Nazism.
We call on Islam to rise up against terrorism. If Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, justice, and equality, then we call on Islam to open its hearts and doors to Christians and Jews, Buddhists and Hindus, as the world has opened its doors to Muslims. You can build a mosque in America, but you cannot build a cathedral in Tehran. You can build a mosque in Jerusalem, but you cannot build a synagogue in Mecca.
We call on Islam to build a cathedral in Tehran. We call on Islam to build a synagogue in Mecca.
We are offended.
Raymond S. Kraft is an attorney and writer in northern California.