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Denial

Reader comment on item: Denying [Islamist] Terrorism

Submitted by Martin (United States), Feb 8, 2005 at 11:32

It may well be that there is something else going on here, what psychologists call "denial."

I think it is unlikely that everyone in a position of authority is that clueless, at least at the intellectual level, but to admit to oneself that these crimes are being committed because of a religion requires that one accept that there may be a need for laws specifically banning "an establishment of religion." That, in turn, would raise questions about the foundations of religious freedom in America and whether people of all faiths can live together peaceably under the US Constitution. If the answer to that is "no," then much of the cultural infrastructure built in the last several decades, if not since 1791, goes up in smoke. Rather than have to confront this possibility, it is psychologically much easier simply to reject what their eyes are telling them.
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