The Surprising Strength of Denial
I am used to people questioning me about Islam, Sharia and terrorism. But this week I had an unbelievable exchange with someone that really made me take a step back and wonder why so many don’t believe or care that Islam is a danger to us all. I was speaking to a woman in her 60s, someone of above average intelligence and who is well read and educated. I have known her for 15 years. This is not an ignorant person.
The two of us were in a local shopping center and I made a comment about Islam as a group of devout Muslim women walked by. They were dressed in traditional Muslim garb, the hijab (head scarves), the robes, the whole nine yards. I honestly don’t even remember what I said that started the conversation. Regardless, she looked at me and asked, “why do you dislike Muslims so much? You can’t believe everything people say.” Understand, I am not one who is ever at a loss for words. When I hear anyone mention anything about the subject, out comes my soapbox and you can’t shut me up. This time I was astonished. All I could say was “WHAT?” She said to me, “People say things all the time; you can’t believe it all. People say things about the Jews, like they run the country and the media, and they have all the money, do you like that?” Needless to say, at this point my jaw was on the floor. From this point I started listing things from the Koran, from Sharia law, from recent happenings right here in our own country and our own backyard. When I was finished she amazed me with the same statement: Yyou can’t believe everything people say.”
What is going on? Is this where we are as a country? What is it going to take for people to wake up and understand the truth, another attack on America? Why is it so hard to understand or believe that what people are “hearing” about Islam on daily basis in the news is the truth? Could it be that maybe they just don’t care, or worse, as I began to realize that because of the way we as a country have handled everything since 9/11, they have no reason to believe it? Maybe they just don’t care because we’ve never given them a reason to care about it.
I think we've all had encounters like this. It's not that they don't believe it, or care, it's just that when fear is sufficiently great, denial kicks in as a coping mechanism.
Posted on 04/05/2010 10:01 AM by Rebecca Bynum
5 Apr 2010
"Above average intelligence" in this case just won't cut the mustard or, for that matter, anything else.
6 Apr 2010
I know some wonderful people, noble characters who I would give up my place in heaven, if such a thing existed. But they are locked into a comfortable appraisal of the world; where everyone will be 'good' if encouraged by goodness. The element of truth in that helps them deny the existence and motives of confirmed totalitarians.
As with Gadi Adelman I'm off on a rant on my soapbox...... Actually no. It sounds like a rant. It sounds like self-indulgence expressed by an inner hate- but only to those who are unaware or in denial of the veracity of what they hear. Sadly they are unaware of their own resistance to this horrible information. You can see them building a defence of their ideals as they attack you, the 'messenger,' instead of 'the Messenger' you have brought to their notice.
To our despair our friends begin to fear us because of the passion we show. I try to be gentle but firm. I can't hold back my enthusiasm in it's scientific endeavour to uncover and elucidate my findings. However having once been an apologist for religion I know where such a mind runs to when 'accosted' by truth. There is no going back to this safe haven and as we realise the danger of ignorance we can best learn skilful means to pass on what we know. The musician in us would use rhythm and melody the carpenter in us would build a solid frame, the cook in us displays a dish: all backed up by the scientist in us using logic, reason and intellectual integrity to impress upon our listeners that what we have prepared for them is a treat. That is: something which is not based on any hateful personal ambition. We are transmitters of information. They are free to test it rigorously as we make sure we have done beforehand.
Everyone is brave when they confront reality because this means knocking out preconceived ideas which have provided us with comfort, structure and meaning. We don't move into a vacuum when we are brave and give up what we are comfortable with, as fears believe. For sure,the alternative is to live, support and defend a position generated by cowardice. This is also not a vacuum but a self-restraining box. To stay in it you have to cut off any dangerous thoughts or curiosity. This is not a good life for a human being. You have to constantly reinforce systematic control of your feelings and intellect.
In order to bear our own groaning when we hear for the umpteenth time "What about the Crusades?" we teach ourselves the details of them. And when somebody dismisses our concerns with "All religions are rubbish anyway!" we have to learn to distinguish between them and indeed to grasp the fundamentals of differing thought systems. We have our work cut out.
I believe the passion we employ will help us cope with any frustration and despair of friends moving away from us. It is unfortunately true that as we separate ourselves from our own delusion we also move away from them -but only because they insist on holding on to it. We want them as allies in this fight but they misunderstand us if they think we only want them to nod in agreement with us. They must become testers and transmitters of information themselves. They must study. When we ask them to listen we are telling them to make an effort. Even friends see that sometimes as a form of bullying.
If it's any compensation to us we are trying to make the world a better place for them, as our allies are doing on our behalf, in worthy adherence to the 'Golden Rule'.
7 Apr 2010
This isnt about denial, this is about a zeitgeist and worldview, that dominates the West, has sunk its claws into its institutions and philosophical foundation.
The New Left 60s Radical Paradigm.
7 Apr 2010
You will have to explain a bit exactly what you mean by 'zeitgeist'.
I remember reading that what motivated the outbreak of the First World War, at least in part, was that the civilised nations of Europe were tired of peace.
I do not believe this to be a proper analysis. 'zeitgeist' is likewise a non-answer because it is based on feeling and imagination without considering the political ambitions and history of Islam. It also ignores the psychological cause of appeasement.