Friday, May 12, 2006

Symposium Report: Part Three

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

Islam and the Criminal Mind

Dr. Babu Suseelan, professor in clinical psychology and Director of Addiction Research Institute in Pennsylvania was the second speaker at the April 29, 2006 Symposium and made the following statements early in his presentation:
“The ideology behind terrorism is Islam. Period."

“The whole history of Islam has been death and destruction.”
Those statements got the immediate attention of the listeners. The first third of the presentation included several hot-button statements such as the above, as well as substantiation.

In the middle portion of his speech, Dr. Suseelan drew parallels between the Islamic mind and the criminal mind; he also compared Islamic thinking to that of the alcoholic or drug addict and pointed out that early indoctrination leads to what most of us would describe as twisted thinking—a code which encompasses a violent lifestyle.

The essence of the middle portion of Dr. Suseelan's presentation was similar to the following comment, which Dr. Suseelan made at Front Page Magazine's blog "Go Postal":

“…Jihadi terrorists are irrational, extreme xenophobic, hostile, and blinded by their dogmatic, fundamentalist faith. The basic premise of Jihadi terrorist 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 out of their own selfish interest with no regard to the responsible members of society. Whatever their ideology, 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 Jihadis terrorists, including:
• Rationalization
• Indifference
• A sense of entitlement
• Super optimism
• Lack of Guilt
• Shallow emotions
• Lack of remorse
• Egocentricity
• Grandiosity
"Ideas expressed in the Koran provide all the justification necessary for Jihadis 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 They are defensive, capricious, and conditioned by their outdated irrational fanatic religious dogma…”
Speaking in terms from his area of expertise, Dr. Suseelan pointed out that Islam itself is a closed paradigm which uses force to maintain itself, thereby leading to violence in Islamic societies. Citing Afghanistan as an example, Dr. Suseelan emphasized that merely introducing democracy into this closed paradigm will not succeed in opening the Islamic paradigm and that changing a regime is only a temporary relief from the self-perpetuating a closed dogma disguised in religious garb. Rather, cognitive restructuring is required. He mentioned the following as strategies to use in containing the violence and to promote cognitive restructuring:

• Don’t accept Islam as just another cultural variant.
• Criticize Islam openly, using the Internet and any available media.
• Stop immigration from Muslim nations.
• Emphasize the humanity of those slaughtered by the followers of Islam.
• Disqualify any Islamic theocracy from having a seat at the United Nations.
• Do not permit Muslim proselytizing in prisons.

Dr. Suseelan’s speech was quite lengthy and complex, and some attendees at the Symposium may have had difficulty in following all his rapidly-made points. Also, the sound of English spoken with a soothing and lilting Indian accent can become the focus of the listener. However, Dr. Suseelan began his presentation with attention-getters, did not speak in euphemisms or politically-correct terms, and included a PowerPoint presentation of graphs, maps, and trends. He substantiated much of what he said with a brief history of Islam, particularly with regard to the five-centuries-long “Holocaust in India” (Eleventh-Sixteenth Centuries), in which 80,000,000 were slaughtered by Muslims in the Indian subcontinent, and also mentioned at least one recent statement which he overheard from a Muslim in New York City after the most recent detonation of a bomb in Tel-Aviv, Israel:
“We need more bombs to kill more Jews.”
In other words, he effectively showed that "radical Islam" is not a new development and that jihadism has been characteristic of Islam across the centuries.

In the final portion of his presentation, almost as a musical coda, Dr. Suseelan concluded his speech with visual aids to illustrate how, over the past fourteen centuries, the methods for waging Islamic have progressed from the sword to guns to suicide-bombers to IED’s.

Dr. Suseelan left us with this question: Is the next Jihadist weapon the nuclear bomb?

[Find essays by Dr. Babu Suseelan here.]

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