In his important new book Jihadist Psychopath, Jamie Glazov gets to the bottom of the predominant mass delusion of our time: namely, the delusion that Islam is a religion of peace.
Following the lead of the mainstream media and most politicians, millions of us still buy the argument that jihadists have misunderstood and hijacked their faith. Millions of us have learned reflexively to view critics of Islam as racists who hate all Muslims. Millions of us are programmed to point out, when necessary, that Muslims, too, are victims of Muslim violence and that other people besides Muslims have done naughty things. Millions of us compliantly parrot the claim that terrorists are acting out of economic despair. And, of course, millions of us dutifully insist that, far from acting on the tenets of their religion, Islamic terrorists are, in fact, reacting to bad things we’ve done to them.
In sum, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary, millions of us buy the lie that Islam is thoroughly benign and that the overwhelming majority of its adherents are powerless victims. We embrace this lie, furthermore, even though Islam is an existential threat to us and our infidel loved ones.
This self-delusion about Islam can take extreme forms. Glazov mentions the Norwegian activist Karsten Nordal Hauken, whose main response, after being anally raped by a Somali migrant, was to feel profound guilt over his rapist’s subsequent deportation. Then there’s the Israeli soldier who, while touring U.S. colleges, was asked by a professor how many Palestinian women had been raped by IDF members. He said none, to which the professor triumphantly replied: “You IDF soldiers don’t rape Palestinians because Israelis are so racist and disgusted by them that you won’t touch them.” So it is that Westerners manage to exculpate Muslim rapists while demonizing Israelis for not being rapists.
The pattern, as Glazov notes, goes to the very top. Under President Obama, training sessions for counterterrorist officials were scrubbed clean of anything negative about Islam—which is like refusing to teach oncologists about cancer. Both Theresa May and Angela Merkel responded to last year’s Ariana Grande massacre in Manchester by professing astonishment that anyone could do such a thing—this after years of bloody jihadist attacks all over Western Europe.
All of which leads to the $60,000 question: how did we end up like this? How is it that so many of us continue to buy into this suicidal mentality? Why do we robotically recite these dangerously counterfactual mantras? What ever happened to common sense and the instinct for self-preservation?
And what about the Muslims who plan and commit—or, at least, cheer on—jihad? What’s going on in their heads? Yes, most of them were raised to believe that God wants them to kill and conquer the infidel. But surely most of them have been exposed along the way to other religions, other ways of thinking, and have even met infidels they weren’t necessarily inclined to slaughter. They’re still human beings, after all. Why haven’t they ever challenged the brutal imperatives of their childhood faith?
Those of us who have been reading and thinking and writing about Islam for years have been living all along with these questions. We’ve spent a lot of time scratching our scalps, shaking our heads, and throwing up our hands. We know, of course, that the answers to these questions have to lie in the realm of psychology. But not until Glazov came along with this book did any of us have anything approaching coherent and convincing answers to these vital questions.
At the heart of Glazov’s contribution is his perception that, first, the behavior of jihadists and their avid Muslim supporters is remarkably consistent with the way in which the psychiatric literature describes the mentality of psychopaths; and, second, the behavior of Western infidels who’ve been trained to swallow and regurgitate all the pretty lies about Islam is remarkably consistent with behavior of individuals who unknowingly get manipulated and exploited by psychopaths. (By the way, Glazov doesn’t distinguish between psychopaths and sociopaths, a distinction that is not of major importance to the purposes of his book.)
It’s a fascinating insight, and in the course of developing it Glazov quotes widely and usefully from Islamic holy books, from Muslims and ex-Muslims, and from a range of experts on psychiatry and on Islam. As he moves from one aspect of relentless Islamic deception and of Western self-delusion about Islam to another, he cites relevant observations about the ways in which psychopaths operate and about the nature of psychological susceptibility to the wiles of psychopaths.
For example, Glazov quotes clinical psychologist Mary Stout’s observation that “when we are confronted with sociopathy,” we “are afraid, and our sense of reality suffers. We think we are imagining things, or exaggerating, or that we ourselves are somehow responsible for the sociopath’s behavior.” Note how perfectly applicable this is to the way in which many Westerners respond to an act of Islamic terror. Yes, the terrorism itself scares us, but the idea that the perpetrators were seemingly ordinary people who had no personal grudges against their victims and who were simply following the tenets of their religion—a religion that may count our neighbors among its adherents—is also frightening to contemplate.
You might think that in the wake of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, among others, we would be able, in the year 2018, to accept the reality of ideology-driven mass murder. But no; for many of us, the idea still seems to beggar belief. Surely, we think, there must be some other explanation. Surely no religion teaches the butchery of innocents! Surely those nice-seeming Muslims next door can’t be cheering on this savagery! Surely we can’t be so much more virtuous than they are: even to allow such a thought to cross our minds would be un-Christian! Hence it’s harder for many in the West to accept the plain and ugly truth about Islam than it is to echo the lie that Islam is peace and that Muslim terrorism is, in some sense, our fault.
Muslims make it easier for Westerners to come to this conclusion by adamantly refusing to apologize for terrorism, by denying categorically that its roots lie in the Koran, by making a spectacle of worrying less about the real victims of real terrorism than about the possibility of anti-Muslim backlash, and by insisting that Islamic terrorism is a desperate, last-ditch response to some infidel action or other.
As with psychopaths, jihadists and their supporters always paint themselves as the victims. Glazov quotes ex-Muslim Ali Sina: “Islam is the religion of permanent victimhood. Victimhood justifies revenge. If you are a Muslim, jihad is prescribed on you against those who oppress you. This oppression need not be real. It can be as imaginary as perceiving insult on your belief. Criticizing Islam is consequently perceived as oppression and therefore, Muslims feel compelled and justified to take their revenge.”
And Westerners by the millions buy this victimhood claptrap. After the 2016 Orlando terror attack, notes Glazov, Time magazine cast the perpetrator as the victim, “because he allegedly had been bullied by his coworkers. Time failed to explain why no other human being in America who had been bullied didn’t go on to perpetrate the worst terrorist attack in America since 9/11.” After the 2016 New Year’s Eve rape spree in Cologne, Germany, that city’s mayor blamed the attacks on the victims, “suggesting that they had asked for it” and vowing “to make sure that women would, in the future, change their behavior, so as not to provoke Muslims to sexually assault them anymore.”
Psychopathy is not just about fake victimhood, it’s also about deception generally—chronic, manipulative lying. So is jihadist Islam: “In his quest to subjugate non-Muslims,” writes Glazov, “the Jihadist Psychopath has his obvious weapon of violent jihad, but he also has an equally—if not more—powerful weapon in his arsenal: the ploy of deception . . . . Islam is, at its very core, a religion/ideology rooted in deception.” Allah “proudly refers to himself as the greatest deceiver several times in the Qur’an. If Allah is the father of lies, it becomes understandable why Islam teaches that lying is an obligation for Muslims if it serves the benefit of Islam.”
Glazov has much more to offer, and it all makes extraordinary sense. The result is the most valuable kind of work—one that takes on a life-or-death enigma and, with force and elegance and rock-solid credibility, explains the previously unexplained. This is an exceedingly important book because the enemy we face today is not just Islam but the crippling mentality in regard to Islam that Glazov so deftly dissects in these pages. If we fail to learn from what he has to teach us here, we stand little chance of overcoming this mentality and, thus, of overcoming our enemy. And rest assured: if we fail to overcome it, it will surely overcome us.