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Editor’s note: Taking inspiration from Jumanah Albahri’s admission of a genocidal agenda in her confrontation with David Horowitz at UCSD last year, the focus of this spring’s Islamo-Fascism Awareness Campaign will be Islamic extremists’ genocidal objectives and their campaign of lies, which are on full display during their annual “Israel Apartheid Week.” As the centerpiece of the Freedom Center’s counter-protest, student groups will confront the “apartheid walls” with our center’s “Wall of Lies,”which is composed of the anti-Israel lies Palestinians promulgate with the intention of destroying the Jewish State.
Frontpage editors have decided that, with the Center’s Wall of Lies Campaign in full swing, it would be appropriate to rerun our symposium from our June 21st, 2010 issue, A Psychiatric Conference on Truthful Girl, in which four distinguished experts on human psychology offered their professional analysis on what impulses motivate an individual such as Jumanah Albahri:
A Psychiatric Conference on Truthful Girl
As most of us are by now aware, Jumanah Imad Albahri, the infamous Muslim student at the University of California at San Diego, recently endorsed a new genocide of Jews during the question-and-answer period after David Horowitz’s talk at UCSD. To watch the short clip of her hateful and truthful speech, click here.
Shortly after, Truthful Girl engaged in some curious and mind-boggling denials regarding her initial statement, which, to say the least, were not very effective in negating her yearning for another Final Solution. Robert Spencer has written a good synopsis of this saga in “Lies of a Truthful Girl.”
Today, four distinguished experts on human psychology join Frontpage Symposium to analyze Truthful Girl’s behavior. What explains her yearnings for another Holocaust and her bizarre and failed attempts to cover her tracks — after being verbally honest about her yearnings?
Our guests today are:
Dr. Nancy Kobrin, a psychoanalyst with a Ph.D. in romance and semitic languages, specializing in Aljamía and Old Spanish in Arabic script. She is an expert on the Minnesota Somali diaspora and a graduate of the Human Terrain System program at Leavenworth Kansas. Her new book is The Banality of Suicide Terrorism: The Naked Truth About the Psychology of Islamic Suicide Bombing.
Dr. Kenneth Levin, a clinical instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, a Princeton-trained historian, and a commentator on Israeli politics. He is the author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege.
Dr. Joanie Lachkar, a licensed Marriage and Family therapist in private practice in Brentwood and Tarzana, California, who teaches psychoanalysis and is the author of The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Marital Treatment (1992, The Many Faces of Abuse: Treating the Emotional Abuse of High -Functioning Women (1998), The V-Spot, How to Talk to a Narcissist, How to Talk to a Borderline and a recent paper, “The Psychopathology of Terrorism” presented at the Rand Corporation and the International Psychohistorical Association. She is also an affiliate member for the New Center for Psychoanalysis.
Dr. Nicolai Sennels, a Danish psychologist who worked for several years with young criminal Muslims in a Copenhagen prison. He is the author of Among Criminal Muslims. A Psychologist’s Experience from the Copenhagen Municipality. The book will be out in English later this year. He can be contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FP: Dr. Nancy Kobrin, Kenneth Levin, Dr. Joanie Lachkar and Nicolai Sennels, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.
Dr. Kobrin, let me begin with you. What do you make of Truthful Girl’s statement and then her “denials/explanations” afterwards?
Kobrin: Jamie, first, David Horowitz is to be applauded for how he confronted, set boundaries and contained Jumanah Imad Albahri’s rage. He didn’t take the bait of her provocative statements, which she attempted to mask through a juvenile cutesy female demeanor. It is very difficult and exhausting to do what he does, so easy to get “sucked into” the vortex of genocidal paranoia. Paranoiacs are not going to change their mindset easily, if at all. They think, in part, like this:
If there is a blank sheet of white paper on the table and you were to point to it and say – the paper is white, these kinds of people will say – no it is black. They have to be oppositional because that is how they support their fragile personalities. The hatred is their bond to the other. They do not know how to live without hatred. It’s not fun being the object of such hatred when they seek to kill you.
Strikingly, Albahri tried to play the victim card by invoking the sacred image of Christ on the Cross. Jesus dies alone. Joan of Arc dies alone. But in the perverse “Third Reich-ish” world of Islamic suicide terrorism, they don’t die alone – they have to take you out in the killing. That shows their weakness. They are delusional; yet within their world they really do believe that they are martyrs.
She admitted that she couldn’t contain her rage. This shows who has the problem. Second, Robert Spencer also gets kudos for parsing the layers of denial in its verbiage. Denial is the psychological shield Albahri throws up to protect her shame-filled self from being found out as to the fraud she really is. Why? Because she comes from Arab tribal culture and Islam, which completely devalues the female. She lacks a stable healthy sense of self. Her need to hate the Jew is really her own “anti-Semite” self-hatred projected onto the Jew. She attacks because she is envious of the Jew and the fact that Islam is deeply indebted to Judaism but could never really acknowledge that debt. Having been brainwashed from a young age by being fed a steady diet of garbage about Jews, she moves to annihilate them — and me.
Albahri embodies the quintessential Arabic saying – “S(H)e hits me and cries and races me to complain.” David Horowitz picked up on the nonverbal dress – the neckerchief of Islamic terrorism.
As I was re-reading and watching the video clip I thought of the “The Albahri Syndrome.” While she does not wear a suicide bomb vest yet, she throws herself at Horowitz trying to take him out but fails. As a willing executioner, she is just as much a predator as the Hamas terrorist mastermind, its charismatic leaders, engineer bomb makers, handlers and suicide bombers.
FP: Thank you Dr. Kobrin, you have sparked my curiosity about something I would like to follow up on. You say: “They have to be oppositional because that is how they support their fragile personalities.”
This is not to get away from our main theme, as it will help clarify our discussion, but can you expand a bit on this theme of oppositional people in general? I have run into a few individuals along the course of my life who have baffled me in the context of their toxic pathological yearning to say “no.” No matter what I would say to them, their instinct is to disagree immediately. Often, they do so even on an issue where it is completely apparent, even to them, that they are wrong. But they cannot help themselves because their need to disagree is stronger.
Can you shed light on this pathology? How does being oppositional support a fragile personality (in the minds of those doing the opposing)? In answering my question, help define Truthful Girl some more in the process.
Kobrin: A fragile personality needs to be oppositional because it is the extreme way in which they try to find their sense of identity. Something went array during maternal attachment. Something did not get put down on the motherboard of their mind. They must define themselves in opposition to you. It is as if you are a fence or a wall and you provide definition of where they begin and end. Psychologically they are like a blob. So if you say white, then they know to say black. They reject what you say, even if it is undeniable reality, because they need to assert their skewed world view, no matter what, in order to make themselves feel more secure that they have an identity. It is very desperate but they will cling to it nonetheless.
As for Albahri, she has written a script in her mind that explains her existence as different from the Jew. The Jew to her becomes her “wall” and garbage pail for her bad yucky feelings. She must expel these intolerable feelings on to me, the Jew, because she wants to remain pure, perfect, in control and defined against whom she considers impure, toxic. This goes back to the female who gives birth to them but who is considered devalued and contaminated. They are perfect and of course all powerful.
FP: Thank you Dr. Kobrin.
Dr. Sennels what do you make of Truthful Girl and Nancy Kobrin’s analysis?
Sennels: Thanks Jamie.
Albahrij expresses the very common lack of personal responsibility and victim mentality that I have found among my 150 Muslim clients. Both during her confrontation with David Horowitz and in her following excuses and explanations for defending Hamas’ “Entlösung” – their Hitler-inspired solution of their “Jew problem” by simply transforming Israel into a huge concentration camp and killing all Jews – she shows a prime example of the Muslim culture’s relationship to responsibility concerning both one’s actions and feelings.
My finding is that one of the main psychological differences between Westerners and Muslims concerns what is sometimes called the “locus of control.” I have written extensively on the subject in my article Muslims and Westerners: The Psychological Differencies in the New English Review and discussed it in my interview at Frontpage, Among Criminal Muslims. The locus of control is a psychological term that describes whether an individual feels his or her life controlled by outer or inner factors. From a psychological point of view, it is clear that Muslims mainly feel their lives influenced by outer factors and that Westerners look inwardly when trying to understand their life and reactions. Our Western view is that our own point of view, our own feelings, thoughts, choices etc. define to a high degree the way we experience the world and our lives. We also believe in free will and thus see the ability to take responsibility for our own actions as an expression of human maturity, while blaming others for our own disturbing feelings or negative behavior is seen as less mature.
Western therapy and pedagogics are all aimed at making people aware of how they create their own lives and thus empowering children, clients and people in general to solve their problems and take responsibility for their own happiness. Our kiosks, book stores and libraries are full of magazines and books describing how to look inside to find peace, get control of our thoughts and emotions, make the right choices, etc. The Muslim world has none of these things – and the little they have is imported from the West. This is because people in the Muslim culture are mainly told to follow outer guidelines set by their Allah, the laws and regulations expounded by their prophet in the Quran and the Hadiths, imams preaching the correct Islamic relationship to everything from sexuality, integration, child raising and politics every Friday in their Mosques, etc. For a Muslim, the rules are clear and the consequences for breaking them are severe – both now and in the after life.
Muslim culture is extremely authoritative and the consequence is that the focus on self-reflection in Muslim upbringing is close to absent. Thus, it is no surprise at all that a devout Muslim girl such as Albahrij follows this pattern: She blames Horowitz for making her so angry that she loses her capability to hear and as a consequence she also blames Horowitz for her supporting genocide.
Another important point is also brought up by Kobrin: Insecure individuals and groups have a tendency to strengthen their feeling of self-confidence and righteousness by imagining unjust outer enemies. Islam and Muslim culture is a prime example of how to create an almost unbeatable unity in this way. This Islamic unity is called the “Umma” and includes all Muslims. The incitement to hate is, first, fueled by the Quran, where one finds the word “infidel” (non-Muslim) 347 times. In the eyes of the Muslims’ God, his prophet and their holy scriptures, we infidels are inferior, dangerous, treacherous, unclean and to be avoided, hated, suppressed and killed. Thus, the term “innocent” is in no way reassuring when Muslims like Jumanah Imad Albahrij say that they condemn the killing of the “innocent.” According to the Quran, non-Muslims are not innocent – quite the contrary.
Having an outer enemy does not constitute the only “glue” in the Umma. Leaving the Umma – meaning converting to a non-Islamic religion or acting as a non-Muslim (this especially counts for Muslim women) – has severe consequences. Many ex-Muslims live with constant death threats over their heads and are most often expelled by their families and Muslim societies. Such expellings are especially hard on the Muslim women since they have often not been all owed to educate themselves and create a social network making them able to live without the support of their relatives. On top of this comes of course the special clothing, food and complicated religious behavior and taboos ordered by Islam which all contributes to making it difficult for Muslims to function in non-Muslim environments and engage unhindered in non-Muslim social groups and societies.
This is a great part of the reason that only 14 percent of Muslims living in France feel themselves to be more French than Muslim ((Le Figaro, 29. October 2008 “L’Islam de France bien intégré“) In Germany, the share is 12 percent (The German Ministry of the interior, 2007, “Muslims in Germany“). In Denmark, it is 14 percent (Democratic Muslims, “Newsletter 3″). My own experience in working with Muslims follows the same pattern: Only a handful of the clients – even though very few were actually practicing Islam – felt themselves as more Danish than Muslim.
The Umma and its strong religious and social glue contribute immensely to the mentality disclosed in our study case of Jumanah Imad Albahrij. It also makes us able to answer the question: How can a person have the wish to completely annihilate a group of several million people? The Quran and the Muslim culture with their view on “infidels” and especially Jews is obviously the catalyst: As in all kinds of war, the fighters are incited to see their enemies as inferior beings, unjust and strange to one’s own values. Such propaganda is an important element for every individual, group, culture or religion seeking victory at the expense of others.
The more we are able to demonize our self-chosen enemies the easier it is to inflict pain on them and Muslims and their Umma receive immense help for this via their holy scriptures. If somebody should think that Muslims do not take these scriptures seriously, I would suggest that they read the above mentioned report from Germany and The Gallup Coexist Index 2009: A Global Study of Interfaith Relations. The German research shows that 80 percent of Muslims living in Germany “completely agree” that the Quran is Allah’s true words. It also shows that 87 percent of Muslims in Germany feel themselves “religious” or “very religious”. The Gallup report shows that more than 90 percent of the population in 12 different Muslim countries answer that “religion is an important part of my life.”
A recent study conducted at the University of Bologna, Italy, puts the Islamic hatred toward non-Muslims in perspective: The more signs of racial prejudice a person shows, the less empathy they are likely to have with other races’ pain. The new evidence shows how racism feeds on itself – the lack of empathy causing greater dehumanizing of others which in turn leads to more racism. A culture or religion that includes hostility towards non-members thus lessens the members’ empathy towards non-members. An important point of the study is that such tendencies are not congenital, but learned. In further studies, the researchers tested individuals’ responses to pain inflicted on models. Under those circumstances, participants’ empathetic responses were restored. Professor Salvatore Aglioti, of the University of Rome, said that the second result showed that racism was not inherent but learned. When we had no prejudice, we were more likely to empathize.
This is quite important because it suggests that humans tend to empathize by default unless prejudice is at play.
While Western society is acutely aware of sensitizing its members to the equality of all human races, religions, nationalities etc., Islam and the Muslim culture aims at making its adherents feeling separated and different from non-Muslims. This might be the reason that while 75 percent of all violence in Denmark is committed by mainly Muslim immigrants, 75 percent of the victims are ethnic Danes. It might also explain why people who are from birth told that they belong to a special group that their God perceives as better and cleaner than the unclean and unequal individuals not belonging to that group, can suggest and support such racist and hateful as propagated by Hamas and Jumanah Imad Albahrij.
Lachkar: I thank you Jamie and appreciate you giving us the opportunity to do a psychiatric diagnosis of Truthful Girl, Jumanah Imad Albahri. First, I go along with Dr. Kobrin, applauding David Horowitz for catching her in her startling words and lies on tape regarding her threat for genocide. Spot on.
I will start with two approaches. First, Albahri, an individual I observed using the criterion of the psychiatric mental status evaluation, and second, my observations from a cultural perspective. This armchair diagnosis is based on solely what I observed in terms of her affect, appearance, tone of voice, impulse control, body language, facial expression and ego deficits. Overall, I agree with Dr. Kobrin’s observation how she could not control her own personal rage. To this I might add a lack of impulse control, and the inability to think realistically of what the consequences would be for her words and actions.
Spencer says it quite well when he refers to her “high-sounding words but empty ones,” or as Wilfred Bion would say, “a thought without a thinker.” She apologizes, yet with no reference to Israeli civilians as being the main audience for her apology. So when she states that killing civilians is one of the highest crimes in the eyes of God and is morally abhorrent, one does not have to be a therapist to see the transparency and the lack of logical sequence of thought. She reminds me of many oral aggressive borderline patients who come into treatment and immediately begin a fight with the therapist: aggressive, attacking, blaming and shaming. Through this oral aggression the feeling is as though the patient has eaten you up. It was noteworthy that Albahri was quite overweight.
This leads us to the second point. How much is pathology and how much is cultural? In a previous article, The Psychopathology of Terrorism, and in my recently published book, How to Talk to a Borderline, I suggest that terrorists share a collective borderline personality disorder. This “diagnosis” takes into account the following aspects:
(1) childrearing practices, ideology, mythology; and
(2) psychodynamics such as shame, guilt, envy, jealousy, control/domination, dependency, victimization and how they are qualitatively and culturally experienced.
It is astonishing to see how they seem to share many of the same traits, states and characteristics as the clinical borderline personality (splitting, projection, projective identification magical thinking, shame/blame, envy, paranoia, victimization and an obsessive idealization of God.
Clearly Albhari is a product of, as Kobrin states, an Arab tribal culture where Islam completely disavows the female. She is also a product of the radicalization of our Universities; she reflects the voice of robotic automatons, in sing-along mantra style, “Death to all Jews!”
I might mention that she may truly believe that she is bringing honor to her religion and culture. Indeed, what honor means to a Muslim takes on complete different meaning to a Westerner. To a Muslim, honor means peace and when all infidels are obliterated from the earth then there shall be “peace.”
So from a cultural perspective, I might speculate that David Horowitz represented three things:
(1) Her anger and rage toward men,
(2) Horowitz as a Jew and as the infidel,
(3) Horowitz as the projected external enemy that invades and intrudes into the Arab plight to kill all Jews.
Henceforth, she must “eat him up” devour him with her oral aggression. He may also very well represent a soft-spoken benevolent father figure, as an open invitation to her repressed urge of self-expression.
Dr. Sennels expands on the point above in terms of the victimization mentality. She also calls our attention to how Westerners and Muslims “think” or don’t think. It is clear that the Western mind is prescripted with the ‘I” and “Me” mentality whereas the Eastern mind is empowered by the group mind “We.” Westerners are encouraged to think and, as Dr. Sennels states, to take responsibility for their own personal lives and to problem solve, whereas the Islamic mind is dominated by the group and if an individual strays from the group’s collective beliefs, myths and ideology, he is immediately shamed, ridiculed or humiliated, let alone stoned to death. Ummah in Arabic depicts the meaning of community, a community of believers all bonded together in unison and synchronicity.
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