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March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 5775
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Psychological Roots Of Islamic Rage


The Canadian police saw this as an isolated act of a madman (as American police had once viewed Ted Bundy’s bloody trail of femicide). What the Canadian police failed to understand was the importance of certain biographical and childhood factors. For example, Lepine was born Gamile Rodrigue Gharbi to an Algerian Muslim father and a French-Canadian mother who had formerly been a nun. Lepine’s father, Liess Gharbi, physically and psychologically brutalized both his son and his wife. He probably taught his son that women are chattel – property – who deserve to be beaten even when they are obedient and perhaps murdered when they are not.

What is important to note is that Gharbi/Lepine blamed women for the considerable crimes of his father, whose culture was Islamic and Algerian.

As Dr. Chesler recounts in her book, The Death of Feminism, in 2001 an angry mob of 300 Algerian men conducted a three-day pogrom against Algerian women in which they tortured, stabbed, mutilated, gang-raped, buried alive and murdered women in Hassi Messaoud.

In Dr. Chesler’s 1978 book, “About Men,” she posited that the paternal abandonment of, and cruelty toward, sons may be a crucial component in mother- and woman-hating. Dr. Nancy Kobrin, in her forthcoming book The Sheik’s New Clothes: The Naked Truth About Islamic Suicide Terrorism, suggests that the absolute degradation of Arab and Muslim women by a shame- and honor-society means that sons must perpetually rid themselves of the “contamination” that contact with women represents; and that sons must psychologically abandon their mothers even as they experience abandonment by their mothers. Many such sons are trained to mistrust, police, routinely batter, and sometimes even murder their female relatives.

Dr. Kobrin believes that such psychological dynamics may play a crucial role in contemporary Islamic terrorism.

While girl- and woman-battering and honor murders are increasingly normalized in Islamic culture, the enemy-outsider, who must also be scapegoated, has been increasingly eroticized. Israel-hatred and Jew-hatred have achieved a level of political-erotic obsession among jihadists that may even surpass that of the Nazi era. Israel is no longer “feminine” and for some, this is its great, existential crime. Israel refuses to absorb the hatred and violence or to forever turn the other cheek.

Individual Jewish women, though, may present a particularly tempting target to mentally ill and violent Muslims in a jihadic era. The “Jewess” is the most denigrated female in Islamic ideology. Zaynab bint Al-Harith, the Khaybar “Jewess,” is the woman who was falsely accused of having poisoned the prophet Muhammed after having witnessed the beheading of her entire male community in the Battle of Khaybar. Not coincidentally, Hizbullah currently calls its missiles “Khaybar.” We have also been told that a new Iranian television station is known as “Khaybar.”

Israeli civilians are at the greatest risk as they endure a slow Holocaust-like bleed of civilians. American civilians, both here and abroad, including in Europe, are also at great risk. All those who currently work for Jewish organizations in America are perhaps especially vulnerable to this eroticized Jew-hatred that permeates the very air we breathe.

We hope that Americans, both male and female, especially those who believe their politically correct and pro-jihadic views will protect them from jihadic violence, will now begin to wrestle with the tragedy in Seattle. We hope they do not blame Israel for what Haq did. His crime is a complicated mix of mental illness, woman-hatred, and Jew- and Israel-hatred. Perhaps all the propaganda against Israel and the Jews propelled Haq, a lost soul, to cling to the illusion that his criminal action could redeem his lost honor.

A Jewish woman who knew the murdered Pam Waechter told us that Waechter, who was born a Lutheran and converted to Judaism, “was a better Jew than I or most of us could ever be.” Jewish tradition believes that messianic redemption will enter the world through the good deeds of women converts to Judaism, beginning with Ruth, the ancestor of King David. Let us learn the necessary lessons about redemption from Pam Waechter’s martyrdom.

About the Author: Dr. Phyllis Chesler is a professor emerita of psychology, a Middle East Forum fellow, and the author of fifteen books including “Women and Madness” (1972), “The New Anti-Semitism” (2003), and her latest, “An American Bride in Kabul” (2013). Her articles are archived at www.phyllis-chesler.com.


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