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Posted in: Jihad & Terrorism

Published on Oct 13, 2009 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Why Bin Laden Really Turned to Terrorism


According to the United States Treasury, al-Qaeda now has less money than the opium-enriched Taliban does. But saying so might be dangerous—it might "shame" al-Qaedian fanatics into having to prove us wrong. After all, there are still plenty of oil-enriched Arabs ready to fund both groups.

On the other hand, the women sure are growing restless in the Lands of the Burqa. For example, two female Kuwaiti Members of Parliament, Rola Dashti and Aseel Al-Awadhi, are defying the country's powerful Islamist movement by refusing to wear hijab, or the headscarf, in Parliament

"You can't force a woman going to the mall to wear a hijab and you can't force a woman going to work to wear the hijab," the MP, Rola Dashti, said. "This is not Iran or Saudi Arabia."

MP Dashti insists that Kuwait's constitution grants "freedom of choice and equality between the sexes and does not incorporate sharia." Nevertheless, a private citizen has filed a lawsuit against the American-educated Dr. Dashti and Professor al-Awadhi for not wearing hijab. The matter will be heard later this month.

Osama bin Laden would not be pleased by naked-faced Muslim women—and in positions of public power. That fact alone might inspire him (and many other Islamic fundamentalists) to acts of terrorism. Here's why I say so.

A few weeks ago, at this blogsite, I wrote: "Follow the burqa" and you'll find a fundamentalist household, possibly even a terror cell or two. In my view, those men who demand that women wear shrouds are often the kind of men who might also be terrorists or supporters and funders of terrorism.

Osama bin Laden's first wife and one of their sons, Omar, have written a Memoir, Growing Up Bin Laden. Although Carmen Bin Laden has also previously written a Memoir (she was married to one of Osama's brothers, Yeslam), she was not "of the blood." For a son to go public, exposing his father, and for him to stand by his mother, is unheard of, wondrous, heroic, and quite dangerous.

Growing Up Bin Laden shows us how cruel, weird, misogynist, and tyrannical Osama is both as a husband and a father.

By saying so, I do not mean to reduce evil solely to its psychiatric components or to excuse it. Rather, there is an Islamist culture out there in which such misogyny is normalized and valorized. That culture breeds terrorism. Domestic terrorism, national terrorism, international terrorism. I know: Counter-terrorism experts are not comfortable in talking about psycho-dynamics of family life. They want the specific information that will help them prevent the next act of terrorism.

Allow me to suggest that this approach does not rule out the importance of economics, technology, or theology, and is utterly invaluable in terms of understanding the family dynamics that lead to men and women becoming, supporting, and funding terrorists over a long period of time.

Remember how crazy Mohammed Ata was in terms of his view of women? He imagined that his mortal frame would actually survive the 9/11 incineration intact and he left instructions which demanded that no woman be allowed near his body to prepare it for burial.

Well—now meet bin Laden, the family man.

According to Dr. Nancy H. Kobrin's forthcoming book, The Banality of Suicide Terrorism. The Naked Truth About the Psychology of Islamic Suicide Bombings (for which I've written the Introduction), I know that when Osama was an infant, his father Mohammed banished his mother, Hamida. Thus, psychologically, Osama was "abandoned" by his mother and neglected by his father who had 56 other children and who died when Osama was 10 years old.

Osama married his first wife, Najwa, when she was 15 and he was 17. Like his mother Hamida, Najwa was also from Syria; both his mother and first wife, Najwa, were reportedly very beautiful, glamorous, active, westernized women.

Thus, the young Osama had to bear the shame of having no mother—and of having a mother who was a fourth "revolving position" wife, who was duly divorced, banished, and known as "the slave." Osama himself was known as the "son of the slave." Nevertheless, rather than identify the source of all his misery (his father, Islamic gender apartheid), Osama spent his life yearning for paternal affection and attention which he never really got.

Dr. Kobrin points out that the prophet Mohammed also had a series of similar losses (his mother Amina, his wetnurse, Thueiba, his next mother figure, "Halima," then back to his mother Amina who died when he was five, his guardian-grandfather, etc.)—and that Mohammed's genocidal persecution of the Jews began after the loss of his first wife and of the uncle who had reared him.

Back to al-Qaeda's founder. Osama, the husband, never banished his first wife, Najwa, who, we are told, used to play tennis and paint—but Osama forced her to fully veil, Saudi style. Their wedding? No jokes, no music, no dancing was allowed. Thereafter, Osama never allowed Najwa out of the house except to visit relatives or to move to another house. She lived her life in purdah, in prison. She endured Osama's marriage to three other women, one of whom she herself chose. She never complained.

Osama did not allow modern medicine for his children; refrigerators were forbidden, as were air conditioners, phones, toys, and televisions. Osama expected his sons to also become suicide killers and he subjected his young children to dangerous and frightening military maneouvers. According to Omar and Najwa, Osama also murdered his children's pets in chilling ways—ways that characterize many other serial killers.

Once, Osama killed a pet monkey. He had one of his lackeys run it over with a car. Osama said "The monkey was not a monkey but was a Jewish person turned into a monkey by the hand of God." He gassed a new litter of puppies, Nazi-style, trying to see how long it would take them to die.

But what was it that sent Osama totally over the edge? What compelled him to plan the mass murders of civilians on every continent? Omar tells us. When Osama saw American female troops on Middle Eastern Arab soil, he cried out. " Women! Defending Saudi men!"

That was the ultimate shame, the only shame that mattered, greater than the shame of having no mother, no father, the shame of being known as the "son of the slave." Instead of bonding with persecuted women and/or trying to protect them, Osama went the usual psychological route. He subjugated and imprisoned his wives and bonded with his absent father by becoming like him, only more so.

Psychologically, unconsciously, Osama has denied needing to be protected by a strong woman, namely a mother, when he was an infant, and his denial goes so far that he chose to becomes a serial killer, a mass murderer; he specializes in killing life. He is an anti-Mother. Osama takes his rage out on America, Jews, Christians, Israelis because, in his eyes, they have freed their women; indeed, to him, such countries are therefore like women and must be subordinated.

Amazingly, at least one son, Omar, not only fled Afghanistan and his father's control, he took his mother Najwa out with him. He did so even before 9/11.

Thus, the experience of naked-faced women in positions of power (in the American military or in the Kuwaiti Parliament) as "shaming" men, is one major component of Islamic terrorism. There is no appeasing this misogynist madness. One must stand against it.

President Obama must do everything in his power to help free Middle Eastern women from illiteracy, poverty, forced veiling, forced, arranged marriages to first cousins, polygamy, purdah, etc. Alas, thus far, he has flattered their jailors and crowed about America's support for the hijab. Perhaps our President should talk to the brave Kuwaiti parliamentarians.


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