MUSLIM THERAPY

By Irwin N. Graulich

It doesn't make any sense. Most Islamic terrorists come from middle to upper class families. A billionaire, Osama bin Laden is their leader. The children of well to do families flew hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center and join al Qaeda. Perhaps they all need a "Wilderness Program." The Jews underwent their therapeutic healing process for 40 years in the Wilderness after leaving Egypt, while American Christians had their clinical treatment while founding and settling the Wilderness of America.

Today, much of the Muslim world is in constant turmoil, turning out sons and daughters with horrendous anti-Western values and ideas. The hatred for America, the most moral nation in history is unprecedented and the continuous blame of Jews and Israel for most Islamic shortcomings is indeed irrational.

The morally confused left, Europe and Scandinavia continually use the poverty excuse and Middle East policy as root causes. Similar excuses were used to explain Nazism. Poverty--what a joke. Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of modern evil is perhaps the richest nation per capita on earth. The oil wealth in Kuwait, Iran and other Islamic Middle Eastern countries refute this fraudulent Marxist economic theory.

No. It is their horrendous value system caused by a seriously flawed psychological belief, uncovered by Freud and Jung. The Islamic world is a society dominated by "shame." Pride is an overwhelming value, where an obsession on dishonor means tremendous weakness. This is the underlying reason why America and Israel are hated with such passion. The incredible successes of our religious societies coupled with overwhelming military power gives "Muslim penis envy" a new meaning.

Instead of saying we admire America and thank them for liberating us from a Saddam; instead of praising America for developing their oil wealth; instead of welcoming a new democracy, Israel, into the Middle East whose technology and medical centers can truly improve their lives; instead of trying to emulate these two countries...the Islamic world has attempted to destroy them so that their own societies do not appear quite as flawed by comparison. Muslims need to find behavior moderation through learning coping strategies that deal directly with the fact that we have created much better societies. 58 countries and 1.2 billion people must come to that realization and attempt to improve themselves.

It is a "Guilt vs. Shame Theory." In lieu of using guilt in a positive way over their inadequacies, shame overwhelms them. Shame is a very dangerous emotion where someone will do almost anything to hide what they or a family member has done, or perhaps not been able to accomplish. It can bring on the realization that the individual is a horrible person.

"I, or my family member, did something atrocious and we are truly despicable human beings. Therefore, I do not mind killing myself or sending a family member to die in order to blow up innocents." No wonder many fathers in the Arab world actually murder their own daughters in "honor killings" because of a premarital sex act.

Guilt is a healthy Christian and Jewish emotion that says, "I made a mistake and I am upset over it." However with guilt one simply feel that hard work will correct the problem. Shame means the individual can never get better, because that is how you and your society were made and it can never be corrected. Modern American therapists attempt to transform shame into guilt. Guilt means there is an ability to change by developing a positive attitude. Shame always makes the individual feel terribly inadequate. No wonder that terrorist leaders are so angry and irrational. They get their negative coping skills from shame, because trying to hide from shameful feelings and thoughts leads to even more shame and irrational radicalism. Terrorism is the reaction to these emotions caused by bad values and horrendous religious interpretations. It has nothing to do with poverty. The terrorists are simply ashamed that we are better at virtually everything we do, so they turn to terrorism. They become proud of terrorism and then ashamed of their actions, so they initiate more terrorism which continues the vicious cycle.

Unless these fundamentalist societies change to mirror Western democracies with a focus on this life and not 72 virgins in heaven, Islamic terrorism will continue. Unless they are shown the rewards of a life where ethical monotheism is the prime motivator and not a religious system that seeks to dominates the world, Islamic terrorism will continue. Unless they establish healthy patterns of communications and do away with a manipulative, lying press, Islamic terrorism will continue. Unless they focus self-control on character building and learning lessons from life's journey, Islamic terrorism will continue.

Bin Laden and his associates have become "teenagers in crisis" with classic cases of anger, resentment and oppositional, defiant behavior. They do not know boundaries nor take accountability for their evil deeds. They have made and continue to make all the wrong choices. They have never grown up or matured emotionally. Where have we parents heard all this before?

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Irwin N. Graulich is a well known motivational speaker on morality, ethics, religion and politics. He is also President and CEO of a leading marketing, branding and communications company in New York City. He can be reached at irwin.graulich@verizon.net