32 thoughts on “‘Islam is a Mental Illness’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Of course, whenever any Zionist crazy goes on a shooting rampage in the occupied territories, it is immediately announced without any diagnosis whatsoever that they are “deranged” and that nobody else is to blame for their crimes (think Ami Popper – who strangely later had his sentence reduced on the grounds that he was a political prisoner).

  2. Pipes and Geller are just slightly more extreme examples of a general phenomenon.

    Perhaps, I am overly sensitive but JCRC/ Des Moines Jewish Federation – Community News sends a very one-sided message even if occasional articles are neutral.

    In the case of the JCRC/Des Moinses, the editor is just selecting biased newspaper articles.

    Unfortunately, people like Pipes are good at using certain bad tendencies to which newspaper reporters are prone.

    Take a look at News Report or Incitement?.

    In terms of the sensationalism, bias, and incitement, it reminded me of the Boston Herald coverage of the David Project attack on the Roxbury Mosque.

    The Islamophobes did not create bad journalism, but they are very good at using it.

  3. BTW, the NY Times has already run a story to the effect that Islam is a mental illness:

    Not even a reworking of Nazi biological determinist or social Darwinist anti-Semitic arguments has been beyond the pale in the oeuvres of today’s Islamophobes. Edward Rothstein, who often serves as a Jewish Zionist media gatekeeper at the New York Times, used the publication of Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel C. Dennett as an excuse to equate Muslims protesting vicious anti-Islamic xenophobia with ants whose brains have been eaten by parasites. His February 20, 2006 article is entitled “History Illuminates the Rage of Muslims”. (See ).

  4. RE: ‘Islam is a Mental Illness’

    Great post, Mr. Silverstein!!!


  5. all religion is a crutch… that aside I am not anti religion per say….

    The problem is that your side while not engaging in the demonization of Muslims and reaching across the aisle while a good thing (or actually Rabbi Scheier is) suffers from the pathology of not acknowledging in the slightest that Islam to a degree large or small suffers from the ills that Xtianity large or small did 3-400 years ago prior to the Reformation…

    Instead you will only hear that “all religions” have their extremists which is a true but misleading analysis of the situation.

    Furthermore, if anyone, even the NY Times actually analyzes and partially acknowledges this to some degree they are immediately labeled and attempted to be silenced… smutted out with name calling, defamation etc… the common tools of smuthering used by the “purveyors of truth/justice and all that is good” or the “progressives”….

    That is the problem, thus you end up with Pipes and Geller and Hannity who are the only ones able to shout loud enough to stomp a bully like you (though small as you are in readership) down somewhat.

    In your case you have a small readership so you’re not bullying many except on your blog where feel free to engage in your apparent real personality – however, the size of your blog doesn’t discount or change the tenor of your presentation, labeling and argument.
    Respectfully –

  6. Writers raised Muslim such as Ayan Hirsi Ali, Nonie Darwish and a Canadian lady born a Muslim and raised in Vancouver whose name I unfortunately forgot say the Islam they were taught had a lot of Judeophobia in it. On Tuesday, in an article in the New York Times about the establishment of Sharia Law courts in Britain, an example was brought of a Muslim women who demanded a divorce from her husband. One of the examples of the abuse she has had to suffer is that her husband calls her “a Jew”. Here’s the link:


    New York Times journalist Michael Slackman wrote a couple of months ago from Egypt that “Egyptians attribute many if not most of their problems to Jews”. Tom Friedman wrote that many of the Muslims he is in contact with believe that 4000 Jews did not arrive at the World Trade Center on 9/11.
    George Orwell wrote in an article called “Marrakesh” regarding his visit to Morocco in 1939 about the virulent antisemitism he found there ( I realize that is a long time ago, but we are always hearing about how good the Jews supposedly had it in Morocco—and this was BEFORE the rise of the state of Israel). So it seems that there are not a few Muslims who hate Jews. I

  7. Regarding your quote:
    Has it never crossed her mind how bizarre and contradictory it would be for a healthy individual to express hatred for his religion and then go out and supposedly kill for it?

    Although I do not know anything about the Seattle case, but I do know based on stories of suicide bombers in recent years, it is not at all unusual for people who had been alienated from Islam to suddenly turn around and carry out attacks of this sort. They view it is a perverted form of penitence for their former lack of faith. One example was the organizers of the big terrorist attack in Madrid, who was extremely secular and then decided to show his renewed faith by carrying out that massacre.
    Again, I don’t know if that applies in this Seattle case, but there are many precedents.

  8. Here is what the article you had the link to said:
    Not only is Haq accused of shooting Waechter in the chest but also of chasing the wounded woman up the stairs to shoot her again in the head.

    Not only, police say, did he randomly blast every vulnerable human within range, but he declared he was doing it out of his hatred and anger toward Jews.


    He says he hated Jews and wanted to kill them. Why do
    you dispute this? Why do you say that it HAD to be mental illness? Where did he get this hatred from. He didn’t claim it was “road rage” or that he was unhappy with his job or some other such excuse. The victim’s father also says it must have been due to “mental illness”. Maybe then we should have pity on Yigal Amir and say he and all other murderers are “mentally ill”.

  9. Well bar_kochba132 everybody could easily collect “evidence” of Judaism as a “severe mental illness” by quoting what some extreme rabbis and Israeli politicians have said and telling examples how the the Jewish settlers behave. Are people who write on a mosque Mohamed the Pig and paint on Muslim grave stones the star of David mentally healthy, especially when they are the first to shout anti-Semitism when some few Nazis paint their slogans on European Jewish cemeteries. Should a chief rabbi who says publicly that “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail” be considered as a beacon of morality or an extreme religious nutcase.

    If we compare the amount of Jews and Muslims in the world I suppose that proportional share of religious extremists among Jews is certainly not less than among Muslims (or Christians). bar_kochba132 when you take the Sharia Law courts in Britain as an example please remember in the name of some intellectual honesty that orthodox Jews have their Beth Din’s in Britain and elsewhere. And long before Sharia courts were “allowed”.

    To get finally peace in Israel/Palestine the world should have much more knowledge about the Jewish extremism, not only propaganda about extremism among Muslims. Let’s remember who a the occupiers and who have been the victims in Israel/Palestine.

    1. “Well bar_kochba132 everybody could easily collect “evidence” of Judaism as a “severe mental illness” by quoting what some extreme rabbis and Israeli politicians have said and telling examples how the the Jewish settlers behave.”

      The trouble with that idea, SimoHurtta, is that “extremist” rabbis are not adhering to millenia of Jewish scholarship and the Torah, while “extremist” imams are, in fact, adhering to centuries of Islamic scholarship and the letter of the Koran. They shouldn’t be called “radical” or “extremist” Muslims, they should be called “fundamentalist” Muslims. A fundamentalist Jew stops shaving, prays three times day for the healing of the sick, for justice and peace, and in gratitude for the gift of life, and clings fast to the Tree of Life (the Torah); while a fundamentalist Muslim looks for trees and rocks calling out “there’s a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.” (Kitab al-Fitan, hadith. 2239)

      There’s a stark difference between extremes, here.

      1. You know as much about “Islamic scholarship” as I know about Mars. Please spare us. We don’t need your anti-Muslim propaganda.

        Radical Muslim clerics adhere to Islamic scholarship precisely as much as extremist Jewish rabbis adhere to Jewish scholarship. You have no right to determine how much Islamist imams adhere to traditional Islamic scholarship. When you can tell us which schools you atteneded, which courses you studied, who your professors were in Islamic studies, then I’ll believe you. Till then, not so much.

        Attempting to guess how many radical clerics, whether Jewish or Muslim, can dance on the head of a pin is a total waste of time. There’s no difference between these guys. Hate is hate.

        You’re done with the propaganda. Continue in this vein & you’ll be moderated.

  10. @bar_kochba132:

    Ayan Hirsi Ali, Nonie Darwish and a Canadian lady born a Muslim and raised in Vancouver whose name I unfortunately forgot say the Islam they were taught had a lot of Judeophobia in it

    My God, acknowledged Muslim haters claim Islam is Judeophobic…imagine that! These are credible sources for any serious judgment of Islam???

    And again you use foreign, non-Arab, non-Muslim journalists as arbiters of what Muslims believe. Tom Friedman, specifically, is not a credible source for judgments about Muslim belief.

    Besides, no one is arguing that there are not some Muslims who hate Jews. There are. Just as there are some Jews who hate Muslims. But what does this prove? That Islam IS mental illness? That Naveed Haq, who despised Islam, shot Jews because of Islam’s innate hatred of Jews? Come on.

    1. Have you ever actually READ the Koran and Hadiths, Richard Silverstein?

      You say it’s improper to use non-Arab, non-Muslim journalists as arbiters of what Muslims believe – would you accept the use of respected and influential imams as a credible source for judgments about orthodox Muslim belief?

      What about the head imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca – the holiest city in Islam where no infidels are permitted to set foot – a cleric by the name of Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Sudais? Could he serve as a credible source? During a sermon at the Grand Mosque, he described Jews as “the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the killers of prophets, and the grandsons of monkeys and pigs.” Of course, he was merely alluding to Koran Surah 5:60 while spewing his antisemitic remarks, and that’s just what religious leaders do when giving sermons, right?

      The imam of the main Gaza City mosque said: “…lances must be directed at the Jews, the enemies of Allah, the nation accursed in Allah’s book. Allah described [them] as apes and pigs, calf-worshipers, idol-worshippers…”

      These are high-ranking Islamic religious leaders, not journalists. They are, arguably, representative of mainstream orthodox Islam, not “extremism.”

      Now certainly there are Muslims out there who do not believe this, just as there are Jews out there who work on Shabbat. But to become a more devout Muslim, it is said one must emulate Mohammed, and if you read the Hadiths or scholarly accounts of his life, you will know that doing so is not usually healthy or pleasant for non-Muslims.

      1. You have quoted precisely two Muslims & attempted to argue that all Muslims believe what they do. Which is no more preposterous than quoting Alan Dershowitz & Baruch Marzel & saying they represent the foolhardy extremism of all Jews.

        As for whether the clerics you quote are “high ranking” or not, I’d rather see a more knowledgeable Muslim than you telling us whether they’re high or low-ranking. BTW, there are “high ranking” rabbis like Dov Wolpe who believe horrible things about non-Jews especially Muslims. What does this prove about all Jews?

        As for you teaching us the meaning of the Quran or hadiths–please spare us.

  11. @bar_kochba132:

    They view it is a perverted form of penitence for their former lack of faith.

    Since you acknowledged yr ignorance of the Seattle case, I’ll confirm that ignorance. Naveed Haq never had a return to Islam. He was and is mentally ill. Period. YOu can find as much rhyme and reason in his acts as in the rantings and murderous spree of Son of Sam or any number of deranged killers.

    Yr theory doesn’t apply.

  12. @bar_kochba132:

    Why do you say that it HAD to be mental illness?

    First, you’re reading Daniel Pipes’ & Pam Geller’s versions of the crimes. I wouldn’t trust their characterization of a news article as far as I could throw it.

    Yes, Haq shouted anti-Israel slogans during the attack. But he had a 10 year history of severe mental illness. He was prescribed medication for his condition and stopped taking it. He was severely mentally ill. Even his victims accept this. But you don’t. And you know better than them and his doctors because…??? You’ve had some training in forensic psychology I presume that allows you to substitute yr judgment for theirs?

    Yigal Amir, unlike Naveed Haq, had a long history of involvement with radical extremist political groups. Amir had no history of mental illness. Nice try equating them…but no cigar I’m afraid.

  13. Richard, this still leaves the question of his motive. Why did he choose a Jewish institution? Why did he scream anti-Jewish slogans? Why didn’t he choose random people in the street instead? If he was hostile to Islam, why didn’t he go and shoot up a mosque instead?

  14. Why bar_kochba132 Baruch Goldstein did target Arabs in Mosque and what did he shout? Should we make some far-fetched “analyses” from that incident (and those several others like that) of the mental state of Goldstein’s religion and all the people who belong (more or less) to that faith? I suppose that would be not fair or necessary. Every religion has extremists and/or mentally sick people who like to use religious “excuses” in their monstrous acts. The sad thing is that people like Goldstein and Haq believe that they have a “divine right” to do what they did.

    By the way bar_kochba132 suicide bombings started only after Goldstein’s act.

  15. @bar_kochba132: He’s mentally ill. Do you understand what that means? It means that his brain isn’t functioning according to terms you & I accept as normal. It means neither one of us can really understand what he did & why he did it. That’s the definition of insanity. Perhaps a psychiatrist or forensic psychologist might have a better idea of his ideation. I don’t & I’m damn sure you don’t ether. If you try to judge the acts of the mentally ill using the same terms that you would apply to normal human beings you can’t begin to make sense of what they do.

  16. There’s a school of “thought” that seeks to judge severe crimes not from the perpetrator’s POV (motive, maturity, state of mind etc.) but exclusively based on their urge for vendetta. It rules out from the start any attempt at an understanding of the crime, deliberately ignoring that this is not the same as excusing it, and thus instinctively rejects even a bona-fide insanity defence. A related phenomenon is the insistence on trying adolescents as adults if the crime is serious enough, lest s/he’d get off “scot-free”. This kind of “logic” has it exactly backwards.

    I’m also reminded of something François Bizot* said once, which was (paraphrased) that it’s a dangerous delusion to think you could eradicate all evil in the world and then only the good would remain.

    *French professor of SE Asian Buddhism, and the only Westerner to survive captivity by the Khmer Rouge

  17. TThe New York Times on Friday had an article about the indoctrination HIZBULLAH gives their young recruits. Here is an exceprt about what they teach about Jews:

    Those books, copies of which were provided to this reporter by a Hezbollah official, show an extraordinary focus on religious themes and a full-time preoccupation with Hezbollah’s military struggle against Israel. The chapter titles, for the 12- to 14-year-old age group, include “Love and Hate in God,” “Know Your Enemy,” “Loyalty to the Leader” and “Facts About Jews.” Jews are described as cruel, corrupt, cowardly and deceitful, and they are called the killers of prophets. The chapter on Jews states that “their Talmud says those outside the Jewish religion are animals.”

    I It would seem to me that Judeophobic sentiments are not simply the province of a tiny group of Muslim extremists which are not representative of any major streams of Islam.
    Hhere is the link:


    Why do you dismiss Ayan Hirsi Ali and Nonie Darwish. Can you prove they are lying? Richard you denounce whole groups of Jews (i.e. YESHA settlers). Why is your blanket condemnation of groups like this any more credible than what you say their’s is? I read Nonie’s book. She grew up in in the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Israeli commandos liquidated her father. I think that gives her extra credibility.They certainly know a lot more about Islam than you do.

  18. @bar_kochba132:

    The chapter on Jews states that “their Talmud says those outside the Jewish religion are animals.”

    You have the unmitigated chutzpah to complain about what Hezbollah teaches its young recruits when the settlers you so adore spray painted Mohamed Hazir on a Hebron mosque???!!! Puh-leeze. Don’t you embarrass yrself? When you can show me the settler movement has rid itself of such perversions of Jewish thought then we can talk about Hezbollah’s anti-Jewish propaganda.

    Ali & Darwish are anti-Muslim propagandists. Plain & simple. I don’t trust propagandists fr. either side.

    Regarding denouncing settlers…I don’t denounce settlers who are prepared to abandon their settlements in order to reintegrate into Green Line Israel. I don’t denounce non-ideological settlers. I denounce the extremists who unfortunately represent too large a percentage of the overall number of settlers.

    I read Nonie’s book

    My God, you caught me by surprise there. I can’t imagine why you’d have done that. Perhaps you share a great deal in common in yr ideological proclivities???

    They certainly know a lot more about Islam than you do.

    I don’t know about that. But they certainly hate Islam a lot more than I do.

  19. YoYou mean to say you know more about Islam than two women who were born into it and lived as Muslims for decades? Again, please show me evidence they are lying.

    Reagrding the hooligans who sprayed painted the slogans, on the mosque, please give me an example of a major Jewish movement who educates their followers to do that. I polease don’t give me the line “extremist settlers”. That is simply too amorphous. HIZBULLAH is an official party and religious movement. You can’t compare the act of one person with the official propaganda of an entire movement.

  20. @bar_kochba132: My view of Islam is more tolerant, more accurate & less filled w. hate for the religion than theirs.

    There are numerous rabbis and settlers groups that foment the hatred I spoke of. There was a massive pogrom against the Israeli authorities in Hebron. Do you think all those settlers rioted based on independent decisions to do so? Or were they organized? Of course they were. It may be too amorphous for you but you are an ardent supporter of the settlers. So that doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  21. I hate Jews that discriminate against Muslims. I hate Jews that are Presidents of universities and don’t late Muslim professors in. I hate hospitals that don’t give residencies to Muslim doctors. I hate Jewish settlers that occupy Palestinian land and if anybody protests against it, label them anti-semitic. I hate the Jews like Daniel Pipes who constant spew anti-Muslim propaganda and stifle free speech and stop tenures of honest people trying to have a fair debate in schools. I don’t hate all Jews. I only hate the ones with an endless need to control the world.

  22. @AJ: What Jewish university presidents don’t allow Muslims on their faculty? I’ve never heard of such a charge before. Besides university presidents don’t directly control faculty decisions and would find it impossible to enforce such a directive even if they made one.

    As for “controlling the world,” I think you’re overstating yr case a bit.

  23. I really doubt jews want to rule the world. My grandmother never really mentioned that little ambition to me. Cuz it doesn’t exist.

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