By Dr. Babu Suseelan
For centuries, Jihadis (religious warriors) have resorted to mass murder, oppression, intimidation, torture, terrorism, assassination and forced religious conversion, all in the name of the Islamic fundamentalist belief system. And so it is today. Only the threat, the methods, and the goals differ.
Now, Jihadi terrorism is one of the greatest single threats to the existing world order. Modern day Jihadi terrorist groups, such as Hamas, Hizbullah, Lasker-E-Tobia, Al-Bader, Taliban, Al-Qa'ida, Tehreek-E-Jihad and Hizbul Mujahidden, virtually ensure that Jihadi terrorism will be with us for many years to come.
Recent Jihadi terrorist attacks on the U.S.A., Israel, India, Turkey, Kenya, Indonesia, Spain, Britain, and the Philippine Republic have proven Jahadis' proclivity for terrorist destruction. Jihadi terrorism in Israel and India is unabatted and continues to claim thousands of innocent lives every year. All over the world, Jihadi terrorism is a serious threat to peace, security, liberty, the rule of law, and constitutional democracy. No country in the world is immune from the deleterious effects of this heinous crime. Jihadi ideology, in its most extreme form, is fraught with dangerous consequences for the entire world. Its committed, hardcore adherents, as distinct from a larger body of the more traditional Muslims, are thaught to account for 20 to 25 percent of the world's Muslim population. Recently, they have acquired an influence disproportinate to their numbers. Jihadism is a fundamentalism of a very special ethnocentric and dangerous form, with beliefs that are more extremist than those of Fascism, Nazism, and Communism. Jihadi ideology is the most deadly totalitarian system ever invented.
Jihadi terrorists are irrational, extreme, xenophobic, hostile, and blinded by their dogmatic fundamentalist faith. The basic premise of Jihadi terrorists is that their violent acts stem from feelings of rage and hatred, reinforced by their belief system. Jihadis think and behave differently. They are selfish, impulsive, calculating, and act our of their own selfish interests, with no regard to the responsible members of society. Whatever their ideology or religious sanction, Jihadis are cunning, intelligent, self-seeking, aware of their criminal acts, and incapable of guilt and empathy. Several patterns of thinking drive the Jihadi terrorists, including:
Ideas expressed in the Qur'an provide all the justification necessary for Jahadis to carry out deadly terrorist activities. Jihadi terrorists are primarily afraid of freethinking, liberty, pluralism, secularism, and co-existence. They are defensive, capricious, and conditioned by their outdated irrational fanatic religious dogma.
The Jihadis reject civil laws, and have no fear, anxiety, or shame about their dangerous behavior. Commitment to their reductionist paradigm is non-negotiable for the Jihadis. Jihadi terrorists espouse many beliefs supporting terrorist activities. For Jihadis future is the past, and ensuring the brutal past is vital to their existence. Their future and brutal past curve into each other and direct their present anti-social behavior. A spiritual and holistic worldview, systemic thinking, and tolerance are not part of their tradition. Their worldview is myopic and dangerous.
How do we, then, combat Jihadi fanaticism and terrorism? What efforts should be made to address the root cause of Jihadi terrorism? How do we force Jihadis to freedom and systemic, rational thoughts? How do we address and eliminate predatory offenses committed by the Jihadi criminals?
There is, in fact, a great ignorance of, or indifference to, this whole subject in constitutional democratic societies. This is due, at least in part, to the general reluctance of the mainstream media to subject Jihadis to the searching scrutiny they deserve. Following this tendency is all the more remise, since Jihadi terrorism is not and, cannot be, just a regional issue. Jihadism has always had a built-in propensity to gravitate towards its most extreme, violent, aggressive, and expansionistic expression.
Political leaders have frequently practiced the deceptive art of denial, doing so in an attempt to avoid direct confrontation with the ideology of the Jihadis. Denial is an unrealistic hope that the problems created by the Jihadi terrorists are not serious, and that, through appeasement and surrender, the problems can be made to go away. Denial is an attempt to cover up dreadful experience with the Jihadis and ease the discomfort by a subtle and ingenious twist of attention. Total denial of the heinous Jihadi terrorism and the irrational Jihadi thought system is, in fact, symtomatic of inadequate thinking on the part of politicians. The practice of denial increases the risk of greater destruction, death and financial loss, since fanatical Jihadis will not go away by themselves just because we do not want to face their dysfunctional thought system head on. Denial is deadly and can endanger our very survival.
Prevention efforts are our first line of defense against Jihadi terrorism. Such efforts hold out the promise of avoiding terrorism before it starts and sparing death and destruction. Psychological warfare is a valuable tool in combatting Jihadi terrorism and its ideology. We need to force these terrorists from their closed, false belief system. We have to help young terrorists construct a New Thought Map: how to change what they think and how they think. Twisted thinking is what directs terrorists to do violent acts. These faulty thought maps are the pathways to terrorism and criminal acts. Creation of new thought maps will take effort, but, over time, it will save the world. We need structured, forceful, directed, comprehensive strategies and actions to force the Jihadis to rational thinking.
In the end, there is no single formula to combat fanaticism and terrorism. To eradicate Jihadi terrorism, we need a reformation or, more ambitiously, fundamental redefinition of the assumptions and practices that comprise our policies. The absence of our assertiveness and the inability to confront Jihadis has undermined our efforts and operations against fanatical Jihadis.
Our combat strategy should focus on the Jihadi organization -- i.e., the relationship between Jihadi groups and their external supporters -- and on the groups' internal structure, goals, and values. The act of terrorism should be viewed as a collective criminal act. We, therefore, need to address the psyche and social defects of the Jihadi community. We need to force them to freedom, secularism, and pluralism. Our assertiveness and confrontation will evoke changes in the direction of our shared norms, values, and cuvilization.
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Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
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Dr. Babu Suseelan is a professor of clinical psychology and the director of a drug and alcohol treatment program in Pennsylvania. He writes on the subject of Islamic terrorism and its effect on Hindu society. Dr. Suseelan can be contacted at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The foregoing article by Dr. Suseelan was originally published on the Internet website maintained by Faith Freedom International, a grassroots movement of ex-Muslims, the goals of which are to (1) unmask Islam and show that it is an imperialistic ideology akin to Nazism, but disguised as a religion, and (2) help Muslims to leave this pseudo-religion, end the Islamic culture of hate caused by an "us" versus "them" ethos, and embrace the human race in amity. Members of Faith Freedom International strive for the unity of Mankind through the elimination of Islam, the most insidious doctrine of hate.
To read the original version of Dr. Suseelan's article,
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