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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Dr. Nancy Kobrin began her academic career after receiving a doctorate in comparative literature, with a focus on the Islamic literature of medieval Spain. A graduate analyst of the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis and a PTSD trauma expert, she taught and supervised psychiatry residents in Minneapolis, where she had a private practice. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, she was contacted by the U.S. Army concerning her work on the link between the devalued female and the jihadi suicide attack and was invited by the military and law enforcement to lecture on radical Islam and conduct prison interviews among the Somalis in Minnesota. She is also a graduate of the Human Terrain Program, Leavenworth, Kansas, which is affiliated with the U.S. Army.