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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Muslim Terrorist as Eternal Victim

Up until the winter of 09, Muzzammil Hassan was known as the founder of Bridges TV, one of those ubiquitous ventures meant to normalize Islam in the American context. There was all the usual talk about promoting moderate Islam, even though Bridges TV broadcast "Current Issues" which focused on building bridges to such average Americans as David Duke and assorted other Neo-Nazis and shock collar wearing types. Then in a shocking turn of events, Muzzammil Hassan beheaded his director of programming and wife at the TV station after she had received an order of protection against him.

Now almost two years later, Hassan will finally get his day in court. And his defense will be that he was a battered spouse, who was abused by his diminutive wife, until after years of physical abuse, he snapped and was forced to kill her. And behead her. Never mind that his previous two wives each filed for divorce on the grounds of domestic abuse, and that the family of his second wife actually sacrificed two goats in thankfulness that she escaped the marriage alive. Or that the murder happened less than a week after Hassan was served with divorce papers. In his own mind, Hassan is still the victim. And while this murder is only one case, it provides a narrow window into a mindset in which the perpetrator is always the victim.

Hardly a terrorist plot against Americans is unraveled, before cries of Islamophobia go up. A visitor from another planet, hearing all the shouts of Islamophobia would assume that there were constant attacks on Muslims all across the United States. Except there are hardly any. In New York City there were eleven incidents, none of them fatal. Compare that to Egypt, a Muslim country with less than a third of America's population, where numerous Christian Copts have been murdered in just the last several months. (And Egypt is one of the more "moderate" countries in the Muslim world, moderate because we spend billions of dollars a year to back a dictator and his secret police in order to keep it that way.) Every few months, we turn up a Muslim plot to mass murder Americans, and for all the effort and energy invested in searching for domestic extremists, we haven't found any cells of Americans preparing to car bomb Muslims.

Then of course there's Israel. After conquering the land and spending nearly a thousand years subjugating and persecuting the native Jewish population-- the Arab ruling class realized that Jewish nationalism hadn't perished after all. Not all the degrading laws or the abusive treatment had suppressed the Jewish desire to reclaim their own country. Which they began to do after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the end of Muslim supremacy over the region. Naturally the Arab Muslim world responded with all the tolerance and reasonableness you would expect from people who were so insecure about their sense of superiority that they needed to pass special laws forbidding synagogues and churches from being taller than mosques. There were riots, massacres and bombings. Then when the British left, seven Arab Muslim armies, backed by assorted militias and bandits tried to destroy Israel. After only managing to take half of Jerusalem, along with Judea, Samaria and Gaza-- they tried it again nearly twenty years later, and lost them as well. And then they became the victims.

Here we come to the Muslim world's definition of victim as someone who tries, but fails to kill you. Guantanamo Bay has a cargo load of "victims" whose victimization consists of being captured by the American soldiers whom they failed to kill. At home, their treatment of enemy prisoners consisted of a hole and a hand grenade in the best case scenario, and dismemberment and torture in the worst. But when they were forced to stand in the presence of infidel women and had interrogators berate them about their body odor, suddenly they became victims. And this point of equivalence would not even register with them. In their minds, the people they killed were non-Muslims or not "true Muslims" and therefore subhuman. If they had been able to empathize with their victims, they would not have done what they did. But as for themselves, they are members of a superior people who may not be mistreated this way.

Empathy is a weakness of the Western world, but it is a non-starter in the Muslim world. While we have been taught to extend our empathy circle as widely as possible, circumstances in the Muslim world make that seem both irrational and dangerous to them. Secularization and denationalization have made identification on the basis of a common humanity commonplace in the West. But such ubiquitous ideas are alien to the tribalism of the Muslim world, whose great revolution was a limited identification on the basis of a common religion, that was usually eclipsed in day to day dealings by familial connections. It is only possible to identify with a person from another culture, religion or race by seeing him as an individual. And individualism is a scarce commodity in the Muslim world, where identification is tribal and religious. Where the group is always more important than the individual.

Contrary to the visions of 19th century Utopians, a society that disdains the individual is not selfless, but supremely selfish. The Soviet economy had levels of theft and mercenary greed that made America on its worst day seem positively altruistic. The rapid transition of China to a frighteningly ruthless capitalist oligarchy shows that it too fits the pattern. As does the desert culture that gave birth to Islam. While we might think that members of such a society would think of themselves as non-persons, that is not how it works. Most human beings will remain in touch with their egos, their needs and desires, regardless of what society they live in. The big difference is in how they treat others. A society where the individual is a non-person, is a society where everyone treats everyone else like non-persons.

Think of Muslim mothers who carry out honor killings against their own daughters. The tribal system has made their familial identification stronger than their maternal instinct. But it is not because they think of themselves as non-persons, rather because they think of their daughters as non-persons, sources of weakness and shame that degrade their own identity. So too Muslim men view their wives as sources of weakness and shame-- an element of tribal culture that Mohammed embedded within the Koran. Rather than drawing strength from a marital bond, they draw it from the tribal-religious identification with Mohammed and the invisible power structure of the Caliphate instead.

Now let's go back to Hassan, who abused his way through three wives and still remains a victim in his own mind. And a Muslim world which refuses to hold itself accountable for any crime, but always finds a way to invert the moral scales, so that it is always either the winner or the victim-- but never actually wrong. What is missing here is context. And situational context requires the ability to see beyond yourself, past your own desires and feelings, at the world as it is. To do that you must be more than your identity. You must be a human being. And a human being is a moral individual.

Islam thrives on honor, rather than morality. Like honor, Islam is an illusion. A shadow cast by those who adhere to it. And like honor, it is less a religion than an attempt to save face for lack of a religion. Honor replaces inner morality with outer worth. Perception negates reality. The myth becomes its own legend. And the legend becomes an obsession as it fights to incorporate and subsume reality within the construct of its own fantasy universe. The outer perception of honor requires not the reality, but the myth. The central figure is always right. When he is wrong, it is not his own fault, but because he is a victim. He does not need to change, only restore honor by punishing those who undermined him. And so the cycle of violence begins.

Hassan might have changed after his first or second marriages went bad in the same way. And the Arab world might have quit after the first or second war. But instead they remained trapped in a cycle of their own making. And when confronted with failure, they lash out in violence and then claim to be the victims.

As a public figure in the Muslim community, Hassan had become too prominent to accept another failure. He could have easily imported a younger girl from Pakistan to replace his wife, but it was not about the wife anymore, it was about his failure to control. And the failure to control in an honor-shame culture translates as shame. Rather than accept shame for a third time, Hassan restored his honor by beheading his wife instead. And to be properly honorable, he will seal the deal with a narrative in which he was the victim lashing out at an oppressor. Just as Muslim terrorists are victims lashing out at the evil infidel oppressors who won't let them take over their country.

"Who is the master, who is the slave? Who (is) the terrorist, who is the hostage? Who is the dictator, who is the prisoner? Who is the captor, who is the POW?" Hassan wrote in a letter to the AP. This is a common theme in the Muslim justification of their own atrocities. Muslim clerics condemn terrorism and then ask, "Who are the real terrorists?" And the answer turns out the people they have been terrorizing.

Such shifts of meaning are typical hallmarks of relativistic belief systems. And Islam is surprisingly relativistic. The common theme of the Koran is that no matter what Mohammed did, he turned out to be right and not his foes. No matter if his conduct violated every norm of human behavior and the treaties he signed and even the laws he conveyed from Allah. He was always right. The relativistic belief system accommodates the need for that perpetual sense of rightness. While modern secular relativism does this by questioning laws, Islam does it by treating laws as means to an end, with itself as the end. By subsuming himself within Islam, the Muslim can rise as far above the law as he is willing to sacrifice himself. The devout Jihadist who goes to a strip club on the night before ramming a plane into a building is not being hypocritical, but rising above the laws of mortal men on a mission for Islam.

The Muslim worldview is thus built on sand. It is unmoving, yet constantly shifting. The secret of it is that the worldview moves, but the Muslim does not. One day he may be a righteous warrior. The next day an innocent victim. He has not changed, but he moves the world around him to better suit his new context. He is still telling the story and he is still right, and the world had better adapt itself to his rightness. Or more bombings will follow by more innocent victims who were righteous warriors fighting to avenge what happened to the last righteous warrior/innocent victim. And so the game is played.

Hassan is guilty of killing his wife, but absolutely innocent because she was the aggressor. Muslims are terrorists, but only because they are the victims. Israel and America are oppressors because they successfully defended themselves against Muslim violence. And that is doubtlessly the same reason why Hassan saw his wife as the oppressor. By successfully filing for divorce and a restraining order, she had successfully defended herself against him. And that meant she had oppressed him and had to die.

"Who is the terrorist and who is the hostage?" Hassan asks. But Hassan, like the Muslim world, was a hostage of his own ego, his own need for control. The Muslim world suffers from that same pathology, the need to validate itself by killing and subjugating others. And that same inability to recognize those actions for what they are. Attempts at control by weak people unable to face up to their own failures of character and culture.

Hassan is a pathetic caricature of what every Muslim terrorist is, a bully and a thug, who beats the weak and then runs to hide when justice comes his way. Who is a furious warrior when his victim is weak, and a sniveling coward whining about oppression when he's finally held to account.

17 comments:

lemon said...

Since a bridge carries traffic in both directions, the name does not fit at all as that religion does not fit in but demands everyone else fit in to their mold.

Trencherbone said...

Sexual terrorism and control freakery as a means of humiliating the infidel for the greater glory of Allah.

HermitLion said...

It is a culture of that teaches people to claim absolutely no personal responsibility. Like children, who understand merely themselves, they spin whatever tale to suit their needs, regardless of the damage to others and their surrounding.
They may have learnt to use the same terms we do, like 'terrorism' and 'innocence', but their version is hollow, or holds an opposite meaning.
In a scientific manner, we can say that muslims have a validation skill not significantly different from zero.
Or, in simpler words, they have as much credibility as a jet fighter made from handkerchiefs.

scoutxlt said...

You have in an essay here today captured the essence of what we are facing with muslim "extremist" violence. Followed by the incessant outcry demanding victim status, because they say it is so... when in fact it is they themselves who are the perpetrators of violence. The complete inability for muslims to associate another's right to exist, or in fact have rights in the first place... equal to or superseding their own. In their narrow view it is factually impossible to these "tribal" practitioners of the word from the point of view of a bandit, in the seventh century to grasp the reality they are presented with in the twenty first. The view that they take, and force upon all who will listen is one of regression, to return society back to the mists of time when life was not worth that of a goat, and a wife was but a possession, as if a table or camel. Its no wonder these tribalists have such difficulty equating our societal norms into their world view. Unless they are brought kicking and screaming into the "Real" world, we can only assume that the continued terror, honor killings, and rivers of blood will continue to flow. These so called "people of the book" have so twisted any meanings contained within, to their theocratic domination of the world that I suspect will remain at odds with all efforts to reign them in, and will eventually require their expulsion from civil society.

Miriam said...

wow. This post was OMG so well written! gave me what to think about. I have to mull over this some more.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

exactly hermitlion, very well said

scoutxlt, they have never learned to think in any terms other than their own

thank you miriam

Keli Ata said...

He's even asked for a change of venue. The only change of venue that would help him would be if the trial were held in Saudi Arabia.

Anonymous said...

"Muslim world's definition of victim as someone who tries, but fails to kill you." This is so true, but the west are the enablers, it takes 2 to tango and I can say that Israel is no better than the west because it is built on the same principles. Very astute analysis, amazing, kol ha kavod!

Rachel said...

Part of Muzzammil Hassan's victim complex is the Muslim thing ('the West made me do it. Those bigots just don't understand me.'). Of course, having worked with a Pakistani Muslim guy before, I can also tell you, it's a 'Pakistani male Muslim' thing. That guy treated female co-workers like crap...he'd take dirty dishes off of his tables and put them on empty tables of the waitress in the nearby section (I was waiting tables at the time), the sexual harassment (He once explained to me that he could, in his culture, have one night stands with any non-Muslim girl he wanted to. He just couldn't sleep with a nice Pakistani girl. He was dead serious.), other obnoxious behavior.

In their culture, those guys can just do no wrong, especially where women are concerned. If some conflict arises, it's always the woman's fault. They don't even perceive that they act this way--it's normal for them. Grown up men could lounge around the house while the women do heavy lifting--things that would embarrass normal American men--and not understand why they should be embarrassed.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Rachel,

yes that stuff is common for people who dehumanize non-Muslims in general and women specifically.

A two-tiered system means a two-tiered moral code. Which makes those who follow it everything from obnoxious to dangerous.

Sharondownunderinnz said...

Thank you for an excellent article. So few people realise the danger of Islam and a lot who do have an inkling don't care as they see it not affecting them! Well - news for them! It soon will affect them if Muslems such as Muzzammil Hassan have their way - no-one will have a valid opinion anymore because their mouths will be shut - at the neck!!!
Keep up your great website and may God protect you.

TBS said...

from dumbledoresarmy on jihadwatch.org early 2010

http://www.islam-watch.org/AnwarSheikh/Islam-Arab-Imperialism.htm

The Arab Muslims in and around Israel are maddened by the very idea that Jews - who they are taught to view as dirty creatures destined by allah for HUMILIATION and punishment - should snatch back a small portion of what was originally stolen from Jews by the Empire of Islam, and should live upon that tiny territory as free people, bearing arms, building new synagogues and repairing old ones, drinking wine, and generally doing all the things that dhimmis are strictly forbidden to do, if living under the dominion of Muslims. Those Arabised Christians who cannot bear the thought of having to live as equals with Jews, within a Jewish state (and would, presumably, prefer to be dhimmis under the boot of the Muslims in an Arab Islamic state of 'Palestine') merely reveal by that, that the ferocious Muslim zero-sum-game shame/ honor paradigm - "If a Jew is my equal and I cannot rule over him, I am HUMILIATED' - has trumped their Christianity.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for the rage and frustration of those Muslims who weep and gnash their teeth in supposed 'humiliation' because the Jews - who qua Jews were, to their (the Muslims') minds, mere objects to be crushed beneath the Muslim boot, pelted with rocks and curses, robbed, raped, humiliated and murdered according to Muslim whim, now walking free in the sunlight and able and willing to defeat any attempt to reimpose upon them the seven hells of dhimmitude from which they have escaped. (Half the current population of Israel is composed of Jews originating from regions within dar al Islam, such as Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Yemen [where they were treated as chattel slaves, as also they were treated in Kurdistan], Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Persia; in all those regions the Jewish communities had long predated any Muslim presence).

I do not sympathise, either, with the Muslims of Pakistan, some of whom openly fantasise about once more subjugating all of India to Islam, so that every Muslim will be able to lord it - as cruelly as he likes - over Hindu slaves.

marie said...

Daniel

Words fail me in my personal salute to you. You are a great thinker, and a wordsmith, and a person of true integrity. I say great thinker, but I mean the greatest thinker of our times, with regard to the threat posed by islam and the islamist 'victims' vs the true victims. Thank you, thank you. Please continue. Truth will win. I believe that. Marie

Keli Ata said...

I do believe that the majority of Americans find the liberal approach to Islam dangerous. It's just a matter of getting the average American to become more vocal and let their voices by heard in the best way possible--in the voting both.

Another thought about the Hassan case--He was the more religious of the two. People here are arguing that Islam had nothing to do with the crime since Hassan was for the most part secular. I find this alarming because even though not religious he stll committed this horrendous crime apparently outside of Islam.

I don't believe it was a run of the mill domestic assault at all and if Islam had little to do with it, that would mean pretty much everyone from a predominately Muslim country--secular or Muslim--is prone to this sick mentality.

Now we're not just fighting Islam but the entire Arab world culturally.

Shabbat Shalom again.

If you get a chance stop by my blog for a visit:)

Anonymous said...

There is one more thing. The Arab society, [and I am not sure that this is true of other Muslims]is paralyzed because of fear. Women fear the men, men fear their elders, the elders fear the more powerful in the society etc.
Nobody can come up with a new idea, people hide their wealth because the authorities might confiscate it. etc. the rule of the jungle.

R. Hartman said...

Compliments to you for a very well written article. A spot-on analysis, very recognizable. This mindset is the very reason muslims everywhere complain about their demands not being fulfilled, why they claim that everybody should adapt to them, even while they are visitors on somebody else's property.

Thank you for this.

Scully said...

I like that you identify the difference between the person and the tribe. I (living in Canada, a western country), while having pride for myself and my nation... have never understood the idea of taking honor from my "tribe". I am an individual, as are all others in my "tribe". Letting the actions of others define me as a person (and there have been many canadians who have done horrendous things to others - just look at our treatment of the Sioux) just seems... ignorant. Live and let live - if you do no harm to me, I'll do no harm unto you...

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