A mental problem called Islamophobia
Given that this widespread western fear of Muslims was not the case prior to the US-instigated “War on Terror,” do Muslims around the world now pose a greater threat to western interests than previously? Or is something else going on here? In short, why are so many westerners (and others) now frightened of Muslims? Let me start at the beginning.
Human socialization is essentially a process of terrorizing children into “thinking” and doing what the adults around them want. Hence, the attitudes, beliefs, values and behaviors that most humans exhibit are driven by fear and the self-hatred that accompanies this fear.
However, because this fear and self-hatred are so unpleasant to feel consciously, most people suppress these feelings below conscious awareness and then (unconsciously) project them onto “legitimized” victims (that is, those people “approved” for victimization by their parents and/or society generally). In short: The fear and self-hatred are projected as fear of, and hatred for, particular social groups.
This all happens because virtually all adults are (unconsciously) terrified and self-hating, so they unconsciously terrorize children into accepting the attitudes, beliefs, values and behaviors that make the adults feel safe. A child who thinks and acts differently is frightening and is not allowed to flourish.
Once the child has been so terrorized however, they will respond to their fear and self-hatred with diminishing adult stimulus. What is important, emotionally speaking, is that the fear and self-hatred have an outlet so that they can be released and acted upon. And because parents do not allow their child to feel and express their fear and hatred in relation to the parents themselves, the child is left with no alternative but to project their fear and hatred in socially approved directions.
Hence, as an adult, their own fear and self-hatred are unconscious to the individual precisely because they were never allowed to feel and express them safely as a child. What they do feel, consciously, is their hatred for “legitimized” victims.
Historically, different social groups in different cultural contexts have been the victim of this projected but “socially approved” fear and hatred. The groups that are socially approved to be feared and hated are determined by elites. This is because individual members of the elite are themselves terrified and full of self-hatred and they use the various powerful instruments at their disposal — ranging from control of politicians to the corporate media — to trigger the fear and self-hatred of the population at large in order to focus this fear and hatred on what frightens the elite. This makes it easier for the elite to then attack the group that they are projecting frightens them.
For now, of course, Muslims are the primary target for this projected fear and self-hatred, which accounts for the US-led western war on the Middle East. Islamophobia thus allows elites and others to project their fear and self-hatred onto Muslims so that elites can then seek to destroy this fear and self-hatred. Obviously, this cannot work. You cannot destroy fear, whether yours or that of anyone else. However, you can cause phenomenal damage to those onto whom your fear and self-hatred are projected. Of course, there is nothing intelligent about this process. If every Muslim in the world was killed, elites would simply then project their fear and self-hatred onto other groups and set out to destroy those groups too.
In fact, as western elites now demonize Russia and encircle it with nuclear weapons and ABM defense systems, we simply witness another example of these elites projecting their fear and self-hatred.
If you are starting to wonder about the sanity of this, you can rest assured there is none. Elites are insane.
So is there anything we can do? Fundamentally, we need to stop terrorizing our children. As a back up, we can provide safe spaces for children and adults alike to feel their fear and self-hatred consciously. By doing this, we can avoid creating more insane individuals who will project their fear and self-hatred in elite-approved directions.
In addition, if you are fearless enough to recognize that elites are manipulating you into fearing Muslims and others whom we do not need to fear, now would be a good time to speak up and to demonstrate your solidarity.
Suppressed fear and self-hatred must be projected and they are usually projected in socially approved ways.
In essence, Islamophobia is a manifestation of the mental illness of elites manipulating us into doing their insane bidding. Unfortunately, many people are easy victims of this manipulation.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point of view