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A Book That Changes the Counterterror Paradigm

It isn’t often that a book can revolutionize the general understanding of an entire concept, and can lead to a fresh way of approaching a problem that had hitherto stymied even the most acclaimed experts in the field. Such a book is Jamie Glazov’s remarkable Jihadist Psychopath: How He Is Charming, Seducing, and Devouring Us; if heeded, his book could do nothing less than break the West out of the suicidal death spiral in which it seems inextricably caught today.

Jihadist Psychopath is most certainly the first book to tackle head-on, from a new and entirely unexpected angle, the odd phenomenon that has played out with such dreary regularity over the last two decades. After every jihad terror attack, the focus of the international media -- and even government and law enforcement officials -- is never on telling the truth of what happened and formulating ways to protect citizens more effectively from this threat in the future. Instead, the focus is on Muslim communities as the victims, as if, in a total inversion of reality, the attackers had been non-Muslims targeting Muslims.

This inversion of reality manifests in innumerable ways. There is, immediately after the attack, the flood of news articles about how the local Muslim community is shocked -- shocked! -- by the attack. We are told that when mosque members first heard about the attack they prayed that the culprit was not a Muslim, and that they didn’t know the attacker; if the evidence is unmistakable that they did, we are told he had gotten angry despite the imam having preached peace and tolerance. We are told that this embattled and unjustly blamed community now fears a backlash from racist, redneck, non-Muslim yahoos. We are told that President Trump is largely responsible for the climate of fear in which Muslims in America must live today, and that “Islamophobia” is at record levels.

Even more insidious is how this inversion of reality plays out in both domestic and foreign policy. New York City dropped a successful surveillance program in Muslim communities -- despite the fact that two judges had affirmed its lawfulness and constitutionality -- after Muslims in New York claimed it unfairly singled them out. The United States has seen countless lives lost and has spent trillions on efforts to win hearts and minds in the Islamic world. We have built schools and hospitals and highways, funded democratic elections, and much more, all predicated on the unspoken but unmistakable assumption that what is broken in the Islamic world is our responsibility, if not our doing. And that it is up to us to make it right.

How has it come to be so generally accepted in the West that the jihad against us is all our fault, and that it is we -- its victims -- who must change our behavior in order to accommodate and appease those who are victimizing us? Glazov’s theory in Jihadist Psychopath is as compelling as it is unique: What is playing out on the world stage today is the classic interaction of the psychopath and his victim. The psychopath, Glazov explains, first seduces his victim with a charm offensive. Then, once he has manipulated his prey into giving him what he wants (which is, in essence, the victim’s very soul and very self), he affects a posture of wounded victimhood if the victim protests against his mistreatment. He even rewrites the history of their relationship to buttress his spurious scenario.