Which Emotional Strategies Influence Orthodox Muslims?


AL SIEBERT, author of Survivor Personality, said something interesting in his book, and I've been thinking about it for awhile now. The book is about what personality traits survivors hold in common. Siebert has studied survivors of POW camps, concentration camps, plane crashes, boats sinking, etc. He's made this study his life's work. Here's the quote, and then I'll tell you what I've been thinking:

"Bob Mitchell, a marine who fought first on Bataan and later on Corregidor, told me that many of the POWs who gave up were unable to cope with the cruelty and hostility directed toward them by the guards. He said that many prisoners tried to influence the guards by feeling upset, expressing pain, pleading, or trying to win them over. When this didn't work, they had nothing left. Many gave up and died."

Siebert's main quest with his research is to discover what survivors do that non-survivors do not do. In the case above, the non-survivors didn't change their strategy when they could see it wasn't working.

Now here's what I was thinking: Most people I know who don't want to believe Islam is a political and supremacist ideology are good-hearted people. They believe we should all just get along, that killing is a bad thing, and that even hurting someone is bad and it should never be done. They are kind to dogs. They recycle their trash so as not to make things harder for future generations, etc.

I am overgeneralizing here, but I'm not too far off with this characterization. These good-hearted people don't want to believe there are millions of fundamentalist Muslims in the world who would like nothing better than to cut off their heads. It's
unthinkable. Maybe these fundamentalists just need some clean water and enough to eat. Maybe they've been abused in the past. Maybe they just need to be understood.

These are all perfectly good strategies for normal interactions between healthy people within a liberal democracy with a good police force and an overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens.

When you want to work out your differences with someone, and you have a
disagreement or anger between you, it's a pretty good strategy to talk and try to come to some kind of mutually-acceptable compromise. That's one kind of strategy and it works very well in a particular context. The problem is, it doesn't work in every context, nor with every person.

One of the traits Siebert found common among survivors is the ability and willingness to change strategies. Siebert discovered it is one of the most universal traits survivors have that non-survivors do not have: They are flexible enough to see the strategy they're using isn't working in a particular situation, and they're able to come up with something else.

Those who can't do that in some situations die.

Flexibility means being able to be kind in some circumstances, and cold-blooded in others if it is necessary. It means being able to be cooperative with some people, and more competitive or even hard-nosed with others if it seems necessary.

A lack of flexibility means you'll run out of options for some situations.

I think that's what is happening with at least some blind multiculturalists. They don't realize that the strategies they might normally employ do not work with someone who is hell-bent on murdering us all for no other reason than we're not Muslims.

That kind of ruthlessness is hard to fathom for most people, I think, and multiculturalists seem even less willing to even entertain the possibility. They think there must be some other explanation. And because they think people can't really be that way, or that a large group of people or a religion can't be that way, they don't understand the why anyone would criticize Muslims.

If you can't understand the strength and intensity of the ruthlessness arrayed against western democracies, then you can't understand the need to defend against it.

Those who can fully grasp the ruthless intentions of orthodox Muslims will recognize how profoundly indifferent they are to pleading, expressing pain, feeling upset, or trying to win them over with appeasements.

We need to use some other strategy if we are to survive. My guess is that in a serious situation such as a concentration camp, the people who are now multiculturalists would be the kind of people who would die first. Peaceful, cooperative strategies don't work against ruthlessness, and those who aren't flexible enough to change their strategies are less likely to survive.

Even with ample flexibility, ruthlessness is almost impossible to deal with successfully. I squirmed while I watched a Frontline program called Target America. It showed the clumsy, incompetent attempts of one American president after another trying to deal with Islamic terrorism.

I said ruthlessness is almost impossible to deal with successfully, but that's not really true. Ruthless terrorists would be easy to deal with if you were willing to be equally ruthless yourself. But it is very difficult to deal with within the parameters of humanity and human rights.

The jihadis, of course, are aware of the West's ethical restraints and so they tailor their strategies for us. Their strategies are carefully designed to put us in double-binds where we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. And where we make a horrible mistake no matter what we do. Orthodox Muslims constantly do their best to give us Sophie's choice.

The most obvious response is against our code of ethics, and any other response is inadequate.

You can watch the Frontline program online. It is painful to watch the presidents try (and fail) to deal with the jihadis' double-binds. The presidents just wanted the problem to go away. They were all seeking a short-term, quick-fix solutions, and refused to see this for what it is: A global, long-term strategy of millions of orthodox Muslims who will do anything to gain a political advantage, with the ultimate aim being something that to most westerners is unthinkable: An Islamic world.

I like Western civilization. I like normal interactions between healthy people within a liberal democracy with a good police force and an overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens. I like not having to settle differences with my fellow citizens with violence. But I hope the island of civilization within which we live our lives doesn't blind too many of us to the fact that there are still people in this world who think differently and that different strategies than we're used to may sometimes be required.


Choke Off Money to Orthodox Islam

THIS TUESDAY, October 25th, in Washington, D.C. is a roundtable and press event for the Open Fuel Standard Act. You're invited. And we urge you to ask your representative to (at least) send one of their staff members to attend. This is an important, informative hour and a half event that none of our leaders should miss. (Contact information for your Members can be found here and here.)

The event has two parts: A one hour roundtable moderated by
Anne Korin, and a half hour press event with Representatives John Shimkus and Eliot Engel.

The roundtable will have several guests for the panel discussion, including
Robert McFarlane, Brigitte Gabriel, Bob Dinneen, and Greg Dolan. A special guest — NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace — will also be speaking.

Read, download, or print a flyer for the event here:
OFS Roundtable and Press Event Flyer. Get these to anyone you know in the D.C. area, including all the Hill Members who will listen to you.

To RSVP the event or find out more, contact Representative Shimkus' Legislative Director Grant Culp at


An Easy Way to Influence Your Friends


Share DVDs with your friends. When you find a good one, get a couple extra copies. Then let your friends know you saw a really good DVD. If they show any openness or interest, offer to loan them your copy.

Books may contain more information, but most people are more open to the idea of watching a DVD than reading a book. A book is a considerably bigger investment of time.

This is an easy and comfortable way of introducing important information to people you know. Even a good friend might not be willing to listen to you talk nonstop for an hour, educating him on orthodox Islam and its prime directive, but he might be willing to watch a DVD. And the producers have the funds to hire authorities in their fields to share what they know, lending the DVD an influencing power far beyond what you could accomplish in a conversation.

When you mention the DVD, don't say it is the best thing you've ever seen. Say you liked it, but then tell them something you thought was the most interesting part of the film. Or the most intriguing. Or surprising. Intrigue them. Reach them at their level. What do you think they would find most intriguing about the DVD?

For example, when I mention the film, Islam: What the West Needs to Know, I like to mention that one of the people interviewed is an ex-member of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization). In other words, he used to be an Islamic terrorist. He grew up in Palestine, where they glorify dying in martyrdom on television. He learned stories from his teachers in school of heroic martyrs blowing themselves up for the glory of Islam. He threw rocks at Israeli soldiers. He smuggled a bomb hidden inside a loaf of bread into an Israeli area, but changed his mind at the last minute and threw the bomb up onto a roof, where it blew up. I thought it was really interesting to hear his take on the Islamization of the West.

When you find a good film, watch it several times, so you will be well-acquainted with the facts and ideas later when you're talking to someone about the DVD. And while you watch the film for the second or third time, keep a notepad handy and jot down what you think are some of the most surprising or intriguing tidbits in the film, and use those to pique the curiosity of people when you talk about it.

In other words, don't just mention the film and say you liked it, and assume the person will be interested. Help her become interested. Gain and maintain rapport with her. This is a crucial part you can play to help convert people who aren't really that interested in Islam into people who are interested. You can make a small move in that direction by getting this person interested in watching a particular DVD.

Use this tool actively. It is a practical mission you could accomplish to help do the one thing that needs to be done: Educate your fellow non-Muslims about Islam. As you find things that work and things that don't work, please come back and leave your insights in the comments below.

We've got a growing list of DVDs to recommend. Check them out: Recommended DVDs.

Learn more about influencing your friends:

How to approach a conversation about Islam
Answers to objections when you talk about Islam
How to think outside the persuasion box



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