Saturday, November 28, 2009

Terror & Intimidation - Parallels with the “Stockholm Syndrome"

The Stockholm Syndrome: This can explain a lot of odd and counterproductive behavior created by the terror and intimidation of Islam in many parts of the world. From afar we might wonder why people don't respond more forcibly to the aggression of Islamic terrorism. We often wonder about Israel's reaction. Of all countries, we would expect Israel to react with firm and incessant resolve whenever they are threatened or attacked by the Islamic world around them. After all, six million Jews were slaughtered only 60 years ago. Several neighboring nations vow to wipe Israel off the map. Many of Israel's leaders are aware of Islam's hatred of Jews and their vow to eradicate them. Yet Israel is plagued by many of her leaders who are conciliatory, appeasing liberals, rather than the firm and resolute conservatives we would intuitively expect given the facts. Can the Stockholm Syndrome be an explanation for this?

Israel is surrounded in a manner suggestive of "captors". Israel is "Patty Hurst." The surrounding Islamic nations are "The Symbianese Liberation Army," analogically speaking. Being in the position they are in, Israel, viscerally, feels helpless and beholden. They truly are of split mind, on one hand feeling a desperate need to defend themselves, but on the other hand grateful for every reprieve from warfare or perception of annihilation they can get. So grateful that many grasp at irrational straws of conciliation and illusions of peace from illusionary treaties. The captives grow more beholden as the captive become more emboldened. The book, “The Oslo Syndrome” written in 2005 documents this very relationship.

The same principles of human behavior are at work in Western European countries whose populations near Islamic majorities. As the Muslim numbers increase, so does Muslim intolerance and intimidation. With both their dwindling percentages and the Muslim intimidation, the "natives" in those western nations reach a point where rather than face the perceived inevitable end to their culture, they reach out in a desperate, perverted "friendship" with those who are quickly overtaking their centuries old culture, religion, and political system. This, too, is where the Stockholm Syndrome is playing out.

Even in the United States, it would be no surprise to learn that some of our leaders who "buddy up" and defend Islamic leaders are doing so out of fear of what they see as "the inevitable." They see the coming Islamic wave being so over powering and so certain that they feel it is better to befriend than declare hostilities. They feel it is better or easier to compromise their own values and culture to accommodate a diametrically opposed ideology than it is to challenge it. So they accommodate it.

So while some of our accommodation of the hostile supremacist Islamic ideology is due to our ignorance of its nature, some is also due to fear. The Stockholm Syndrome provides an easier way out rather than facing up to the challenge.

The other component of our failure to face the Islamic challenge, one that is not even on the radar for many of us, is this: We don't feel our values, our religion (if any), our culture and form of government are worth defending. The fact is, the decline of a dynamic Christian faith in this nation and much of the west has left a vacuum. Nature abhors it – Islam is filling it.

We have become so critical of ourselves, who we are, where we came from, how we got here, that anything else - anything else - appears that it might be better.

That is why we were willing to embrace "hope and change" without even caring what the "change" would lead us to. We are so desperate for something different that our attitude when facing the challenge of a completely foreign and contrary ideology might as well be - "Whatever." We care that much.

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