The Amish and ISIS

Both the Amish and ISIS reject to a great extent Western culture and both have serious issues with the principles of modernity. One chops off heads and one does its thing, in peace and with dignity and love.  Given that the Amish have more or less succeeded in forming an exemplary and peace loving, hard working, religiously fervent society, it may not really be religion or culture as such that are at loggerheads with the West. The Amish have proven for quite a long time that communities of people, while rejecting much of what the West has become, can be relevant and sustained in peace and with dignity, without giving up on their principles. Religious persecution? The Amish have experienced it several times. Economic disadvantage? It is not easy to make a buck in a world without using the latest technologies, especially in agriculture, but the Amish are flourishing.

Maybe the problem with ISIS, therefore, is not cultural or religious or economic or political; maybe the problem is one of mental health (or the lack thereof). The Amish are healthy while ISIS followers are mentally deranged. Once it is understood that people that chop off the heads of perceived enemies or even co-religionists who are less fanatic in their practices (ISIS), that place their bombs in hospitals and schools (Hamas), that kidnap young girls and prostitute them (ISIS and Boko Haram), that practice female circumcision, honor killings of women and child abuse without punishment (Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Al Qaeda, almost all Muslim states), that torture and shoot suspected traitors without trial or evidence  (Hamas), it may be finally admitted that the key issue here is one of mental health and not ‘culture’ or ‘religion’. This is a problem with a strong biological basis, a medical problem.

Culture is merely an excuse that the Western multiculturalists throw around to make excuse for the deranged practices of much of what is Islam today. In actuality, many Muslims suffer from severe mental disease caused by a lifestyle that is terribly violent, stringent, fanatic, jealous, sadistic, misogynist in the extreme, sexually perverse and genocidal. What would any mental health expert expect from a person that grows up today within the strict confines of radical Islam?

Imagine a couple from Pasadena that performs female circumcision on their daughter of middle school age. Would the authorities allow those parents to keep custody over that girl? Would the parents go to jail? Most importantly, would not that young woman be given massive psychological care, all paid for by the county? What, then, can be expected from an entire culture that performs, day in and day out, atrocities on their own population in addition to other populations in their vicinity?

It would seem, therefore, that a growing part of today’s Muslim world suffers from harsh and abnormal psychological disease that leads to such terrorist phenomena as ISIS, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Palestinian Authority and a long list of other groups situated around the globe. Apparently, mental illness is on the rise.

The distinction between culture and mental disease is important for several reasons. Multiculturalists may be prone to allow for Sharia law in Europe and even in Dearborn, Michigan, where the local council has voted to become the first city in the United States to fully implement Sharia law for its Muslim citizens. Perhaps the allowance of Sharia law is  a well intentioned sign of respect for Islam, perhaps it is simply a sign of American and European  fear. But either way, it is an act of good will towards a culture that leads to mental illness.

There can be no negotiations with the criminally insane. It just will not work. Radical Islam in all its manifestations will not stop its murderous tendencies, because the brains of its leaders are warped. No return of Judea and Samaria, no acceptance of Sharia law in Dearborn, no international acceptance of a Caliphate in Iraq and Syria will stop this plague.

A few days ago a woman in Oklahoma was decapitated by a man who had recently become a convert to Islam. This man, well before becoming a Muslim, had a disturbing record of violence. Thus, a great debate will now begin in America – was this an act of radical Islam – a terrorist act – or an act of a deranged soul regardless of his religious affiliation? It is a pathetic and sterile debate, with unfortunately, deep political overtones. Obviously, it was the act of a violent and deranged individual and just as obviously, such an individual finds inspiration from and identification with radical Islam. This murderer did not become deranged because of Islam, but at the same time, birds of a feather……………..

It is interesting to note that many Islamic apologists speak of the Golden Age of Islamic culture and achievement, where contributions to philosophy, art and mathematics were great. What these ‘historians’ fail to mention is the fact this period of Muslim history, approximately nine hundred years ago, was a period where many staunch Muslim religionists led an open and non-apologetic type of double life, imbibing wine and enjoying the good life. The very same people that led to great Muslim achievement would have been the first to be beheaded by today’s radical Islam.

Radical Islamists should not be treated as a group of people with legitimate claims against Israel, the West or the Kurds. To treat their culture as one that is deserving of respect is simply to engage in this century’s greatest lie. The Amish are deserving of respect. Radical Islam and its accompanying Sharia law are deserving of nothing but contempt and must be rooted out quickly and thoroughly by all sane people.

The West has problems that must be studied, introspection that need be undertaken now more than ever, but the West does not condone the covering up of women in black from head to toe, the castration of these same females and their ultimate murder for family pride. Further, the West does not place its children in front of bombs and does not ask its women to commit suicide bomber attacks.

The West may be ill, but it is not mentally deranged with violence and death as its number one identifying characteristic. There is no comparison and no cultural clash. There is a psychological disease that is growing and that must be stopped. No amount of political or cultural gesture will stop this disease because this disease is a biological and medical phenomenon, not a political phenomenon. You cannot cut a deal with a disease. When this is understood, there may be a chance to survive the plague.

About the Author
Asher Keren writes about science and philosophy, is an author and religious settler who has lived in Israel for over thirty years.
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