The Hudna at Ground Zero

The Hudna at Ground Zero

What do Muslims Really Want? Nancy Kobrin, PhD, Joan Lachkar, PhD

Linda Rivera protesting a year ago against the proposed mosque
Protests against Ground Zero continue to rise. The consensus of people and sentiments of most people share that it is a moral violation to have a mosque/”cultural center” built so close to Ground Zero where more than 3,000 Americans were killed and blasted out of their buildings in the world’s most famous capital buildings –the Twin Towers. The builders and organizers are claiming this will be a “cultural center (our emphasis added) to include a culinary school, gym and basketball court, swimming pool, a Sept. 11th memorial and contemplation space, and a mosque, intended to be run separately from Park 51 but open to and accessible to all members, religions, visitors and the New York community.” (Anne Barnard, August 1, 2011 Developers of Islamic Center Try a New Strategy.) This is the strategy of what is known as a hudna, the temporary cease fire to allow to regroup, reorganize, lay in waiting until they can turn the cultural center into the fourth holiest mosque in Islam, say ten years from now on the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. The hudna is not only a political strategy it is also a “psychological movement.” It is a psychological movement in that a religious ideology and its adherents can act like a group of tribal people who are bonded at the core as one entity who have never psychologically separated and individuated, especially from the mother. In spite of her degradation, the group is symbiotically bonded to the devalued female Mother as she has never had the skills or the tools to help her children develop their own individuality. The hudna is tremendously cohesive for group dynamics, coming at the expense of the individual, further re-enforcing borderline behavior. In many of Lachkar’s early works, she describes Muslim terrorists as insatiable, that they can never conquer or have enough–give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. If not a city, a country, the world!  In laymen’s terms this is known as insatiable, almost like an obese person at a buffet table who can never get enough food. In psychological terms it is an omnipotent fantasy that has no boundaries or borders.  What do Muslims at Ground Zero really want?  Do they want peace?  Do they want a mosque were visitors can come and pray?  Again and again they want the world to become beholden to their God.  Allah is their God and everyone must be beholden to him.  The more mosques the merrier. In our analysis, they are not building a cultural center they are building more “cults.”  Borderlines are not only insatiable, they are manipulative and destructive. They will do anything and everything to make others believe in their cause, their alleged altruistic aims, e.g. peace and honor. Even the subtitle of the New York Times article characterizes this hudna as a “quieter approach.” Yet they present themselves as the poor victims, demanding attention and deserving fulfillment of their demands. But, who are they fooling as transparent as they are, whose peace and whose honor? Both authors agree their most prevalent dynamic is shame, a face saving culture that replaces creativity with aggression and destruction. They turn to others to pity them and to cave in to their constant demands and threats. In many of our earlier articles we have highlighted their idea of peace as something that can be achieved only when all infidels are killed and destroyed. Honor can be achieved when Muslims forfeit their lives, their children (such as child suicide bombers), their homes, their sons to fight for the destruction of anyone who does not adhere to the will of Allah. We certainly support the protesters and in this special anniversary edition of Family Security Matters, we wish to offer our psychoanalytic tools to understand the dynamics of underpinnings of this alleged cultural center and delve behind the meaning of this very structure. First of all who is to say it is cultural? So far the cultural center sounds more athletic (swimming//basketball).  Where is the Art? The Music? The Orchestra? Dance? Literature? What kind of cooking? French? Middle Eastern? We would certainly like to expand our knowledge as to what kind of culture are they talking about? Secondly, what have the Muslims produced in the past century in terms of culture? Art? Music? Science? Certainly no Object Relations Theory or infant/human research and development. It seems too that whatever they have produced it has been devoid of non-Muslims. The role of the female in Islam is appalling. How can anyone venerate an alleged cultural center that grounds itself in a religion that oppresses women in Saudi Arabia? How can anyone believe and affirm a religion, which is so discriminatory that no other religions are permitted openly on its soil? And no non-Muslim is permitted to visit their holy cities Mecca and Medina? Is the New York cultural center a sham lure claiming that Islam is equal and peaceful for all? Boy, those who believe must really be terrified of change and to admitting how discriminatory Islam really is. It would be too embarassing to admit and that is a shame/honor thing, never to admit that you are wrong. What an oxymoron the Islamic cultural center is! Thirdly, what are the psychological ramifications? In many of our previous writings we have described revenge, retaliation (jihad and vengeance), false self, envy, jealousy, unresolved Oedipal issues, and most importantly distortion, magical thinking, manipulation and denial of reality as primitive defenses which facilitate and perpetuate the pervasive shame honor culture of Islam. While many would like to claim that shame honor is a function of the tribe, separating it out from the religion, we argue that that is impossible to do so and that is an artificial construct at best if not a means of allay one’s anxiety of a religion built on instilling terror in their adherents. Elsewhere we have stated that Islam is a political movement dressed in religious garb. We expand on that dichotomy between religion and politics, asserting that Islam’s hudna makes it a “psychological movement” which poses as a religion. On account of this should Islam be downgraded from the venerated status of one of the Abrahamic monotheistic religions? Doesn’t the strategy of the hudna demonstrate that it engages in group think? Yet we wish to give Muslims the benefit of the doubt and we endorse what Adrian Morgan and Andrew McCarthy recently wrote here at, that “Western culture can change, and Islamic culture can too.” We associate the cultural center at Ground Zero as reminiscent of the Emperor’s New Clothes, masquerading as a cultural center with a stealth political agenda predicated on dawah, which dupes and manipulates others on the road to Islam parading as a charade where everyone can join in peace and harmony. On a more precautionary note Allah has forbidden us to ever invade or intrude into the sacred space of Muslim unity or solidarity, a closed system where no outside interlopers are allowed. Arab Muslim unity and Arab nationalism uber alles! Not a far cry from a primitive mental state where mother and baby are one, where no one is allowed to enter and is perceived as destroying the ultimate state of symbiosis in order to maintain this symbolic/symbiotic fantasy of bliss. From our point of view, Islam’s hudna makes it a psychological movement under the guise of religion. The mosque can present itself as an allegedly “benign” cultural center. Lachkar has referred to such maneuvering in many of her publications “the false self,” where the collective group self belies the true self’s agenda. This is nothing more than the strategic psychological ploy to make us believe that they are one of us but in reality they will never allow us in! To conclude we send our tribute to those loved ones and relatives who lost their lives on 9/11 and we send our reminder. “We must never forget!” Contributor Dr. Nancy Kobrin, a psychoanalyst with a Ph.D. in romance and semitic languages, specializes 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. Contributor Dr. Joanie Jutta Lachkar is 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 of the New Center for Psychoanalysis.

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