Pity the poor children

Published this week was the transcript of a recording of a Muslim in Britain teaching his son to hate. The Muslim's name is Parviz Khan. He pleaded guilty to plotting the kidnap and butchery of a British Muslim soldier (cutting his head off “like a pig”), a butchery that he “planned to film and release for propaganda purposes.” Below is some of the transcript of his “shouting at his five-year-old son when he made a mistake” reciting the Koran:
“Who do you kill?” asked Khan.
“America kill,” said the boy.
“Who else you kill?” said Khan.
“Bush I kill,” said the boy.
“And who else?” demanded Khan.
“Blair kill, both people kill”…
Then the pair began chanting at each other.
Khan said: “Kuffar [non-believers]” the boy said: “Kill.”
Khan said: “Mushrik [polytheists]” and the boy said: “Kill.”
Then it continued with: “Hindu?… Kill… Sheedi [blacks]?… Kill…”
Such hideousness stirred memories of hideous images in my mind. For example, last week I saw the video of kids in Iraq being trained as terrorists by Al Qaeda. That brought to mind my seeing little kids in Pakistani madrassas (they can’t be called schools), rollicking back and forth as they read or recited the Koran. Think of kids forced to memorize such hate from the Koran as is listed here.

Of course, it’s not just Muslim kids who are subjected to such stupidity. Through the Atheist Blogroll (see link on the right) I went to the Atheist Media Blog and unfortunately watched the video “Cutting Edge: Baby Bible Bashers”. The grownups shown are adults? They're Christians? Pity the poor children!

In turn, that Christian hideousness reminded me of what I didn’t want to remember about the “Pastor” Fred Phelps, the “god hates [this-than-and-the-other thing]” leader of the Westboro Baptist Church. Among the many Phelps videos available on the web, maybe have a look at this one: the poor little kids (Phelps’ grandkids) obviously don’t understand what they’ve been taught to hate.

Which brought to mind the horrible but valid line by the TV-cartoon character Homer Simpson: “Kids are great… You can teach them to hate what you hate…”

Any normal sense of decency demands to know: how could parents (such as Phelps’ oldest daughter) treat their children so horribly? But then, the answer is obvious from reading the book Addicted to Hate by Jon Michael Bell (with Joe Taschler and Steve Fry) about the Phelps family: throughout their lives, Phelps beat his children (both boys and girls), as well as his wife, mercilessly; throughout their lives, they’ve lived in terror.

In turn, although the authors of the book didn’t provide many details (probably because they’re lost), there is the following about Phelps’ own father:
Fred’s father was a veteran of World War One, and throughout his life suffered from the effects of a mustard gassing he’d taken in France. He found work as a detective for the Southern Railroad to support his family. The railroad security force or “bulls”, as they were called, had a reputation for brutality when they patrolled the yards to prevent the itinerant laborers, washed out of their hometowns by the Depression, from riding the freights. “My father,” says Pastor Phelps, “oft-times came home with blood all over him.” Suddenly he stands up, turning his face away, and exits.
I'd bet that Phelps learned how to hate and to abuse children from his own father, just as Hitler no doubt learned how to hate (especially Jews) from his own father, who beat Hitler mercilessly – apparently responding to his own beatings for being a “Jewish bastard”, after his mother had been impregnated by the son of the Jewish family who had hired her as a maid and who wouldn’t let their son marry her (Hitler’s grandmother).

Thereby, what the writers of the Simpson series failed to mention is that the most effective way to teach kids how to hate is to show them hate.

In particular, I’d bet that the Muslim who was recorded teaching his child to hate was taught how to hate by his own family, since emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of children (both boys and girls) is rampant in Muslim countries. For example, the following is from an assessment by Jamie Glazov entitled “The Sexual Rage Behind Islamic Terror” published at FrontPageMagazine.com on 4 October 2001:
Throughout the Islamic Middle East, men and women are taught to be vehemently opposed to pleasure, especially of the sexual variety. Men are raised not only forbidden to touch women, but to even look at them. Sex before marriage is not just a sin – but a criminal offence. It is punishable by a severe beating at best, and an execution at worst.

The sexual privileges that are allowed in Islamic cultures are permitted to men. Women’s sexuality and social independence represent major threats to male supremacy and are tightly controlled. Thus, as the Moroccan feminist Fitna Sabbah reveals in her book Woman in the Muslim Unconscious, there is a disturbing conflict in the Middle East between sexual libido and repression. A deep-seated fear of, and hostility to, individuality prevails, and its main expression exists in misogyny.

Socially segregated from women, Arab men succumb to homosexual behavior. But, interestingly enough, there is no word for ‘homosexual’ in their culture in the modern Western sense. That is because having sex with boys, or with effeminate men, is seen as a social norm. Males serve as available substitutes for unavailable women. The male who does the penetrating, meanwhile, is not emasculated any more than if he had sex with a wife. The male who is penetrated is emasculated. The boy, however, is not, since it is rationalized that he is not yet a man.

In this culture, males sexually penetrating males becomes a manifestation of male power, conferring a status of hyper-masculinity. It is considered to have nothing to do with homosexuality. An unmarried man who has sex with boys is simply doing what men do. As the scholar Bruce Dunne has demonstrated, sex in Islamic societies is not about mutuality between partners, but about the adult male’s achievement of pleasure through violent domination.

There is silence around this issue. It is the silence that legitimizes sexual violence against women, such as honor crimes and female circumcision. It is also the silence that forces victimized Arab boys into invisibility. Even though the society does not see their sexual exploitation as being humiliating, the psychological and emotional scars that result from their subordination, powerlessness and humiliation is a given. Traumatized by the violation of their dignity and manliness, they spend the rest of their lives trying to get it back.

The problem is that trying to recover from sexual abuse, and to recapture one’s own shattered masculinity, is quite an ordeal in a culture where women are hated and love is interpreted as hegemonic control.

With women out of touch – and out of sight – until marriage, males experience pre-marital sex only in the confines of being with other males. Their sexual outlet mostly includes victimizing younger males – just the way they were victimized.

In all of these circumstances, the idea of love is removed from men’s understanding of sexuality. Like the essence of Arab masculinity, it is reduced to hurting others by violence. A gigantic rupture develops between men and women, where no harmony, affection or equality is allowed to exist. In relationships between men, meanwhile, affection, solidarity and empathy are left out of the picture. They threaten the hyper-masculine order.

It is excruciating to imagine the sexual confusion, humiliation, and repression that evolve in the mindsets of males in this culture. But it is no surprise that many of these males find their only avenue for gratification in the act of humiliating the foreign “enemy,” whose masculinity must be violated at all costs – as theirs once was.

Violating the masculinity of the enemy necessitates the dishing out of severe violence against him. In the recent terrorist strikes, therefore, violence against Americans served as a much-needed release of the terrorists’ bottled-up sexual rage. Moreover, it served as a desperate and pathological testament of the re-masculinization of their emasculated selves.
In his powerful on-line book entitled Psychohistory: Childhood and the Emotional Life of Nations, Lloyd deMause presents compelling evidence for his thesis that:
…the ultimate cause of all wars and human misery is the parental holocaust of children throughout history – an untold story of how literally billions of innocent, helpless children have been routinely killed, bound, battered, mutilated, raped and tortured and then as adults have inflicted upon others the nightmares they themselves experienced.
In Chapter 4 of his book, deMause states:
It may seem simplistic to conclude that most of human destructiveness is the restaging of early traumas and that what we must do if we wish to put an end to war and social violence is teach adults how to stop abusing and neglecting and begin respecting and enjoying their children, but I believe this is precisely what our best scientific evidence shows.
It is of course extremely difficult (and as Karl Popper warned, it can be extremely dangerous) to conduct large-scale experiments to test psychological and social theories, but as deMause describes in his Winnicott Memorial Lecture, entitled “What the British Can Do To End Child Abuse”:
The results of outlawing the hitting of children are dramatic. In Sweden, the first country to abolish corporal punishment of children… [the law] not only has public support… [hitting children – even in its mildest forms – {has} been reduced from 53% to only 11%], but in addition, only 6% of younger Swedes today say they support corporal punishment. Practice in Sweden, as well as attitude, has changed… with only 3% of school children saying they had been slapped by their parents, and only one child in 25 years having been killed by their parent. The results of this dramatic decrease in hitting have been spectacular. The number of children needing social work care has decreased by 26%, the number of youth convicted of theft declined by 21%, the rates of alcohol and drug abuse by youths have declined dramatically, and the rate of youth suicide has also declined. What is most astonishing is that in Sweden and in other countries outlawing the hitting of children the populations actually began by being in favor of corporal punishment, but after their legislatures passed their anti-hitting law despite this pro-hitting mood, the general public gradually became more and more opposed to corporal punishment, without any dramatic intrusion by the state into family life.
I wonder if this experiment in Sweden is why, after a two-week visit, I expressed my feeling to my host that “Sweden is an island of tranquility in an ocean of insanity.”

In Chapter 9 of his book deMause goes even further:
That gods are usually perpetrators restaging early physical abuse is the answer to Freud’s question: “Why does religion seem to need violence?” When violence against children disappears, religious and political violence will disappear. Religions and politics as we know them will no doubt disappear also. Religions work by constructing sacred spaces that contain triggers for switching into trances in order to access people’s alters and obtain some relief from their tortures.
Consistently and as a case in point (see the second plot in my earlier blog), among all nations Sweden is most advanced in rejecting the god idea.

All of which brings to mind what the Buddha so perceptively said 2500 years ago:
In this world, hate never yet dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible.
We could now add: to dispel hate, violence, and all gods from the world, teach all children in the world to love – by showing each and every one of them that you care for their welfare.


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