Dr. Nancy Kobrin

I recently received a WhatsApp (March 21, 2020) to the Counter Terrorism experts here at the Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism (ITCT) sent by its founder Noor Dahri. He wrote something profound concerning the outbreak of the coronavirus linked to a West Midlands church.

“This is what I am worrying about to shut the mosques completely but still some Mosques are open. These emotionally religious people [my emphasis] will be the cause of heavy deaths by the lack of their understanding about the disease of Coronavirus.” He hit the nail on the head and is absolutely right. Yet a quick but deep dive into the psychological problem is warranted. It is linked to early childhood development, a terrain that remains most scary to many experts. I will clarify the situation here in Israel, particularly Tel Aviv but what I describe can be found across the globe and will be repeatedly encountered with tragic consequences in third world countries often where shame honor cultures are found. This is the main psychological stumbling block in getting people to assume responsibility for their behavior in order to “flatten the curve.”

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