Foreword by Petr Hampl
Associate Professor Martin Konvička is a widely respected biologist. He is mainly interested in butterflies and other small insects. That’s of no interest to Counter-Currents readers, however. What is more interesting is that as a biologist he looks at different cultures, civilizations, and social classes and judges them in terms of mating patterns, and often in terms of the statistical incidence of various sexual deviations as well — because again, these are just certain mating patterns.
For years was regarded as a very interesting and entertaining intellectual — until he started applying these same research principles to Islam, and came to the conclusion that it was a psychopathological thing from the start. He also became involved in the movement to oppose the establishment of Islam in the Czech Republic. For radical progressivists for a time, he became the personification of evil. He was harassed, insulted, and sometimes even physically attacked — in fact, his reputation is very similar to that of Putin nowadays. He has long since retired from political activism, but he has not been able to overcome the impact all of this had on his career. For example, he has never been appointed as a full rofessor, even though he easily exceeds all the requirements.
The following is a translation of an earlier article by Prof. Konvička.
The Opinion of a University Biologist:
Islam and Mental Disorders
Every time a “good Muslim” mysteriously turns into an Islamist — i.e., goes out among the people in an explosive vest, in a truck, or with a machete, axe, or knife — and if he is not eliminated on the spot but rather detained, the media and experts soon label him as a “mentally disturbed individual.” From this it is inferred that “the act had nothing to do with Islam.”
“They were crazy about Allah,” we who know our stuff might retort. Islam was founded by a madman, and is indeed so insane and so out of step with other human cultures that it is hard to maintain one’s sanity within it. It may simply be a more complicated form of insanity. It is the forensic psychiatrists who tend to sign off on the diagnosis of “mental disorder,” and it is unlikely that all of these psychiatrists are being manipulated by the media.
Moreover, there is a historical question. The Prophet may have been mad, but why didn’t the “sane” ones around him moderate him, why didn’t Islam “recover” as the number of the faithful grew, and why did some believers succumb to fanaticism more than others? I am often accused of “sexualizing” the problem of Islamic expansion — of simplifying it to relations between the sexes and within families. I know why I do this: I’m primarily a biologist, and every clash of cultures has a (socio)biological level in which phenomena around reproduction are crucial. But I have gradually come to believe that it is necessary to go further.
I intend to psychiatrize the issue of Islamic expansion. I can appeal to the most competent authority: Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam. He has repeatedly mentioned the need to examine the relationship between the Islamic faith and psychological disorders. I am now taking up his challenge.
An important warning: I have been researching the relationship between Islam and sexuality for years, have published two scholarly articles on a related topic, and have helped several girls to leave Islam. For all that, and because we all have some sexuality, I dared to speak from a position of authority. In psychiatric issues, on the other hand, I am a layman, and I can be wrong about many things. I will almost certainly will confuse the names of diagnoses, “illnesses,” personality disorders,” and the like. Yet, I immodestly believe that some of my insights should be of interest to professionals, at least as working hypotheses for further thought.
One more warning. As with sexuality, much of what I have observed in Muhammadans and Islamophiles can be seen, as in a mirror, in opponents of Islam. It is perfectly logical. A crazy system naturally attracts all sorts of lunatics: If anything, they “sniff” it, like a dog sniffs a bitch. After that, it is up to them — and their moral decision — which side they join.
1. First, the seemingly “superficial”: autistic, obsessive disorders, Aspergers . . .
There are situations where a person is as if locked in his inner world, from where he hardly finds his way to other people, does not easily establish normal interactions with them, does not understand the emotions of others or his own, and where he has to learn how to have interactions with others — often painfully. If he finds himself in a situation that he is not used to — in a strange environment, and so on — a panic attack may occur. He often feels the urge to perform repetitive rituals and activities, or to “think” repetitive and sometimes even destructive thoughts. I know I am simplifying things enormously.
Some analysts find something obsessive-compulsive in Muhammad: both in his obsession with Allah, angels, and jinn, and in his detailed instructions on how to pray, wash, eat, have sex, defecate — and, of course, how to interact with other people, from wives and children to infidels and enemies. All religious systems instruct their believers in how to pray or what to eat — but none, as far as I know, emphasizes the smallest details, and thus none relies on the constant repetition of all prescribed actions. Some of the Muhammadan injunctions — do not cross the channel, cover the dishes before going to bed, wash your hair and beard after sex — are downright “autistic,” to put it in a folksy way, and many of those so affected have noticed.
Amongst atheists I have met a surprising number of people on the autistic spectrum — people with stronger or weaker indications of the above. If the subject came up, they confided that the obsessive or autistic side of Islam frightened them, and that they recognized themselves in it, could empathize with Muhammad’s motives, and were able to glimpse the ways in which the Prophet had exploited his “weakness” to enslave other people. They even confessed that they could be comfortable in Islam. It would have provided them with a guide to managing complex interpersonal relationships. But they refused — which was already a conscious, moral choice. I deeply respect them for that, but I also recognize that others in their situation may not have a moral compass.
2. Now the scary part: psychopaths
The term is used in a narrower or broader sense. In the broader sense, it is any personality disorder with socially harmful consequences; in the narrower sense, it is the so-called “anti-social personality disorder.” The psychopath is supposed to thrive on behavior that is harmful to others; he lacks empathy and conscience. He is sovereign, he does not restrict himself in anything, he feels neither shame nor remorse, and his only concern is his own benefit. At the same time, he is emotionally cold, as if dead inside. The only thing that can warm him up and get him going is when he can manipulate, use, and abuse others. He sees the people around him as toys, hurting them for his own amusement. Psychopaths are said to lack a conscience. These evil qualities often go hand-in-hand with personality and sexual attraction, making them all the more dangerous. Evolutionary psychologists view psychopathy as “social parasitism.” If a psychopath is discovered by those around him — which happens to the stupider ones — they often end up in prison. If not, he can be found in the top echelons of politics, business, or the academic hierarchy.
Islam, as is well known, and unlike all other major religions, does not reckon with human conscience. While Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and others try to cultivate the human conscience by acknowledging its greater or lesser independence from the divine will, Islam, in the famous Qur’anic verse 8:17 (from which, of course, the whole “philosophy” is derived), exempts man from conscience. Whatever you do is Allah’s will. You are controlled, of course, but not “from within,” by conscience, but “from without” — by the commands of Islamic law and other fellow believers. The Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels explains it well: “Islamic law, as we know, allows a great deal — if you commit actions directed towards the outside, towards unbelievers, or towards weaker fellow believers, women, and children.”
A clever and successful psychopath doesn’t need Islam for his exploits; he’ll climb high in the social hierarchy without it. (Or he’ll climb nowhere and cultivate a sadistic murderer’s hobby without being caught at it.) But psychopathy is not related to intelligence — and to those stupid psychopaths who fill the prisons and staff the gallows or electric chairs of the normal world, Islam offers a real blessing: to be able to do whatever you want with other people — and still be appreciated by your fellow believers for it. Perhaps no society has been able to harness the pathological energy of psychopaths. (Even the Nazis occasionally conducted purges targeting pathologically violent people in their ranks.) Islam has done it: First, it attracts psychopaths from the ranks of the infidels, and second, it involves them in its propagation.
Watch closely when you hear someone powerful, influential, or rich waxing lyrical about “Islamic values” again. If it is a charismatic, magnetically attractive person, he is highly likely to be a psychopath.
3. Finally, the mysterious: Type B personality disorders
A true psychopath is usually not diagnosed until he or she is caught in the act and thus comes under the “supervision” of a forensic psychiatrist. He does not seek medical help because he does not suffer as a result of his “disorder”; he kindly leaves the suffering to others. There are, however, several other “Type B personality disorders” which cause considerable suffering to their bearers. This is not to say that they cannot also properly torment those around them — but the point is that, unlike the “anti-social” psychopath, they suffer from deep inner pain.
According to the textbooks, there are three subtypes in Group B — narcissistic, histrionic, and borderline — and of course there are borderlands between them, borderlands to psychopathy and borderlands to “normality.” (We are talking about the human soul, not species of bugs or chemical compounds, so any classification is necessarily simplistic). If they have anything in common, it is a “broken” experiencing of emotions and relationships.
The narcissist is emotionally flattened and believes that the people around him owe him something, and that he is entitled to their admiration and to his own success. The histrion craves attention and draws attention to himself; his emotions alternate quickly, but are flat and volatile. A borderliner, on the other hand, has his emotions completely aroused; he is their plaything and slave, and the main emotion that completely controls him is the fear of abandonment — which he “prevents” by, among other things, throwing himself into previously lost relationships. All three of them, of course, suffer from it: narcissists internally, enviously, and jealously. Histrion is theatrically, noisily, somehow fatally and yet frequently and annoying to everyone around him. The borderliner is then “absolute,” because nothing can satisfy his need for peace and security. (Persons with the latter diagnosis are the most likely of all psychological disorders to die prematurely, by their own hand.)
And now the horrible part: Although no one knows exactly where these conditions come from, the consensus in the literature I have (superficially) studied is that they are related to emotional trauma in early childhood. The future narcissist has been humiliated or overpraised — most often both — and is desperate for approval. The future histrion has been overlooked and neglected, hence his need to be the center of attention. The borderliner experienced what the childlike soul perceived as abandonment or betrayal. All of them struggle to overcome these wounds throughout their future lives. The narcissist fixates on himself and tries to stand out, to “prove it to everyone”; we don’t just find them among athletes or in show business, but perhaps even among scientists. The histrion will make brief, “dramatic” friendships and relationships, ruin the well-being of those around him, and successfully spoil corporate meetings and friendly parties. The borderliner will turn every close interpersonal relationship into a horror for all involved.
Now let us understand how the ideal Islamic upbringing works: strict rules, including prohibitions on activities that are as essential to children as water is to a fish such as singing, dancing, and artistic expression. There are completely twisted relationships within the family, where the father bullies the mother and the sons are elevated above the mother and daughters (regardless of age or “merit”). There is a constant emphasis on the precise performance of rituals, as well as continual appeals to the frightening nature of Allah, jinn, and Jahannam, threats from which not even your family can protect you – and which are used to scare believers from infancy. If it’s true that Type B disorders arise in early childhood, all of this must mass produce . . . I don’t want to say crazy, I don’t want to say broken personalities; I’d rather say victims.
I realize what a terrifying hypothesis I’ve outlined. Just as an Islamic upbringing, albeit perhaps in a milder form, any “strict” religious upbringing must operate within a frame where the child is never good enough (narcissist), not given enough attention (histrionics), and fears outside forces beyond the protection of the family (borderliner). It suggests that the occurrence of the listed “disorders” is temporally and socially conditioned. Sigmund Freud began his career by treating “hysterics” (which was probably anything between histrions and borderlines); today, the classic manifestations of hysteria are almost unknown. Freud’s female patients, however, were raised in an environment of nursemaids, governesses, the catechism, and the fear that “the indecent girl will not marry.” The medieval religious fanaticism and the “narrow-mindedness” of the Victorian world-conquerors comes across as perfectly narcissistic. Well, today, in an age of divorce, shared custody, and fluid relationships, there are clearly more and more borderliners: those who don’t believe they should watch videos of a Left-wing demonstration.
Many of the outward signs we stereotypically associate with Muhammadans also hint at personality disorders: the “hysterical” displays of fanatics at demonstrations or “discussion meetings,” the ostentatious friendships that can be turned into vicious hatred at the snap of a finger, the Muhammadan — ostentatiously emotional, “passionate,” and “burning,” but which fizzles out the moment the seduced prey is captured. There is also the “hunger for cuddling” (the term of one former Muslim woman), a longing for affection and security that is literally maternal.
If my reasoning so far is correct, then Islam offers much to such “broken” people at the same time — much as it does to autistic or anti-social people. Above all, there is Allah/Islam itself: endless opportunities to easily stand out for the narcissist (in Western society the narcissist has to actually prove something, while in the Islamic world you just have to be sufficiently fanatical); someone who makes you the center of the action for the histrionics; and someone who won’t actually leave you for the borderline. There is also the Islamic habit of constantly praising brothers and sisters — something irresistible, especially to narcissistic and histrionic types. Finally, there is the Islamic family that, while held together by force, would rather kill you than leave you — the borderliner will give anything for such an assurance of permanence and non-abandonment. In the accounts of female converts, including such prominent ones as Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, we repeatedly find the motif of inner peace, security, and “spiritual heroin.” And again, the same may be true of other strict religions, just to a lesser extent.
Normally, functioning societies somehow penalize their “malfunctioning personalities” — especially “evolutionarily” in terms of their number of offspring. The narcissist may get his coveted recognition, but he remains alone and inwardly desolate. A histrionic person may be entertaining for a while, but hardly anyone can tolerate him for long. The borderliner is similar: his relationships may be solid, but will end badly with consequences for the offspring. Islam is different again, for it ensures that unions once made are not easily broken, even if all involved suffer humanly in every way. And in its uniform regulations on child-rearing, however pathological they are, it ensures that children are born, grow up, and carry on the pain of their parents. If all mental conditions are likely to have a genetic component in addition to the induced component, and traditional Islamic societies have been highly consanguineous, any genetic predispositions can quickly become prevalent in entire family lines. Thus, Islamic societies will be, on average, “crazier” than non-Islamic societies.
4. What does all this imply?
First of all, if forensic psychiatrists detect a “mental disorder” in a fanatic, bomber, or terrorist, they are probably not lying to us. The mental disturbance may not have been caused by a recent reading of the Qur’an or listening to a fanatical preacher; the person in question may have gotten it from his family, or even inherited it — but Islamic upbringing, and marriageability, has a huge part to play in it.
Further, the mysterious and controversial Islamic sexuality may be intertwined with the above in various ways. It’s quite safe to say that classical psychopaths and “Type B” can be utterly irresistible — coitus and what precedes it is a rare means of honest communication for them.
The strange attraction of Islam for many, especially for young people and especially for those from the upper echelons of society, may be related to the pervasive breakdown of the Western family. Islam does indeed have something to offer all those anorexic, bulimic, anti-depressant-eating girls and suicidal boys — albeit a most diabolical offer.
The cooptation of “madmen” — and the spreading of their madness across family lines — has probably always been a means of helping Islam grow and ensure its stability. Get the relationship-troubled, psychopathic, and emotionally unstable loonies together, ensure that all those loonies breed, and wait a few centuries. What you get is a society that, while crazy, is also very effective at spreading and preserving that “craziness.”
If I’m even a quarter right, the whole Islamic problem is much scarier than we superficially admit. It is a Gordian knot that we can untangle endlessly, but which can only be cut by the Muhammadans themselves — by rejecting Islamic fatalism, blind obedience, and not least, family upbringing.
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