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I don't think it's a psychosis, but a personality disorder

Reader comment on item: [Pew Poll on] How Muslims Think
in response to reader comment: Muslim Schizophrenia

Submitted by J.S. (Canada), Jun 29, 2006 at 15:09

There's a personality disorder called psychopathology. Psychopaths are not legally insane (if a lawyer can claim his client is "insane" or a psychotic -- a person who suffers from delusions -- or is "schizophrenic" -- such a designation, if demonstrated, absolves the criminal from guilt... Someone who suffers from a "psychosis" is not deemed to be responsible for his or her actions.) This is not the case if a person is deemed to be a "psychopath." A psychopathic personality exhibits characteristics which (in my opinion) mimic what we see with Islamists...that is, a disregard for truth (a propensity to tell lies); an utter lack of empathy for others (cruel indifference to the suffering of others); a willingness to act in a rash, often unpredictable fashion; a complete failure to understand or even grasp how their actions harm others; a self-centeredness (only their own pet desires or obsessions are of interest to them -- no one else matters); etc. When this personality type is combined with a criminal deviance -- you can end up with, say, an incurable sex offender -- but it is their personality disorder which renders treatment impossible -- that is, there is no "treatment."

A noted researcher on the topic of "psychopathy" (taught at the University of British Columbia, now retired), argues that at least one percent of any population will exhibit psychopathic characteristics (or one percent could be classed as suffering from this personality disorder.) So, if you look at Canada, with an approximate population of 30 million, then you could expect that 300,000 Canadians are "psychopathic." But, if you then compare the 300,000 figure with those people actually in prison -- diagnosed as criminal psychopaths -- the number is nowhere near 300,000. Thus, where are all the other psychopaths? The explanation the researcher offers is that the other psychopaths are not in jail -- they can be found "living amongst us." So, someone could have a psychopathic boss -- the boss is not a "criminal" -- but the fellow could, nevertheless, exhibit psychopathic behaviours. I suspect that Islam (in some of its current versions) teaches a kind of psychopathic behaviour to its adherents...And certain imams could be diagnosed as "psychopaths" (they fit the pattern.) But this does not mean that they are "dellusional" or "psychotic" or "schizophrenic." They are completely capable of functioning on a day-to-day basis (there's no need for institutionalization or being placed on a mental ward). And it's this very fact that makes the situation far, far worse -- they can appear "normal."

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